5 Questions that will help you to make sure you run a data driven operation

Today, it is a known fact that everyone needs to be data driven, regardless to your role or to your official position.

How can you know if your organization is data driven enough? 

A lot of companies have integrated complex 5-20 analytical systems ,collecting thousands of events on a daily basis , developing dashboards, creating reports and hiring a professional data-science team. 

Is this enough ? 

For me, not necessarily. Being data driven means being revenue oriented. All the efforts around data are meaningful only if they help to drive revenue or lead to a significant optimization that will improve user’s engagement and as a result will increase the revenue over time. 

Here are few questions that will help you determine whether your data efforts are aligned with your business goals. 

  1. What is today’s top priority task? Can you estimate what its contribution to the company’s revenue? 

Look at your schedule today. What is the task that takes most of your team’s time.

Whether it is a business task or a technical one or is about answering a customer , developing a feature or upgrading a system , you should be able to determine its business value and quantify it into revenue.  

  1. Do you know how to measure what is the exact contribution of your next product version to the revenue ( or usage )? 

When you upgrade a product version, how do you measure the new feature’s effect. A lot of companies just release the upgrade to all users (sometimes using gradual release methodologies)  , and look at the overall performance (revenue and/or usage) .But how can we know what is the contribution of the specific product or technological features added? how can we make sure that the user likes the new initiatives , uses it and that it contributes to the total revenue as expected ? 

  1. What was yesterday’s revenue? How often do you check your product/feature revenue and performance?  Do you know what is the weekly / monthly revenue trend and what caused it? 

Sometimes we are so busy with our day to day tasks and don’t have time to review and analyze the day to day performance. But while we are working , there are customers out there who are actually using our product every day. Their usage can be impacted from  a change that we’ve made, a change that someone else in the company made( IT guys updated the website servers for example) , it can be affected by a competitor that made a good campaign or from a local holiday . It is important to spend time in understanding what is going on out there , even when we are very busy in our tasks. I know that some business managers leave that task to the business analysts , but in order to have a deep understanding of your product and audience, you must feel the data everyday by yourself , at least on some level. 

  1. How much is a new customer worth for you ( in other words ,do you know your LTV ) ? Do you know how much does it cost you to acquire a new user ( user acquisition cost ) ? 

These are essential questions  that stand at the base of your business model. It is not always so easy to calculate it , but whether you have a small business or a big one , it is important to quantify your user behavior, conversion ratio and revenue retention. You must know these metrics across all your marketing channels and segments in order to ensure the ability to scale your business with marketing. 

  1. How many people in your team use data on a daily basis ? Are they managers only? 

Obviously, not every developer needs to work closely with a revenue dashboard ,but it is highly recommended that every function in the organization ( at least managers ), take their day to day decisions based on data. For example ,which bug has a higher priority – bug in support page for iphone 8 or a ux change in the on-boarding page in LG6 ?  Basically,the product manager should priorities these bugs, based on data  – taking under consideration – 1.how many customers have each one of these devices 2.how many people are actually doing an action and experience this bug, and 3.what is the effect of this bad experience on engagement and revenue. But , in a data driven organization ,  developers also have an access to that data , so they can consistently evaluate and quantify  the effect of their development without waiting for the product manager’s feedback. 

As much as you have certain answers here ,it implies your day to day decisions are being driven by data. 

If you don’t have clear answers to all these 5 questions ,this is the time to start thinking about what are the main KPIs that drive your business forward , how can you monitor and track them , and then – how can you significantly impact them.

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