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Creating a more knowledgeable, nimble organization

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Another advantage, Benamram adds, is that all information is automatically tagged as created or revised; no human intervention is needed. “We ask you for nothing, and we give you the world,” he says. The firm plans to expand the use of Decisiv Search this year to produce predictive analytics, Benamram adds.

Pulling together disparate information

Young, entrepreneurial companies have some of the biggest challenges with business processes because they typically start to use different systems as they need them, with no initial concern over integration. Such was the case with Chatbooks, which makes photo books for consumers, assembling a user’s photos from Instagram (instagram.com) in groupings of 60 in 6×6-inch books.

The Chatbooks app works with a customer’s Instagram feed. Every time the customer has 60 new photos, the app sends a notification, providing the customer with three days to accept the order, or to edit or delete some of the photos. The Chatbooks cost $6 apiece, with free shipping.

“This takes the pain and the expense out of photo books for the consumer,” says Nate Quigley, Chatbooks’ co-founder and CEO. But the company was finding that managing the information about its customers was a challenge. Like many young companies, Chatbooks relied on spreadsheets to record customer information, but the data wasn’t centrally located, and there was no good way to integrate all of it, according to Quigley.

“It was taking us hours to get the lay of the land. The customer metrics is the most important information. We needed to know how many new subscribers we had each day, how many books we had sold, subscriber cancellations and the engagement (followers, likes and comments),” Quigley says. “We needed to see how we were doing in customer support. We needed to coordinate with the print shop so that we could send things out in a timely manner.”

Easier access to metrics

It was also important to share information about the company’s progress with Chatbooks’ support staff, most of whom work remotely. “We wanted to be able to celebrate with them when we hit new milestones,” Quigley explains.

He found the solution from a company that was just starting out, Grow, which provides a knowledge management dashboard and backend solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses. It quickly distills information from Quickbooks, Salesforce, Google Analytics, Twitter and other sources into a single, customizable data set that updates in real time.

“When I heard about it, the bells just went off,” says Quigley, who now has the dashboard, called a Growbox, running in the company’s headquarters, and allows access by remote workers as well.

Chatbooks started using the Growboxes in June, and Quigley says, “Now I can’t imagine my life without Grow. It saves the time and energy we were losing chasing around the metrics. Now we have that time back. We have been able to rally the team around the most important metrics. We’ve added multiple dashboards.” More dashboards are planned as the company evolves its product mix, he adds.

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