For those of us in the technology industry, news of advancements and innovations run rampant and, understandably, cause a great deal of excitement. Our industry is ever-evolving and forward-thinking, and it’s empowering to be in the throes of what’s next. But when it comes to business intelligence—which more and more SMBs are investing in—the next trend may be surprising. In this case, it’s all about scaling back and keeping it simple.
What is Business Intelligence?
At its core, business intelligence is the analysis of your business’s data. All businesses have important data that they are tracking at all times. With MSPs specifically, who are responsible for their own data in addition to that of their client’s, data analysis can sometimes become paralyzing.
Business intelligence aims to be the much-needed solution. The danger lies in BI that wants to do too much.
So, how can MSPs use BI effectively and productively? The old adage, less is more, comes to mind.
What to Look for in BI
The fact is that people are inundated with data. They’re reaching a tipping point where they’re saying, “I can’t consume anymore data. I just need to know what data is most important so I can act on it.”
In the case of BI, the most cutting-edge decision an MSP can make is to choose what is simplest, and to focus on data visualization and transparency.
Look for BI providers that aren’t promising to get the most amount of data in front of you, but instead want to get the right data in front of you. Ultimately, that’s what’s going to matter most to you and what will drive your business.
Since each MSP has a different set of key performance indicators (KPIs) that determine success, this more tailored approach to data analysis yields sharper insights that result in more positive outcomes.
It doesn’t just come down to being smart about the metrics you choose to track. Data visualization also plays a major role in how well BI will work for an MSP.
In other words, think about the way you’re seeing and digesting your metrics. Do you need to toggle windows or log in and out of multiple accounts to get everything you’re looking for? Or are you looking at a dashboard chock full of 50 numbers or charts that are challenging to interpret? In either case, your time is not being used optimally.
The right BI tool will keep your data organized in one single location where you can access it and analyze it quickly.
Ideally, your BI solution will allow for an easy-to-access dashboard that gives you a 10,000 foot view of your business metrics. You should be able to glance at your dashboard at any moment throughout the day and get a snapshot of where you stand and see if there are glaring issues that need your immediate attention.
Data is not meant to overwhelm. It’s meant to inform and guide you towards making the right decisions that’ll get you closer to your goals.
- It’s not about more data, it’s about the right data.
- If you can access everything you need in one place, that’s a good sign.
- If you can easily interpret your data, you’re on the right path.
Why Does Simplicity Matter?
A successful MSP is proactive versus reactive and has earned their client’s trust. To achieve that, it’s necessary to have adequate time to focus on operational efficiency and prioritizing client’s needs.
Spending hours chasing down data or manipulating it to make more sense is essentially time lost on productivity.
As an example, we know that 80% of SMBs are investing in cybersecurity. An MSP that spends more time refining their cybersecurity service and protecting against cyberattacks, versus inefficiently mining for data, has a unique and lucrative opportunity to win a higher share of SMBs' business.
In the end, data simplicity doesn’t just mean better insights. It can mean company growth and scalability, which is a trend we can all get behind.
How BrightGauge Can Help
BrightGauge is a business intelligence platform that takes data from multiple sources—like the PSA, RMM, BDR, finance, security, or other tool you’re already using—and puts those KPIs on easy-to-view dashboards and automated client reports.
BrightGauge integrates with tools like ConnectWise, Continuum, Webroot, QuickBooks, Datto, IT Glue, Zendesk, Harvest, Smileback, and so many more.
To learn more about KPIs that can drive your business, check out 70+ metrics and formulas that MSPs use in their day-to-day.
By Gretchen Hoffman
By Gretchen Hoffman