Bookspan sums up the role of data analytics with the classic quote from Canadian ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.”
Steve Jobs used that quote, and so did Warren Buffett – so he’s in good company.
“Although we’re still small, we have big aspirations – all based on data,” Bookspan says. “The better the data we have, the better the decisions we can make. We never set out to be a traditional MSP with the standard mantras around proactive support, MRR et cetera. That’s not what we want to build. We want to make our customers’ businesses better. What we sell is exceptional value – helping our customers make their business more efficient and productive.
“Yes, that’s easy to say, but we have the data and we can prove to our customers that we’ve made their businesses more profitable. We’re building long-term partnerships with our customers based on demonstrated value.
“We live on data as the driver for constant optimization and automation. And one measure of our progress is that our revenue and profitability are better than double the MSP industry benchmark. Just as important is our high customer retention rate.”
Blacktip’s path to selecting Cognition360 as its data analytics and reporting platform started a couple of years ago. Back then, Bookspan says, Blacktip was using BrightGauge and couldn’t see the need for another reporting tool.
“But fast forward two years and we were becoming frustrated with the limitations of BrightGauge,” he says. “Yes, it’s a great dashboard tool and has great reports and integrations, but the key issue is that BrightGauge is good at helping you see where your business has been – but not good at all in helping you see and understand where your business is going. In the meantime, Cognition360 had made great strides, in particular in their adoption of Power BI, which for us is a real game changer.
“A demo using your own data is the first step with Cognition360. This is great because you get to see the platform at work on data you’re familiar with. It’s also confidence building to meet the key people involved. The demo was convincing in showing me how I could get more value – for my business and ultimately for my customers.
“We came on board in the middle of November this year and made great progress in key areas such as a better understanding around profitability, how we were entering and managing our time, and how we’re managing our projects. All this by implementing the standard ‘data insight’ templates.
“It’s a big step up. Cognition360 allows me to forecast what is going to happen – to skate to where the puck is going. I can drill down into the data, see where the opportunities are and make the changes required to keep the business moving towards the puck.”
Bookspan says he’s also had great success working with Cognition360 to get reports that are not part of the standard Cognition360 suite. The latest example of this is some work he was doing to analyze Tickets. Bookspan wanted to be able to see the number of ‘touches’ on each Ticket as the number of times and the number of people involved in Ticket resolution is critical to both profitability and customer satisfaction.
“Literally within hours I’d discussed the report I wanted with Cognition360’s Eamon Magan and I was amazed at how quickly I had exactly the Power BI report I wanted. My comment to Eamon in an email said it all: ‘Wow. Just, wow’.
“The fact that Cognition360 is built on a ConnectWise-optimized relational database is important, but the really critical thing for me is the way it integrates Power BI. That’s a very big deal for me. It means that with the excellent Power BI support available from Cognition360, there’s a wealth of opportunities to really tune reporting to find new ways to optimize service delivery,” Bookspan says.
“I am excited to be underway with Cognition360. The progress so far is very encouraging. The Cognition360 team is wonderful, warm, responsive, kind and very flexible. That counts for a lot when you’re building a partnership – particularly when the tools involved are mission-critical to your business.”
About Blacktip IT Services
Blacktip IT Services is a Florida-based MSP. The company’s mission is to make customers’ organizations better, faster, more profitable and more consistent. Blacktip is passionate about providing business and technology consulting that not only supports but also transforms a customer’s business. It helps customers take advantage of business opportunities via business automation tools, cloud computing and next-generation networking. See: https://blacktipit.com/