Let Your Data Propel Your Business

Written by the founders of Blue Margin Inc.

The Dashboard Effect is a groundbreaking book that sheds light on why data intelligence is the most impactful, yet underutilized tool for automating a culture of growth and profitability.  Fill out this form to download the first two chapters now.


The Dashboard Effect Helps You Overcome the Status Quo — and Thrive Through Data™ Instead

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Quotes From The Dashboard Effect

by Jon Thompson & Brick Thompson

The Dashboard Effect details why data is the next evolution in business.

This groundbreaking book simplifies the how and why of harnessing the value of your data.


Excerpt From The Dashboard Effect

by Jon Thompson & Brick Thompson

The Dashboard Effect details why data is the next evolution in business operations. This groundbreaking book simplifies the how and why of harnessing the value of your data.


Without context, your strategies are apt to evolve based on the most recent data point (e.g., “I just pitched our new promo, and it’s a dud.”). Obviously one data point, no matter how painful, is not statistically significant, though our intuition might insist otherwise.

The problem is in how we process information. Our mental patterns can trip us up in countless ways. By default, we interpret information through our biases, which may suffice at an interpersonal level, but can wreak havoc in an organization. Psychologists have studied and codified dozens of common biases that shape our decisions. See if you can identify with any of these:

  • First-impression bias. People tend to attribute baseless significance to the first information they receive. You can observe this phenomenon during price negotiations, where the first number proposed “anchors” the range of what is considered reasonable.
  • Group-think bias. This refers to the tendency to vet our opinions through the opinions of others. This propensity is the reason why at Blue Margin we prefer to interview people individually when gathering business requirements. Otherwise the strongest opinion in the room (and usually the most negative) tends to prevail.
  • Justification bias. When people make a decision, or prefer one choice over another, they tend to filter for data that supports their choice. If you google “red wine and longevity,” you’ll find reams of arguments for the health benefits of red wine. Search for “red wine is bad for you,” and you’ll find the opposite.
  • Ostrich bias. To state the obvious, humans tend to avoid pain. In fact, research shows that investors check their portfolios less during market downturns. Although our reasoning for avoiding bad news may be rational (e.g., fearing it may be demotivating), common wisdom holds that proactively addressing problems as early as possible is the surest way to minimize the impact.
  • Proximity bias. Our internal analysis engines often spotlight emotionally-charged events such as losing a sale or getting chastised by a customer. The tendency to assume that the most recent and significant data point can predict outcomes is the root of superstition. Lives are lost every year when hikers fail to recognize that weather can go from sunny and warm to cold and wet in a matter of minutes. Observe any roulette table, and you’ll see otherwise rational people analyzing previous results to predict the future. The same goes for how we perceive economic trends. Our intuition insists the current state is our permanent state, even though history shows that economies invariably cycle.

To avoid making costly, bias-driven decisions at Blue Margin, we have adopted a policy of measuring everything we do (and equally important, only doing things worth measuring). We’re committed to this approach as a result of wasting countless hours and dollars on initiatives that never left the launchpad or that dragged on far beyond their useful lives. As a result, new initiatives don’t see the light of day unless they can be tracked on a dashboard.

And if they're not worth tracking, by definition they’re not worth doing ... 


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Thus far, we’ve seen strong ROI on every project . . . With Blue Margin, my productivity has gone up at least 20%.

Jim Harrington
CEO Alexco Resource
FDH Fastener Dist
After reviewing the dashboards Blue Margin developed, I realized this might be the most important thing I've been involved with in the last 5 years in this company.
Bill Ganss
President, Fastener Distribution Holdings

It's amazing how much these dashboards are being used.  It's like we invented fire!

Dan Prestegaard
CIO, Numotion

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