DATA DETECTIVES

6 Data Tools That Might Make Your Life Easier

Wish you could get a quick snapshot of how your company is doing? Try one of these data dashboards.
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There is too much data to manage these days. A constant stream of sales-management stats, website analytics, and data points from social-media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The following data dashboards are designed to help you make sense of it all. They do the work of crunching the numbers so that you can visualize what they mean via pie charts or trend graphs. Each of these dashboards has its own strengths--read on to figure out if one is right for your business.

1. For sales data

Try Klipfolio: Designed to help you track sales campaigns, Klipfolio has its main strength in customization. You can connect up to apps such as Box (to track cloud storage), Salesforce (for seeing customer leads), and Zendesk (for customer management). For a personal touch, the dashboard lets you add your own logo and even use your own domain for hosting the dashboard. Pricing starts at about $20 per month per user, but that's if you prepay for the year.

2. For tracking everything in one place

Try Ducksboard: This business dashboard is ideal for startups--it culls data from many of the apps that you're probably already using. For example, you can quickly glance at data in visual form from Tender, HighRise, Zendesk, Basecamp, MailChimp, and many others. Pricing runs about $16 per month if you pay for a year.

3. For easy setup

Try Domo: This dashboard claims to integrate with the most sources of data (more than 100 apps) and boasts the easiest setup process--you probably won't need to bug your tech team to help with the data connections. Another strength is the ability to mix and match data--you can compare the results of an email campaign and paid search to actual customer aqusitions in Salesforce.com and other apps. The dashboard is available, but you have to contact the company to request access and get a price quote.

4. For scrutinizing your website's performance

Try GoSquared: There's a ton of data that you can and should be collecting on your company's website: how many people are visiting, how long are they sticking around, where do they click? And this data can be overwhelming once your site starts growing. GoSquared shows everything to you in real time and using a visual interface. In fact, the design is almost artistic. Pricing is based on the site visits you receive and starts at around $240 per year.

5. For trying something new

Try Grow: This new dashboard focuses on small-business metrics, and it's still in development (launching sometime this summer). The best feature is the ability to "grow" your own dashboard by important Excel files, connecting to internal databases, and then syncing with existing analytics tools (like Google Analytics) and business apps (like Salesforce.com). You can view handy charts and graphs in one place. Pricing will start at $39 per month per user but is based on user counts and other factors like custom branding.

6. For all things marketing related

Try Beckon: Email marketing, tweets, Facebook posts, display ads--Beckon brings all of this data together in a cleanly designed report. The main benefit is that you can size up one campaign against another and compare cost effectiveness. Pricing varies according to company size and the number of data sources you use.

Last updated: May 13, 2014

JOHN BRANDON | Columnist

John Brandon is a contributing editor at Inc. magazine covering technology. He writes the Tech Report column for Inc.com.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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