Dashboard Desktop Business Widgets for the Salesforce

Enterprise Dashboard Topic: Where to place the executive dashboard – in the browser (rich internet application), in a fat client (.NET windows software) or on the PC desktop itself (Desktop Widget)?

In a recent Dashboard Spy discussion, we looked at some BI Desktop Widgets from the dashboarding lab over at Business Objects. This is a very exciting idea that effectively addresses one of the 3 Rules of Dashboarding – The Rule of Placement. Both Business Objects and Oracle have been experimenting with placing dashboards closer to the user, that is, right on their PC desktops. The idea is that you don’t even have to launch an application to monitor your KPIs and metrics.

Here is a further look at what Business Objects is doing with widgets. Over at their development site, they have launched a beta of Crystal Xcelsius Business Widgets for Salesforce.com.

Take a look at these dashboard widgets on the desktop:

Enterprise dashboard - Business Widgets Beta screenshot of desktop dashboards

As they explain in this pdf on the Business Widgets Beta, a business widget for salesforce.com is a mini-application that allows you to access data from salesforce.com without logging in and navigating to various metrics pages.

There are 10 business widgets for the salesforce.com CRM. Let’s take a closer look at the individual dashboard widgets:

The first is the Sales Revenue Tracker. Use it to track expected revenue, pipeline statistics and quarterly revenues achieved to date.

Business widget sales revenue

Click for the next business widget:

Here is a helpful widget called the Directory Search. Typical of non-dashboard widgets, it allows you to query contact information. Also you can use it to log a call right from your desktop.

Executive Dashboard Business widget for searching contant directories

The next desktop widget for us to examine is the Top 10 Open Sales Opportunities where you can see the pipeline opportunities by quarter or month. There is a bar chart which allows for drill down examination of the data.

Dashboard Desktop Widget for Pipeline Analysis

This business widget focuses on the performance of your sales force. The top five reps and the bottom five performing representatives are listed based on closed opportunities.

Top sales rep widget dashboard

This next business widget – Create an Opportunity- is important to me because it demonstrates how you can use a widget for updating and creating data – not just displaying charts, tables or navigation. The dashboard widget lets you create an opportunity right from the desktop. Without launching the application, you can enter a new opportunity, or monitor the pool of opportunities in terms of revenue closed, revenue open and total number of opportunities.

Update salesforce.com pipeline through a desktop business widget

The Neglected Needs Widget focuses on the sales pipeline metrics opportunities that have not received enough follow-up attention.

Neglected leads metrics for sales pipeline dashboard

The Stuck Opps Widget lets you view sales stages and opportunity details. If your sales opportunities tend to stall in certain stages, you will see it surfaced through this dashboard.

Stuck Opportunities Pipeline Analysis

This next widget, the Task Manager, is an administration-oriented business widget that allows you to manage your salesforce.com tasks.

Salesforce.com task manager widget

The New Lead Alert widget leverages the inherent usefulness of a desktop widget to alert you to new sales leads as they come in. No longer do you have to manually log in to check on the status of your most recent leads.

Business widget for salesforce.com that alerts you to new sales leads

And finally, the Log Tasks Business Widget allows you to update tasks from your desktop without logging into salesforce.com.

Logging tasks into salesforce.com through a business desktop widget

How does it all work?

business widgets for salesforce.com by business objects crystal xcelsius

Regarding salesforce dashboards:

Once you’ve solved the hard problems of corralling all your data with an ERP system like SAP or Oracle, and then making sense of that data with a BI or SFA system like Salesforce.com, the last hurdle to overcome is presenting that pithy information on some kind of obvious Salesforce dashboard.

For more on desktop dashboards, Klipfolio is a compelling solution. Visit Klipfolio.com for a look at their latest Klipfolio Dashboard 5.2. It allows you to place dashboards right on the PC Desktop:

“Klipfolio Dashboard improves data visibility for critical, frequently changing information better than any other dashboard”, says Allan Wille, President and CEO, Klipfolio, Inc. “And now in addition to working with business intelligence applications such as Business Objects and Cognos, we also include the world’s most widely deployed BI tool, Microsoft Excel.”

Klipfolio Dashboard is embraced by departments that demand real-time performance and notification, also know as operational business intelligence. Teams in Sales, Help Desk organizations, and the supply-chain all benefit from the new features contained in version 5.2:

• Microsoft Excel support for accessing data in Excel spreadsheets.

• Improved SQL Query handling for accessing information stored within ODBC databases.

• Share Insight and email important Klipfolio Dashboard metrics to your colleagues.

Here’s what a Klipfolio Desktop Dashboard looks like:

salesforce dashboard from klipfolio

Tags: Xcelsius Dashboard Widgets, Desktop Business Widgets for Salesforce.com, Business Objects Crystal Xcelsius Business Widgets for Salesforce.com Beta, businesswidgets, desktop dashboard

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