The team here at ServusConnect is super-stoked to announce the release of our redesigned dashboard - or, v3, as we've been calling it! This new dashboard is the culmination of 5 years of learnings, working closely with multifamily maintenance professionals to deliver the best possible optics into daily maintenance operations.
Before we get into v3, we thought it might be interesting to give you a peek behind the curtain of why dashboards are important and how we got here.
How Important is a Dashboard?
Dashboards are commonplace in most software-as-a-service (SaaS) products these days. But other than a visually appealing launch point that makes the product look good when you first log in, how important are they?
Generally speaking, dashboard methodology falls into two buckets: Historical & Operational.
Historical dashboards are typically analytical in nature, displaying various KPI's for events/actions that have already been completed. They are more a reference point to the question, "How are things going this week, month, year, etc?". These dashboards absolutely have their place and we have them in ServusConnect in our maintenance analytics tool, ServusInsights.
Operational dashboards display more current-state information and help answer questions such as, "What is happening now?" and "What do I need to do next?". They also tend to be more relied-upon by users because they are used as a point of orientation, possibly even mission critical.
So for ServusConnect, a SaaS product that helps apartment operators organize and streamline their maintenance operations, having an excellent operational dashboard is REALLY important!
User Feedback & Behavior
We spend a good bit of time talking to our clients about what they like about ServusConnect and what should be improved. A really interesting observation from these conversations is that once property management professionals start using a purpose-built system to manage their maintenance requests, they generally become more organized in their overall approach to managing their maintenance operations.
One common thread from our users was that we need to show them more specific to their current state, ie., "What is happening now & what do I need to do next?".
User behavior supports this. In tracking how users navigate through the system, we observed that over half of all the navigation inside of ServusConnect originates from our dashboard. This tells us it's not just the starting point when users log in, they refer back to it through out the day.
Now the question is what data should we show?
Evolution of our dashboards
It's not like ServusConnect didn't have a dashboard before now. :-)
Our v1 dashboard focussed mostly on gross volume. We wanted our users to easily assess the amount of service requests that were actively working their way through our "New-Open-Complete" workflow.
This was great initially, but as the platform grew over the years and more functionality was added (Resident Surveys, Make-Ready, Preventative Maintenance, Vendor Invoice Collection), the gross volume method didn't really help our users sort through the chaos.
Version 2, released early in 2019, introduced dashboard widgets that broke down various operational attributes of the system. We had widgets for action items, service tags (categories), aging, request volume by service professional, etc. This was a huge step, but still more was needed.
Our v3 dashboard is the latest evolution of our learnings and involves organizing the widgets, introduced in v2, into separate areas of focus, or channels as we call them. These channels are designed to help multifamily property management & maintenance professionals evaluate status and progress in each area, actively during the work-week.
There are four major channels the v3 dashboard:
- Service Requests - unit-based resident requests and other individually-created ad-hoc requests, such as for buildings or common areas. Also includes widgets for action items, week-to-date resident feedback and progress.
- Make-Ready/Projects - pending & active make-ready/projects and associated requests. Includes widgets for action items, unit status & week-to-date progress for the channel.
- Highlights - system-wide widgets for requests by tag (HVAC, plumbing, etc), by Service Professional, Top-10 Aging & Inactive requests.
- Activities - system-wide running event log of service request activity, listed chronologically in descending order.
We'll release a fifth channel in the coming weeks for Preventative Maintenance.
Ok, enough talk! Check out the Youtube video below for a more detailed overview of the v3 dashboard:
As always, if you have feedback on how we can continue to evolve the dashboard in ServusConnect, we'd love to hear from you! Just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll gladly connect back with you.