The 5 Different Types of Software Tools

Software tools come in many forms, and they’re not always created equally. Some tools are free to use, while others are paid; some are designed for solo users, while others are meant to be used by groups; some are simple and convenient, while others demand time and effort from the user.

No matter what you’re using the tool for, it’s important to understand your options when it comes to software in order to make an informed decision about which one you choose. Here are the five different types of software tools that exist today. From simulation software for fatigue analysis to centralized business dashboards, here are all the categories of software you can find on a store shelf (or online).

1) Centralized Business Dashboards

A business dashboard is basically an at-a-glance visual display that shows key information about your business. For example, if you run a construction company, you might have one dashboard that shows how many projects are in progress at any given time and another showing your inventory levels.

Using a single dashboard can help streamline your workflow by allowing all relevant information to be gathered in one place. Some software tools may combine multiple dashboards into one view or allow data from multiple locations to be displayed on a single one. To use centralized business dashboards effectively, it’s recommended that you have some IT and administrative experience. A lack of understanding here could cause problems such as inaccuracies or system downtime down the road.

2) Accounting And Finances Tools

When it comes to money, most businesses know that a lack of communication between departments is an invitation for fraud. By using an accounting and finances tool, you can create a system that links all relevant areas so they can better share financial data and stay on top of your numbers.

From FreshBooks to Quicken, there are a lot of tools out there designed specifically with business owners in mind. If you’re looking for something more custom-made, some consultants may even be able to work one out just for you.

3) Project Management Software

With a business dashboard, you can view at-a-glance information about your finances. But if you’re trying to make long-term plans or keep tabs on a project, a project management tool is what you need. This type of software tool is designed specifically for planning and scheduling tasks and tracking how far along each one is in relation to others.

From renowned Asana, Trello, and Hive to Rocketlane (designed specifically for startups), there are lots of choices when it comes to project management tools—all tailored to suit every level of complexity.

4) CRM Software

A customer relationship management (CRM) tool is essentially an organized database that helps you manage your relationships with customers. From automating tasks to logging data, a CRM can help you stay on top of your sales pipeline, marketing, and email campaign results.

For example, if you’re running a retail shop and are looking for ways to improve customer retention, a CRM may be able to help. In fact, many companies find they get more value out of using their CRMs than they initially expected.

5) Web Monitoring Tools

The term web monitoring tool is actually a bit of a catch-all. Some software tools include specialized features that make it easier to monitor, track and analyze what’s going on online (for example, analytics software like Google Analytics), while others are more focused on specific areas (like Twitter monitoring or Facebook monitoring).

Whether you want to keep tabs on your brand reputation, watch for negative comments about your business or monitor potential competitors in action, there’s probably a web monitoring tool out there for you. Even if all you’re looking for is an alert system that sends you an email every time someone mentions your brand name online, there are plenty of options available.

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