Dashboard charts are a great way to make data contained within ACT! easily visible to everyone in the organization, and a couple of changes could make them even more useful.
One of the common management reports required by many companies is "How many outbound telephone calls did we make today / this week / this month". Strangely, it is not possible to obtain this information using the Dashboards and it is not a straight forward matter in the Task list either.
The first challenge is to decide how the organization is going to record this information in ACT! Essentially, there are two options; either schedule a call then clear it when completed, which many people find too laborious, or Record a History which is much quicker.
The problem is that whilst a Dashboard will let me see calls that have been scheduled in ACT! the filter options won't let me show just the completed ones, the default option shows all the open activities, but not the cleared ones, or I can check the "Show Cleared" box which then shows me both open + cleared activities.
What we need is an additional check box for "Show Open Activities", the user would then have complete control over the data displayed and would be able to see and record work that has actually been done as opposed to work that was just scheduled to be done! The same additional filter would also be useful in the task list.
The difficulty with recording calls as History records on the other hand is that History is currently not available at all in the Dashboards, which I believe it should be. I do however share the views in another post that having completed activities recorded in both Activities and History is confusing and should be addressed. I would be in favour of reducing History to be the "audit trail", and focus on Acivities for management reporting purposes. So instead of a "Record a History" button why not move the functionality to the Activities area and have a "Record a Completed Activity" button to speed up the recording of calls and to-dos that have not been scheduled.
The easier it is to get useful, common management reports out of ACT! the more likely it will be that organizations will want to use it as a key sales management tool.