KPIs for Customer Experience

Customer Experience is not an easy thing to evaluate and it can be very challenging to identify which KPIs should be considered for that. The right vision in this process involves lots of insights such as those linked to transactions, satisfaction, service quality, opinion, traffic… Every single moment the customer has with the brand needs to be measured with the right focus.

When a customer is unhappy with a brand, studies say he shares 3 times more than when he’s happy!

KPIs that are connected with insights of satisfaction can be easily measured but the action doesn’t stop here. It needs to follow the customer’s interaction with the brand (likes or dislikes on social media, delivery issues, etc), evaluate the impact (positive or negative) and implement immediate actions (correcting mistakes or thanking the customer for example). Choosing KPIs that are relevant in this new paradigm made of instant gratification, permanent change and uncertainty, is a major challenge. KPIs have to be simple and in real-time, they need to be changed with agility if necessary.  

75% of customers are ready to leave a website and search for another one if content is not optimized!

Optimizing the way brands interact with customers is essential and relevant KPIs can help with that. Implementing KPIs especially chosen because they give the right vision of time interactions, responses quality or appreciation of new apps, etc, can be very useful and efficient in terms of customer experience. Customers are very demanding regarding the quality of websites, mobile apps and so on, and the only way to be aware and up to date is to have a good monitoring of all signals they give.

It takes 4 seconds for a customer to make its choice.

Relevant KPIs are a must-do but monitoring these KPIs is more than a must-do! It’s a question of survival, just because data is eveywhere and the only way to understand it, is to have the right dashboard at the right moment!

Captain Dash can help, so meet the Captain!

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Written by: Bertrand Verret, Chief Revenue Officer at Captain Dash

"Faster, smarter, better", la data pour mieux agir

La décision et l’action sont directement challengées par une nécessité absolue : être rapide. Le monde n’attend pas et chaque seconde compte. Dans le business comme dans la relation aux autres, il faut agir et prendre des décisions rapidement pour réussir. La data est au coeur de cette foudroyance. Elle aussi déverse avec une vélocité sans pareil, rendant la prise de décision plus complexe pour les entreprises.

Il nous faut être plus rapide mais aussi plus malin et plus efficace, c’est une question de survie.

Faster Le débit de la fontaine des données augmente inlassablement. S’équiper des solutions qui permettent de capter efficacement les données et de maîtriser leur flux est une nécessité. A la fois pour pouvoir analyser en temps réel ces données mais aussi pour les rendre décisionnelles. La question est de donner un sens, celui de l’action. La data devient alors un réel atout permettant d’agir plus rapidement tout simplement parce qu’elle est mieux appréhendée.

Smarter Comprendre les données dans ce qu’elles ont d’essentiel sur la représentation de la vie d’une entreprise est capital. Elles doivent pouvoir parler à chacun, sans silos, au sein des organisations. L’idée est de donner à tous cette compréhension intelligente de la réalité économique et relationnelle de l’entreprise. En rendant accessible à chacun cette intelligence, les données et leur représentation dans des dashboards simples et efficaces mettent l’entreprise en tension positive et agile.

Better Le mieux sert l’efficacité, en étant plus rapide et plus malin, nous avançons dans le sens de l’histoire des organisations. Nous sommes mobiles et travaillons en réseau, nous devons être agiles et pro-actifs. Un pilotage de l’entreprise avec les indicateurs qui reflètent cette réalité est essentiel. Lui seul donne une réelle évaluation des actions et de leurs impacts, lui seul permet d’anticiper donc de toujours progresser.

La proposition de valeur de Captain Dash, c’est tout ça et bien plus encore, alors contactez-nous !

"La nécessité pour les CEO et leurs équipes d'implémenter une feuille de route qui permette d’anticiper les besoins de leurs clients ou de proposer de nouveaux services est essentielle. Ils ne peuvent plus, au nom du risque que celle-ci représente, ralentir, invoquer une stratégie à deux vitesses ou suivre une “me too strategy”. La data et son dashboard transverse répondent à ce besoin, ils sont l’antidote du statut quo et du travail en silos. Rapidité, expérience client, pertinence, croissance et nouveaux clients, tout cela est intimement lié. Vous pouvez ouvrir un compte bancaire en 8 minutes avec Number26 ou réserver un appartement en 5 minutes avec Airbnb. Alors pourquoi lorsque vous entrez dans une agence bancaire, il vous est demandé ce que vous voulez ou lorsque vous vous retrouvez à la réception d’un hôtel de votre chaîne préférée vous êtes, encore, obligé de répéter vos choix ? Les systèmes d’information transactionnels (legacy) n’ont pas été construits pour répondre à ce besoin d’agilité et de rapidité, laissez-les là où ils sont avec leurs gardiens ! Construisez autour d’eux des équipes data transverses, ce sont elles, qui, grâce à une architecture de microservices, permettront de récupérer les données (y compris stockées au fond d’un système transactionnel en AS400) mélangées avec d’autres provenant de l’espace client du site internet ou des réseaux sociaux. Aujourd’hui ce n’est pas Watson dont vous avez besoin, mais simplement d’un dashboard avec la data qui vous permet d’accélérer."

En savoir plus sur Captain Dash, suivez-nous sur Twitter ou abonnez-vous à notre blog.

De : Bertrand Verret, Leader des ventes et du revenu au sein de Captain Dash

Faster, smarter, better: data for decisions and actions 

Decisions and actions are directly challenged by an absolute need: speed. Our world does not wait and every second counts. In the business world or in our everyday life with others, we need to act and make quick decisions in order to succeed. Data is in the heart of this phenomenon. It has a speed with no equals, which makes the decision making process more complex for companies.

We need to be faster but also smarter and more efficient, it’s a matter of survival.

Faster The data flow is constantly increasing. It is now a necessity to equip ourselves with solutions that are able to capture and master this data flow. This will help to analyze data in real time and make decisions based on this data. The goal is to make sense of this data, which is translated by taking actions. Data becomes then a real asset devoted to act faster simply because it is actually understood.

Smarter Understanding data and its essential role in a company’s life is key. It needs to be clear, with no silos and this, throughout the entire organization. The idea here is to make data available to everyone by giving them a smart understanding of the economic and general life of the company. By making it available to all, data with simple and efficient dashboards is putting the company under a positive and agile tension.

Better Being better serves efficiency and by being faster and smarter our organizations are on the best path to grow. Today, we constantly work on the move and in networks, that is why we need to be agile and pro-active. Steering our companies with the right KPIs is essential. KPIs give a true evaluation of actions and their impacts serving anticipation and progress.

Captain Dash’s value proposition is that and much more, so contact us now!

"The necessity for CEOs and their teams to implement a roadmap to anticipate their customers’ needs and to offer new services is essential. They no longer can slow down or have a “me too” strategy because of the risk it represents. Data and its transversal dashboard feed this need, they are the antidote for status quo and working in silos. Speed, customer experience, relevancy, growth, new customers… They all are linked to each other. You can open a bank account in 8 minutes with Number26 or book a place in 5 minutes with Airbnb. So why are you still being asked for your needs when you enter your bank or for your preferences at your favorite hotel? Legacy information systems were not designed to answer high-speed and agility needs, that is why you should leave them where they are but build around them with transverse data teams. They are the ones who, with a microservices architecture, will capture the data on legacy systems mixed with data from other sources - from customer accounts to social networks.  You don’t need another Watson but a simple dashboard with data that allows you to grow rapidly and efficiently."

Stay updated and learn more on Captain Dash, follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our blog.

Written by: Bertrand Verret, Chief Revenue Officer at Captain Dash

A customer vision yes, with the right dashboard, it’s better!

A customer relationship requires to not only follow your client, but to also interact in a smarter way with him, this is undeniable. Once that promise is met, a clear and useful vision needs to be made in order to understand the customer’s journey and its behavior with the brand in the long run. Then, the customer dashboard needs to simplify the customer experience by increasing the content and channels relevancy. That’s the only way to make this reinvented customer relationship a business tool.

A simple dashboard, not a simplistic one Simplicity is duty, it makes complex things easy to read and clear. It’s the same with a dashboard, its simplicity must serve customer data to bring the dashboard back to one of its essential functions: to inform.

An elegant dashboard, not a flashy one Elegance is respect, it helps make a difficult thing to manage more accessible. It’s the same idea with a dashboard, its elegance has to motivate the user to use it and optimize one of its purposes : to analyze.

A useful dashboard, not a static one Usefulness is action, it pushes to appreciate things and use them on the long run. A dashboard must be useful not only because it is its main function, but to also generate movement and decision making regarding actions to take related to customers. Its ultimate goal: to bring to action.

At Captain Dash, we are motivated by action, the one that anticipates and helps organizations to leverage their customer relationships into real business opportunities coming from satisfaction and loyalty. Our dashboards are made for that, they help to inform, analyze and bring to action. In one word, they help organizations to succeed!

Stay updated and learn more on Captain Dash, follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our blog.

Written by: Bertrand Verret, Chief Revenue Officer at Captain Dash

Une vision client oui, avec le dashboard qui va bien, c’est mieux !

La relation client nécessite, c’est irrévocable, de savoir suivre son client mais également d’interagir intelligemment avec lui. Au delà du déclaratif plein de promesses, c’est une vision claire et utile du client qui se dessine, pour appréhender sur la durée son parcours et ses comportements avec la marque. Le dashboard client doit alors aider à simplifier l’expérience client en permettant d’augmenter la pertinence des messages, contenus et canaux. C’est le seul moyen de faire de cette relation client revisitée un moyen de développement business.

Un dashboard simple mais pas simpliste La simplicité c’est la rigueur, elle permet de rendre lisible et compréhensible des choses complexes ou qui semblent l’être. C’est le même postulat pour le dashboard, sa simplicité doit servir la donnée client pour lui rendre une de ses fonctions essentielles : informer.

Un dashboard élégant mais pas “tape à l’oeil” L’élégance c’est le respect, elle aide à rendre une tâche ou un objet, probablement pas évidents, plus accessibles. Il en va de même pour le dashboard, son élégance doit motiver l’accès aux informations client donc l’usage et ainsi optimiser une de ses raisons d’être : analyser.

Un dashboard utile mais pas figé L’utilité c’est l’action, elle pousse à apprécier les choses et à les utiliser sur la durée. Un dashboard se doit d’être utile non seulement parce qu’il doit être fait pour cela mais aussi parce qu’il doit générer le mouvement et la prise de décision sur les actions client à mener. C’est son objectif ultime : agir.

Chez Captain Dash, nous sommes motivés par l’action, celle qui anticipe et qui permet à l’entreprise de faire de sa relation client un vrai levier business issu de la satisfaction et de la fidélisation. Nos dashboards sont faits pour cela, ils permettent d’informer, d’analyser et d’agir, bref de réussir !

En savoir plus sur Captain Dash, suivez-nous sur Twitter ou abonnez-vous à notre blog.

De : Bertrand Verret, Leader des ventes et du revenu au sein de Captain Dash

Data dashboards et microservices : même combat !

Avec les microservices, des applications complexes sont composées de petits programmes indépendants ayant chacun une fonction unique, et communiquant entre eux dans une approche hautement modulaire et agile. De même, avec les dashboards, toutes les approches business devraient être présentées par des données simples, mono tâche et pouvant être organisées de manière agile et modulaire pour servir les enjeux d’une même organisation.

Alors pourquoi ce parallèle ?

Tout simplement parce qu’aujourd’hui la simplicité, la modularité et la précision sont des enjeux majeurs, les microservices y répondent dans leur domaine et une nouvelle vision des dashboards se doit d’exister dans le sien.

Un dashboard doit pouvoir intégrer des données quelles que soient leur nature. Il doit permettre une vision simplifiée et efficace du business, en temps réel et de manière dynamique. Sa mission doit être précise et son usage clair pour aider à la décision. Bref, il doit avoir la même philosophie que les microservices !

Chez Captain Dash, nous appliquons cette philosophie aux dashboards que nous créons pour nos clients. Ils sont simples, ergonomiques et dédiés à une vision performante de leur business. Puissants, ils savent rendre le pilotage d’activité efficace et dynamique.

Et nous utilisons les microservices pour bâtir ces dashboards …

En savoir plus sur Captain Dash, suivez-nous sur Twitter ou abonnez-vous à notre blog.

De : Bruno Walther, Directeur Général et Co-fondateur de Captain Dash

Captain Dash's solution for Unibail-Rodamco

How Captain Dash answered Unibail-Rodamco's needs, interview with Julien Marlot, Head of CX Digital Solutions. "A first dashboard is finalized and deployed on 65 malls with digital KPIs: from social networks, mobile apps to websites and a second dashboard coming up soon focusing on key features to boost the usage rate." - Julien Marlot, Head of CX Digital Solutions.

Unibail-Rodamco & Captain Dash from Captain Dash on Vimeo.

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La solution Captain Dash pour Unibail-Rodamco

Comment Captain Dash a su répondre aux besoins d’Unibail-Rodamco, rencontre avec Julien Marlot, IT Digital Marketing "Un premier dashboard sur 65 centres autour des KPIs digitaux : réseaux sociaux, applications mobiles et sites web, et un prochain sur les fonctionnalités clés dont nous voulons booster l’usage. » - Julien Marlot, IT Digital Marketing à Unibail-Rodamco

Unibail-Rodamco & Captain Dash from Captain Dash on Vimeo.

En savoir plus sur Captain Dash, suivez-nous sur Twitter ou abonnez-vous à notre blog.

Captain Dash's solution for La Française des Jeux

How Captain Dash answered La Française des Jeux's needs, interview with Cécile Lagé, Chief Digital Officer "Our stake : to put the client at the heart of our strategy... and develop the culture of data among our teams... Captain Dash's solution makes you want to use it, it is very ergonomic, easy to use and with a well-designed platform, it works better." - Cécile Lagé, Chief Digital Officer à La Française des Jeux

La Française des Jeux & Captain Dash from Captain Dash on Vimeo.

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La solution Captain Dash pour La Française des Jeux

Comment Captain Dash a su répondre aux besoins de La Française des Jeux, rencontre avec Cécile Lagé, Chief Digital Officer "Notre enjeu : mettre le client au coeur de notre stratégie … et développer dans nos équipes la culture de la data … La solution Captain Dash donne envie, elle est très ergonomique et facile à consulter, donc en mettant en scène de façon jolie, ça fonctionne mieux." - Cécile Lagé, Chief Digital Officer à La Française des Jeux

La Française des Jeux & Captain Dash from Captain Dash on Vimeo.

En savoir plus sur Captain Dash, suivez-nous sur Twitter ou abonnez-vous à notre blog.

The dashboard, a real tool for finance

As we are facing drastic changes in business models, driving the finances of an organization can become more and more complex. But does it means that we have to make complex tools to manage it? Surprisingly… Not!

The key is to choose simple and relevant indicators to be more efficient. This is critical in order to give a dynamic vision of your business, in real time and in all transparency. Only this approach will enable quick and efficient decisions.

So how to do that?

First, we need to define basic and meaningful KPIs rather than trying to fill up your dashboards with tons of KPIs. We must think of the usefulness and the usage of each KPI to better evaluate and increase the value from your actions. Then, we have to build flexible and simple dashboards for a precise financial vision that is easy to understand and analyze. We can then talk about efficient decision-making.

Wishfull thinking?

No! At Captain Dash, we are guided by a strong philosophy: simplicity is a key to be efficient. We believe in simplicity, beauty and usefulness to better succeed. Only operational excellence, efficient and quick decision-making should drive us all.

Stay updated and learn more on Captain Dash, follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our blog.

Written by: Bertrand Verret, Chief Revenue Officer at Captain Dash

Data is the new paradigm of marketing

The homo numericus produces in two days what the homo sapiens produced from his birth to the 50’s. This is a complete change of world. 90% of the data produced by humans and machines is not exploited!

50 years ago, we invented the concept of branding. The ability for brands to create a universe where the consumer does no longer buy the functional value of the product but an emotional value, a unique experience to get him through his daily life. This is the way to create an imaginary value that overruns the functional value of a product and this is the true definition of marketing.

Today, data allows us to go further, which is the everyday life of brands such as Tesla, Apple or Runkeeper - to create a unique experience of consumption with data. Each contact made with the brand creates data that is the key for marketers to offer a new experience and engage their customers. Collecting and visualizing the good data generated will help companies to develop and maintain new relationships with individuals, based on a mutual exchange.

Data est definitely the new paradigm of marketing.

Stay updated and learn more on Captain Dash, follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our blog.

Written by: Bruno Walther, Co-founder & CEO of Captain Dash

Driving your operational excellence to the top!

2016 is not very far away.It’s the perfect time to think about New Year's resolutions. What about driving your operational excellence to the top?

Operational excellence is a major element of organizational leadership.

It involves the application of a variety of principles, systems and tools toward the sustainable improvement of key performance metrics. But more than that, it is a continuous improvement journey, a philosophy, a culture, and data is its catalyst. Once the journey has been defined from mapping current and future stakes to creating the framework and execution plan, you need to identify which data can be quickly retrieved to track your efforts and help you generate performance.

This goal has two core principals: First, data and KPI’s need to be accessible everywhere and visible by everyone, this is what we call a Data Democratization! Second, measurement and data are here to track your efforts and alert you when strange events or wrong behaviors occur. We call this a Data Continuous Improvement.

When these two elements are reunited, we can then talk about operational excellence, offering to all your teams the real vision of your business. You can let them track what is good and what is wrong with only one purpose : to improve your business and efficiency.

Stay updated and learn more on Captain Dash, follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our blog.

Written by: Bertrand Verret, Chief Revenue Officer at Captain Dash

Mobile dashboards and efficiency

For years businesses have worked with and focused on desktop dashboards but given the increased mobility and rise in the use of tablets versus PCs in recent years the mobile dashboard has come into the spotlight. While this is but of course a natural progression, the part where things get sticky is how mobile dashboards are created.

Dashboards imported over from the PC version

This is the cheapest way to create a mobile dashboard. Here the dashboard is literally imported over from the computer version as a picture or opens up in a web browser. The user has to scroll on the device to be able to view the entire dashboard!

This is also the worst way of creating a mobile dashboard if the goal is an efficient dashboard.

Squeezing a dashboard meant for a computer screen in to a phone or tablet screen results in what one can only call abstract art.

Dashboards in pieces or Dashboardlets

A dashboardlet can best be described as an independent screen created for a mobile device which when combined with others like it forms a full screen dashboard for a computer.

While this method is better than the previous one it still does not create what one can call a complete dashboard experience on either device. The reason being that while it is created for a mobile device it still has constraints due to the fact that it needs to be fitted on to a computer.

A mobile native Dashboard

The rarest of all three and by far the most efficient is the mobile native dashboard. This dashboard is designed to the specifications of a given mobile device – tablet or phone.

It is completely separate from a computer or web dashboard even if it utilizes the same data sources.

The real estate on a dashboard is considered rather precious but that of a mobile dashboard is even more so. By choosing dashboards especially created for such a space, organizations can maximize the ROI on a mobile dashboard.

In this age of instant gratification not only does a mobile native dashboard make navigating a dashboard on such a device intuitive for a user but, as the Captain Dash team has observed, makes it as quick and as fun as any other mobile app.

Written By: Meghna Verma

Love that KPI, but let it go!

There is a saying that if you love something let it go, if it comes back it was meant to be. Sometimes companies tend to latch on to their KPIs for too long. The question is how long is too long? There are three ways to figure out if it is time to let go of a KPI:

The KPI has achieved a target and is stagnant

KPIs are meant for measuring very specific metrics and should have specific goals that define the purpose of the KPI. The basic idea behind this is to put into place improvement measures that help the team to achieve those goals. But, the fact is that not everything can be improved upon forever.

For some KPIs when they reach their goals the organization needs to take a step back and ask whether they are a priority anymore or not. If these KPIs have a lower priority since they have achieved their goals as opposed to KPIs that are still in progress then it is time to let those KPIs go.

It is better to pour resources into things that actually need to be improved instead of trying to improve something that has already reached the desired level of improvement.

Change of strategy

As a company grows and changes there are bound to be changes in the strategy and future goals. If the organization has a set of strong, well performing KPIs then their KPIs will be well aligned with their goals and strategies. As changes come about some of these KPIs will no longer be in alignment with the new strategies.

If a KPI no longer aligns with the goals of an organization or a team then it needs to be let go to make space for one that does.

Usefulness

Choosing KPIs is a science but also an art. There are times when a chosen KPI does not measure up to the expectations a team may have had. In the case where a KPI is found to not serve its purpose or found to affect other areas negatively it needs to be let go.

Letting go of KPIs does not mean to just discard them. It means that they do not have a place on your dashboard for the moment.

When letting go of a KPI the best practice is to archive the KPI so that it can be retrieved as and when needed.

Written By: Meghna Verma

 

KPIs – R is for relevant

It is commonplace for an organization to use the S.M.A.R.T. rule for their KPIs. This rule, in short, states that KPIs should be S.M.A.R.T. – Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound. While this framework definitely provides a good foundation it is rather easy to end up with KPIs that do not achieve the desired results. The reason often is the misinterpretation of the ‘R’. Most people make the R about the enterprise, i.e., KPIs should be relevant to company goals.

What about the individual who has to work with these KPIs? Simply put it is not possible for the KPIs to be adopted across the company if they are not relevant to the individual worker.

At Captain Dash when we counsel our clients on KPIs we focus on aligning individuals to the KPIs by keeping the following factors in mind:

Target Audience

The first thing is to understand who has direct impact on the KPIs of the company. How can a KPI be made relevant when the person who directly affects it remains unidentified?

People Study

The next step is to understand the environment in which the target audience functions. What are the factors that have an effect on their ability to deliver, what motivates them, what are the constraints they function under, what are their personal goals for their work, how do these goals align with the intended KPIs?

Gap Analysis

The last part about goal alignments is extremely important. A misalignment between personal goals and company goals can have a negative effect on KPI selection. Once the goals of all the stakeholders have been identified a gap analysis needs to be performed. This gap analysis serves as a blue print when choosing KPIs that are beneficial to both the stakeholders and the organization.

Control

The last step to selecting relevant KPIs is to make sure that they are actually actionable. KPIs that individuals have no control over serve to do nothing more than add frustration and a feeling of failure, neither of which is good for an organization in the long run. Moreover it is impossible to motivate people with something they have no control over.

Once KPIs have been shortlisted keeping individuals in mind all that needs to be done is discuss these KPIs with the respective people under whose domain they fall and help them align their teams to these KPIs.

So, while there is no ‘R’ in KPIs remember that there are no KPIs without relevancy.

Written By: Meghna Verma

If You Internet, You Micro Service!

If you are reading this post you use the Internet. You may be a developer with an interest in Micro Services or you may not be, but you use the Internet. Here is a secret I have for you, if you use the Internet then Micro Services are already a big part of your life.

The Internet as we knew it has changed significantly. You no longer have to be a developer to create a website, the maximum social interactions most people have today are via the Internet and an even more drastic change is that Apps are a bigger part of our lives than websites are.

We use Apps for everything: social websites, communication, photography, shopping, tracking our health, travelling, reading; the list is endless.

These Apps are further connected to their respective websites and backend elements to help us communicate seamlessly with our mobile devices, computers and clouds. All of this communication is very complex and as our devices and data grow the complexity increases. This is where Micro Services come in.

Micro Services and their respective APIs are what make it possible for this complexity to function in the first place. They make it possible for the developers behind them to create that seamless user experience.

But more than that what this revolution called Micro Services brings to the Internet is a break down of silos. They are not just allowing apps to communicate they are encouraging them. They make it possible for developers to connect, share and push the acceptable norms.

All the Big Data that is floating around in cyber space is of use to us only if it is connected, channelized and shared. It is of use to us because Micro Services make it useful.

We can watch a Netflix movie chosen according to our preference on our phone because these tiny services make it possible. We can shop online using an app because Micro Services make the connection.

Without Micro Services channeling the data, creating and upgrading services quickly and communicating in a dynamic manner would be a big challenge. The way we interact with our devices and with the Internet in general would not be the same.

So, if you do indeed use the Internet then you definitely use Micro Services regardless of whether you know it or not.

In fact, at Captain Dash we believe that going forward doing business without Micro Services will not just get difficult but impossible!

To stay updated with our series on Micro services architecture follow us on twitter or subscribe to our blog.

Written By: Meghna Verma

4 Slideshare Posts About Micro Services In Practice

As mentioned earlier by us, Micro Services are the real revolution in the world of data. There are many big organizations using the Micro Services architecture out there; some which have been using it for as long as 3 to 5 years. In this post we share with you 4 slideshare posts that talk about the use of Micro Services by some of the bigger players out there:

1. Scaling Gilt: from monolith ruby app to Micro Service scala service architecture

This was a talk given by Gilt Lead Software Engineer Yoni Goldberg at the NYC Tech Talks' January 14, 2014 meetup at Gilt.

2. Nike's Journey into Micro Services

This presentation will discusses the journey Nike undertook to move to a completely 100 percent cloud native architecture and the decisions behind making it happen.

3. No Free Lunch, Indeed: Three Years of Micro-services at SoundCloud

In this talk the SoundCloud team share the toolkit and strategy SoundCloud uses to keep its micro-services explosion manageable.

4. MicroServices at Netflix - challenges of scale

Sudhir Tonse and Nitesh Kant discuss the challenges faced by Netflix while using Micro services at large scale.

To stay updated with our series on Micro services architecture follow us on twitter or subscribe to our blog.

Written By: Meghna Verma

 

Why Startups Need Dashboards

When one hears ‘business dashboard’, one thinks of executives and decision makers from big fortune 500 companies, banks, consulting firms and startups! Wait, startups? Yes, I did say startups.

Captain Dash is a startup and to top that we are a startup, which creates dashboards focused towards operational excellence. It seems rather obvious that we would use dashboards within the company.

Today, I would like to explain why we feel that dashboards are important for all startups and not just us.

Startups operate in a very dynamic environment and they usually rely on the data they produce to help them stay on course as they navigate through clients, legal issues, innovation and investors, among other things.

Relying on data is one thing but just because we are a startup it doesn’t mean we should not have solid metrics that we turn towards on a regular basis. Dashboards help us track our activity as linked to our goals – short and long term. We depend on them, we hold ourselves responsible by them and they motivate us.

A startup’s resources, both human and non-human, are often meagre and very precious. These resources need to be aligned along the correct axes and that is where dashboards come in.

Our dashboards help us figure out what to focus on to attain operational excellence. Where to put in our sales efforts, how our marketing efforts are performing, in which direction does the development team need to go and where do we stand with regards to our goals.

A startup goes through various phases of growth initially and unlike bigger, well-established companies the main thing to keep in mind is that objectives will change with time and all the metrics need to be decided within that context. These metrics may take some time to determine and need to be reviewed regularly.

For example, in the beginning the goal is to create a product that brings value to the client. All metrics need to be chosen with this goal in mind. But once the product has been created and released some of those metrics need to be reviewed in order to cater to the new goal of getting clients. I say some, because the product cannot be put in the back seat and needs to keep evolving with clients’ needs.

Another area dashboards help us with is investors.

As a startup chances are good that you need funding and you need to woo investors. You have the projected revenue curve going up like a check mark with your business plan. But, investors look at many other factors like risk, market, expenditures, etc. A dashboard that measures all these factors with open data and your own data can serve as a much better personal indicator for you to make sure that you understand fully where your company stands. You can work towards reducing risks and creating a better positioning.

From one startup to another we would love to hear if you use dashboards and why or why not.

Written By: Meghna Verma

The KPI Curse

KPIs have a way of turning many organizations on their heads. Sometimes this happens because there are too many KPIs and too much data being gathered but often times it is because KPIs are misunderstood.

KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator with the emphasis being on indicator though people often tend to put the emphasis on performance. Due to this, KPIs more often than not become very closely entangled with targets.

At Captain Dash when we consult with our clients over KPIs we advice them to narrow their KPIs down to metrics that are closely related to the global goals of the organization.

By this we mean that KPIs are not the goals themselves; instead they are indicators of said goals. For us, KPIs help us to measure certain data points that help us to determine the progress made towards achieving our goals and delivering on our key priorities. This thus implies that KPIs indicate whether we are on track or not. They exist to provide objective information, which helps us to strategize better.

If on the other hand when one uses KPIs as targets they end up as short-term numbers to be achieved by departments and just serve as a scorecard more than anything else.

There is of course a reason why KPIs and targets get mixed up together. Other than the fact that they are both metrics there is the fact that for KPIs to work they need targets or benchmarks. It is very easy to see these targets as the targets that the organization or departments need to achieve.

Do not let them confuse you, these benchmarks serve as a reference point to see if we are on track and how much adjustment is needed, if any, in our strategy.

If you use KPIs are the indicators they are meant to be and let them guide your strategy they end up as very powerful tools to guide improvements across the organization.

On the other hand, an indicator that you could implement to measure progress could be the Key Transformation Indicator or KTIs.

Written By: Meghna Verma