You’ve probably heard before that in today’s business, data analytics has come to matter more than ever. If you’ve launched a successful eCommerce startup here in Utah, or are already scaling up your operations in the small-to-midsized business (SMB) range, you’ll notice it can get tedious keeping track of all the information that matters, all the time. And what happens in the event of your extended absence? How many junior partners can step up and stay on top of things for you?
Relying on a system for data analysis, rather than shouldering the load yourself, brings resilience to your company’s effective use of information. Delegating a lot of this work allows more employees to become involved and empowered. You can onboard top talent from the emerging IT sector of Utah and watch them make a difference, optimizing everything from revenue growth to marketing agency conversion of sales leads.
First, though, you’ll need to identify and define key performance indicators – KPIs – that matter most to your business at a given time. Here are some considerations.
Align with strategy
All KPIs have something to tell you about the state of your business. You can easily make a case for each one’s importance. But you can’t have your team chasing down different targets without a cohesive strategy. As the leader, you need to align select KPIs with your current strategy and make sure that the team’s efforts are weighted correspondingly to drive success.
For example, if you are focused on maximizing profits for the retail quarter, then you’d want your team to emphasize metrics such as lead generation or conversions. If you’re expanding operations to a new location or targeting a different slice of the market, then metrics that reflect brand awareness are important, and your team should actively track website traffic-to-lead ratio, or social media and blog reach statistics.
Pay attention to customers
No business wants to make the mistake of not paying enough attention to the voice of the customer. But equally, there’s no way to make everybody happy. At the most basic level, your customer service and feedback gathering mechanisms provide you data on what consumers want. But it’s up to your team how to harness that data and let it drive you forward.
Are you confident that you’re getting adequate quality and sample size for your feedback? Try reaching out through email surveys, engaging across different social media platforms, or soliciting product reviews from independent sites. Do you want to use this data to expand your customer base or increase loyalty among current customers? Issuing referral codes to existing customers can get the former done, or you can provide preferential discounts to your most profitable customers.
Manage internal processes
Don’t let your data analytics team overlook internal KPIs. Though they don’t have the impact of direct revenue numbers or customer feedback, internal metrics are a reflection of how you work as a team – and they bring a carry-over effect on other performance data.
Process improvement for an eCommerce business can be directly tied to your products, or it can be platform-based such as website redesign or marketing campaigns. Employees can also be given individual scorecards with internal metrics to focus on, and their direct supervisor tasked with coaching them for performance and growth. All of these aspects can be measured and analyzed to provide a data-driven overview of your team’s performance.
Your great top-down vision is what drove your startup’s success, but as the business scales, it’s important to delegate some of the information harnessing and strategic work to your team so that everybody grows and learns how to optimize operations.