Crucial Advice For Growing With Data
The great thing about being an analytics agency is that we get to work alongside a wide breadth of different clients, all at different stages of growth. We’ve noticed that businesses of a similar size tend to encounter similar problems and so have put together key advice for every level of maturity.
Record Today What You’ll Need Tomorrow
Many of the businesses we speak to have been through a rapid period of growth where suddenly there are a lot of gains to be made through optimisation. This could be optimising their marketing plan, customer retention or product features.
While it’s often difficult to anticipate the needs of your business a few years down the line, by considering what key decisions you’ll need to make tomorrow, you can start collecting the data today (even if it’s done in a rough form), this will at least give you some idea to build upon.
Be sure to implement clear definitions for the metrics within your business and use out of the box analytics solutions to get you started.
Implementing A Data Stack? Work Iteratively And Expand.
At a certain stage most scaleups will outgrow their out of the box data solution and need to implement a bespoke data stack. One of the key issues that they are likely to encounter at this stage is that with so many different business functions that rely on different data sources and different metrics, you can spend a significant time modelling all your data before you get to any sort of value.We always advise that companies should focus on their core data source and their KPIs first. These ‘north stars’ contain all the critical information your C-suite will need to make day-to-day decisions and should be presented in a master dashboard, acting as a daily five minute health check for decision makers. In this way stakeholders within your business will start to gain value from centralised data quickly and not have to wait months for any output.
Continuing on this theme, embedding data across your organisation may be a sizeable challenge and while over time data should touch every function, if you start off in this way, your data function will quickly lose focus and get lost in day-to-day requests. After your master dashboard is complete, it’s better to align your next data project with the function that will benefit the most. Look for areas of your business with high expenditure where a more data-driven approach could yield significant results. In our experience marketing tends to be a good place to start. Whilst we advise focusing on one area of the business to start with, it’s always good to remember that the ultimate plan is to expand outward. Make sure you create clear use cases for the results that data will enable and share them internally, so that other people can get excited about the possibilities.
Migrate Legacy Systems In Parallel To Avoid Disruption
The world of data and tech is always changing and it’s not uncommon for a company to build up often overcomplicated infrastructure over time. Legacy systems and tangled processes can quickly become a burden to the day-to-day needs of your business. If your teams can’t easily get the answers they need and a full overhaul is out of the question, you should instead consider developing new infrastructure in parallel. Whilst it can seem counterintuitive to add more data infrastructure to your setup – it’s often easier to set something up that can act in isolation then try to untangle the existing systems. We have taken this approach with a number of clients who had specific marketing analytics needs that sat outside of the main operational use of data within the business.
Fast Track With External Support
No matter what stage of maturity your business is in, consider external support to help you grow faster.
Startups – If you are considering which data will be most important to track with growth, then reaching out to an agency with experience can help future proof your data processes.
Scaleups – Whilst you should start thinking about hiring your own data people at this stage, setting up a data stack requires a full team of specialists with different skills (architects, engineers, analysts) and so here it may be better to turn to an agency to get started with data quickly.
Established – Your data team should be focused on high ROI projects that provide real value for the business, outsource areas like infrastructure migration, maintenance or where an agency can add specialist knowledge like marketing analytics.
No matter what stage your business is in, if you need help with data, why not reach out to the friendly 173tech team.