Inspired by our Top 10 Productivity Apps for 2019 blog post, Bridge24, a tech company who have developed a time saving tool that works alongside other productivity apps (including Trello and Asana) wanted to collaborate with DeskLodge on a tried and tested review.
DeskLodger, Toby Beresford is a hotdesker at DeskLodge Old Market, founder of rise.global and Head of Client Engagement at Magic Freebies. As a keen trello and Osana user, Toby was kindly up to the task of reviewing this new time saving tool. (Thanks Toby!).
Find out Toby’s thoughts on productivity apps and what he really thought about the Bridge24 tool below.
The slow gradual demise of Excel is being heralded by an emerging crop of reporting and dashboard tools that convert data from real time sources into useable management reports.
Most tools are specialised in a specific area, for instance Google Analytics has a suite of reports that most Desklodge businesses will be using to track activity on their websites.
Some, however, are more general. These tools fall into the category of “Business Insight” tools. Their role is to give business managers the power to slice and dice their data to create reports useful for running the business.
The leaders in the category are Microsoft’s Power BI and Tableau (sold this week to Salesforce for $15bn). Also rans include specialised single visualisation tools like my own rise.global which outputs leaderboards and scorecards for individuals.
In 2011 I created a generalised task management tool where you moved team tasks between buckets – it was called Pailz. It died a death when a year later both Trello and Asana launched backed by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.
Interestingly, while both tools have matured in terms of ease of user experience, neither has really added the enterprise features that bigger organisations need to turn a useful tool into an effective software platform to run the business on. Monday.com is a more recent entry to the market (formerly Dapulse) but it too lacks automated reporting.
While all tools allow export, assuming perhaps that the granddaddy of report making, Excel, will do the job for most use cases, there is perhaps a gap in the market for automated reporting – you connect up the data source, define the report structures, and let the software do the rest.
This is the space that Bridge24 is looking to fill. Bridge24 is a project of Web Systems, a Quebecois company that provides Ace Project. The tool provides reporting functionality on top of other cloud project management software (Asana, Trello, Basecamp and of course Ace Project).
At rise.global we’ve used Asana for years so we’ve got lots of tasks that certainly could do with some tidy visualisation. I plugged in Bridge24 and after a bit of crunching managed to output a few useful charts...
For a $12 / month tool, Bridge24 does what it sets out to do – provide a simple reports interface for project management tools. I’m still not entirely sure how useful this is on generalised project management tools like Asana – the tasks are just so disparate in nature. It’s a bit like trying to make sense of someone’s daily task list transcribed from their paper notebook.
I can see the tool being useful in more defined scenarios – such as when Asana is being used just as a CRM or support desk. I’d like to see connectors for dedicated CRM’s that lack their own reporting suite. Pipedrive springs to mind.
Overall a good start but still some way to go before it becomes a necessary part of the project management stack.