This dashboard gives everyone in the team a high-level overview of how our business is performing day-to-day. It’s the focal point of our office, so colleagues from across the business are constantly passing by throughout the day. With this in mind, I’ve designed the dashboard to tell the story of how our company is doing, focusing on delivering an overall quick snapshot that’s easy to understand.
When you’re telling the story of how a company is performing, it’s quite easy to overwhelm a dashboard with information that’s too detailed or tricky to understand for most people in the company.
This dashboard is designed to give staff a quick snapshot of three key areas of the business at a glance.
To the left, there’s a visualization using data from our database that shows how much MRR has changed since yesterday. There’s also a live feed that quickly shows when a customer upgrades, downgrades, churns, or subscribes to a plan. As these visualizations update in real time, it’s a great way to convey the pulse of the business and to show everyone the amazing companies on our books.
Alongside this is a view of how MRR is tracking throughout the month compared to last month, for extra context. Of all the things on the dashboard, this sparks the most conversations, as it’s really easy to see whether we’ve had a good or bad few days and start questioning why that might be.
If the left of our dashboard is for the “must know” information, the right of our dashboard is for the “nice to know” information.
Our current Number of Customers and total MRR fill the top right of the dashboard. These aren’t useful metrics in and of themselves, but it’s important for everyone to have a sense of how the company is evolving. It can be easy to lose sight of growth if those numbers aren’t part of your normal day-to-day.
Equally, some team members who aren’t working directly with customers can feel a little disconnected from user feedback and comments. To help remedy this, we include customer feedback highlights in our weekly “all hands” meeting . We’ve also added live feeds of customer feedback to our dashboard that comes from Twitter and our Zendesk account. Given our data-driven culture, these help us stay in touch with some of the qualitative feedback that comes our way.
When we were hiring the first few people, and getting Geckoboard off the ground, we wanted to stay on top of key numbers, but we also wanted everyone to feel excited about what we were doing. After all, we were building something that real customers were using and in most cases loving! We created the first version of this dashboard with those two things in mind, and the purpose of it hasn’t changed over the years, even though the metrics and information on there has.
Over the years the main things we’ve changed are the time frames for key metrics. Initially, the focus of the dashboard was a long-term MRR goal and our progress towards that, but we soon realized that this wasn’t particularly engaging. Through experimentation, we found that the team were more engaged with daily fluctuations in MRR. And when the names of the companies using Geckoboard were associated with MRR changes, people were glancing up throughout the day to see what the latest changes were.
Generally, we’ve learnt that there’s a huge value in frequently updated information, alongside “slower” metrics to get people engaged.