Open Source vs. iDashboards: How to choose?
In business, the volume of data to be managed can be overwhelming. You must track, record, and analyze everything from your marketing data to your finances if you hope to remain in the black. Human resources needs metrics to ensure employees are engaged and that each department is operating at optimal capacity. And each project that you take on must be carefully tracked to ensure it is on budget and on schedule.
If you feel like a piece of taffy that is stretched far too thin, you’re not alone. The world of business data has taken on a new urgent pace, and these days, if you’re not visualizing your data you may as well be using an abacus to track profit and loss.
Neglect certain aspects of your operations, even momentarily, and you risk missing key data insights that could change the course of your business. You already know you need a solution that can help you manage all of that data so you don’t miss a thing—and so you don’t stretch yourself to the breaking point by trying to keep track of all those metrics on your own.
“But this one’s, like, free.”
As you evaluate data visualization tools, you’ll find a plethora of software options ranging from barebones to turbo-charged. You’re even likely to encounter a number of open source dashboard software. Generally very affordable and often free, open source dashboard software can be very tempting for small businesses and startups. But are they the best option?
It can’t be denied that free dashboard software can save you money up front; nothing’s cheaper than free. But, as is so often the case in life and in business, you get what you pay for. Considering all the time and resources you will have to dedicate to troubleshooting issues without support, jury-rigging the software to get the visuals you want, and teaching yourself, you may end up losing money in the long run.
At iDashboards, we understand that accurate tracking and reporting is absolutely necessary to the overall success of your business; however, we also understand just how intimidating data visualization can be. To simplify the tracking and reporting process, we designed a tool that brings all of your pertinent data into one convenient location. With our interactive dashboards, you will be able to pull up all of your business’s metrics with a single click and engage with them as necessary. Easy to use and edit, and equipped with features that allow you to do things such as update data in real time and develop customizable and interactive charts and graphs, our dashboards make data almost (…do we daresay?) fun.
Accessible, affordable, and agile
Whereas open source dashboard software often requires extensive knowledge of both programming and coding, iDashboards isdesigned with the everyday user in mind. With drag and drop features, virtually anyone within your company can successfully design a colorful, customizable, and engaging interface that enables you to share data with employees, customers, and clients alike.
Additionally, adding data to an open source dashboard can be a complex and time-consuming task, as most do not have a data integration tool. Those that do work with only a handful of databases, such as Excel and Google Spreadsheets; others require programming knowledge in order to install the integration tool onto the dashboard. iDashboards, however, utilizes an ETL tool (Extract, Transform, and Load) that allows you to connect all your data sources with a drag and a drop. Our Data Integrator (iDI) doesn’t require any programming or coding knowledge, and with over 50 popular data connectors, blending data from different sources is a breeze.
Finally, open source dashboards are often designed with the data-driven user in mind, and require someone with special training to read and analyze reports, charts, and graphs. iDashboards, on the other hand, are designed to be readable by everyone—even the “non-data people.” With several features to help the user filter the data they’re viewing, interactive intelligence that identifies correlations between various data sources and charts, and audience specific designs, iDashboards makes it easier than ever to identify key insights and clearly communicate relevant KPIs and metrics to the right people within and without your organization.
Guided support from Start to Finish
We get it: dashboards can be confusing. Many open source dashboard software companies offer online resources directed at helping you troubleshoot your problems on your own. Others ask you to pay for support as you need it, including support for simply getting up and running. While pay-as-you-go support works for some users, iDashboards offers unlimited support at every stage of your dashboard journey.
Our support team thoroughly understands our product and is prepared to answer any questions or address any concerns you have regarding your database. From remote or on-site training to visual audits of your existing dashboards, our engineers are equipped to assist you throughout all stages of development and utilization. If needed, we will also help you prepare your data and structure SQL databases to ensure a more successful storyboard.
A whole team of folks, dedicated to your success
Open source dashboard software is a DIY solution, so you do not get any customized support or guidance. When you choose iDashboards, you get much more than an interactive data visualization solution — you also get a team of engineers, account managers, and technical support associates who will collaborate with you to ensure your utmost success with our product. If you want to expand your dashboard knowledge or troubleshoot a problem yourself, we provide community forums, monthly webinars, and annual conferences are available for your convenience. Each is designed to provide you with all of the information and guidance you need to build and maintain a database equipped with all the features necessary for complete insight into your business.
Though there are open source dashboard solutions and free dashboard software available to you, if you’re serious about your BI tracking and reporting, you’ll need a well supported and vetted solution. With an easy to use interface, support at every stage our relationship, and a knowledgeable team of engineers, account managers, and technical support associates to guide you, you know we’re committed to your success. Contact us today to learn how the iDashboards team can help your organization turn your data into decisions!
Get the Guide Fundamental Design Principles for Dashboards
Even if you’re not the artistic type, this guide will have you thinking like a graphic designer and making informed choices that support your data narrative.