A Data Analytics Strategy is an essential part of your Business.
Do you have a Data Analytics Strategy for your business? When your main business is in creating Software-as-a-Service, data collection is something that you should be building into your products from the start. But what do you actually need to start collecting and what data is essential for your business? Do you use third party providers or do you collect data yourself? All relevant questions you are probably asking or have asked yourself at some point.
Lessons from our experience
Here is an example from our experience. We included data collection in our Map Your City platform fairly early – after we launched our Minimal Viable Product. We at that point went from using basic third party information to collecting it on our own backend.
I had access to basic intelligence about what was needed for SaaS business key metrics. So I used to export that information from our backend and manually import it into a general business spreadsheet. I could see month over month progress but was missing a framework to hold it up against.
What we needed was a strategy framework that I could mold to fit our product and business goals.
Building our own strategy framework
I searched the internet, found some tips on Google’s Analytics Framework Help Guides. But still somehow it did not feel this was a fit for a complex software solution as ours.
Most of the information I found was directed at basic business information for SaaS businesses, or solely at e-commerce. I could find nothing for a double sided platform with various interdependent business and growth goals.
What I did come across were expensive third party platforms that offered to do the job for you. Where you could – for a pretty steep prize – customize a dashboard to fit your requirements.
So what do you do when you cannot find what you need – and don’t want to be dependent on a third party platform? Yep you build it yourself. Because if you are contemplating to build or buy a solution, when it comes to data collection you really want to own and control it in case of your SaaS.
By sharing our experience and our basic framework that you can tweak for your own business, I hope I can give you a push in the right direction.
Start with the basics
To create your own Data Analytics Strategy start with the overall business objectives of your SaaS. Answer the following:
- Business: What is your high level business goal (at this moment in your journey). In our case (and probably in yours): Grow Loyal Customers
- Product: What are your goals with respect to your product maintenance and development (at this moment in your journey). In our case (and probably in yours): 1. Healthy product, with minimal to no crashes or bugs. 2. Continuous delivery of product updates.
So this looks pretty straight forward, but it is valuable to take a look at these seriously – since these goals might differ per growth stage your SaaS is in.
The info to manage your goals
So now that you’ve got your SaaS goals aligned. What information do you need to manage these goals?
This is a bit more complex. But let’s get down to details:
- So your business goal is to grow loyal customers. Now what detailed info would you need to see if you actually reach customer growth and establish if your customers keep returning?
- As to Product maintenance you want to have a healthy product in store. So what metrics do you need to collect that help indicate Product Health?
- As to Product Development you aim to deliver continuous product updates. Now what data helps you to deliver the updates you need?
Let’s double down on your business goal
Let’s get into the details you would need to manage your business goal. So in our case this was customer growth (1). This is possibly the most difficult of all to get your head around. Just because for this you need to look at a few different aspects of your platform. Let’s double down on these important building blocks to manage your business goal:
- First of all there’s the general business information you need to collect. That’s why this first building block is called Business Health.
- Secondly you need access to information on how your platform is doing. We call this building block Platform Health.
- Thirdly your customers want information on how their account is doing as well. This building block we call Customer Value.
- Finally a you want insights into how your market is built up, like a geographical segmentation, where are your users from or what business are they in. This is called Market Segmentation.
Time to sum up the data types you need
Now that we have the building blocks for your data analytics strategy we can zoom into the type of data to collect for each:
- For Business Health you would typically collect the following information:
- Customer LifeCycle Metrics
- Effectiveness & Velocity Metrics
- For measuring Platform Health you would need insights into your platform’s market vibrancy.
- For measuring Customer Value for your client your would need to collect client’s marketing insights.
- For Market Segmentation you would typically collect profile, geographical data and business info.
- For insights in Product Health you typically collect crash metrics and logs.
- Finally for managing your Product Development you want to collect user journey metrics.
Let us help
Are you building your SaaS platform and wondering what data to collect, how to make sense of your data, or need some reflection on your data analytics strategy? Get in touch and we’ll help you move in the right direction.
CEO/Founder of ANDRS Projects: An innovator who believes innovation can only arise from collaboration. Her life’s motto is “Collaborate or Die”.
We know what is takes to bring your platform to success. Having encountered all the pitfalls of raising SaaS brands we have got the experience that will benefit you. Don’t believe the flashy high prized agencies when they say they know it all. Because we know they don’t know, we have been there.
So don’t hesitate to get in touch and send us a message.