How to Create Custom Metrics and Dashboards in Chargify Business Intelligence

by Chargify

Data defines how B2B SaaS companies do business. And fortunately, as the SaaS industry continues to boom (projecting to grow 30% per year), there is an unprecedented amount of data to work with.

Every application event (both manual and automated) produces a unique data point that can be analyzed to inform core product and business decisions. A sign up, an API call, an email send, or a payment event can all be captured along with rich information describing who, when, where, why, and what happened. Tapping into this invaluable resource and using it to drive data-backed growth is the key to success in B2B SaaS.

Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. According to TRUE Global Intelligence, 55% of an organization’s data is dark. In other words, it’s just “collecting dust” in the back corner of a server—unquantified and untapped—because SaaS businesses don’t have a big data analytics solution with the power to harness and make sense of this immense volume of data.

That’s why we built Chargify Business Intelligence, the industry’s first self-service analytics suite powerful enough to support your entire business, but simple enough for anyone to use—no data science degree required. Business Intelligence is a single source of truth that helps B2B SaaS companies track critical business, customer, and product metrics in a centralized location. Seamlessly create and share custom dashboards using data from Chargify or other relevant third-party sources. And the best part? Reports are updated in real time—no more waiting on batched data or shuffling between tools to gain a 360° view of your business.

You’ll never find an easier-to-use business intelligence tool. To prove it, we’ll walk you through how to build a Chargify Business Intelligence dashboard that tracks the key business indicators every SaaS company needs to inform their strategic, long-term planning. These critical metrics fall into the following categories:

  1. MRR and ARR
  2. Churn and Contraction
  3. Acquisition
  4. Subscriptions
  5. Invoices
  6. Payments
  7. Outstanding Balances and Dunning
  8. Refunds
  9. Product/Service Usage

Creating a dashboard in Business Intelligence can be accomplished in 3 simple steps, and in this tutorial, we’ll walk through each one using MRR as our example.

The same steps we lay out below to track MRR can be repeated for all out-of-the-box and custom-created metrics. For the other categories, we’ll outline which metrics are included out-of-the-box and provide examples of how to customize them to gain more granular insights for your business.

How to Create a Dashboard in Chargify Business Intelligence

1. Add out-of-the-box metrics

Every SaaS business leader knows that an accurate understanding of their company’s MRR and ARR growth forecast is crucial for creating effective long-term business plans and investment strategies. That’s why Business Intelligence provides the following metrics out-of-the-box:

  • Total MRR and ARR
  • Total MRR and ARR Growth
  • MRR movements: $MRR, Week over Week
  • Install Base MRR Growth
  • Total MRR (Past Due)

To add these metrics to your Business Intelligence metrics list, simply:

  • In the Chargify application, navigate to Business Intelligence > Explore.
  • Select ‘Add Out-of-the-box Metrics’ in the top, right-hand corner.
  • Select MRR/ARR
  • Choose the MRR and ARR metrics you want to add to your metrics list.
Out-of-the-box Metrics Library

2. Customize your metrics

Now that you have a template for standard MRR and ARR metrics, the next step is to clone and customize these metrics for your specific use case. (We recommend leaving the out-of-the-box unedited to maintain a source of truth.)

To create a custom metric based on an out-of-the-box metric:

  • Head to Business Intelligence > Explore.
  • Select ‘Go to Saved Metrics’ in the top, left-hand corner to view your list of saved metrics.

The Saved Metrics view provides a central hub to manage all of your saved metrics. Sort metrics alphabetically or by edit date, filter based on user-defined tags, and search for metrics by name.

Saved Metrics List with Total MRR Growth Query Preview

In the Saved Metrics view:

  • Pick the metric you’d like to customize. For this example, choose ‘Total MRR Growth’.
  • Click the ellipses icon under the chart preview and select ‘Clone Query’.

This will open a template in the Metric Builder view as shown below.

Total MRR Growth Out-of-the-box Metric in Edit Mode

In this view, you can add Filters to isolate relevant segments of data and Groupings to categorize your results.

To customize your metric:

  • Add a filter by selecting the plus button.
  • Choose the property to use for the filtering. For this example, choose breakouts → plan → category matches any value new_business. This will return only your New Business MRR Growth.
  • By default, this metric is grouped by category of MRR movement. Change the Group by to address → country to view New Business MRR Growth by Country. Multiple groupings can be applied to get more granular.
  • Optionally, choose to order your results in ascending or descending numeric or alphabetical order. You can also limit the number of shown results to keep your charts clean.
  • Select a frequency interval to view this data (e.g. weekly, monthly, yearly). For a total amount across the timeframe, leave the interval blank.
  • Select the desired chart type in the left-hand ribbon and then hit ‘Save Query’.
    Pro tip: click the bottom right-hand corner of the chart icon to see all chart variants (e.g. grouped, stacked, percentage, etc.)
  • Finally, give your metric a name, and it will appear in your metrics list.

Voila! You created your first custom metric that shows the New Business MRR Growth by Country.

New Business MRR Growth by Country with the Choropleth Chart Type

Repeat the steps above using different filters and groupings to create granular metrics tailored specifically for your business. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • New Business MRR by Sales Rep
    • Analysis: Sum
    • Data source: chargify_bi_mrr_movements
    • Target Property: amount [includes usage and plan amounts]
    • Timeframe: Last 12 months
    • Filter: Category contains new_business
    • Group by: sales_rep → name
    • Interval: Monthly
  • Total MRR by Country
    • Analysis: Sum
    • Data source: chargify_bi_subscriptions
    • Target Property: MRR [includes usage and plan amounts]
    • Timeframe: Last 12 months
    • Filter: optional
    • Group by: address → country
    • Interval: Monthly
  • Total MRR Growth by Custom Field
    • Analysis: Sum
    • Data source: chargify_bi_mrr_movements
    • Target Property: amount [includes usage and plan amounts]
    • Timeframe: Last 12 months
    • Filter: optional
    • Group by: subscription → custom_fields → custom_field
    • Interval: Monthly

3. Create a Dashboard

A repository of key metrics tailored to your business is a step in the right direction. But to unleash the full potential of this data to drive growth, you need a curated view of key business metrics that can be easily shared with relevant internal and external stakeholders.

Chargify Business Intelligence has a drag-and-drop dashboard tool that enables you to add saved metrics to a dashboard. Dashboards can be saved and shared securely by grabbing a public link, embedding anywhere, or downloading an image.

To get started using our drag-and-drop dashboard creator, just

  • Navigate to Business Intelligence > Dashboards.
  • Select ‘New Dashboard’ in the top, right-hand corner.
Dashboard Library with out-of-the-box dashboards added8.

In the Dashboard Builder, you’ll find options to add charts, text, images, dashboard-level filters, and dashboard-level date pickers.

Edit mode in the Dashboard Builder

To build a dashboard for your newly-created metrics:

  • Click chart and select the New Business MRR Growth by Country metric.
  • Grab the right-hand corner and drag to the desired size.
  • Select ‘Edit Chart’, click ‘Chart Title’, and enter the name ‘New Business MRR Growth by Country’.
  • Select ‘Update Widget’ to save your changes.
  • Add a filter widget to the dashboard and select an attribute you want to filter by such as product → name.
  • Add a date picker to adjust the time frame for the associated chart.
  • Click the setting icon in the top, right-hand corner and name your dashboard.
  • Finally, select ‘Finish edition’.
Dashboard with New Business Growth by Country Metric Added

Congratulations! You just created your first dashboard in Chargify Business Intelligence.

Now, click the share icon and grab a link or the embed HTML snippet to share a real-time, interactive dashboard with your team. Or, select the Actions icon and download an image to share a still snapshot.

Repeat the steps in the MRR example above to add out-of-the box metrics, create custom metrics, and build a dashboard for the other 9 categories of business metrics below.

Chargify Business Intelligence also provides predefined dashboards by persona (Executive, Finance, Accounting, Operations, Sales, Customer Success, and Marketing) to help you get started. Below is an example of an Executive Dashboard.

Out-of-the-box Dashboard for an Executive User

More Business Metrics to Track in Chargify Business Intelligence

Churn

Churn is one of the single most important SaaS metrics to track because of its direct impact on topline revenue. Chargify Business Intelligence enables you to segment your churn data by multiple attributes including region, industry, and churn reason code. Having this granular insight will allow you to understand why customers churn—perhaps a new competitor appeared in a certain region. From there, your team can execute a tailored mitigation plan such as enabling your customer success team with collateral to fend off this competitor. Focusing on revenue retention is also a powerful lever to improve profitability because it carries a much higher ROI when compared to acquisition alone (5x more expensive).

Out-of-the-box Churn Metrics:

  • Gross MRR Loss
  • Net MRR Churn
  • Net MRR Loss

Examples of custom Churn Metrics:

  • Net Churn MRR by Churn Reason Code or by Product or by Custom Field
    • Analysis: Sum
    • Data source: chargify_bi_mrr_movements
    • Target Property: breakdown → plan → amount
    • Timeframe: Last 12 months (includes current month)
    • Filter: breakdown → plan → category matches any value churn, reactivation
    • Group by: churn_reason_code or product → name or subscription → custom_field
    • Interval: Monthly

Acquisition

Efficient and cost-effective acquisition is the key to becoming a fast-growth SaaS company. Chargify Business Intelligence empowers you to track both the total potential revenue amount and the pipeline conversion rates to uncover bottlenecks and identify underperforming segments. Then, your business can lean on this information to create data-backed process and product optimizations, allowing you to improve conversion rates and capture more revenue each month.

Out-of-the-box Acquisition Metrics:

  • Trial to Paid Conversion Count
  • Trial to Paid Conversion MRR
  • Potential Conversion MRR

Examples of Custom Acquisition Metrics.

  • Trial to Paid Conversion MRR by Country
    • Analysis: Sum
    • Data source: chargify_bi_conversions
    • Target Property: mrr
    • Timeframe: Last 12 months (includes current month)
    • Filter: optional
    • Group by: address → country
    • Interval: Monthly
  • Potential Conversion MRR by Product Handle
    • Analysis: Sum
    • Data source: chargify_bi_subscriptions
    • Target Property: saas_metrics → potential_conversion_mrr
    • Timeframe: Last 12 months (includes current month)
    • Filter: status contains trialing
    • Group by: product → handle
    • Interval: Monthly

Subscriptions

Measuring subscription SaaS metrics like Average Recurring Revenue Per User (ARPU), Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), and renewals offer insight into the value your customers are getting from your product. With Chargify Business Intelligence, you can uncover insights about how different segments value your product. For example, you may notice that your domestic CLV is significantly higher than your international CLV. This could be due to an issue with international customer support that could be addressed by opening up a new regional office.

Out-of-the-box Subscription Metrics:

  • Average Recurring Revenue Per User (ARPU)
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
  • Total Renewals
  • Total Subscriptions by Status

Examples of Custom Subscription Metrics:

  • Total Active Subscriptions by Payment Collection Method
    • Analysis: Count Unique
    • Data source: chargify_bi_subscriptions
    • Timeframe: Last 12 months (includes current month)
    • Filter: status contains active
    • Group by: payment_collection_method
    • Interval: none
  • Total Renewals by product, country, or custom field
    • Analysis: Count
    • Data source: chargify_bi_subscription_renewals
    • Timeframe: Last 12 months (includes current month)
    • Filter: type → renewal_success
    • Group by: product → name or address → country or subscription → custom_field
    • Interval: Monthly
  • January 2020 1 Year Cohort Retention

Step 1:

  • Analysis: Funnel
  • Data_source: chargify_bi_subscription_renewals
  • Timeframe: 2020-1-1 to 2020-1-31
  • Target Property: subscription_id
  • Filter: type contains signup_success

Step 2:

  • Analysis: Funnel
  • Data_source: chargify_bi_subscription_renewals
  • Timeframe: 2021-1-1 to 2021-1-31
  • Target Property: subscription_id
  • Filter: subscription → status contains active

Invoices

Invoices are chock-full of important pieces of information like the invoice status (open or paid), the line items from the sale (composed of the products purchased), discounts, credits, and taxes applied, and payment details. Chargify Business Intelligence allows you to run queries against your invoice line item data to uncover actionable insights. For example, you can create a metric that sums the invoice discount amounts grouped by sales representatives to ensure that your sales team is complying with their approved discounting framework.

Out-of-the-box Invoice Metrics:

  • Amount Invoiced by Invoice Status

Examples of Custom Invoice Metrics:

  • Invoice Discount Amount by Customer Organization
    • Analysis: Sum
    • Data source: chargify_bi_invoice_line_items
    • Target Property: discount_amount
    • Timeframe: Last 12 months (includes current month)
    • Filter: optional
    • Group by: customer → organization
    • Interval: Monthly

Payments

Chargify Business Intelligence provides businesses easy and flexible access to analyze all of their transaction data. This accelerates the process of reconciling cash at close-of-month (for less complex business models) by eliminating the heavy lifting of manual processes. Tracking payment data also enables companies to have a clear understanding of their operating cash flow to ensure they are tracking towards their long-term free cash flow performance goals.

Out-of-the-box Payment Metrics:

  • Total Amount Paid by Payment Type

Examples of Custom Payment Metrics:

  • Total Amount Paid by Product Handle or Custom Field
    • Analysis: Sum
    • Data source: chargify_bi_payments
    • Target Property: amount_in_cents
    • Timeframe: Last 12 months (includes current month)
    • Filter: product → handle or subscription → custom_field
    • Group by: product → handle or subscription → custom_field
    • Interval: Monthly

Outstanding Balances and Dunning

Creating a dunning strategy to capture as much revenue that’s owed to you is a powerful lever to minimize revenue leakage. With Chargify Business Intelligence you can track the amount at risk compared to the amount recovered over time to understand the effectiveness of your dunning strategy. Get the level of granularity you need by filtering our internal email domains and segmenting by customer, product, or subscription custom fields. Consider adjusting the frequency of communication, the actions taken (like retrying payments), and the length of the process.

Out-of-the-box Dunning Metrics:

  • Total Amount Recovered
  • Total Amount at Risk
  • Dunning Monthly

Examples of Custom Dunning Metrics:

  • Total Amount at Risk filtered by Product ID
    • Analysis: Sum
    • Data source: chargify_bi_dunning_retries
    • Target Property: revenue_at_risk_delta
    • Timeframe: Last 12 months (includes current month)
    • Filter: product_id
    • Group by: customer_name
    • Interval: Monthly

Refunds

Chargify Business Intelligence empowers you to track details around refunds that are being issued such as the customer, product, region, industry, and other essential customer data. Use these insights to identify key product gaps and poor product market fit. For example, if a certain segment of users that is being issued the majority of refunds, you can adjust your product positioning to properly set expectations or adjust your marketing strategy to not target this segment.

Out-of-the-box Refund Metrics:

  • Refunds issued

Examples of Custom Refund Metrics:

  • Refunds Issued by Country or Region or Custom Field
    • Analysis: Sum
    • Data source: chargify_bi_refunds
    • Target Property: amount_in_cents
    • Timeframe: Last 12 months (includes current month)
    • Filter: customer → organization or product → handle or subscription → custom fields
    • Group by: customer → organization or product → handle or subscription → custom fields
    • Interval: Monthly

Product or Service Usage

Understanding how customers consume your product enables you to optimize your pricing, product, and customer success strategies. Chargify Business Intelligence allows you to track granular details around feature utilization in real time. These insights can be used to create new, data-backed pricing structures that more effectively monetize certain functionality—consider including volume limits, feature limits, or charging an add-on fee. This data can also be used to shape the product roadmap by revealing where your users are deriving value and what areas may need improvement. Finally, by measuring product usage in real time, your customer success team can proactively reach out to pitch upgrades or prevent churn rather than having to react to information that comes in from the customer.

Out-of-the-box Usage Metrics:

  • Total Usage Revenue Growth
  • Usage Quantity by Component

Examples of Custom Usage Metrics:

  • Usage Quantity By Component Filtered on a specific Products or Subscribers
    • Analysis: Sum
    • Data source: chargify_bi_metered_usages
    • Target Property: usage_quantity
    • Timeframe: Last 12 months (includes current month)
    • Filter: Use subscription → subscriber_name or product → name
    • Group by: subscription → subscriber_name
    • Interval: Monthly

Conclusion

Data is at the heart of successful, B2B SaaS businesses. Companies that efficiently harness and take action on this data are winning. Chargify Business Intelligence enables anyone to capture and visualize data from Chargify and relevant third party sources with an intuitive, self-service analytics suite. Uncover granular, actionable insights to create data-backed business strategies that drive sustainable growth. To learn more about Business Intelligence, visit Chargify’s documentation or talk to a B2B SaaS expert.

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