This story is sponsored by PixelForce.
When you mention the word dashboard many people will think about the dashboard of their car. Where would you be without it? How would you check when to speed up or slow down, know when you need fuel to keep powering ahead on your journey, or get an early indication that things were not quite right under the hood and need attention?
It's the same thing with a business's data "dashboard". It's an easy way to keep an eye on how your business is travelling, reassuring you when things are going well but also providing the information to identify and fix problems.
A data dashboard is an information management tool that visually tracks, analyses and displays key performance indicators and metrics allowing you to monitor the health of a business, department or specific process.
Able to be customised to the needs of a business and its departments, a dashboard creates important efficiencies by allowing real-time checking of activity and trend tracking, reducing time spent analysing and understanding large quantities of important data that can be harnessed to make smarter operational and marketing decisions.
"A dashboard is a powerful tool that just makes running a business easier by putting so much valuable information at your fingertips," said Jason Quinn, Digital Marketing Officer at leading Australian web development agency PixelForce, which has a history of working alongside local businesses to create digital solutions for complex problems.
"It provides an insight into real time data; where your users are coming from, your purchase history, your transaction history, all there in a single point of access. Business owners don't have to be tracking multiple apps or opening different programs. You have constant direct access to your information through the one source that you control."
While valuable for any sized business, a data dashboard is an essential tool for medium to large businesses, particularly for those that have multiple divisions and audiences around the country or internationally.
Sitting alongside the dashboard as one of the most valuable digital technology investments a business can make is its dynamic partner - the Content Management System (CMS).
While a dashboard presents the vital data you need to monitor and steer your business, the CMS plays a crucial role in ensuring your website operates as efficiently as possible, is easy to manage, and delivers the most seamless and engaging experience for customers.
It is the software that lets users create, manage and modify content on a website without the need for any specialised technical knowledge.
"Your dashboard is what provides the insights but your CMS is the bit that lets you dig in and change what's on your website - your blogs, your products, your services. It lets you control what's facing your customers," Mr Quinn said. "And you want to be able to do that very quickly and easily."
While there are many off-the-shelf CMS products available, Mr Quinn said a customised CMS, designed to meet a particular business's needs, can have a significant impact on efficiency and growth.
"If a business wants to be scalable they need a CMS that's personalised to provide the level of functionality that lets you run your business beyond just being online," he said.
"For example, some of our clients have global markets so they need to deliver their content in other languages. Your CMS must have the flexibility to meet your needs so you can expand a product range on the fly, or change the parameters of the product beyond just putting up an image, a bit of text, and a purchase button.
"You might need to allow for variables, say if you're a tradie that needs to provide quotes, or if your pricing changes during peak demand. That can all be automated and calculated easily through a CMS.
"A good CMS gives more power to the business and more power to the customer by enhancing the experience for both."
Contact PixelForce for a free half hour consultation via www.pixelforce.com.au to discuss how they can help you in your business.
This story is sponsored by PixelForce.