The earlier you incorporate advanced analytics, the sooner you can understand customers
If you’re running a successful startup and are anticipating entering a high-growth phase, you know how critical it is to be able to answer the right business questions to work towards that growth. It’s not about the numbers of customers and what actions they took; rather, it’s about understanding their behavior and the story behind those actions.
Advanced analytics gives you this understanding of the customer journey across your app, website or product. They give you those deep insights that you need in order to understand beyond the what (actions) and get to the why (behavior).
That means that the earlier you can incorporate an advanced analytical solution into your startup’s growth plan, the sooner you can start understanding the customers who are using your product. This will enable you to build an insight-driven product and marketing strategy that will lead to your growth.
The analytics solution you choose plays a key role in your success. To help you make the right decision for your business, we’ve gathered a few questions you must consider:
Does your business feel the need to go beyond basic KPIs and answer more complex business questions?
You’re probably already (or should be) tracking these important KPIs:
- How many new and returning visitors are coming to your site
- Their average session duration
- The amount of conversions
- The number of purchases
- Your average customer revenue
But, as you scale and prepare for fast growth, it will become vital to go beyond these metrics and be able to answer critical business questions such as:
- Which campaign drove the highest ROI?
- Which group of customers have the highest lifetime value (LTV)?
- What is the most popular path of customers before a purchase?
This kind of analysis requires a steady stream of event data coming in from all your customer touchpoints (website, mobile app and other) consolidated into one managed database that can be analyzed as a whole.
To enable fast answers to complex questions from your data, you’ll need an agile and robust analytics solution built to analyze raw data, along with time-series analysis that is the basis for understanding customer behavior.
Does your business have enough traffic and are you tracking events?
Advanced analytics relies on the analysis of millions of event data collected from your visitors’ actions with your product to recognize patterns in customer behavior. You’ll have the best results if you have over 20,000 unique customers a month that result in about 10 million events tracked - but many businesses can still benefit while they are working towards these traffic goals.
Does your business need a data warehouse?
Your online business is probably generating millions of customer event data a month, and this big data needs to be stored, handled, enriched and managed. But how can you decide if you need to build your own data warehouse, or if you should get a fully-managed SaaS solution that includes a data warehouse?
If your business model is built on monetizing your data, you’ll probably need your own data warehouse and the in-house resources to manage it. Otherwise, an analytics infrastructure that includes a data warehouse should be enough to handle your advanced analytics requirements, as it can scale by the capacity of events as you grow.
Does your business need to unify analytics from different external sources?
The ability to connect different datasets together and analyze them tells you the details of each customer’s entire journey across the different customer touchpoints. And that’s what leads to greater insights and enables you to grow.
Once you have a data storage solution, you can stream all your data sources into it and unify your data across customer touchpoints. You can do this, for example, with data from Google Adwords, Facebook campaigns, mobile attribution apps like AppsFlyer or Kochava, your CRM and marketing automation software. This will give you the bigger picture about your customers and their behavior so you can effectively and accurately optimize your customer experience.
Do you need to be able to segment your customers according to specific behaviors over a period of time?
Many customer segments focus on static, single actions that are frozen in time, and these do not provide valuable insights about the entire customer journey. If you’d like to see, for example, customers who come from a particular campaign for ladies’ dresses during Labor Day weekend who also spent more than $200 on your site in the last three months, you’ll need an advanced analytics solution that can provide these types of insights.
Do you need to share analytics with customers or other executives?
If you would like to be able to share data and reports with partners, yet isolate only the data that is relevant and valuable to that partner, then an advanced analytics solution could be useful. Consider an eCommerce analytics solution, for example, that provides insights into how products performance across different retailer sites without enabling different competing retailers to see each other’s product performance.
- Decide whether your business can benefit from analyzing raw data over specific time periods.
- Determine whether or not if your business is at the right stage to implement advanced analytics. Generally, this is when a business has reached a certain number of visitors and is expecting fast growth.
- Decide if you need a fully managed warehouse that has the ability to scale as you grow.
- Determine if you need insights from different behavioral segments over a period of time.
- Ask yourself if your business can benefit from unified data from different internal and internal data sources, and if you have a need to share these insights with your partners and customers.
If you’ve carefully considered the above points and answered positively to each, it’s time to consider implementing an advanced analytics solution for your business.
Photo credit: Shutterstock / Kaspars Grinvalds