The Latin America marketing team for Microsoft Office implemented a dynamic dashboard solution to visualize sales performance from a variety of perspectives. Built on Microsoft Visio Professional 2013, the solution combines data from multiple
sources and publishes visualizations of it through Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013. Now, the group saves 300 labor hours a month creating reports, and stakeholders have immediate access to actionable performance information.
Effective regional marketing teams are key to the global success of Microsoft, and tracking sales performance is an important part of promoting that effectiveness. Recently, the Microsoft Office marketing group, which is responsible for Microsoft Visio
and Microsoft Project, in Latin America wanted to streamline how it gathers performance information (primarily focused on revenue) and to disseminate that information in more meaningful, actionable ways.
“We wanted a way to easily look at the status of sales performance—a snapshot of how well we’re meeting goals at any given time—from several perspectives,” says John Perez, Latin America Project Marketing Manager for Microsoft Project and Microsoft Visio.
“One perspective might be to look at performance from a regional standpoint. Another perspective might be to look at performance in various business segments. We also wanted to track the performance status of individual product teams and reps.”
||With ready access to multiple data sources and a simple-to-use interface, the Visio-based dashboard solution helps reps create better, richer reports in only a fraction of the time that we needed before.
| John Perez
Latin America Project Marketing Manager for Microsoft Project and Microsoft Visio, Microsoft Corporation
Performance data is stored in various databases, spreadsheets, and other data sources, and the group’s methods for generating performance reports were highly manual. For example, a rep might gather sales performance information from a database or Microsoft
Excel spreadsheets and distill it into relevant metrics. The rep might then put the metrics in Microsoft PowerPoint and present it to upper management. And that report would likely look at only one performance perspective. “The driver for streamlining tasks
like these was time savings,” says Perez. “Reps don’t want to waste time. Stakeholders want to visualize data in different ways. Everyone wants data to be up-to-date, and no one wants to wait for it.”
To address these challenges, the Visio team worked with IT partner Infoshot to develop a visual reporting solution that gives the product group’s team members an at-a-glance view of sales, revenue, and other performance metrics. Based in Sede Belo Horizonte,
Brazil, Infoshot is a Microsoft Partner Network member with nine Gold competencies. “We chose Infoshot because they had worked closely with our team in the past and because they were familiar with the technologies that we needed to make this project work,”
With the new solution, sales performance is visualized in Microsoft Visio Professional 2013, in real time, on dynamic dashboards that use multiple data feeds from Microsoft SQL Server 2012 databases. Because the Visio team can easily view the information
they need on the dashboards, creating time-consuming static reports is no longer necessary. The dashboards are published to Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013, where stakeholders view them on continually updated SharePoint sites through a web browser. The publishing
process is made possible by Visio Services in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013, which runs as a service application in SharePoint.
The solution displays diagrams and shapes that represent high-level performance of the product group, and with a couple of mouse clicks, users can see deeper analysis for performance of specific subsidiaries, teams, or even individual employees. “Parts of
it work like a simple stoplight,” says Perez. “Green elements represent performance goals that are being met or exceeded. Yellow elements merit attention, and red indicates falling short of goals. With this simple display, we can quickly identify deficiencies
in our strategic planning or sales execution. We can also identify successes to establish best practices and share these with our teams.”
Using the Visio-based dynamic dashboard solution, the Microsoft Office marketing group saves time and boosts productivity for sales and marketing reps and managers alike. The solution can also be replicated to support other groups and regions as necessary.
Saves Time, Increases Productivity
The Visio solution saves time in two ways: team members can create performance reports faster, and all stakeholders can access and use the information more quickly and easily. Says Perez, “With ready access to multiple data sources and a simple-to-use
interface, the Visio–based dashboard solution helps reps create better, richer reports in only a fraction of the time that we needed before.” Perez estimates that each rep is saving about two and a half hours a week. “Multiply this for 30 reps, every week,
and the result is up to 300 labor hours saved per month in our group alone.”
The new solution also brings detailed performance information to anyone who needs it. Perez continues, “Performance diagrams are published to a readily available SharePoint site where people in the field, for example, can use a browser to see if they are
achieving sales goals.” To emphasize the point, he adds, “You can see what your status is right now, not just what it was last month or last week, which means you know where to focus your efforts.”
In the same way, the new solution brings the information to mobile devices. “I have done a lot of testing from Windows Phone devices and Surface tablets because I often work remotely,” says Perez. “It’s a perfect solution for use on mobile devices.”
At-a-Glance, Actionable Information for Stakeholders
The Visio dashboards make sales information easier and faster to analyze by gathering that information from all data sources at once and presenting a visual interpretation of it. ”Previously, we had to dig through Excel worksheets or wait for paperwork
to come from the finance team to know our sales status. With Visio, we see red, yellow, and green indicators on an intuitive display that’s always up-to-date, in real time. That’s why people like this solution so much.”
Adaptable for Other Product Groups
The product group in Microsoft Latin America has had so much success with the Visio-based dynamic dashboard solution that other groups and regions will soon adopt easily modified versions of it. Perez concludes, “This first implementation is top notch,
and we expect it to work just as well for other groups. It’s inspiring to know that our work will go on to help boost the performance of teams like ours around the world.”
|The solution displays up-to-date sales performance summaries, in this case by region,
from top-performing (green) to areas that need improvement (red).
|Stakeholders visualize the continually updated status of their performance goals for
specific metrics, timeframes, and product groups.
The new Visio makes it easier than ever to create and share professional, versatile diagrams that simplify complex information. It includes updated shapes, templates, and styles, as well as enhanced support for teams, including the ability for several people
to work on a single diagram at the same time.
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