Get to know Geckoboard

First, though, you'll need to tell Geckoboard what's important to your team. Starting out with one default dashboard, you'll add widgets anywhere on the screen with the data you want to be able to see at a glance. Widgets come in a handful of sizes, either as tiny squares, medium-sized rectangles, or large squares with bold text. And, they each have their own settings, with graphs and data visualizations that fit the type of info they show.

Your board will first need some configuration. You can choose how many columns your board will have—perhaps only a couple if you want to view stats on the go, or a half-dozen to fill up a full TV screen. Your dashboard will be dark by default with bright text—similar again to a departures board—but you can also use a light theme or add your own custom CSS.

Then, add in the widgets you want. Geckoboard comes with some built-in widgets to show the time, custom text, an RSS feed, QR code, or data from a spreadsheet. Or, you can use its built-in integration to tools like Google Adwords, GitHub, Twitter, Amazon Cloudwatch, and more to monitor your most important apps in widgets. And for everything else, Geckoboard's Zapier integrations let you connect hundreds of other apps to bring their data into your dashboard.

The steps are similar for most of the widgets. You'll select the app you want, connect your account, then choose the widget you want. Say you add Geckoboard's Twitter integration—you'll connect to your Twitter account, then choose to show your follower count, recent mention, or anything else you want. Choose the size and any other settings, then the widget will show up on your dashboard. You can then drag-and-drop it to the position you want, and copy the widget to reuse it elsewhere.

Your widgets will refresh in real-time, so you can say monitor new Stripe purchases or RSS feed posts as they come in. You could get their direct data in a text widget, or monitor their growth and change over time in a number or graph widget.

Then, you can make more dashboards to separate your data the way you want. You could have a welcome dashboard to start the day with announcements and the weather, then a financial dashboard with the latest numbers, and a marketing dashboard with blog posts and social data. Geckoboard could show those on separate screens for you, or could automatically rotate through them during the day on one TV. Then when you need info, you could select that specific dashboard—and can even mouse over a widget to scroll through its data if you want.

You won't be doing any number crunching or creative work in Geckoboard. What you will use it for is staying on top of your data without having to search for it. And that's valuable enough to make it part of your team's daily workflow—without even having to remember to open another app. All you'll have to do is look up and see what's happening. It's a HUD for your company.

Geckoboard Resources:

  • Get started quickly with a Geckoboard live demo.
  • Have an internal API? Learn how to connect it to Geckoboard with the Geckoboard developer documentation.
  • Don't have your office TV connected directly to a computer? Here's how to use Chromecast for business, with tips on using the simple streaming device for team dashboards and more.
  • Learn how to help your company grow faster in Zapier's interview with Geckoboard's co-founder.

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