How to Use Data to Ensure the Success of Your Startup?
When you dive into the world of startups and entrepreneurship, the idea of data and keeping track of results might not be the first thing to come to your mind. But as time goes by you will need to report on your business’ performance and this is where analytics come on the stage – the sooner you start tracking, the better!
Your startup needs data to make a strong statement
What are your goals for the first year and how are you going to measure your growth without analytics? It’s not only important to work towards these goals by setting milestones – you have to be able to spot trends and be quick to implement improvements (or kill the processes that don’t work). Sometimes these decisions are tough, but having data as a partner you will always be able to justify your moves. Entrepreneur intuition is a great thing, but from a certain moment onwards it might get in the way of sober decisions…
The metrics which matter to YOUR startup
So, what are the first places to look when analyzing your performance? It depends on the stage your venture is in. If you are in the beginning, still developing or fitting, engagement is a good metric to take a closer look at. This means user feedback and the general stir your product is causing. Social media is an indispensable partner at this stage – go take a look at your built-in analytics tools (Facebook and Twitter have quite developed ones, Instagram is close behind). You can also take the initiative and engage with your audience; comment and reply, ask questions.
If you are on the next stage and have a developed product, you can focus on growth metrics. What these metrics are depends solely on your goals. Once you set them, data will help you track your progress. As mentioned in the video, we had a case in which the business had 1M hits on their website and almost zero retention rate – in case your growth depends on making people stay on your website, this is a metric you should consider seriously. A great way to go deeper is to continue the conversation and ask people why they are leaving. There’s an emotional reason for people to leave, and no analytics tool will tell you what it is!
Set up the right tools to track data
Google Analytics may be the first and most straightforward option, but there are many tools which can help you on your way to success. Social media platforms are also well equipped to give you important data, even if you’re not an active advertiser. There are also a bunch of independent data providers which even offer tailor-made solutions. The best way is to start with the free options, make sure you have implemented everything correctly, and then – if you need more data or you need to centralize the hub where you’re getting your results, pay for a targeted service.
As you can see, data plays a big role in each stage of the startup adventure – from getting to know your market, through product improvement to the actual implementation and growth. Using analytics will help you gauge success, monitor processes and will also tell you if it’s time to give up (yes, it happens – but having data to support your decision may help you avoid making the same mistake twice).
Feel free to ask any questions – we’ll be happy to help! Please post your feedback via the discussion boards below.