Behind our financial dashboard
We started Scout to make monitoring server infrastructure easier. With our heads deep in code, it took us a while to realize that monitoring our business was just as important. Here’s a look at the financial dashboard we created (as you’ll guess, the data isn’t real):
- Activity by Day – This shows signups, cancellations, and subscription changes for the past two weeks.
- Activity by Week – This is similar to the daily activity table but provides a weekly rollup of the data. It adds the projected monthly revenue and revenue change.
- Paying Activity by Month – This rolls up data by month, adding in churn, average revenue per-account, and lifetime value. It also forecasts the next month’s activity.
Takeaway: build this early
We were Rails developers, not seasoned entrepreneurs, when we started Scout. We wrote code our clients asked for. If our code worked, our clients were happy.
We’ve learned that deciding which code to write is 90% of writing code. Our financial dashboard is a big factor in our decision process. It’s the first thing we see on login. The impact of every decision bubbles up to this page.
The most telling thing about business instrumentation? I’ve never felt developer-remorse adding more of it.
- Instrument Everything – A talk by Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter.
- Instrument Your Business – A blog post by my co-founder, Andre.