I <3 DATA
I’m a strong believer and advocate for an open data culture. To me, an open data culture means that every team member has access to Key Performance Indicator (KPI) data on a daily basis. KPI’s are the metrics that drive a business model. KPI’s shift over time but they are always core business drivers.
Looking at an e-commerce company that is established, has products, has an audience, and is trying to scale, core KPI’s are the following:
There are funnels that determine the success or failure of each of the KPI’s above. Understanding these funnels, where they are strong and where they suck, and how they are perform over time are vital to the success of an established e-commerce company.
Here’s an example of two very early ‘Landing Page’ and ‘EcoTip’ customer acquisition funnels that were a part of the FashioningChange Daily Report:
Landing Page Funnel
Non User (Never signed up) views of landing page: 72 — 1 week ago: 54 (+33.33%)
Non User (Never signed up) views of signup form on landing page: 39 — 1 week ago: 34 (+14.71%)
New Users signed up: 11 — 1 week ago: 17 (-35.29%)
Conversion rate of new users: 0.15 — 1 week ago: 0.31 (-51.47%)
New User views of Gender selector: 10 — 1 week ago: 17 (-41.18%)
New User views of Clothes selector: 7 — 1 week ago: 14 (-50.00%)
New User views of Best style fit selector: 7 — 1 week ago: 14 (-50.00%)
New User views of Most likely to shop selector: 7 — 1 week ago: 14 (-50.00%)
New User views of Beloved brand selector: 7 — 1 week ago: 14 (-50.00%)
New User views of Cause type selector: 7 — 1 week ago: 14 (-50.00%)
New Users That set up their changing room: 7 — 1 week ago: 12 (-41.67%)
Signup Flow: Number of Inviters: 0 — 1 week ago: 0 (NaN%)
Signup Flow: Number of Invitations Sent: 0 — 1 week ago: 0 (NaN%)
Ratio of new users that sent invites in signup flow: 0 — 1 week ago: 0 (NaN%)
Ecotip Funnel Metrics
Total Ecotip Pageviews: 17 — 1 week ago: 26 (-34.62%)
Views of the Ecotip Upsell Dialog: 8 — 1 week ago: 6 (+33.33%)
Ecotip visitor views of the homepage: 0 — 1 week ago: 0 (NaN%)
Ecotip visitor views of the signup dialog: 0 — 1 week ago: 0 (NaN%)
Ecotip visitors who created new accounts: 0 — 1 week ago: 0 (NaN%)
Ecotip visitors that created accounts and confirmed emails: 0 — 1 week ago: 0 (NaN%)
WHEN WE DELIVERED DATA
For every parent KPI there are multiple supporting detailed funnels. Regardless of the day’s performance all KPI info and funnel details landed into team member’s Inboxes at 11:58 pm every night. Checking the Daily Report when starting the next morning allows the team to know how we did the day before and catch anything interesting and/ or out of the ordinary.
To make new product pushes easier we ended up developing a Wednesday to Wednesday schedule so Weekly Reports landed in team Inboxes every Wednesday at 11:58 pm. Weekly reports aggregate the daily progress into a weekly format and benchmark it against the prior week (I have this exact process also setup for my new startup, ShopParity).
DATA HELPS PRO-ACTIVE COMMUNICATION
Pairing access to data with a process to review it and measure it daily, weekly, and monthly is essential to reaching company milestones. Daily Reports are a great tool to help with proactive communication. Missed milestones are never a surprise if there is transparency via the data on a daily basis. When things are not going as well as hoped the data allows the team to see how ‘a part is meaningful to the whole’. It’s been my experience that the team comes together to support one another if numbers aren’t looking good in one area.
METRICS THAT MATTER ARE EVER CHANGING
The development of KPI’s and their corresponding funnel metrics is ever evolving. The more you review company data, the more you learn. Learning causes you to iterate on the user experience, which results in new KPI’s and new funnels. And, so goes the process on into infinity (or until you realize the company doesn’t work, discover a larger opportunity, or have an exit).
DATA CREATES A UNIFIED TEAM CULTURE
I believe it’s important to involve the team in the development of funnel metrics. Every person within the company has a position that directly influences the success of a KPI, which really means every team member has a direct hand in the success of the company, as such they should be involved in the conversation. There’s a huge difference in being told you have to achieve a certain goal verses having a hand in the conversation of what the important company goals are and what drives them. Openness and conversation results in ownership which results in a team that’s aligned on what goals look like and what strategies to implement to ensure milestones are hit.
GETTING STARTED WITH DATA CAN BE EASY
Any startup can establish a data-centric culture. While it’s great to have a technical co-founder or team member to help establish a singular Daily Report that pulls from multiple sources you don’t need one to get started. Most analytics tools include a way to generate an email report, so if you’re non-technical you can still generate a set of reports with Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, etc.
Data is simply a recording of real-life behavior. It’s nothing to be afraid of and anyone can understand and use it. There’s lots of people that love to play with data so if you are unsure of something reach out to one of us data geeks and we’ll be happy to play in your spreadsheets and make recommendations.