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We are living in a world rich with data, and for businesses looking to streamline their processes, monitor various areas of performance more accurately, and understand their audience on a deeper, more personal level, collecting, analyzing, and leveraging this wealth of insights is critical for success. KPI reporting steps in as a critical element of achieving organizational objectives.
Moreover, with so much data available from an ever-growing range of sources, how do you make sense of this information – and how do you extract value from it? One of the most effective means of doing this is by utilizing KPI reporting tools.
Here, we’ll explain KPI reporting in greater detail, explore the KPI report meaning, look at how to create successful reports, and consider the dynamics of a business-boosting KPI report template.
Let’s start by considering what KPIs are and what they mean in a business context. Or, in other words, answer the questions, “what is a key performance indicator (KPI)?” and “what is KPI reporting?”
What Is a KPI?
KPI is a value measured to assess how effective a project or company is at achieving its business objectives. In other words, KPIs provide organizations with the means of measuring how various aspects of the business are performing in relation to their strategic goals.
On a fundamental level, KPIs provide critical performance-based information that enables an organization, and its stakeholders, to understand whether or not it’s on track and thus take action accordingly. Here, you can find different lists of KPI examples classified according to their function and industry, which helps in narrowing down and selecting the most critical ones you need.
After you've selected the right ones, you can create an extensive KPI dashboard and ensure your department and business strategy are on the right track.
Whether utilizing HR KPIs or any other department and industry, it is crucial to understand these basic definitions so that the creation and analysis can improve a company's bottom line.
Now that we’re up to speed on what a KPI is in an organizational context, let’s look at an official KPI report meaning.
What Is a KPI Report?
A KPI report (or KPI reporting) is a management tool that facilitates the measurement, organization, and analysis of the most important business key performance indicators. These reports help companies to reach business goals, identify strengths, weaknesses, and trends.
Typically presented in the form of an interactive dashboard, this kind of report provides a visual representation of the data associated with your predetermined set of key performance indicators.
A KPI dashboard presents critical insights in a logical, digestible format that makes it easy to extract important information and act upon it retrospectively, as well as in real-time. Fundamentally, this kind of report is a strategic tracking method that will provide a window to your business’s most essential activities.
KPI Reports Examples And Templates
Now that we’ve examined the definition and put the value of key performance indicators under a microscope. It is time to provide a set of examples to visualize the power of KPI reporting. Here are ten hand-picked KPI reports examples that are specific to some of the most critical areas of any modern business: financial, management, procurement, customer service, manufacturing, HR, and sales. If you want to know how to measure KPIs, these examples will serve as a comprehensive roadmap.
1. Financial profit and loss KPI report example
The first of our KPI reports examples is financial. Profit and loss are the two most essential factors in any organization’s bottom line. This particular financial report example, visualized on a comprehensive financial dashboard, provides a digestible overview of a business’s income statement from revenue to net profit, fortified with appropriate performance ratios.
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The financial loss and profit dashboard hones in on gross profit margin, OPEX ratio, operating profit margin, and net profit margin, offering a host of bespoke information at your fingertips.
By monitoring this financial KPI report on a consistent basis, you’ll gain a panoramic insight into your business’s overall financial performance and be able to take measures in improving areas you deem to be weak while also capitalizing on areas of strength – essential metrics for any business looking to grow their profits over time and report KPIs that are critical in the financial industry or department.
- Gross profit margin percentage:
This KPI is quite straightforward: a higher margin will mean you retain more income from your sales dollars. In essence, it shows how effective your operational processes are and, if you're reporting KPIs within the finance industry or department, this one is one of the most critical to include and monitor regularly.
To calculate this KPI, you need to deduct the costs of all sold goods or services from your total revenue and divide by the sales revenue.
- Operating profit margin percentage:
To fully take advantage of financial key performance indicator reporting, you need to monitor the operating income. It will show you the earnings before interest and tax, also known as EBIT, expressed in percentage. It won't include tax effects or investments so, if you want to calculate it, you need to divide the operating profit by your sales revenue.
As we can see in our sample KPI report above focused on profitability, the operating profit margin is expressed in a clear percentage but you can immediately see the development over time.
- Operating expense ratio:
Operational effectiveness is another important metric that finance professionals need to take into account in order to improve and increase the company's profitability.
In a simple gauge chart, where colors serve as a kind of a traffic light, you can instantly spot if your operating expenses are in a healthy ratio to the total revenue or you need to adjust your operational costs. Essentially, if your operating expenses are low, the more profitability you can reach.
2. Employee performance dashboard
The next of our dynamic KPI reports examples is an employee dashboard which is talent-centric, as it offers a balanced mix of KPIs designed to benchmark employee performance over specific timeframes. This perfect storm of visual information helps HR managers monitor rates of absence while drilling into essential performance-based areas, including training costs, overtime worked, and overall productivity.
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By working with this most valuable of KPI reports, HR managers can offer support, training, and mentorship exactly where it’s needed while making informed strategic decisions to boost engagement and productivity levels across the board.
- Absenteeism rate:
Not everyone knows this, but rates of absenteeism have a strong correlation with employee engagement and motivation. This highly visual employee performance KPI gives a clear-cut snapshot of absenteeism over a five-year period, offering vital insight into overall staff motivation while providing the tools to find the root of the issue and nip any productivity-reducing roadblocks in the bud. It’s an essential KPI report metric for any HR data analytics process.
- Employee productivity:
Another essential HR metric for your KPI reporting, employee productivity drills down deeper into staff output, providing an accessible snapshot of your Overall Labor Effectiveness (OLE) over a specified period. Taking many dimensions into account, this effective metric showcases the length of time your team has been productive in conjunction with sales levels and production output. Displayed as a chart as well as a percentage, this KPI allows you to compare productivity from month to month or year to year at a glance and take definitive measures to improve your OLE sustainability.
3. Financial KPI reporting template
At the heart of every successful modern business lies a cohesive, well-managed, and data-driven financial department. Our second financially-based KPI report sample, the financial dashboard offers a comprehensive overview of every area of your organization’s monetary activities, both internal and external.
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Powered with cutting-edge financial analytics software, this KPI report template dashboard exists to answer essential questions centered on liquidity, invoicing, budgeting, and the general financial stability of your business.
Broad, balanced, and insightful, this dynamic reporting tool offers the ability to drill down into aspects of your company’s financial health by working with KPIs including working capital, cash conversion cycle, budget variance, and more.
- Working capital:
This KPI report example doesn't show a ratio or proportion but a straightforward number of dollars that remain after you deduct the current liabilities from current assets. A visual representation looks like this:
It's a simple table that will show you the operational effectiveness of your organization and short-term financial health, as obligations and debts are current liabilities that are due within a year.
- Cash conversion cycle:
The cash conversion cycle should be included in KPI monitoring and reporting since it's a critical component of evaluating how efficient the management processes are, meaning, how long does it take to convert the inventory resources into cash flows from sales.
In our example above, you can see that the cycle is getting shorter as the years pass by, which is a clearly positive sign and the company should keep the good work. The lower the cycle, the better the management and operational processes are. If, in any case, the cycle starts growing, it would make sense to make an additional analysis and find the cause. By using modern online data visualization, all these calculations are presented in an intuitive, visual way, where you don't need to scroll through endless rows and columns of a traditional spreadsheet.
- Vendor payment error rate:
Processing invoices are also an important element in the financial department or organization that deals with issuing invoices and paying creditors, suppliers, or vendors. The errors need to be taken into account as sometimes can happen that the accounts payable department issues an invoice to the wrong entity, for example.
The point is to keep the percentage of errors within the minimum values as possible - that way, invoices are paid on time, they contain accurate data, and the relationship between companies becomes stronger. Otherwise, disputes can happen, which is not in anyone’s interest. We have seen how detailed financial graphs can serve as a self-service reporting KPI solution since all of our examples are easily automated and delivered with real-time data. In essence, you don't need to perform or update data manually but let the BI dashboard software do the hard work.
4. Manufacturing cost management dashboard
Next in our list of modern KPI reporting examples, we look at the cost management manufacturing dashboard. This powerful reporting tool is essential for any business that creates its own products in-house, with a balanced mix of insights that will keep your costs and turnover on target consistently.
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As an asset-heavy sector, keeping a firm grip on your unit and maintenance costs as well as your productivity and return rates is essential. Split into definitive sections, this most essential of KPI report examples will ensure you keep your maintenance activities on track while keeping your return on investment (ROI) healthy at all times.
- Unit costs:
A priceless manufacturing management KPI, the unit costs provides a panoramic snapshot of the various outgoings associated with a single product or item. Taking into account elements including equipment, material, and warehousing, this insightful metric will help you access and analyze specific pockets of your manufacturing processes and reduce any unnecessary costs over time. This is a money- and resource-saving metric for any modern manufacturing-focused business.
- Return on assets (ROA):
Your ROA is one of the most critical manufacturing metrics, as it gives you a working gauge of your organization’s ability to make a profit from the goods you make and sell.
With a highly digestible graph- and chart-based design, this KPI will give you a clear indication of how effectively you’re using your assets to generate revenue based on the earnings you’ve made from the capital you’ve invested. Tracking your ROA and aiming to increase your percentage will ultimately optimize your manufacturing processes for accelerated growth and success.
- Maintenance costs:
This cost-centric KPI tells you exactly how much your equipment sets your business back in terms of regular running and maintenance. By tracking this metric frequently, you can work to a target cost, refining your efforts to keep your machinery and tools running smoothly while identifying any budget-sapping costs.
Whether it’s a defective piece of machinery or a consistent lack of maintenance response, this KPI will empower you to identify the issue swiftly and take effective measures to drive down overall costs, preserving the productivity of your entire operation in the process.
5. Management KPI report template
This management-centric KPI dashboard focuses specifically on total revenues in addition to customer-based revenues while providing vital insights that will help you set informed sales targets for your organization.
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Offering visual data on customer acquisition costs, customer lifetime value, and sales target information, on this management dashboard, you will be able to make intelligent managerial forecasts, spot trends, and understand where you need to improve processes within the business. A priceless KPI tool for those in senior management roles across a range of sectors and industries.
- Customer acquisition costs:
One of the most crucial metrics that deal with sales data and expounds on the costs of acquiring a new customer. The costs usually vary based on your specific industry, but this KPI report on business you should definitely include in your reporting processes.
As we can see in the visual, the costs are represented at a glance with a simple gauge chart but you can also see a graphic development over a particular time frame.
- Customer lifetime value:
When you want to create a dashboard KPI reporting practice, including the prediction of the potential value of the relationship between a customer and the company is another critical component of successful metrics' management. The issue is that no one actually can predict 100% how long this relationship will last, therefore, it would make sense to state it as a periodic value (6 months, 12, or 24, e.g.).
The visual above shows us a quick overview of the average numbers and how long the relationship lasts while the bottom part depicts the development over time.
- Sales target:
General management is usually interested in whether goals are being met or there are issues in the process. Sales target is one of them, but you can also set goals for each management metric separately.
This is one of our KPI reporting examples that expounds on achieving predefined targets and depicted in comparison with the overall sales revenue. The point is to reach the target but also to examine further if you're lagging behind.
6. Sales performance dashboard
In the commercial world, sales cover a broad spectrum, and to ensure you meet your targets while cementing growth, collecting the right data is essential.
This KPI report example offers an ideal overview of the progress of your sales department, drilling down on sales KPIs such as sales growth, sales targets, ARPU, CAC, and CLV.
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By providing a detailed visualization of every aspect of your sales portfolio, this report empowers sales managers to take a full snapshot of their sales operations without losing any data, enabling them to create an extensive sales report.
Here it’s possible to take an overall glance at your sales performance or analyze specific pockets of information to your advantage, increasing metrics like customer lifetime value and average revenue per unit as a result.
- Sales growth:
An important sales chart to include in your reporting schedule, the sales growth will show you whether your business is developing steadily or needs further adjustments.
Tracking this metric is important for any sales professional or manager that needs to deliver fresh revenue and ensure sustainable development. In the example above, we see the comparison between periods and the development by sales representatives within the last 12 weeks.
The average revenue per unit demonstrates how much revenue you generate from your customers from all your sales. The goal is to keep the ARPU rising but if you see that it’s getting higher in comparison to the acquisition costs, additional adjustments should be made.
In our example above, we can see that ARPU is steadily increasing, which is a positive indicator of growth. It could mean that you’re closing deals with bigger companies or customers, for example.
Other critical metrics, such as the customer lifetime value, sales target, and acquisition costs we have explained in our management KPI report solution above since they are also important to look at from a general management point of view.
7. Customer service team dashboard
In today’s information-rich, hyper-connected digital age, consumers demand an exceptional level of customer service from brands across industries. Only the best will do—no exceptions, no compromises.
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Our interactive customer service dashboard is a KPI report sample packed with invaluable information that exists to streamline your customer service department and meet your customers’ needs head-on.
This KPI reporting template equipped with a wealth of weekly and monthly service performance visualizations is the perfect tool for responding to any potential service issues in real-time while making strategic tweaks geared towards long-term success. With call resolution and response times as well as agent performance insights and issue number calculations on the menu, you have everything you need to become more responsive, efficient, and valuable from a front-line, consumer-facing perspective.
- Average response time:
This is an essential KPI reporting example as it empowers you to measure the length of time your customers are on hold according to weekdays. By gaining access to this valuable information, you can see exactly where performance rates increase as well as dwindle, responding with service-boosting strategies to drive your response times down over time (and keep them there).
- Top support agents:
Your service agents are the beating heart of your entire department. To ensure you offer a consistently seamless level of customer service, monitoring individual performance with precision is essential.
This service-based KPI report metric allows you to drill down into specific performance levels, gaining an understanding of which agents are performing the best. Gaining this knowledge will empower you to reward agents that are showing consistently high levels of performance while supporting those in need of motivation or additional service training.
- First call resolution (FCR):
Call resolution is one of the essential customer service KPIs for any thriving or growing customer service department. Here, you can view how successful your service team is at getting to the root of your consumers’ issues upon the first contact. The better your FCR, the more productive and effective your customer service levels. If you notice a negative trend emerging, you can take tactical measures, including mentoring, workshops, or structural changes.
8. Procurement KPI dashboard
Your procurement initiatives are essential to the ongoing productivity and success of your entire organization. One snag in the chain, and you run the risk of losing both time and money while damaging your brand reputation.
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Our procurement KPI report presents a balanced mix of metrics that will ensure your activities are fluent, cohesive, and compliant at all times. Designed to make your procurement analytics process as informative and streamlined as possible, this is a KPI reporting template that will help you fortify your supplier relationships, tighten up your cycle times, and avoid any unnecessary procurement issues.
- Compliance rate:
This accessible compliance rate visualization allows you to set and benchmark your compliance levels as a whole and according to different branches or suppliers. As a result, you can tackle any emerging compliance issues head-on while assessing your existing relationships using informed data to guide your decisions.
- Number of suppliers:
As somewhat of an evolutionary element in a KPI report, the number of suppliers will help you meet every one of your procurement needs with a mix of partners that will keep your chain protected, efficient, and fluent at all times. Here, you can examine how many suppliers your business acquires over time, exploring the value of each relationship, adding extra suppliers to the mix, or “trimming the fat” to reach an optimal level.
- Purchase order cycle time:
The next KPI reporting example is covering the end-to-end ordering journey. Our purchase order cycle time KPI is armed with the visual information you need to analyze and ultimately condense or streamline your processes. By doing so, you will make your overall procurement activities extra efficient, allowing you to focus on a wealth of other business-boosting strategies and initiatives.
9. SaaS executive dashboard
For SaaS businesses looking to thrive in the digital age, our dedicated KPI dashboard is essential. By focusing on the three most critical areas relevant to any SaaS-based organization at an executive-level – customers, recurring revenue, and costs – you’ll be able to foster the continued growth and evolution for ongoing success in your field.
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The KPIs included within this KPI reporting example offer a detailed view of each of these key areas. This powerful reporting tool assists in the fluid and proactive management of your SaaS organization as a whole.
From customer acquisition costs to churn rates, lifetime value, and beyond, this digestible dashboard is the go-to tool for SaaS business seniors and a KPI report in full form that expounds on the most critical aspects of a business.
The monthly recurring revenue is the beating heart of a SaaS company. It gives seniors a “checkup” of the pricing plans and predictable revenue that a SaaS business expects in a given month. In essence, this KPI reporting template needs to be included in the financial aspect of strategizing “recurring” components and enables you to predict the state of business in the future.
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10. Sales conversion dashboard
One of the best ways to grow your business is by increasing your conversion rates. Of course, there are a number of stages to closing a sale, from gaining and nurturing leads to prompting a conversion – and this particular KPI dashboard allows you to look at each critical stage of the process in detail.
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Through a series of comprehensive insights and lead-based data, this KPI report sample will empower you to streamline your sales processes, enhance your sales strategy, and increase your all-important conversion rates as a result, which you can also see in more detail on our sales dashboard template.
- Lead-to-opportunity ratio:
This metric is the first element to examine in your sales funnel. To ensure optimal real-time KPI performance monitoring, the lead-to-opportunity ratio should be high on your list. It will help you to determine whether you’re on track with your revenue goals and, based on that, you can manage your marketing and sales team much better.
In the example above, you can see a clear overview of the ratio and, below that, the exact number of leads and opportunities within a timeframe. You can use this visual as a monthly KPI report or weekly, it depends on your preferences and strategies.
- Opportunity-to-win ratio:
Showing how many of your qualified leads result in closing a deal or signing a contract is essential in your sales funnel. Modern online data analysis tools enable you to easily analyze and derive insights like we can see in the example below:
We quickly see the percentage, and the efficiency of the team while, on the bottom of the visual, you can quickly see the behavior of the KPI in the last 10 weeks.
- Lead conversion rate:
The conversion ratio should be stable and this number can vary a lot between industries and functions. In some industries, a conversion rate of 1% is a success while others can reach 10% and also record success. The goal is to find a baseline and compare it with the industry benchmarks.
The goal is to grow your conversion rate or keep it stable. If you notice that it’s decreasing, it’s time to start asking questions and digging deeper into the reasons because no conversions could cause serious business damages.
We have provided 10 valuable examples on how to present KPIs in different business functions, and now we will focus on the creation of such reports and provide basic tips and tricks.
How Do I Prepare a KPI Report?
These reports are interactive, dynamic, and tailored to the individual user, department, or organization depending on their operational needs, strategies, aims, goals, and objectives. They are customizable and thus offer a powerful means of drilling down deep into very specific pockets of information. Picture procurement metrics – you need to know if suppliers fulfill your demands, their capacity to respond to urgent demands, costs of orders, and many other indicators to efficiently track your company's performance. But you need to know what to consider when preparing your report.
When considering how to prepare a KPI report, it’s important to understand that for optimum success, you must follow a process.
Before we continue, here’s a quick summary of essential elements to cover when building your KPI reports:
- Define with various stakeholders your strategic business goals.
- Pick a couple of indicators that will track and assess the performance.
- Consider your data sources.
- Set up a report which you can visualize with an online dashboard.
- Don’t get confused about the types of data visualization you choose.
Now, to help you on your path to data-driven enlightenment here’s a more detailed explanation of each of these points:
1) Define your business aims & goals
Every business, depending on its size, sector, and core objectives will have its own set of KPIs dedicated to different disciplines within the organization. To understand which KPIs will prove to be the most valuable to your business, you should sit down with key stakeholders and discuss your business aims, goals, and objectives in an open collaborative environment.
In doing so, you’ll gain a panoramic perspective of where to aim your efforts as well as the metrics and insights that are worth measuring for success. This will form the foundations of your ultimate reporting success.
2) Select your KPIs
Once you’ve defined all of your organization's most critical goals, the next stage in your reporting journey will be selecting the key performance indicators you want to work with according to your ongoing initiatives and strategies.
Fortunately, in the digital age, a wealth of invaluable KPIs exist to assist growth in a number of areas from marketing and accounts to customer service, fulfillment, and beyond.
Also, explore our guide to KPI management and learn from a host of helpful best practices.
3) Consider your data sources
The next stage in the process boils down to taking a detailed look at your data sources.
Today’s dashboards consolidate all of your data, with the help of data connectors, from various platforms or sources, working with your assigned KPIs to deliver the insights you need for growth, improvement, and sustainable success. As such, performing an audit of your data sources is essential.
Before physically creating your data dashboard, you should consider which data sources align with your business objectives and which will best suit your KPIs. Anything that is surplus to the requirement should be disabled or omitted from use.
By doing this, you’ll streamline your efforts and ensure that your reporting dashboard only serves up the information or insights worth analyzing. In practice, for example, that means that accounting reports should correspond with specific financial data you need to generate insights from.
4) Set up and customize your report
Once you have decided which KPIs you’d like to work with and examined your key data sources, you’ll be ready to set up a report and customize it to your requirements.
The most effective way to collate and manage your performance indicator is through a KPI software as it will empower you to create comprehensive summary reports from various metrics and visualize them through powerful dashboards. Of all the available data visualization mediums, the dashboard is the most effective, efficient, and easy to navigate format.
Moreover, once you’ve set up user access, your reports, your key performance indicators, and tailored the look, feel, and functionality of your reports to your preferences, you’ll be able to gain swift 24/7 access to your most valuable data through the medium of desktop, tablet, or smartphone.
To help you with your creation and customization efforts, here’s a comprehensive guide to data dashboard design principles for your reading pleasure.
5) Drill down into data visualization
Data visualization is a powerful concept and one that is pivotal to reports of any shape or size. Through data visualization, you can extract value from your most important data at a glance, tell a story with your metrics or insights, and share critical information with others inside or outside your organization in a way that is digestible as well as inspirational.
Once your reports are up and running, it’s important to monitor regularly and make tweaks or improvements to your reporting efforts as required.
Also, our additional post on how to make a dashboard will help you take your decision-making to the next level offers a wealth of information on crafting, developing, and presenting your company’s reports.
Why Are KPI Reports Important?
As mentioned, we are living in data-driven times, and to win on today’s commercial battlefield, making informed decisions based on digital insights (KPI data) is a must if you want to thrive today, tomorrow, and long into the future.
They're important as they empower businesses to set meaningful goals and benchmarks, the kind of which will help them improve, evolve, scale, and become more adaptable in an ever-changing digital landscape.
By setting and measuring KPIs and customizing them through a report, you will gain a wealth of insights into your business, from customer behaviors to financial inefficiencies and content performance.
All of these elements, when organized in intuitive and visual reporting dashboards, will not only allow you to spot patterns as they unfold but drill down into historical data and make the strategic tweaks and changes that can ultimately make or break your business.
Key Takeaways KPI reports
We’ve looked at how to prepare a KPI report and now, let's take a look at some key takeaways and industry studies.
Experts predict that by 2025, around 175 Zettabytes of data will be generated annually. Moreover, within just five years, the number of smart connected devices in the world will amount to more than 22 billion – all of which will produce colossal sets of collectible, curatable, and analyzable data claimed by IoT Analytics in their industry report.
After asking the question, “What is a KPI report,” and exploring the KPI reporting meaning in greater detail, taking the time to understand how to make them, and looking at real-world examples, it’s clear that these invaluable tools offer a wealth of insights into critical areas of any business. Reports like this provide the means to set viable goals, work towards progressive benchmarks, and leverage a wealth of invaluable information to your advantage.
Whether you’re looking to focus on manufacturing KPIs or tinkering with your logistics analytics, a powerful KPI dashboard will provide a foundation for all your operational and strategic needs and development.
By knowing how to create a report and present your most valuable performance-centric information in a logical, visually engaging format, you’ll develop seamless processes, evolve your decision-making, improve internal communication, and ultimately, push yourself ahead of the pack.
To find out more about common KPI reports examples dedicated to disciplines from management to marketing, you can take a look at our business dashboards examples and templates.
To benefit from everything that an online dashboard software can offer your business and start creating your own reports, take on our 14-day free trial!