14 Jul Drowning in a Sea of Data? 4 Ways to Quickly Track Your Startup Critical Metrics
OK. You have the funding for your startup. But even though you have cash in the bank, it’s not unlimited—your activities will be constrained and must be tailored to the resources available. As with all startups, it’s critical that you adopt a performance management culture to meet your goals for the enterprise.
While the above is especially true for startups, you can say the same for any stage business, operating with constrained resources! Building a sustainable business demands crystal clarity on your goals, but also the discipline to continuously test and adjust, as you execute plans. This is the “build-measure-learn” feedback loop of the Lean Startup methodology.
This methodology is focused on bringing new products and services to market—how you take an idea and productize it; test it with customers to see how they respond; and decide whether to continue or change direction. That feedback loop must be integral to all start-up activity.
It’s imperative that you track your key metrics and analyze your performance. And, with most start-ups, it’s also necessary to report on progress to investors and stakeholders—even if they are also team-mates. So how do you educate yourself—and your team—to monitor and successfully achieve your goals?
There are 4 basic approaches you could take to tracking performance:
- The basic way—by using Excel, you can track your business data and financial performance. This is common in many corporations, where a spreadsheet is likely to be on every desktop. However while spreadsheets are excellent for many purposes, tracking business performance is not one of them. When you are dealing with masses of data, it’s not easy to see—and share—the big picture. The three big problems with this approach are:
1) Creating a dashboard to visualize performance requires expertise and time,
2) It’s difficult to maintain data integrity, since data entry and update is completely manual, and
3) There’s no collaboration with team-mates, stakeholder or investors, except through sharing of spreadsheet files.
- The smarter way — using an off-the-shelf dashboard tool that can help you by presenting your data graphically — with real-time dials, gauges and bar charts. Such tools may also have off-the-shelf connectors to bring in data from third party applications. These dashboard tools will certainly help provide better insights and enable you to learn more from your data. However, they cannot give you a complete picture of your business! They do not provide for quality analysis and insights and don’t help you identify business bottlenecks or opportunities for improvement.
- The expensive way — with a Business Intelligence (BI) tool. These tools provide everything you need, but they are costly and complex. BI tools are usually much more expensive than KPI dashboards and require expertise to use their powerful analytics, KPIs and SQL query tools. They are great for professional data analysts, who have the know-how and budget, but are probably not an option for the typical small business or startup, which need an easy-to-use tool that provides actionable information.
- The smartest and simplest way — using smart, auto-populated smart KPI Dashboard software which functions as a business analyzer and decision making tool. The ideal option is cloud-based business analytics software that can automatically populate your dashboard and is smart enough to track leading indicators, identify bottlenecks in your business, and alert you to be proactive. And of course, it needs to connect to your data sources!
If you’re looking for a smart, affordable KPI dashboard software tool that can help you make your business decisions, then check out Bilbeo’s Business Analyzer.
Bilbeo’s Business Analyzer is a cloud-based business intelligence tool that uses scoring and advanced data visualization in order to produce a unified view of the key performance indicators for your business. It’s simple to use and ready for use in minutes, with no set-up required!
Bilbeo’s built-in proprietary algorithms automatically uncovers the leading indicators that are driving your business, displays them visually and sends alerts whenever something requires your attention. Don’t wait and grab your free trial now!