Black women founders building dashboards for their businesses.

9 Simple Tools for Small Business Owners to Master Dashboards and Reports

At Sistahbiz, we’re all about helping  Black women founders run data driven businesses. It’s a simple idea but not always easy. Running a small business means wearing many hats, and one of the trickiest can be managing all that data you need to keep track of sales, marketing, and operations. When you’re swamped and data analysis isn’t your forte, it can feel overwhelming. That’s why finding the right tools to simplify this process is a game changer. Below is a list of eight user-friendly tools that will help you see your business data clearly without needing a tech wizard by your side. These tools are affordable, easy to use, and designed with the small business owner in mind.

Google Data Studio
Want to see your data without getting a headache? Google Data Studio turns numbers from various Google services and other sources into easy-to-read reports and dashboards. It’s like having a translator for your data, and the best part? It’s free!

If you’re ready to get a bit more sophisticated but still want something manageable, Tableau is a great step up. It lets you dive deeper into your data and is flexible enough to grow with your business. While there is a cost, many find the investment worth it for the clarity it brings.

Microsoft Power BI
Using Excel for your business? Then Microsoft Power BI might be the next natural step. It integrates smoothly with other Microsoft products and helps you make sense of your data with beautiful visuals. There’s a free version that’s perfect for starters, with paid options as you expand.

Think of Airtable as a supercharged spreadsheet. It’s as easy as Excel but with the power of a database to manage your inventory, sales, and customer info all in one place. You can view your data in different formats like grids, calendars, or Kanban boards, which makes planning and tracking super simple.

Notion is an all-in-one workspace where you can not only keep tabs on your data but also manage tasks, documents, and collaborations. It’s incredibly flexible and you can customize it to fit exactly what your business needs. Plus, it’s intuitive, which means less time learning new software and more time doing what you do best.

Zoho Analytics
For those who need a bit more from their reporting tools but still want simplicity, Zoho Analytics offers a neat drag-and-drop interface to create dashboards on the fly. It’s also budget-friendly, which makes it a favorite among small business owners.

Domo is ideal if you’re planning to scale up soon. It handles data from many sources and updates your dashboards in real-time, so you always know where your business stands. It’s a bit pricier, but for the level of insight it offers, it can be worth the investment.

Databox pulls data from various apps you might be using into one dashboard. It’s designed to be set up in minutes and offers you insights with zero hassle. You can customize it easily and even check your data on the go with its mobile app. If your data lives in many places, this is a great way to pull it all together in one place.

Of course, there’s good ole Google Sheets. Don’t pay for stuff you don’t need, Sis. Your company’s tech stack can get expensive really fast when you start purchasing sexy softwares that you don’t really need. If you have a micro-business with simple goals and KPIs, you can enter your numbers in Google Sheets and create visual graphs and dashboards in the sheet to accompany the numbers. As the business grows, and your data systems and needs become more complex, paid solutions may be necessary.

Picking the right tool from this list depends on where you are in your business journey, what your goals, metrics and needs are, what your comfort level is with learning new tech and what type of resources you have for time and professional development. Remember, the goal is to make your life easier, not drown in more data. Start simple, see what feels intuitive, and don’t be afraid to try a few to find the perfect fit. With the right tool, data can become your business’s best friend, helping you make informed decisions that drive success.

What are you using for your dashboards? Share your hacks, tools and tips below.

Want to join a community of entrepreneurs committed to powering up their business with data and tech systems? Log in to The Suite for 14 days of free Sistahbiz membership at 

Makisha Boothe

Makisha is Head Business Coach and founder of Sistahbiz Global Network. She specializes in rapid improvement and innovation, and helps women with business startup and design.

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