The Actoblog

Bringing metrics to light, one dashboard at a time

Getting close to the beta

Actoboard is an idea I had one year ago, while setting up yet another dashboard for a system I was working on as a freelance software architect and developer. I was frustrated by how complicated it is to have a broad overview on what’s happening in one’s business, and thought there should be an easier way. What is “business” you may say? Well, it’s your business: any kind of activity can be measured, and most of the services you use and the systems you build already produce valuable metrics.

Keeping a close eye on those metrics is key to understanding the health of your business. Do we match our sales target? How many open tickets in the customer support backlog? How does it compare to last month? Are the servers up? What impact did the last email campaign have on the website traffic?

All this information is available, but locked up in many different systems, making it difficult to have this quick understanding of what’s going on. Manual collection and aggregation is so painful and time consuming that it’s often abandoned on the long run. And building your own dashboard systems is costly, requires specific skills and some maintenance work as systems evolve.

This where Actoboard comes in: it regularly visits all the services you use and your own systems to collect this precious information (you can also push it to our servers). It keeps historical data and gives you the tools needed to build great looking real time business monitoring dashboards in no time.

The road to the grand opening

We’ve been silent since we initially set up our website last year. It was a first “minimum viable product” in pure lean startup fashion: announce a product to the world before even writing the first line of code, and see how the world reacts. We had a lot of positive feedback, which validated this first experiment.

It took me a couple of months to end my consulting gigs, and I used this time to interview lots of people with a simple prototype showing how I wanted to approach real time business dashboards. Some of these people were using existing products and told me why they weren’t happy with them, providing lots of valuable feedback that helped shape Actoboard.

We actually started the development of Actoboard last Fall. A talented developer joined me for this exciting journey, and I used the help of many friends who excel in design, system administration, user experience, and all the things needed to build a great product. We are bootstrapped, have a huge experience building robust systems, and are excited more and more every day seeing our baby grow.

We’ve been using Actoboard internally for some time, and recently opened it to friends and family. However it still misses important features needed to open it to a larger audience. We need a few more weeks for this, and then we’ll open the beta to the people who kindly expressed their interest by providing their email address.

Let’s get in touch!

Watch this space for more regular updates and follow us on Twitter or Facebook. And of course, don’t forget to register on our home page.

In the meantime, if you can’t wait and want to talk, drop us an email at hello@actoboard.com!

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