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Data driven culture


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Published in: Data & Analytics

Data driven culture

  1. 1. A global survey on the state of data driven culture within startups
  2. 2. Contents SECTION ONE About Geckoboard 1 SECTION TWO About Econsultancy 2 SECTION THREE Foreword 3 SECTION FOUR Executive Summary 4 SECTION FIVE Methodology 7 Respondent Profiles 7 SECTION SIX Findings 9 Data Driven Culture 9 Data Collection 10 Data Communication 15 Decision Making 19 Metrics 19 Optimisation 26 Culture 27
  3. 3. SECTION ONE About Geckoboard Geckoboard is a hosted status board that collects business information from many online services and customers’ own data sources, summarises it to distil the key messages and displays it in a way that is easy to understand and interpret. Businesses use status boards to pull important information locked up in disparate services together into one place to give a real-time status on the health of all aspects of a business. Geckoboard has called itself the “Chartbeat for everything else” — in reference to the tool used to monitor traffic and other metrics on websites. Geckoboard’s rise speaks of a growing trend among businesses to consolidate ever-growing lists of diagnostics and information into simpler views to be able to better assess that information — with dashboards being the mainstay for how it’s presented and consumed. 90% of customers have reported improving their decision-making thanks to Geckoboard. Since launching in February 2011, Geckoboard has picked up some 2,500 customers, including Atlassian, Groupon, Gdgt, SecondMarket and Stack Exchange. Stop spending time checking services and start monitoring your business in real-time. All your information available all the time, at a glance. In 30 days, you won’t remember how your business ran without it. Get a free trial here. 1
  4. 4. SECTION TWO About Econsultancy Econsultancy is a global independent community-based publisher, focused on best practice digital marketing and ecommerce, and used by over 400,000 internet professionals every month. Our hub has 185,000+ subscribers worldwide from clients, agencies and suppliers alike with over 90% subscriber retention rate. We help our subscribers build their internal capabilities via a combination of research reports and how-to guides, training and development, consultancy, face-to-face conferences, forums and professional networking. For the last 10 years, our resources have helped subscribers learn, make better decisions, build business cases, find the best suppliers, accelerate their careers and lead the way in best practice and innovation. Econsultancy has offices in London, New York, Singapore and Sydney,and we are a leading provider of digital marketing training and consultancy. We trained over 5,000 marketers and ran over 200 public training courses in 2012. Join Econsultancy today to learn what’s happening in digital marketing – and what works. Call us to find out more on +44 (0)20 7269 1450 (London) or +1 212 971 0630 (New York). You can also contact us online. 2
  5. 5. SECTION THREE Foreword Geckoboard is pleased to present the results of the first Global Report on Data Driven Culture Within Startups, which was designed to offer insights on how startups are dealing with an ever growing influx of data and the key challenges faced when building organisations that embrace data as much as intuition. Data driven decision-making has been fuelled by terms like ‘Lean Startup’ and ‘Lean Analytics’. Eric Ries coined the term ‘lean startup’ in 2008 and since then, it has grown in popularity among entrepreneurs. The term has now become a movement that has brought innovative thinking around how to design, build and develop sustainable businesses based on customer feedback. As the lean movement evolves, the emphasis on data driven decision-making becomes more relevant. This report offers an overview on how startups are using data, how metrics are being chosen, how resources are being assigned, the importance of data visibility and the most popular tools for data communication. The report reveals that businesses are, in general, actively looking to improve their efforts towards building a data driven culture. So far, most of the efforts have been made in data gathering and analytics, with very little progress in data communication and mechanisms to ensure that data is acted upon. Surprisingly, most respondents do not feel confident about their KPIs and their current challenge is to understand what the key drivers of the business are, to ensure that they build the right context for data analysis. We hope that you find the results of this survey to be informative, and thank you again to those who participated. We look forward to your participation in the future. 3
  6. 6. SECTION FOUR Executive Summary This report explores the general attitude of startups towards metrics and data communication. It offers an overview on: 1 How startups are gathering, analysing and communicating data. 2 How much time and resources are spent on analytics. 3 What challenges are involved in building a data driven culture and monitoring the right metrics. 4 Data visibility and its impact on decision-making. This report is based on a global survey of 368 startups carried out by Geckoboard and Econsultancy. We would like to thank all the organisations that took part in the survey and those who contributed with insights, analysis and valuable comments. 4
  7. 7. The findings of this research can be summarised as follows: SECTION FOUR: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The vast majority of respondents identified themselves as data driven businesses; only 5% of respondents stated that data is not a priority within their organisation. Intuition is still highly valued in decision- making. Despite the rapid adoption and evangelisation of the lean startup methodology (see Section 3) and the constant emphasis on data collection and measurement within the startup community, it is surprising to find that intuition and experience are still heavy components of the decision-making process. Only 27% of respondents believe that data is crucial when it comes to decision-making. There is a marked lack of confidence around data and metrics. Almost half of the respondents (49%) do not feel confident about the metrics they are currently monitoring. Based on analysis of data gathered in this report, this group is also less likely to have processes in place to ensure that data is understood and acted upon. Metrics democracy. In more cases than not, respondents who choose metrics in a collaborative manner felt more confident about their metrics in comparison to those who do not involve the team. Data vs. Data communication: 44% of startups spend substantially more on data gathering than on data communication, with 34% of respondents spending equally on both. This highlights the importance of developing mechanisms to guarantee that data is collected with a purpose and that key insights can be derived from it. The improvement of data communication can lead to a better understanding of what is important to measure and what is not. “If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.” ALBERT EINSTEIN 5
  8. 8. The survey also showed that real time data and dashboards are increasingly being adopted by startups as a communication tool although traditional formats like Excel are still the most popular. Despite the investment on tracking, data gathering and analytics, 59% of respondents do not have processes in place to make sure data is understood and acted upon. SECTION FOUR: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 6
  9. 9. SECTION FIVE Methodology This report is based on a global survey of 368 business professionals working in the startup community, but also included larger businesses so that general attitudes towards data management were represented. The survey was live during January and February 2013. Geckoboard promoted the survey to its customer data base and via social media. Econsultancy also promoted the survey via social media. The incentive for taking part in the survey was a complimentary copy of the report. If you have any questions about the research and methodology, please email Sofia Quintero at Geckoboard (sofia@ 5.1 RESPONDENT PROFILES A total of 368 business professionals took part in the survey. The greatest proportion of respondents work in the internet/software industry (42%), though a range of other industries are represented. Respondent organisations are primarily based in North America, although Asia, Latin America, Western Europe and specifically the United Kingdom are also significantly represented. The following chart shows that the survey respondents are typically senior within their organisations, with over 70% classifying themselves as founders, CTOs, CEOs, directors, or presidents of their organisations. 7
  10. 10. FIGURE 1: WHAT IS YOUR POSITION IN THE ORGANISATION? FOUNDER / CEO FOUNDER / CTO OTHER DIRECTOR DEVELOPER MANAGER ANALYTICS EXECUTIVE MANAGER MARKETING PRESIDENT ADMIN / SUPPORT 0% 10% 20% 40%30% The aim of the survey was to look at the attitude of startups towards data collection and analysis; therefore the survey was marketed towards respondents from companies with less than 20 employees. Figure 2 shows the size of the responding companies. More than 80% of responding companies have less than 100 employees, reflecting the startup focus of the report. FIGURE 2: WHAT IS THE SIZE OF YOUR ORGANISATION? 30 23 16 9 2 1-4 5-9 10-19 20-99 100- 499 500- 9,999 10,000+ NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES NUMBEROFRESPONDENTS 8
  11. 11. SECTION SIX Findings 6.1 DATA DRIVEN CULTURE Definition: A ‘Data Driven Organisation’ is one that cultivates a culture where data is valued as much as intuition and experience; where data is visible and accessible to everybody. A data driven organisation uses technology to communicate data in a clear and approachable way. In this kind of organisation, decision-making is a collaborative process and metrics are set based on very specific business goals. FIGURE 3: BASED ON THE DEFINITION ABOVE, WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOUR ORGANISATION TO BE DATA DRIVEN? Yes 26% - since the very beginning we made sure data was part of our culture No 7% - this is not a priority in my organisation; only management make decisions Yes 44% - we have made great improvement and are still working on it 9
  12. 12. SECTION SIX: FINDINGS - DATA DRIVEN CULTURE Figure 3 shows that the majority of respondents not only understand the importance of building a data driven culture, but are also proactively looking into mechanisms that will allow them to improve this area. A total of 70% of respondents consider their organisation to be data- driven, with only 7% of respondents believing that being data driven is not a priority. 6.2 DATA COLLECTION As the industry moves forwards with new technologies able to track data in very granular and sophisticated ways, there is also a need for simplification. With ever growing data points available to organisations, the illusion of having all the data needed in order to make decisions starts to blur with information overload. FIGURE 4: TO YOUR BEST KNOWLEDGE, HOW MANY THIRD PARTY SERVICES OR SYSTEMS DOES YOUR ORGANISATION CURRENTLY USE TO GATHER DATA? 60% 45% 30% 15% 0% PERCENTAGEOFRESPONDENTS 1-4 4-9 10+ DON’T KNOW NUMBER OF SERVICES 10
  13. 13. SECTION SIX: FINDINGS - DATA COLLECTION Nearly a fifth (18%) of respondents in the survey said that they used more than 10 different services to gather data, revealing the wealth of data that can be collected. The list of potential metrics available to decision makers represents a constant challenge when it comes to executing a focused assessment of business performance. Google Analytics alone offers over 200 pre-defined dimensions and metrics to choose from and combine. Choosing the right metrics within the right context is one of the most crucial tasks for data driven organisations. FIGURE 5: HOW MANY FULL TIME EMPLOYEES DOES YOUR COMPANY CURRENTLY HAVE WORKING ON DATA GATHERING, ANALYSIS AND DISTRIBUTION ROLES? 60% 45% 30% 15% 0% PERCENTAGEOFRESPONDENTS 1-4 4-9 10+ NONE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES 77% of respondents have at least one full- time employee working on data gathering and analysis. 11
  14. 14. SECTION SIX: FINDINGS - DATA COLLECTION Figure 6 shows the number of employees working on data, against the size of the company. As expected, the larger organisations are more likely to have a higher number of data-dedicated employees, however also reveals that a surprisingly large proportion of respondents have no employees working on data, even in organisations with up to 100 employees. FIGURE 6: THE NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES FOCUSED ON DATA, CHARTED BY THE TOTAL NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN THE ORGANISATION. 60% 45% 30% 15% 0% 1-4 SIZE OF ORGANSIATION (EMPLOYEES) 5-9 10-19 20-99 100-499 500- 9,999 10,000 Based on respondents’ comments data collection and analysis is not always the responsibility of a dedicated staff member, being a shared responsibility across multiple teams and with roles extended to include data management. This could affect how respondents were counting the number of data-focused employees, with it being part of the role of many, but the sole role of none. It is evident that software is also relied upon by many respondents to do the data gathering and analysis, but many organisations assign no specific person to pull insights from this analysis. BETWEEN 1-5 BETWEEN 5-10 10+ NONE 12
  15. 15. SECTION SIX: FINDINGS - DATA COLLECTION RESPONDENT COMMENTS: ‘HOW MANY FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES DOES YOUR COMPANY CURRENTLY HAVE WORKING ON DATA GATHERING, ANALYSIS AND DISTRIBUTION ROLES? “I do product, and one other guy does core-business metrics.” “This is distributed across the team.” “There is no dedicated staff – it is a shared responsibility.” “Support and Services focus on customer data and our software itself is geared towards data analysis and gathering.” “One person is delegated responsibility and accountability for this. However, it is not a full-time equivalent aspect.” “We can’t afford a salary of £35k+ to analyse our data; many of us have managed people and roles which do this kind of work. We have extended our roles to do this, as this will drive decisions in the company.” “Right now I am the only person. I am using software to try to do automatically, such as the integrations with Sugar CRM and other apps to help do auto tracking.” 13
  16. 16. SECTION SIX: FINDINGS - DATA COLLECTION FIGURE 7: WHAT IS THE BALANCE BETWEEN RESOURCES SPENT IN GATHERING DATA (BIG DATA) AND COMMUNICATING DATA (REAL TIME METRIC DASHBOARDS, REPORTS)? 44% - We spend substantially more in data gathering 22% - We spend substantially more in data communication 34% - We spend equally on both Data gathering rather than data communication seems to be the priority among startups with 44% of respondents spending more on data gathering. Only 22% put more emphasis on how data is communicated. It is surprising that only 34% of respondents put equal emphasis in both processes. Data becomes irrelevant if organisations cannot make sense of it or communicate insights clearly throughout the organisation. 14
  17. 17. 6.3 DATA COMMUNICATION FIGURE 8: WHAT IS THE MOST COMMON FORMAT FOR DATA COMMUNICATION IN YOUR ORGANISATION? 32% - Dashboards or real time display technology 30% - Excel Spreadsheets 24% - Reports exported directly from third party systems and applications 8% - Powerpoint presentations 6% - Other Excel spreadsheets and dashboards are seen to be the preferred tools used to share data within organisations. Real-time technology has been rapidly gaining in popularity among startups due to its ability to rapidly show data, which is vital in a business as agile and changeable as a startup. Based on comments provided by respondents, other tools and formats used to share data among teams are: Google Docs, Trello and proprietary tools and dashboards. Given the volume of metrics that can be tracked and gathered, it is crucial for startups to find appropriate tools to communicate that data and make sure it is understood throughout the organisation, and, vitally, that it is acted upon. 15
  18. 18. SECTION SIX: FINDINGS - DATA COMMUNICATION FIGURE 9: ARE THERE ANY PROCESSES IN PLACE TO MAKE SURE THAT DATA IS UNDERSTOOD AND ACTED UPON? 60% 45% 30% 15% 0% PERCENTAGEOFRESPONDENTS YES NO Respondents were asked if they had any processes in place to make sure that data is understood and acted upon; the majority answered no. It is surprising to find that even though 70% of the respondents consider their organisations to be data driven, the same organisations are also typically currently lacking mechanisms to make sure that data is understood and actionable. Below are some examples of processes given by responding companies. Meetings and verbal discussions are popular to decipher data, with dashboards and KPIs also used to prompt discussion and reviews. 16
  19. 19. SECTION SIX: FINDINGS - DATA COMMUNICATION RESPONDENT COMMENTS: ‘ARE THERE ANY PROCESSES IN PLACE TO MAKE SURE THAT DATA IS UNDER- STOOD AND ACTED UPON?’ “Analysts and managers review reports.” “Bonuses based on key metrics” “Creation of a data warehouse” “Custom dashboard” “Tied directly to feature releases, watching metrics move, metric- driven goals, etc.” “Trending service usage prompts management review.” “Verbal report out, each section is discussed for clarity” “We are looking at dashboards to make data accessible” “Weekly meetings to comment on metrics (founders and investors); benchmarking cross- portfolio” “We write blog posts. We set OKRs (objectives and key results) that are basically hypotheses that require data to prove them (or disprove them) within a set period of time.” 17
  20. 20. SECTION SIX: FINDINGS - DATA COMMUNICATION Figure 9 shows a chart of the data in Figure 8, combined with data from the question: ‘Would you consider your organisation to be data driven?’ (Figure 3). It is interesting to see that 12% of respondents said that their organisations were data driven, and had been since the very beginning, but at the same time did not have any processes in place to make sure that data is understood and acted upon. It may be the case that these companies analyse their data in a more fluid way, in meetings and ad hoc by individuals, rather than having stringent processes in place for acting upon data. Due to the nature of a startup, these processes may not have yet been put in place, but the case may be that in some companies a lot of data is being collected, without much meaningful insight being gained from it. FIGURE 10: CROSS TABULATION ANALYSIS OF ‘WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOUR ORGANISATION TO BE DATA DRIVEN?’ (FIGURE 3), AGAINST FIGURE 9: ‘ARE THERE ANY PROCESSES IN PLACE TO MAKE SURE THAT DATA IS UNDERSTOOD AND ACTED UPON?’ Are there any processes in place to make sure that data is understood and acted upon? Would you consider your organisation to be data driven? Yes No No, but we are mobilizing resources and efforts to improve in this area 8% 15% No, this is not a priority in my organization; only management makes decisions 1% 4% Yes, we have made great improvements and are still working on it 19% 27% Yes, since the very beginning we made sure data was part of our culture 13% 12% 18
  21. 21. 6.4 DECISION MAKING - METRICS FIGURE 11: IS YOUR ORGANISATION CONFIDENT THAT IT IS MEASURING THE RIGHT METRICS AND KPIS? 60% 45% 30% 15% 0% PERCENTAGEOFRESPONDENTS YES NO Almost half of the respondents do not feel confident about the metrics they are tracking. When viewed in the context of a startup culture, these results are not all that surprising. Most of the respondent comments on this question are around the need to be flexible and open minded to changes. It is part of the lean startup culture to avoid making assumptions without having a way to prove them. Being confident about the current metrics could be, to some companies, like declaring that the organisation has stopped learning. This is also reflected in Figure 11, where 61% of respondents said that the key challenge in choosing the right metrics was in understanding the key drivers of the business. Uncertainty is at the core of startups so being flexible to test and try different approaches to measurement is more a survival practice than an option. Comments from the survey respondents supported this theory, with many stating that they were still evolving and that there was always more data that they could look at. Agility is a key requirement for startups, with changing metrics being part of learning and evolving for the benefit of the business. 19
  22. 22. SECTION SIX: FINDINGS - DECISION MAKING - METRICS RESPONDANT COMMENTS: ‘IS YOUR ORGANISATION CONFIDENT THAT IT IS MEASURING THE RIGHT METRICS AND KPIS?’ “We could always measure more!!” “You never can be sure until enough data has arrived and fine-tuning is always needed.” “At least confident that we’re evolving in the right direction.” “I’d say yes... but always learning new ones. So 75% confident.” “Metrics are under continual review for relevance and validity.” “Reasonably, there’s always space for improvements.” “We are in the early stages - trying to tackle one area of our operations at a time.” “We’re still in our search mode.” “Working on switching from vanity metrics to pirate metrics.” “Can’t ever be totally confident, we’re always trying to improve our metrics” “We’re doing our best as we remain agile.” “Our KPIs are in significant flux as the company is still in a development phase.” “We are confident that we have some good KPIs but are confident they can always be better. We evolve as we learn more.” “We’re constantly iterating, whilst expanding geographically and in scale, so it would be hard to ever say ‘yes’.”
  23. 23. SECTION SIX: FINDINGS - DECISION MAKING - METRICS A cross tabulation analysis of the questions ‘Is your organisation confident that it is measuring the right metrics and KPIs?’ and ‘Are there any processes in place to make sure that data is understood and acted upon?’ is shown below. There is a lack of confidence around data and metrics, and the group that is not confident that they are measuring the right metrics, also seem to be less likely to have processes in place in ensure that data is understood and acted upon. A third (33%) of respondents answered ‘No’ to both questions. FIGURE 12: CROSS TABULATION ANALYSIS OF FIGURE 9 AND FIGURE 11. Are there any processes in place to make sure that data is understood and acted upon? Is your organisation confident that it is measuring the right metrics and KPIs? Yes No Yes 26% 26% No 16% 33% 21
  24. 24. SECTION SIX: FINDINGS - DECISION MAKING - METRICS FIGURE 13: HOW DOES YOUR ORGANISATION DECIDE WHICH METRICS AND KPIS ARE IMPORTANT? 60% 45% 30% 15% 0% PERCENTAGEOFRESPONDENTS IT IS A COLLABORATIVE PROCESS. EVERYBODY CONTRIBUTES TOP LEVEL MANAGEMENT MAKES THE DECISION NON-STRUCTURED, KPI’S CHOSEN BY DIFFERENT PEOPLE. CASE-TO-CASE BASIS ONLY SPECIFIC DEPARTMENTS GET INVOLVED Just over half (51%) of respondents embrace collaborative thinking around metrics. A quarter (25%) still depend on the top management level to define key metrics and 19% have a non-structured/informal approach to metrics management. The remaining 5% choose metrics in isolation, potentially by department. A collaborative approach to metrics seems to be an important characteristic of data driven organisations, with 51% of respondents deciding their metrics and KPIs through a joined-up process. As seen in the comments provided in Figure 5, responsibility for data gathering and analysis is often shared among several people in the organisation, and it therefore makes sense to choose metrics as a team and not in isolation. 22
  25. 25. SECTION SIX: FINDINGS - DECISION MAKING - METRICS FIGURE 14: CROSS TABULATION ANALYSIS OF ‘HOW DOES YOUR ORGANISATION DECIDE WHICH METRICS AND KPIS ARE IMPORTANT?’ AGAINST FIGURE 11: ‘IS YOUR ORGANISATION CONFIDENT THAT IT IS MEASURING THE RIGHT METRICS AND KPIS?’ Is your organisation confident that it is measuring the right metrics and KPIs? How does your organisation decide which metrics and KPIs are important?’ Yes No Top-Level management makes the decision 11% 14% It is a collaborative process. Everybody contributes. 31% 20% Only specific depart- ments get involved in measurement 2% 3% It is non-structured, KPIs are chosen by different people in a case-by- case basis 7% 12% Figure 13 shows that respondents who choose metrics in a collaborative manner feel more confident about their metrics in comparison to those who do not involve the team. ‘It is a collaborative process’ is the only category in which more respondents answered that they were confident in their metrics (31%) than those that said they were not confident (20%). 23
  26. 26. SECTION SIX: FINDINGS - DECISION MAKING - METRICS FIGURE 15: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE TOP CHALLENGE IN CHOOSING THE RIGHT METRICS? [RESPONDENTS COULD SELECT MORE THAN ONE OPTION] 0% 20% 40% 80%60% UNDERSTANDING THE KEY DRIVERS OF THE BUSINESS HAVING THE RIGHT TRACKING IN PLACE DEFINING PRIORITIES AND BUSINESS GOALS HAVING THE RIGHT CONTEXT LACK OF SKILLS AND RESOURCES HAVING CONSENSUS WITHIN THE ORGANIZATION The majority of respondents said that a key challenge in choosing the right metrics to measure was in understanding what the key drivers of the business are (61%), followed by having the right tracking in place (42%) and defining priorities and business goals (39%). The nature of startups implies that historic data is not always available, so it is challenging to identify the key drivers of the business when, in some cases, the business model has not been fully defined or implemented. However, concentrating on one key metric can help to minimize ‘paralysis by analysis’. This is what the authors of Lean analytics call ‘The One Metric That Matters’. They explain: “The One Metric That Matters is the one number you’re completely focused on above everything else for the stage you’re at. Looking at CLV (customer lifetime value) isn’t meaningful when you’re validating a problem, but it might be the right metric to focus on as you’re approaching product/market fit. It most certainly is not a vanity metric!” 24 1 “Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is a formula that helps a marketing manager arrive at the monetary value associated with long term relationships with any given customer, revealing just how much a customer relationship is worth over a period of time” http://hbsp.
  27. 27. SECTION SIX: FINDINGS - DECISION MAKING - METRICS Having the right context, skills and consensus seem to be important but not as crucial as being clear on what the business direction is. FIGURE 16: WOULD YOU SAY THAT YOUR ORGANISATION HAS MISSED BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS AS A CONSEQUENCE OF NOT HAVING ENOUGH DATA VISIBILITY? 60% 45% 30% 15% 0% PERCENTAGEOFRESPONDENTS YES MAYBE NO A third (34%) of respondents believe that they have missed business opportunities as a consequence of not having enough data visibility, and 47% answered ‘maybe’. It is interesting to note that respondents who said that their organisations had mechanisms to ensure data was acted upon also said that they have, or may have, missed business opportunities in the last 12 months as a consequence of not having enough data visibility. There seems to be some inconsistency in the perceived effectiveness of those mechanisms, and it is clear that organisations see data collection as almost unlimited, with many commenting that it is impossible to measure everything, so missed business opportunities are somewhat inevitable. 25
  28. 28. 6.5: DECISION MAKING - OPTIMISATION FIGURE 17: HOW OFTEN DOES YOUR ORGANISATION REVISE AND CHANGE ITS METRICS OR KPI FOCUS? 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% PERCENTAGEOFRESPONDENTS WEEKLY MONTHLY 6 MONTHS YEARLY NEVER Respondents were asked the frequency in which they change their metrics or KPIs focus. 37% said every 6 months, and 27% said every month. For startups, the key metrics for driving revenue, profitability and productivity need to be established and understood across the business. Only once everyone understands the key metrics, can they collectively work to optimise them. The frequency with which this is done depends on the industry and service provided by the organisation, but revision of metrics and KPIs is important to ensure a business is collecting the right data and acting on it. 26
  29. 29. 6.6: DECISION MAKING - CULTURE FIGURE 18: ARE EMPLOYEES IN YOUR ORGANISATION ENCOURAGED TO BACK UP THEIR DECISION MAKING WITH DATA? 60% 45% 30% 15% 0% PERCENTAGEOFRESPONDENTS YES, THIS IS CRUCIAL YES, BUT WE ALSO BELIEVE IN INTUITION AND EXPERIENCE ON ITS OWN NO SOMETIMES When asked if employees are encouraged to back up their decision making with data, 51% of respondents said that they also believe in experience and intuition when it comes to decision-making. Just over a quarter of respondents (27%) said data is crucial. The lean startup and lean analytics community would strongly agree with the latter quarter of respondents. One of the key mantras of the lean startup methodology is to base all decisions on metrics, assumptions and validation. Feelings and intuition are not necessarily part of the equation. However, as startups try to move fast and manage uncertainty, some decisions are inevitably made based on experience and the data availability and gut feelings. The challenge will always be in establishing the right balance. 27
  30. 30. SECTION SIX: FINDINGS - DECISION MAKING - CULTURE FIGURE 19: WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU HAVE FACED WHEN BUILDING A DATA DRIVEN CULTURE? 0% 10% 20% 40%30% LACK OF RESOURCES FOR THE RIGHT DATA COMMUNICATION TOOLS ATTITUDE: DATA NOT CONSIDERED A PRIORITY DATA OWNERSHIP. UNCLEAR WHO SHOULD GATHER, ANALYSE AND REPORT LACK OF RESOURCE TO INVEST IN TRAINING LACK OF CLARITY ABOUT WHAT DATA CAN BE DISTRIBUTED OR NOT INTERNAL POLITICS. PEOPLE REFUSED TO SHARE INFORMATION The SaaS data communication industry in fairly new and even though status boards technology and real time solutions are emerging rapidly, the benefits of data visualization and visibility are still widely unknown. Respondents were asked to select the biggest challenges they have faced when building a data driven culture. Resources were a key issue; 37% of respondents said that a lack of resources to invest in the right data communication tools was their main challenge, with 10% citing a lack of resources to invest in training. A fifth (20%) of respondents blamed attitudes towards data for difficulties in creating a data driven culture. Lack of clarity was also a challenge; specifically in data ownership (18%) and data distribution issues (10%). In an industry where data is needed to analyse performance and rapidly make changes to remain agile, having the resources to invest in data communication tools is important, as without the data, the drivers of the business cannot be ascertained, and performance cannot be improved. The lean startup methodology would advocate that organisations should be built on their data, and therefore investing in resources for data collection and communication is vital. 28