Data is a core part of our company DNA here at PieSync. Which you can only expect, really: we exist to help our customers connect their own data!
We've built our company on good data principles and processes from the start that have enabled PieSync to scale effectively with data by our side.
But what exactly has this looked like, and how can you use our learnings to strengthen your own data analytics and reporting? Let's talk you through our best advice.
9 best practices for reliable analytics and reporting
- Make the decision to focus on data
- Find analytics apps that work for you
- Figure out your core KPIs
- Use segmentation
- Divide your data between dashboards
- Set clear targets for the year
- Have standardized processes
- Create a clear overview of the full funnel
- Do occasional manual checks
1. Make the decision to focus on data
When you have a strong foundation for data management and reporting in place – and you hire for and nurture data literacy – you remove the likelihood of bad data trickling through.
It starts with making the decision that data is important to your business. This will influence how you hire and train your team and the tools you invest in.
Having multiple eyes on your data also increases accuracy and reliability, as there's more chance of an inconsistency being picked up.
2. Find analytics apps that work for you
As PieSync has grown, we've found that Google Analytics doesn't give us the accuracy we need after the sign-up stage in our customer journey.
To make our reporting more reliable, we switched to Chartio to visualize data that we collect via SQL scripts we write inside our team.
Why Chartio? We love the scope for building highly customizable interactive charts and creating the exact outcomes we want with SQL.
Whichever analytics tool you choose, make sure it's cloud-based and you can configure it for maximum accuracy. Simple and accurate analytics beat complex and unreliable analytics every time.
Here are some other great options of tools to automate your reporting workflows with reliable data:
3. Figure out your core KPIs
Ruben, our growth marketing and data visualization pro at PieSync, shares his advice for effective and reliable data analytics:
"You need to figure out the core KPIs for your company, team, and people. If your reporting is too extensive, people will get overwhelmed and won't use it. You need to decide what's really relevant and who needs to use each dashboard."
By balancing clear and concise data with detailed insights when you need them, you put your company in the best position for tracking and making use of performance data. It's all about finding that balance between simplicity and complexity.
4. Use segmentation
We can't talk about effective data management without mentioning segmentation. Segmenting your customer data enables you to sync your apps, send the most personalized emails and create automated workflows that deliver exactly the right content.
When it comes to your performance data, segmentation gives you access to the most insightful analytics.
By slicing and dicing your data, you can drill down into detailed analytics for every area of your organization. It's your best way to understand exactly what's working and what needs work throughout your team and funnel.
5. Divide your data between dashboards
By dividing our data between different dashboards, we can:
- Give everyone a centralized view of the key company analytics
- Give individual teams and roles more in-depth, relevant and segmented insights
On our company KPI dashboard, we display only the top-level KPIs that are important for everyone. We keep these top-level KPIs to 5-10 to avoid overwhelming the team with too many numbers.
When you're in the PieSync office in Ghent, these KPIs are always visible on the TV screen. And when we're working remotely, we often share updates via Slack channels to keep everyone up-to-date with how we're performing against the month's targets.
Our other main dashboards are divided by channel. As one example, we have a dedicated dashboard for in-depth organic traffic insights.
By dividing our data between dashboards for top-level KPIs and in-depth channel insights, we have a quick overview of performance and an easy way to understand changing trends.
6. Set clear targets for the year
Our goal-setting process at PieSync is simple. We create clear goals for the year, divide these by month, input these into a sheet, and link this to Chartio.
We then break up these goals into smaller chunks, including by channel. This enables us to easily monitor conversion rates per channel and understand if results are coming from referrals, organic traffic, email marketing, social media, or any of our other key channels.
7. Have standardized processes
Once you have good frameworks and KPIs in place as well as a focus on data integrity, your next step is to make sure you're collecting data in a standardized way. For our team, this means using the same tools and similar processes (such as SQL scripts for Chartio) to collect analytics.
8. Create a clear overview of the full funnel
For our data analytics to be the most effective, we need a comprehensive view of the entire customer journey: from marketing to conversion and on to customer satisfaction. Ruben explains:
To manage and track everything, you need to have a complete overview of the full funnel.
Having such a broad range of data also helps our team to reach company-wide and individual goals. We can see exactly how we're performing as a company and team, and having a dashboard to show you how close you are to your goals can be a real motivator.
One metric we track in-depth that's specific to PieSync is the popularity of our connections. We pay attention to which connections are bringing in new trials and customers, which ones our customers love, and which new apps are taking off fast.
As well as creating the clearest overview of your funnel, think about the metrics that are specific to your organization that will help you deliver the best possible customer experiences based on data-driven insights.
9. Do occasional manual checks
To check our data processes are working soundly at PieSync, sometimes we ask multiple people to pull the same data and compare results.
As there are so many ways to query something in SQL, if we get the same results this is a good sign for our data accuracy. It also removes our dependence on highly standardized processes and the need to follow exact steps to get accurate results.
To help you build a more data-driven organization, use PieSync to connect customer data between your apps. With a two-way sync ensuring the latest changes are reflected across all business apps, you can enrich data in every app and make your insights more reliable. Get started with a free trial to get the most out of your customer data.