Cyfe Bundles Small-Business Web Services in One Dashboard | PC Advisor

Cyfe Bundles Small-Business Web Services in One Dashboard | PC Advisor.  (No longer available online. Original text included below.)

Running a small business with any kind of Web presence involves tracking information from multiple online services such as Google Analytics, Facebook, and MailChimp. The new website Cyfe populates a dashboard with widgets for commonly used Web services, gathering your important web data in one place.

Launched in alpha/beta this week, creator Deven Patel refers to the site as “TweetDeck for business analytics”. Anyone who’s used TweetDeck, a popular social networking dashboard, would likely agree. Both sites have a nearly identical dark grey color scheme and use multiple configurable windows or widgets to represent data from different sources. Cyfe, however, goes beyond social networking, gathering data from many other sources. The overall feel is like iGoogle for businesses.

Buy What You Need

Cyfe provides a free plan that includes five widgets, and three pay plans:

  • Basic: $9 per month, includes 20 widgets
  • Standard: $29 per month, includes 50 widgets
  • Pro: $49 per month, includes 100 widgets

Each plans allow an unlimited number of scrollable “Dashboards” to place the widgets on. Widgets for all plans update every 10 seconds, keeping all data current. Especially useful for some will be the ability to not only add custom branding to a dashboard, but to then also be able to share it with others, providing a way to easily keep other departments or customers up-to-date on important information.

Easy and Secure

We tried Cyfe and found it  easy to use, with a free setup process that only requires a name, email address, and password. After clicking a link in a confirmation email, you can immediately begin adding widgets to your first dashboard, which starts with three demo widgets that can be removed. Each widget has different configuration options, but most start with the ability to add an account, which will authenticate to the service it will obtain data from. Cyfe uses AES encryption to store login information, but wherever possible uses OAuth to authenticate to services, so storing credentials isn’t necessary.

Useful Widgets

Out of the gate, Cyfe offers an impressive collection of widgets, which can include data from: Salesforce, Google AdSense, Freshbooks, MailChimp, Facebook, WordPress, Amazon Web Services, YouTube, Zendesk, Google Analytics, SendGrid, FeedBurner, AddThis, GoToWebinar, Alexa, Constant Contact, Twitter, Gmail, Pingdom, SEOmoz, and Google Webmaster Central. 

It can display any RSS feed as well as custom widgets, which accept input from a local or Web-based CSV file and can display it as a line, area, column or pie chart. The Cyfe website notes that more services are coming soon.

Good with Room to Improve

Though Cyfe starts with an impressive number of available services, and the widgets themselves are pleasing and easy to use, they offer almost no personalization. For instance, if you’d like to see a list of the top five pages on your company’ website, information available from Google Analytics, the widget can’t be configured to do that, it simply shows the number of pageviews, visits, and visitors. Still, for a product in alpha/beta, Cyfe makes it easy to gather some of the important information businesses want to know onto one sharable screen, saving many from having to logon to dozens of other sites.

Cyfe1.jpg caption: A dashboard easily accommodates six widgets without scrolling.

Cyfe2.jpg caption: Charts provide detailed information when hovered over.