Visualization software has been all the rage in business intelligence (BI) software for the past two years. But most small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) find it a challenge to implement BI software in the first place because they don’t always know what to measure.
Fresh off raising $9 million in additional funding, Klipfolio is making the case for a BI application delivered as a cloud service that comes with templates the average SMB can readily employ to track a variety of key performance indicators (KPIs).
Klipfolio CEO Allan Wille says one of the reasons so many SMBs still rely on spreadsheets to manage their business is that no vendor has really made it simple to shift away from them. To solve that problem, Wille says Klipfolio includes a gallery of templates based on best practices that business executives can immediately implement to start managing their business. Once they become familiar with those general principles, they can also start to create their own templates or simply add new metrics they want to track to an existing template on their own, says Wille.
“We’re really prescribing what they should be monitoring,” says Wille.
Making those KPIs available via the cloud, adds Wille, provides the additional benefit of making it simpler to enable the entire business to focus on the same KPIs.
Klipfolio claims to have already signed up 7,000 customers for its service. Collectively, the company claims Klipfolio customers have access to more than half a million different data sources and run more than 25 billion formula executions annually. In addition, the company says Klipfolio dashboards refresh more than 2.6 billion times per year and that 54,000 dashboards were viewed 36 million times in 2016.
Given that level of usage, there’s obviously demand for simpler approaches to BI. Most spreadsheet applications don’t require a lot of intervention on the part of an IT department to set up. That same level of accessibility needs to be applicable to BI software if end users are ever really going to give up relying on spreadsheets that, while still inherently flawed, provide the benefit of being relatively simple to use and understand.