With all the talk about Big Data, it is increasingly difficult to look at how data can improve the performance of any business.
Getting a handle on what is happening within your business can be the difference between gaining traction and scrambling for answers. For start-ups, analytics is becoming more important because it provides much-needed insight into strategies and tactics that are working, even in the smallest ways. For start-ups scrambling for growth, analytics delivers the intelligence to discover the right path.
But how do start-ups embrace the power of analytics, particularly start-ups that operate in a lean and mean way?
It really starts with recognizing the value of analytics. This makes a start-up rely on quantifiable information, rather than wild guesses or quasi-qualified decisions.
The next step can be fairly straightforward – dive into the analytics world. It does not have to be a deep or complicated dive. It can begin with signing up for services such as Google Analytics, Chartbeat or Woopra. Then, you have to spend the time to figure out how to get value from the data being presented.
There is a lot of help available to use Google Analytics, including a training and certification program from Google. Chartbeat, which starts at $9.95/month, is a user-friendly way to get into analytics because the data is displayed in way that anyone can understand.
As well, there are plenty of places to find insight and guidance to get the most from analytics. A good example is Conversion XL, which has an excellent blog about conversion optimization, analytics and user-experience.
In a sense, a start-up’s ability to embrace analytics really comes down to making a commitment to use the platforms and educate yourself about how to extract insight and value.
It probably makes sense to make someone responsible for analytics. It could be the CEO, who can use analytics to make strategic and tactical decisions, or a marketing person looking to see how campaigns and content are performing. At the end of the day, you need someone to be the analytics person.
At some point, a start-up may want to take its analytics to the next level. Maybe it wants to extract more sophisticated insight than basic metrics such as site traffic, time on site and referrals.
A start-up could hire someone full-time but they need to make sure there is enough value to justify the decision. Another option is using a search engine optimization agency or a consultant, who can provide expertise on a regular basis.
In many ways, it really comes down to a start-up’s needs and priorities. At a basic level, analytics needs be a part of the mix because it provides metrics and benchmarks for success. For some start-ups, this provides enough information to drive the business forward.
As a business grows, analytics may start to play a more important role in terms of decision-making and optimizating the customer experience. At this point, a start-up needs to think about how to take its analytics game to the next level. It could be a part-time employee or a consultant. It is a matter of determining how to get the best insight to align with budgets.
When it comes to analytics, it begins by looking at your data on a regular basis. For many start-ups, this will provide enough insight to see what is happening. With more success and business, you can start to look at other options.