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Why live KPI dashboards are a must for SaaS companies

Why live KPI dashboards are a must for SaaS companies

What if you could see where your business was, where it is today, and where it could be? See how live KPI dashboards give you the visual feedback
Keerthi A Muralidharan
Keerthi A Muralidharan
Mar 16, 2022
Growth team discussing key metrics in a meeting room
“Strategic-operational KPIs alignment gives the organization a powerful tool to use when implementing change.” ― Pearl Zhu

Despite the strong rebound, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies need to ramp up to sustain growth and keep winning customers’ hearts (and their business) in an ever-changing environment. 

What does this mean for those at the helm? 

Decision makers like you will have to make faster, smarter data-driven decisions to balance strategy and tactics and drive the next level of agility, growth and innovation. But do you have the clarity needed to get deep insights? Especially, when data resides all over the place.

For instance, how long will it take to find answers to questions like these?

  • As of today, are we meeting the targets set for the year?
  • If we’re trailing, how far behind are we?
  • If we’re outpacing, where are we excelling?
  • What is our most profitable lead source for our company?
  • What is the highest converting channel?
  • What is the number one reason given by customers for churn?
  • Who is the most consistent sales rep in our organization?

Seconds, if you have a live KPI dashboard that tracks progress against objectives, that is.

Real-time integrated SaaS dashboards to measure your business at a glance

Gartner forecasts end-user spending on public cloud services to reach $482 billion in 2022. And this dominance is likely to continue as firms prioritize better customer experience and visibility, lower costs and business continuity. It is an incredibly competitive market!

Riding this wave means making as few missteps as possible. With a custom SaaS dashboard, you get a brilliant snapshot into your business’ health. It gives you a quick, high-level view but with features to drill down as needed.

A well-designed dashboard is a great way to track and measure KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) across marketing, sales, customer success, finance and operations. For example, it’ll give you insights on how you’re doing in terms of monthly recurring revenue (MRR), average revenue per user (ARPU), retention / churn, cost to acquire a customer, sales cycle time, customer life cycle value, marketing qualified leads, NPS, and more. That’s a whole lot of information at your fingertips.

When you have a unified view of the data, which everyone in the company can also access anytime anywhere, you see where your business was, where it is today, and where it could be. 

Building your very own CEO dashboard

Knowing your company’s critical success factors is the first step. Then bringing together the staggering quantity of the related data and metrics. Finally, making sense of the information to understand how well your strategy is working and what you need to change.

A live dashboard, be it analytical, strategic or operational, allows you to develop a visual story with the data that’s piped in. In easy-to-interpret formats, it highlights the most important data, enabling you to course correct.

It’s important to remember the metrics keep changing depending on the context and the growth stage of the company. For a startup, it can be value metrics at first and then growth metrics. Or as CEO, you might want a dashboard to benchmark against competitors or you might want one to track the progress of multiple concurrent projects. 

Don’t start by building a very detailed one. Keep it simple; you don’t need to stuff it with attractive graphics that could just end up confusing the viewer.

Building a tailored live dashboard is easy with Dataflo. You pull in the data from, say, Google Analytics, social media, and email campaign tools for a marketing view. Then you can either create a dashboard from scratch or use preselected templates, and drag and drop the KPIs relevant to you. A library of visualization tools and built-in formulas are also available. Many dashboards allow you to set up and edit alerts – alerts when supply is running low can help you set automatic triggers for re-supply or prioritizing orders, for example.

Imagine if every team in your office had an LED TV that displays the team KPIs in real-time and all these team KPIs get combined to display the company’s performance against the set targets? 

It will drive not only accountability but also motivation. Of course, how much transparency you want – like only top-level metrics or only wins or losses – is up to you.

Here are views of what Dataflo’s live dashboards for you could look like

Live KPI SaaS dashboard with key metrics

How a customized live dashboard helps you get ahead of the curve

A 2018 Harvard Study of how CEOs manage their time day revealed they spend only 6% of their time with employees, and worryingly, just 3% with customers! How then are they supposed to gauge what’s really happening within the organization or with the customers.

That’s why a live dashboard is what you need to stay on top of everything from ad spend and EBITDA to lead time and average resolution time. Single-screen access to several data sets, on the go, with the ability to compare is a godsend!

Look at some of the advantages you get:

  • Saving yourself time and effort poring over spreadsheets and lengthy reports
  • Getting instant visibility into how all the departments / processes are doing
  • Spotting issues even before the occur, or trends going in a negative direction
  • Knowing where to focus when time and resources are limited
  • Not having to wait for your teams to get back to you with the numbers
  • Answering investors’ questions in a trice without scrolling through a bunch of screens

Success stories abound. 

A fast-growing B2B SaaS company that offers fintech solutions tried Dataflo and was able to reduce the time spent on reporting by 35% and is crushing its growth goals by making data-driven decisions faster owing to enhanced cross-departmental transparency. 

A San Francisco based venture capitalist firm uses the Dataflo executive dashboard to completely automate reporting across all its portfolio companies and saves over 110 hours per month.

Dataflo’s real time dashboard helped a mid-stage logistics startup by real-time monitoring of driver behavior – the result: 16% improvement in driver compliance and 22% reduction in costs from accidents or goods damage.

“What’s measured improves” – Peter Drucker

To stay the course through current uncertainties, getting up-to-the-minute information on KPIs is crucial as you may want to reassess your value proposition, for instance. Live dashboards can help CEOs maintain focus on the goals they’ve set for their business, be it for deciding to use task forces or dunning mechanisms.

That said, metrics can only do so much. Ultimately it is your judgment and interpretation, and maybe a little intuition too. There are, after all, some elements that can’t be measured. Also, not everything that can be counted is useful, and there are distortions to be considered too.

If you have queries on how to get started or any comments for us, do get in touch!

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