In a new series, our expert wealth management software consultants share their observations and tips to help you get the most from your advice technology. In this article we look at how simple dashboard tools can give you a better view of what's going on in your business.
It’s surprising – or maybe not so much – how often different businesses are trying to find ways to tackle common challenges. How can I better plan my time each day? What’s the best way to gauge capacity within my team to control work more efficiently? How can I assess how the business is looking operationally and whether I need to make changes?
Some of these questions can appear to need an overwhelming level of insight and analysis to answer confidently. Yet the answers can be found quite easily with the wealth of clever capabilities that are, all too often, woefully underused in many advisers’ or paraplanners’ back office system.
Ultimately, we are all looking for information that can help us to make key decisions whether we are seeking to better understand and control our time, our team or our business. What is paramount is the need to ensure that we are able to make decisions quickly and confidently.
The wealth of clever capabilities are, all too often, woefully underused in many advisers' back office systems
For those businesses using XPLAN, if you haven’t already explored the dashboard features, we would strongly recommend taking a look at what these provide by way of a summary view. It can be a really useful way of seeing key information, and see whether everything is moving smoothly, or if you need to investigate further.
A single view of your business at any one time
Dashboard views won’t replace the need for more detailed analysis and reports. But dashboards do provide you with the means of seeing a summary before you need to run those more time-consuming exercises. This gives you the flexibility and added oversight of seeing daily, or even hourly changes, without the need to run those larger reports more frequently than once a week or even monthly.
We'd even advocate the adoption of dashboards in XPLAN as your ‘home’, an area you can go back to throughout the day. Designed with the individual in mind, you don’t have to have a ‘one size fits all’ dashboard, as you can tailor them to a specific role or even a configuration of your own design. It is easy to set them up to provide you with that at-a-glance view of the key information you need.
Customising your back office dashboard
Dashboards are essentially made up of tabs and widgets. Tabs allow you to add pages to your dashboard enabling you to group your data in a way that is useful to you. Widgets are the data items themselves, which can be added to any tab and to any area on that tab, that you want it to sit.
Each widget has different settings such as specific groups of users or data parameters. You can also use the same widget multiple times with different settings, perhaps to specify a difference, or even rename them so that they mean something to you on your dashboard. It’s all about building the right dashboard solution for you.
Designed with the individual in mind, you don’t have to have a ‘one size fits all’ dashboard
An example is a client breakdown. Say you want to see both the number of clients you have as well as a break down by service category.
To do this, add two different widgets, and then tailor their settings. The first is the ‘Adviser Client Category’ widget. Add that by setting the adviser to yourself and the caption to ‘My Clients’ by ‘Category’. You can then add the same widget again but this time amend the caption to ‘All Clients’ by ‘Category’ with advisers set to ‘All’.
Next, run a similar process on the ‘Adviser Client Count’ widget. Again add the same widget twice. Name one of them ‘My Client Count’ where the adviser is set to yourself, and the other name ‘All Clients Count’ with adviser set to ‘All’.
It’s pretty intuitive stuff, but very powerful.
It is important to note that even where a user can specify ‘All Clients’ or ‘All Users’, XPLAN will always follow the visibility rules for security purposes. Therefore, if a user is not allowed to see a set of clients or have specific capabilities, the Dashboard will follow those same rules.
As you can see, this is a simple example of amending the widgets to work for you to give you key information at your fingertips such as ‘How many clients do we look after?’ And: ‘where do the bulk of our clients live in terms of a service level?’
- Personalise your clients’ experience by remembering to say, ‘Happy Birthday’ with the client birthday widget.
- Review your teams’ capacity for new cases coming in with both the ‘Overdue Tasks’ versus ‘Total Tasks’ widget and the ‘Team Workflow’ by assignee
- Review the cases assigned to you using the ‘Workflow Tracking’ widget. If you set the ‘Type to Case’, you can easily access your ‘Active Cases’ from the dashboard.
- Use the diary widget to see your upcoming client or referral appointments.
- The ‘Leads’ widgets can show you your business pipeline, your open leads and break them down by source, category or stage.
- The suite of CommPay widgets mean that you can see both the revenue you expect to receive and what you have received.
- Don’t forget the ‘News’ tab. Bring the world to you by adding some RSS feeds from key industry figures and publications.