The use of dashboards can be advantageous in multiple aspects, so there are a number of benefits of dashboard reporting. Here are the top six features and benefits dashboards can provide:
Data transparency – Data is any company’s most important asset. However, it doesn’t do much good if no one can understand or access it. A well-designed dashboard provides on-demand access of all of your most important metrics.
Access to data – As the name implies, a dashboard gathers multiple data sources, including Excel, into a single interface. That means you can immediately see a detailed overview of your business in one quick glance. Better yet, it reduces the amount of time it takes to compile reports, saving you time.
Better decision making – Dashboards provide an unbiased view not only of the company’s performance overall, but each department as well. If each department is able to access the dashboard, it can offer a foundation for further dialogue and great decision making. For example, the sales and marketing department can align their data and experiences to increase customer acquisitions and improve demand generation. Business dashboards provide a good starting point for these decisions, which is one of the biggest advantages of dashboards.
Accountability – While it’s always nice to see what you’re doing right, you also need to see and understand what can be improved upon in order to increase your performance. Business dashboards can show you exactly where your trouble areas are and arm you with the information you need to improve. Also, by making the dashboards visible throughout the company, they can hold different departments accountable for both the ups and downs.
Interactivity – Some of the best dashboards provide a dynamic experience. Rather than providing static information, you and your users can filter data, interact with charts to see changes over time, and even allow for an ad-hoc component for on-the-fly. That means you can get as much or as little detail on specific metrics as you want.
Gamification – Your metrics, whether traffic to your website or products sold, are the key numbers you want to continuously improve upon. The top businesses have managed to gamify certain business metrics to increase the likelihood of customer retention. If you’re considering gamification, business dashboards can track the success of your efforts.
The ability to access information from multiple data sources in real time is an important component of your business structure. Give us a call today for a free, honest and unconditional discussion and we'll be happy to help however we can.
Most businesses thrive today with some sort of mobile application. However, development usually exceeds the internal capabilities of most organizations. Outsourcing can be an effective solution for budget or technical concerns. Here are a few tips to remember when considering the development of a Mobile Application:
Define your requirements
It's important to know what you want out of an app. Parameters should be clearly outlined. Some questions to consider:
- What is the purpose?
- Who are the clients?
- What are the main features?
- Is it a free or paid app?
Identifying the right partner
You should spend a lot of time researching a trusted outsourcing company. They should have experience with creating mobile applications. Ask questions, check references and review their portfolio.
Communication is the most important part of collaboration. You shouldn't be afraid to ask questions. If you avoid communication, it can create conflicts, mistakes and ultimately costs.
Clearly define payment terms, requirements, revisions and processes. Without understanding parameters, problems will occur.
A simple project plan contains top level tasks and helps avoid mistakes.
It's important to discuss thoughts, opinions and suggestions on strategies. This helps avoid unnecessary features. Working together inspires motivation and involvement.
Finally, it's important to understand this simple rule - if you want your program to succeed, you must be involved. A clear and defined objective is the key to achieving goals.
In budgetary terms, the cost of duplicate data is alarming. In simple terms, imagine the wasted costs of sending multiple catalogs to one person. In addition to the money spent on duplicate print and postage costs, there is also the potential negative effect on response rates and the overall ROI of your marketing activity.
To help reduce costs, businesses need to identify and prevent duplicate records from being entered into their database. This will provide the best position to maintain a healthy database and save money by minimizing wasted income on things like marketing costs and stopgap data cleansing solutions.
Lack of Single Customer View
It is difficult to view an accurate picture of customers and their behavior with multiple records for the same contact. With each interaction documented against different records it is challenging to view what communication has taken place and to determine any outstanding actions.
Poor Customer Service
Duplicated and inaccurate data affects every aspect of a customer relationship from service conversations to marketing and sales messaging. It is extremely difficult to understand a customer issue if there are multiple records and differing notes for each.
Decreased User Adoption
Poor quality data is one of the most common causes of low user adoption. Data confidence plays a key role in how employees use CRM business systems. Bad data affects morale because it is frustrating and inefficient.
Inefficient Business Processes
When employees lose confidence in the CRM because of inaccurate data, they can revert to using alternative methods. Using inefficient business processes limits growth.
Inaccurate Reporting = Less Informed Decisions
Decisions based on poor quality data are no more reliable and accurate as those made on assumptions. A database with poor data will impact your ability to make informed judgements about the state and future of your business.
The ability to effectively manage data and access information is an important component of your business structure. Give us a call today for a free, honest and unconditional discussion and we'll be happy to help however we can.
Spud Software welcomed contestants to the Coder Challenge Saturday, May 11 for a day of competitive activity. The competition hosted 21 participants over the age of 18 with no full-time programming experience. Every registered contestant received a free commemorative t-shirt and enjoyed pizza and soft drinks throughout the afternoon. The event started at 10:30am and by 3:00pm, the top three were awarded prizes; including $1,000 for first place, a second-place prize of $500 and a $250 third place prize
The purpose for the Spud Coder Challenge is to engage entry-level software developers with problem-solving and basic coding abilities and assess their suitability for the industry. The competition included multiple programming tasks, with each question testing contestants critical thinking skills and code writing talents. At 2:00pm, the leaderboard was published allowing the participants to see their standings. This provided some insight for the contestants, allowing them to gauge their placement and plan a strategy for their final run at the prize money.
Taking the first-place check of $1,000.00 with a total score of 47, was Sydney Havens from Clarkston, Michigan. A senior at Clarkston High School, Sydney plans to attend the University of Michigan in the fall. In second place, with a total score of 36, receiving a check for $500, was Dillon Buessing and the $250 third place prize was awarded to James Lynott, from St. Clair, totaling 23 points.
"We were excited to host this event and look forward to having similar competitions in the future.” said Derek Sommer, Owner and CEO of Spud Software. "Spud is passionate about growing a community of eager developers who want to be involved in the next generation of technology, and this is a great opportunity for them to start."
Of course, the event would not be possible without collaborating support from local businesses; these contributing partners understand the importance of promoting the growth of technical talent in the community. Their sponsorship provided an essential portion of the program.
In today’s competitive environment, businesses must continuously improve their processes. Failure to do so is likely to result in higher costs, lower revenues, less motivated employees and fewer satisfied customers.
Business Process Management (BPM) is a powerful tool to keep all aspects of operations running optimally. For those considering investing in it to drive process improvement, here’s a brief overview of why an organization needs business process management.
What is BPM?
Business Process Management is a discipline that improves corporate performance by driving operational efficiency and business agility. Think of a business as an engine and BPM as a tool to fine-tune each component to achieve maximum performance.
What does BPM do?
Within every organization there are common business processes designed to meet specific objectives. However, for any number of reasons some of these processes may be slow, inefficient, unreliable and redundant. A BPM puts all of these processes under fresh scrutiny, using models, metrics and analysis to make evaluations and identify improvements that produce better performance.
What are the main benefits of BPM?
A BPM program enables companies to process more with higher quality, less waste and reduced effort. This is particularly advantageous for startups and companies faced with tight budgets that need to reach profitability quickly.
These benefits can be categorized into three main areas:
Efficiency – One of the first benefits seen upon implementing a BPM program is increased efficiency. Since many processes are wasteful due to a number of factors, shedding a light on these systems helps companies recognize and eliminate these inefficiencies.
Effectiveness – Once a process becomes more efficient, BPM can then make that process more effective. Among the benefits of greater process effectiveness are the ability to handle exceptions faster, make better, more informed decisions, and execute consistently. When all processes are running effectively and are aligned with corporate strategies and objectives, companies become more profitable and competitive.
Agility – The need for organizations to be agile is more critical than ever. In fact, companies whose processes are inflexible to change are going to get left behind. New opportunities may necessitate change in order to capitalize on them. Business partners, customers or even State, Federal and International regulations that may require change.
Thanks to BPM programs, companies have the platform they need to change their existing processes or implement new ones faster, smoother, and more efficiently than they could ever do with any other option. This ability to stay flexible and quickly adapt in the face of changes both foreseen and unexpected is a powerful driver of competitive advantage for every company.
A comprehensive software reporting solution is an important component of your business structure. Spud Software can provide these features, plus so much more. Give us a call today for a free, honest and unconditional discussion and we'll be happy to help however we can.
The first comprehensive business intelligence systems were developed by IBM and Siebel in the period between 1970 and 1990. Concurrently, there were small developer teams that had established themselves with inventive concepts, which resulted in the development of a variety of products, many of which remain in use today.
The year 1988 was a great leap forward, as specialists and vendors organized a multiway data analysis consortium in Rome, where they considered options that would allow for data management and analytics to be carried out more efficiently, resulting in the products primarily becoming available to smaller and financially restricted businesses.
By the year 2000, there were a multitude of professional reporting systems and analytic programs, some of which were owned by top performing software producers in the U.S. Business intelligence software producers became interested in producing universally applicable BI systems which don’t require expensive installation, and could hence be considered by smaller and midmarket businesses which could not afford on premise maintenance. These aspirations emerged in parallel with the cloud hosting trend, which is how most vendors came to develop independent systems with unrestricted access to information.
From 2006 onwards, the positive effects of cloud-stored information and data management transformed itself to a completely mobile centered one, mostly to the benefit of decentralized and remote teams looking to tweak data or gain full visibility over it out of office. As a response to the large success of fully optimized uni-browser versions, vendors have recently begun releasing mobile-specific product applications for both Android and iOS users. Cloud-hosted data analytics made it possible for companies to categorize and process large volumes of data, which is how we can currently speak of unlimited visualization, and intelligent decision making.
This has dramatically affected the role of business finance, and in particular, the role of the CFO, which has rapidly evolved with the rise of the digital enterprise. Traditionally, the financial function was charged with protecting enterprise assets by maintaining accurate books and guarding against financial risk. Now, that role has expanded to include providing insight and direction for decision-making across the company’s functional and market-facing areas, as well as becoming an increasingly key player in shaping corporate strategy.
Effective software reporting tools provide a versatile approach to organizing data – allowing users to extract and present information in charts, tables, and other visualizations. While the main purpose of software reporting tools are to translate data into actionable information; reporting should fit within an organizations strategic business goals in order to be useful. There are also many use cases for reporting tools, from managing performance data to allowing customers, to leverage reporting of their own information.
In the context of business information, reporting is functionally critical to the early stages of corporate analysis; and as such, plays the important role of visualizing and communicating data. It does so by utilizing a number of different components from charts, graphs, tables, and other widgets. A report can be made up of one or many of these components. These representations may be used in different ways, but they are all beneficial for the purpose of presenting information in an accurate and usable manner.
Reports can also vary in their interactivity. While static reports cannot be changed by the end users; interactive reports provide navigation through various hierarchies and visualization elements; sorting, filtering and viewing data at the click of a button. This ability to access data in an adaptable, real-time format is extremely powerful for business development.
Reporting is commonly an early step in data processing that achieves the goal of delivering interactive, actionable information. All of these features provide further exploration of data for the most accurate insights. Actionable information empowers users with the knowledge to make critical business decisions.
A comprehensive software reporting solution is an important component of your business structure. Give us a call today for a free, honest and unconditional discussion and we'll be happy to help however we can.
Everyone has experienced buyer’s remorse at one time or another. Maybe you return the item, and maybe you pay a restocking fee, but there’s no real harm done. However, when you’re a small or midsize business (SMB), it’s not as simple to get out from under a bad project management (PM) software investment. In fact, impulse buying or getting sold on unnecessary features without proper evaluation often lead to a failed implementation - an investment that most small businesses can’t afford to waste.
We’re sharing several tips for selecting a Program Management software system to give you the best chance for success.
Follow an Outcome-Driven Approach. When considering a new program management tool, keep in mind that selection is relative and depends entirely on usage. A solution that worked for a different company, or even a different department, may not fit with your team’s workflows. So, it’s important to conduct team-specific evaluations each time you consider adopting a new tool.
Define desired outcome. Identifying the specific problem you are trying to solve helps determine what the tool is being asked to deliver. When you know what the expected results should be, you are in a better position to choose a tool that is capable of delivering those results.
Perform stakeholder analysis. Identify your key stakeholders (those who will actually be using the tool). Focus on their requirements with the goal of creating a list of “must-have” versus “nice-to-have” capabilities. Prioritizing these needs helps ensure that you are fitting the new tool to existing workflows.
Determine key capabilities. Once you know your requirements, you can narrow down your list of must-have capabilities. Focus on the items that drive the most value and help you accomplish the objectives you’re working toward.
Following these simple suggestions will help you determine the appropriate system for your needs.
A comprehensive Project and Cost Tracking solution is one of the most important investments your business could make. Give us a call today for a free, honest and unconditional discussion and we'll be happy to help however we can.
BERMUDA TRIPLE CHALLENGE
Spud’s own Jeremy Smith undertook an amazing personal journey recently. He decided to spend a long weekend vacation and push his mental and physical endurance to the limits by competing in the Bermuda Triple Challenge. The BTC is part of the Obstacle Course Racing World Championship competition, the only independent global competition for the sport of OCR. The Bermuda Triple Challenge is a quite unique weekend competition, with an obstacle course unlike any other race. Competitors experience the beauty of the Atlantic island over three days undertaking three separate challenges.
First was Race 1 in the historic town of St. George. Settled in 1612, this was Bermuda’s capital for over 200 years and contains some of the island’s oldest buildings and forts, including St. Peter’s Church, the oldest Protestant church in the New World. This Argus Urban Foot Race began in this area at dusk as participants navigated throughout the town’s streets, tackling urban inspired obstacles and Crossfit workouts along the route. This 3K challenge required speed and agility as competitors’ raced through 27 different obstacles. Not an easy race by any means, and an exciting start to an amazing weekend.
The second day hosted the Sun Life Island Challenge along Bermuda’s sough shore beaches. Bathed in pink sand, this picturesque area delivered what Bermuda is so well known for; limestone bluffs, spectacular coves, natural trails and deep aqua blue waters. This 5K course began in the morning with military style obstacles overlooking the southern shore. Trudging up and along the sand dunes while carrying bags of weight and crawling beneath barb wire are just a few of this leg of the competitions challenges. As if this wasn’t already a marathon of mind and body, some competitors even completed the circuit for a second time.
The third and final day also began in the morning and set the racers along the Royal Navy Dockyards. This area was the principal base of the British Royal Navy in the western Atlantic following the American Revolution right up to the end of the Cold War. The 5K challenge in this setting included grueling obstacles such as climbing netting strung along the wharf to swimming from channel to channel in an all-out physical assault of the dockyards. Possibly the most challenging of the three events, this included log carries, spear throws and Tarzan swings with a breathtaking trek along a zip line!
Our wayward traveler, Jeremy completed this entire trek fairly unscathed. Merely a little bit of scrapes and small contusions and a bit of sunburn, but truly an adventure filled with beauty and heart. This was a unique challenge that Jeremy can look back upon with pride and accomplishment.
WELCOME TO SPUD
We are excited to welcome three new faces to Spud Software - Alex Latunski, Zack Garza and Kyle Gibbs. These young developers are an exciting acquisition and offer a unique dimension to our culture. They represent a bold new step to our future as we look to impact our community by adding the very best talent to our team. The Spud experience is both unique and distinct and they are sure to experience many new accomplishments. Let's get to know our newest members and see how they contribute to Spud.
Alex Latunski joins Spud from Morrice after graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in Computer Science. While there, he participated in research on image recognition and autonomous drone movements, as well as working as a student technician for the IT Department. Spud is his first full-time position following graduation and between his new responsibilities here as a developer, he enjoys the comforts of a good read and the challenge of board game competitions.
Zach Garza carries along a fascinating element to Spud Software with his design background. A local from Grand Blanc, Zack graduated from Kendall College of Art and design following his major field of study in Graphic Design with a minor in Photography. Throughout his academic career, Zach spent time honing his skills in photography and merchandising while freelancing in graphic design projects. He also maintains an active fitness lifestyle and studies film, with a deep appreciation for Japan's Toho Studios and their contributions to the motion picture industry.
Kyle Gibbs hails from Lapeer, Michigan and is currently finishing his Degree in Computer Science from the University of Michigan. Spud is his first position in software development, although he has worked steadily in the retail environment focusing on customer relationships. He maintains that his true passion is developing gaming applications and spends much of his spare time studying design practices and developing his own programs.
Each of these gentlemen bring a fresh perspective to Spud Software and we welcome them to our team. We would also also like to thank everyone for their support in getting the word out about Spud's hiring efforts. Spud is continuing to look for new additions to the team in Sales, Development, and Administration to be a part of our growing company. Our website tells more about who were are and what we do. If you haven't checked it out yet, please visit our site at http://www.spudsoftware.com or if you know anyone who meets our criteria, please send along any information to firstname.lastname@example.org.