Thursday, May 3, 2012

Xact Software Exposed , Part 3

This is part 3 of our ongoing Xact Software Exposed series, In the last part we talked about Project management and how we put together a project tracking system that did the job and didn't cost us the world.

Today we'll be focusing on how we use the data we've collected over the years to make sense of whats going on within our business.

Like most businesses out there we have a customers database (you do have a customers database right??) , this database is fed information from all sources, leads from our website, phone calls, Emails, referrals etc.

In addition to all of that our database is used to manage our day to day activities, our sales process and few other things.

Collecting this amount of information is pointless if you had no way to make sense of it, luckily our CRM database comes with some built in reports and Dashboard views, not to mention some very powerful search features.

However, that wasn't enough for us, we wanted more. there were a lot of things that we wanted to analyze which we couldn't get from the out of the box tools so we went ahead and built our own.

Being a visual person I've always believed in the good old saying "A Picture is worth a 1000 words" , when it comes to looking at summaries and trends I believe that a graphical representation of your data is the way to go.

Enter the Xact Dashboard (as its currently known in the office) , a dashboard control for ACT which allows anyone to build their own dashboard views using the data in their ACT database or any other compatible data source (read: ODBC and OLE Enabled databases).

We've been using this little gadget for sometime now and even as the creator of this tool I am sometimes amazed by what it can do, for those of you who enjoy doing data analysis here is a small sample of what you can do with this dashboard:

  • Break down your contacts by their status (e.g. how many customers have we got , how many prospects are in the pipeline etc).
  • View your prospect by products , lead source, geographical distribution and more.
  • Analyze your prospect to customer conversion rate over a given period of time
  • View your staff's activities summary, how many call have been made, how many meeting they've had, how many tasks have they yet to complete.
  • View the location of your meetings on a map, use that to workout a more efficient meeting schedule for the day.
Plus much much more....

The idea here is that any business with a customers database is practically sitting on a gold mine of information, this information can be analyzed , disected and as a result it can be used to make informed business decisions.

This process of analysis applies to all levels of a business , managers might be interested in seeing trends and financial summaries at a strategic level, team leaders and project managers might want to see how their staff are doing over a given month, sales personnel and shopfloor staff might just want to view a summary of what they need to do on a given day.

At the end of the day the goal is to provide the tools, processes and the knowhow to help steer a business forward, what we've done is provide just that , we've been analyzing our own database for a while now and believe me when I say it, you sometimes dont know whats going on within your business until you take a step back and look at the big picture.

If you would like to know more about Xact software then make sure to visit our website at , you can also contact us directly by emailing

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