Get Your Data On

By Molly Quigley

On Wednesday night, Rock Health welcomed Rose Broome to speak at our eighth Skillshare event, focusing on data and metrics and their role in a startup’s success. Formerly a data manager with the Obama Campaign, Rose works at  SuperBetter, a game to inspire motivate, and build support and resilience for individuals facing emotional or physical health challenges.

So what does it really mean to be a “data-driven” startup? It’s an important question, as it can be challenging for any startup to make sense of the large and confusing amount of data gathered.

For starters, Rose suggests the “Beta-Data” approach.   This means: collect data and data insights you compile over a long or short period of time and put it into an organized folder or excel spreadsheet. Then, pull the data out of the compilation and visualize it. Visualizing data on even the simplest of graphs can bring deep understanding of what the data is revealing about trends and outcomes in your startup, enabling you, your team, and company to take action based on your findings.

Rose recommends using the “Data Trinity”, a term coined by the author of top selling book Web Analytics 2.0 Avinash Kaushik, as a good starting point for analyzing data:
1. What is happening?  What are users doing, who are they, and what are doing within your site?
2. Why is it happening?  What is the user experience like? (Listen to what your users are saying. Don’t focus solely on data mining.)
3. So what?  How is the data affecting the bottom line and the outcomes you care about?

Methods of Analysis
Rose reviewed several basic methods of analysis including:

  • Basic funnel analysis
  • Cohort/retention analysis
  • Lifetime value of a customer
  • Registration vs. active use
  • AB testing

Rose listed several data applications, including:

  • Predictive Modeling: Using data to predict what the probability is that a certain user will perform a certain action based on what you already know about them
  • Data Products: How can you use the data you already have to provide value to your customers? For example, tell a customer about other products he or she may like based on data of what that customer has already been interested in or purchased
  • Data as Art: Presenting your data to consumers in an artistic, visually pleasing way that contributes to your marketing campaign.
  • Data Marketing: Demonstrating to consumers with data that it is in their best interest to buy your product.

Some key tips:

  • Don’t be afraid to make changes based on what you find in your data!
  • Anytime you make a change, measure it. Determine if the change worked.
  • Make sure you have data goals: what outcome are you trying to maximize, and what changes do you need to make to get there.

Want more? Join us at Living Well Through Data.