Volo Know Your Data Series – Dashboards

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In our monthly Know your data, penned by Scott Bagnall, Head of Product at Volo Commerce, we are looking at how you can use data to grow your business. Detailed in a webinar earlier this year, if you’re a Volo customer then the reports are all available to you in the Vision reporting and analytics module, but for non-Volo users you should still be considering the same factors in order to scale and grow your business. We are collating all of the articles here so if you missed one you can find them all in one place. Alternatively, you can download all the articles in this handy Know Your Data ebook.

In this 9-article series we’ve covered data analysis and reporting for best sellers, product sales velocity, your slow or dead stock, your margins, stock forecasting, refunds, your top customers and your channels and cross-border activity. Today we’re at the end of the series, exploring the use and benefits of dashboards.

Dashboards

It seems appropriate to end this series on dashboards, since they bring us full circle to the beginning. Your dashboards are in all likelihood going to be the first place you go every morning. They should be like your favourite chair, a place where you always feel comfortable and gravitate to. All of your key metrics in one place, giving you at-a-glance insight into performance. Your world, in one window.

There are 2 aspects to powerful dashboards: the information presented and how it can be configured. I’ll list some suggestions for your dashboard components and then touch on some of the nuances behind how you have them configured.

  • Actual sales against plan for the month. Where you are in the month, the amount or percentage you’re up or down, your remaining target for the month and your current pace
  • Recent daily sales, over the last month, so you can resource your typically busy and not-so-busy days
  • Sales over the last 3 months split by channel, you can see what your channel spread is. Rendering this with a pie chart makes it a breeze to see your spread
  • Monthly performance over the year to date, showing previous years for comparison and offering year-on-year trends
  • Your top supplies by revenues for the month to date. As with everything else, a good spread of suppliers keeps you resilient
  • Yesterday’s sales. Arguably a dashboard in its own right, organised as follows:
    • Sales and orders for yesterday, compared to the same day last week and your running total for the month or year
    • Yesterday’s top selling products
    • Orders by channel
    • Orders by supplier
    • Orders by seller ID (if you have more than one of them)
  • Channel sales summary for the last 7 days across your various sales channels, and by month over the last year so you can see the channel splits
  • Seller ID or entity sales summary for the last 7 days and by month over the last year so you can see performance trends

How you configure your dashboards depends on the flexibility of your analytics and reporting system. Here are some considerations you can fold into your dashboard planning.

  • It’s not just the revenue number. You might want your dashboards to present the information by orders, advertising/promotional expenditure, shipping paid, net order total, tax paid, or margins, for example
  • Depending on how you do your revenue recognition, you might want your dashboards to present by order date, shipping date, or even invoice date
  • Orders are good, refunds not so much. Consider being able to see information showing both together, or orders and refunds/credits separately
  • Currency. Depending on your cross-border activities in supply and sales, you might want to present your information across different currencies

One final word on this. Data drives everything, so we encourage businesses to live inside their analytics and reporting system. We recommend you look at your dashboards every day, even if it’s just a quick check and you don’t feel the need to access any of your specific reports for the detail.

If you can’t or won’t visit your dashboards daily, and if your system can manage it, setting up automated performance summaries to come by email is very handy. A few of our customers rely on the dashboards and the reports but don’t set up the email summaries. A few others rarely go into their system but read their email summaries religiously. And some do both. Ideally you should be able to set email summaries to come in daily, weekly and/or monthly and be configurable to summarise a range of your key metrics.

Download the Know Your Data ebook, or to discuss your data analytics and reporting requirements, get in touch.

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