We are in the process of releasing our QuickBooks dashboard. This dashboard enables executives to monitor key metrics by pulling data from their QuickBooks files. Examples include Sales, Accounts Receivables and Bank Balance. The motivation for this came from within our company.
The Data Component
After we applied Gino Wickman’s Traction system within Metric-X, we assigned the task of compiling our key metrics (“Data Component”) to two people. One person logged in to Google Analytics and our CRM system and compiled the required metrics. Reports would be run in Google Analytics and CRM, and some of the numbers from the reports would be typed into cells in an Excel spreadsheet. Similarly, another team member would run reports in QuickBooks and our timekeeping system, run reports, and manually type in the numbers into the spreadsheet.
Each Monday at 2pm, we would review the scorecard. It was great to see the important numbers and ensure we were all on the same page about the metrics that mattered. However, we had three issues with this process:
- It was taking about 2 hours each week to compile the numbers into the scorecard.
- If we had questions about the data during the meeting, we would have re-run reports in the source system and drill into the data.
- If we wanted to know mid-week what the metrics were, we would have to run the reports (or wait until the Monday meeting)
Our main business is building dashboards and analytical solutions for our customers. They pay us to automate the extraction, cleansing and presentation of their data so that they don’t have to deal with the pain points above. So, it was natural for us to resolve the pain for ourselves. We looked into ways of extracting data from QuickBooks. (we use QuickBooks Desktop). We already knew how to get Google Analytics data, and were able to build our own dashboard fairly quickly. Once we had it working for ourselves, we decided to productize it and offer the QuickBooks dashboard on the market.