Monitor Metrics with a Business and Marketing Data Dashboard

  • 27 May, 2014
  • Jon Tucker

Metrics help you know what’s working in your business. In this episode of The Compete Marketing Group Show, we discuss about how to create a simple dashboard that you can use to make monitoring your business metrics easier.


Full Transcript of Audio Below

We’ve transcribed the audio into text and formatted it for easy reading below. Please excuse any typos or odd wording, as this transcript is taken directly from the spoken word within the audio above.

We’ve talked in other episodes about why it’s important to actually track numbers in your business.

Why Tracking Numbers Is Important In Your Business

The main reason really comes down to knowing what is happening in your business. By tracking your metrics

  • You’re able to know for sure, what’s happening in your business which makes it easier to make decisions.
  • It’s easier to actually run and operate your business, since you can take some of the emotions out of it.
×Tracking metrics effectively is just a piece of the puzzle to market your business successfully. To get a list of specific opportunities to grow your business, click here.

3 Things That Make For A Great Dashboard

But what we want to talk about today is how to make a dashboard to actually monitor your business metrics. So let’s start with the question about what makes for a great dashboard.

You only want to have what’s actually relevant to your business

  • You want to keep your dashboard very simple so you only have a few key metrics for each part of your business so you’re not overwhelmed with different data.
  • And that’s going to enable you to meet the second thing that makes a great dashboard.

You actually need to use it

  • You need to use it and be able to take action based on those metrics, and so
  • By using the dashboard you’re going to be able to improve the business, and
  • It’s going to be a lot easier to use the actual dashboard if you keep it simple and relevant.

So don’t let too much data make it onto your dashboard.

Have it  automatically updated

  • Make sure that you don’t need to do any data entry to actually have the reports be usable and that doesn’t necessarily mean that the program is going to automatically update the data and have it just appear there.
  • You want to have a tool that can make as much of it as automated as possible and the rest that can’t be physically automated will be automated with a very low cost data entry team, one to two dollars an hour.

We’ll talk about that in a moment. But those are the three things that are most important for a dashboard:

  • First, only have what’s relevant on the actual dashboard so that you can keep it simple.
  • Second, you need to make sure to actually use it and that you can use it to take action, so you’re able to improve the business based on this data.
  • Third, you want to make sure that the dashboard automatically updates so that you don’t have to do data entry time, to actually have it be useful for you.

Dashboard Tool That We Recommend

So, with that said, let’s talk about the tool and the process that we recommend for having a dashboard in your business.

  • The tool that we recommend is called Geckoboard. It’s and what Geckoboard enables you to do is create your own dashboard using a number of different systems.

So if you wanted to show your website traffic, or the number of deals that are in your CRM system, the odds are that if you use a relatively industry standard system for your CRM system, or for your website tracking, then you’re going to be able to pull that data automatically into Geckoboard.

Geckoboard is a tool that we recommend for actually building the dashboard.

Automating Manually Gathered Data

If it’s not possible to actually have that data appear automatically within Geckoboard, then what we recommend is creating a Google spreadsheet which is an online spreadsheet.

  • Having the data be stored there, which would be entered by a data entry team, which we will talk about in a moment, and
  • Then Geckoboard can pull data and present data from a Google spreadsheet

So if it’s not possible to automatically pull it into Geckoboard, then you want to keep it in a Google spreadsheet and then connect Geckoboard to the Google spreadsheet.

Working with a Data Entry Team or Assistant

Now, I’ve mentioned having a data entry team or an assistant of some sort actually enter the data. The reason why I think this is really important is that,

  • If you as a business owner are actually doing data entry to produce these reports, eventually you’re not going to have time to do the data entry because it’s a relatively low value task based on other things you could be doing in the business, and
  • Therefore you’re not going to be able to actually use the reports because they’re going to be missing data.
  • So I think it’s very important to take out the data entry part from your particular responsibilities.

One way to do that is to just have somebody else in your office manage that part of the process, and I think that for most listeners that’s going to be the best bet  is:

  • Just have an assistant do it,
  • Have an intern,
  • Have somebody else on the team to take that 15 minutes per day and enter that data.

Otherwise, if you have a lot of data or a more complicated dashboard;

  • You could hire a virtual assistant outside of your office for a very low cost – one, two, three dollars an hour, just to repetitively, everyday log into your systems and gather that data into the spreadsheet.

Summary and Next Actions

An action item out of today is to consider what you would be able to do by having actionable business data in front of you every single day.

  • We use this to run our businesses, and it’s been a huge huge improvement over some of the old ways we used to run the business.
  • We have the data at our fingertips, and tools like Geckoboard, and some of the processes we’ve talked about today have enabled us to do that.

Contact us to discuss how to best define metrics for your business, and if you need some guidance on how to actually set up Geckoboard, we’d be happy to point you in the right direction. You can visit us at

×Tracking metrics effectively is just a piece of the puzzle to market your business successfully. To get a list of specific opportunities to grow your business, click here.


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