As a business owner or data manager, you know how overwhelming it can be to track and analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) to make informed decisions. Dashboard software helps you monitor and measure business performance in real time and get a consolidated, single-pane view of important business metrics. It offers a customizable interface that collects real-time data from multiple sources and delivers insights in the form of charts or tables.
But if you’re worried that a dashboard tool will cost you a lot or investing in the wrong tool may prove risky, then relax, we’ve got you covered. There are few dashboard solutions that cost nothing to use and you can upgrade those to a paid version to access additional features when you scale.
Below, you’ll find four free dashboard software tools, and learn how much each tool costs to upgrade. These free tools (arranged alphabetically) have been picked from the 2021 Capterra Shortlist for Dashboard Software. (See full selection methodology here.)
- Free plan: Includes two dashboards and single user.
- Paid plans: Start at $29 per month for a single user.
Cyfe is a cloud-based dashboard tool that allows you to monitor marketing channels such as email marketing and social media. It helps you manage web analytics, search engine optimization (SEO), and search engine marketing (SEM). Its key features include pre-built widgets, real-time reports, TV mode, and data exports.
You can share the created dashboards with clients, senior management, and other collaborators via public URLs. The tool can be integrated with third-party apps such as Salesforce Analytics, Mailchimp, Trello, and Campaign Monitor.
- Free plan: Includes three data sources, three data boards, and three users.
- Paid plans: Start at $59 per month for a single user.
Databox is a cloud-based dashboard software that offers you a single interface to view several KPIs and generate reports. It provides frequent insights related to your business performance metrics in the form of daily scorecards, weekly summaries, and alerts.
It offers custom dashboard templates that allow you to create dashboards using a drag-and-drop editor. The tool can be integrated with third-party apps such as Google Analytics, HubSpot, Shopify, Stripe, Mixpanel, and Moz Pro.
The tool offers mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.
- Free plan: Includes up to five hosts (such as servers or operating systems).
- Paid plans: Start at $15 per month for a single host.
Datadog is a network monitoring and dashboard software that helps you gain visibility into your application performance. It helps identify performance bottlenecks in your infrastructure through real-time monitoring of hosts. The software is available in cloud-based or on-premise options.
Datadog provides real-time dashboards on metrics from connected apps and services. You can also create new dashboards using drag-and-drop graphs and other widgets. The tool can be integrated with third-party apps such as Databricks, GitHub, and MongoDB.
The tool offers mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.
- Free plan: Includes two users and unlimited reports and dashboards.
- Paid plans: Start at $30 per month for two users.
Zoho Analytics is a dashboard software that offers features such as reporting, analysis, and data warehousing. It offers various reports to provide real-time visibility into various aspects of your business. The software is available in cloud-based or on-premise options.
It allows you to create a customized dashboard through a drag-and-drop interface, interactive charts, and widgets. You can share the dashboards and collaborate on reports with management and teammates, with tailored access control for each user. The reports can also be embedded in a website or blog, to be viewed by clients.
The tool has mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.
How to choose the right free dashboard software for your business
These considerations can make selecting a free dashboard tool a little easier:
- Calculate the total cost of ownership for the upgrade plans, including training, implementation, and support costs. Check with the vendor to ensure that upgrading the product you choose is within your budget.
- Look for a scalable solution. As your business grows, you’ll need to handle more complex data, more entities, and more operations.
- Compare the free usage limits of the products (such as the number of business users and available features) and shortlist tools accordingly.
- Ask about integration options. The real value of a dashboard tool comes from gathering data from multiple sources into a single system. Be sure to ask the software provider whether or not their tool integrates with your existing systems.
Common questions to ask while selecting a free dashboard tool
You’ll probably have certain concerns when selecting a free dashboard tool. Here are a few key questions to consider asking the software vendor:
- How easily can I create customized dashboards? You should be able to create customized dashboards yourself by using your data. If you’ll need a programmer to build a dashboard, that will hamper your ROI.
- How frequently do you release new updates? The answer to this will help you gauge how active the vendor is in maintaining and improving the platform. If the vendor hasn’t released an update or a new feature in a while, this can be a sign that you may face challenges in using the tool. Also, check the downtime statistics of the platform.
- Will I need additional training to use the tool? Check with the software provider how complex the tool is. Ask if you’ll need additional training to get familiar with its features and if this training will cost you extra.
- Does the software upgrade cost include phone-based tech support? This will help you get clarity on the type of premium support you’ll receive when you start paying for the software.
How we rate
This article was updated on May 23, 2021. Products considered for this article had to be in Capterra’s 2021 Shortlist for Dashboard Software and:
- Offer a free, standalone version of the software (not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product after a limited amount of time).
- Meet our dashboard software market definition: “Dashboard software helps business leaders and analysts create an assembly of graphs, tables, and charts for tracking KPIs, statistics, and other performance metrics.”
The listed products are part of Capterra’s 2021 shortlist of dashboard products, and were evaluated to assess whether they included the core features mentioned below:
- Data visualization
- Performance metrics
- Reporting and analytics
Products that met all of the above criteria were selected for the article.
Looking for Business Intelligence software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Business Intelligence software solutions.