Convert Spreadsheet Data To Dashboards With DashboardFox LiftOff Service

Has your small business been using Microsoft Excel to manage your data? It makes sense for many organizations, at least when they’re getting started trying to parse the mountains of data that have become the backbone of a business.

Excel is included for companies already paying for Microsoft Office, so there’s no extra cost involved, and most people have used it before for at least the most basic tasks. And Excel isn’t a bad place to start, really – if you’re just getting started trying to make sense of data, it’s a good jumping-off point to get a feel for what’s out there.

Eventually, though, you’ll find that as you dig deeper into the data, you’re creating a lot of spreadsheets, emailing them around to people, and expecting everyone to be on the same page.

Anyone who has ever sent a Word document via email to a group of people for input knows how that works out – and a Word document is typically much simpler than an Excel sheet full of data. You’ll find yourself hitting the wall pretty quickly, realizing how many limitations there are with Excel.

Once you start researching to see the next step up from Excel, you learn about business intelligence (BI) tools. They look great, with many neat features, offering interactive dashboards and reports. You can track all your data and metrics in one place, everyone in the organization is on the same page (literally) – there’s no more spreadsheet madness to deal with.

Then you see the price and turn around and run right back to Excel.

Here’s A Better Alternative

The team at DashboardFox wants to change all of that by giving you access to enterprise-quality BI software at a fraction of the cost of many other tools.

DashboardFox offers software you can own. Many BI tools are priced on a subscription model, either monthly or annually – if you stop paying, you lose access to your data. At DashboardFox, we don’t think that’s fair. It’s your data, and you should own it.

Great, right? But there’s still a challenge. If you’ve been using Excel, you may not have a technical expert on staff who understands databases and report writing, and yet you need to get all of your data out of Excel and into a BI tool.

Sure, you can assign someone to become the expert – to spend some time researching and learning how to use BI tools. But if you’re like most small businesses, time is a precious resource and the time spent on that kind of a project is time not spent running the business. That’s not ideal either.

As you might have anticipated when you began reading this blog, we’ve got a better idea.

Introducing DashboardFox LiftOff

We want to keep things simple and affordable, so we’re introducing our newest product: DashboardFox LiftOff. It’s a concierge Excel-to-dashboard migration service that will help you get your Excel spreadsheets into a suitable format for importing into DashboardFox for one flat price.

We’ll help you get DashboardFox installed and configured properly on your systems, and then we’ll import your spreadsheets into DashboardFox to convert all your data into a PostgreSQL database format. And we don’t stop there – we’ll even build a few dashboards and reports on your data for you.

Once it’s configured, all you need to do is add users per the number of DashboardFox licenses (and security, if needed). Then when you have new data in your Excel template, you can automatically upload it to refresh all your reports and dashboards.

The DashboardFox LiftOff benefits

The DashboardFox LiftOff has a lot of benefits that you deserve to enjoy as a business enterprise. These benefits would greatly help you run your company without any hiccups at all. Here are some of those benefits:

  • With the DashboardFox LiftOff service, you’ll be able to start leveraging your data more effectively and easily share it with the people who need it.
  • You’ll get your data out of spreadsheets into a modern, web-based BI tool at a fraction of the cost of leading vendors.
  • If you want to continue to use Excel, you can keep using that process while still having an easy way to communicate all the data via interactive dashboards and reports.
  • You get enterprise-grade features like role-based and data-level security, email report scheduling, direct share links for external users, and more.

Do you have a unique environment or needs (and doesn’t everyone)? We offer a few special services:

  • Don’t want to self-host DashboardFox, or don’t want to install it on your own Windows server? We can provide hosting services. We pass along the cost of our dedicated server hosting environment, but we’ll do all the maintenance, patches, backups, upgrades, and care for your BI server. And, of course, you still own the DashboardFox software license and your data, so you can stop using our hosting at any time and move it to your infrastructure.
  • Do you need to pull all your data from multiple external spreadsheets or sources into a data lake – possibly even eliminating the need for Excel in the middle? We can help you do that.
  • If you need to import data to an MS SQL database instead of PostgreSQL, we can do that too.
  • Anything else you require? We’re happy to help too – contact us to discuss it.

What about other options?

PowerBI is like Excel on steroids. The cost of $10 per user per month looks good, but it comes with a considerable cost in both architecture and setup, as well as the level of technical expertise needed to build dashboards and reports (do you know DAX?) Power BI is a great option for larger teams with Microsoft-trained, dedicated IT staff, but it’s a challenge for most casual Excel users.

Tableau is awesome software, but it’s not cheap. Tableau Public is free, but all your business data is public – you don’t want that. A team account starts around $17,000 per year. You can buy one creator license for $840 a year, but only one person has access to it.

Domo has a nice Excel import feature. At one point, it was offered for free, but Domo no longer makes pricing publicly available, so we can’t be sure. However, the free account was quite limited and came with constant messages that you needed to pay due to even the most basic features – and we’ve heard the sticker shock with their pricing is real.

Sticking with Excel is an option – change is tough.

But you can’t move forward by standing still, and that’s why DashboardFox has a generous trial period. You can send us a sample spreadsheet, and we’ll mock-up proof of concept so that you can experience your data in a DashboardFox environment.

How do I get started?

Just contact us to get a live demo or a meeting to discuss your requirements – we want to make sure it’s a good fit just as much as you do. We promise it won’t be a high-pressure sales call – just a discussion with one of our technical experts. From there, we’ll figure out the next steps – a trial, a demo for your team, or jumping right into LiftOff and converting your Excel data into DashboardFox. We can’t wait to talk to you.

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Questions? Let’s talk about your use case and see if DashboardFox is a fit.

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