Mindful Metrics

Data hacks from the pros: business leaders who are killing the decision making game

Free 5 minute
5 day email course

From data to insights, faster

Unbox PowerMetrics, Klipfolio's new way to work with data, step-by-step.

Tracking progress, staying focused, and making informed and timely decisions are all major ingredients in the recipe for success. Without data, our decisions are made based on gut feel instead of facts. Every team weaves data into their decision making processes differently, so we set out to see how different people in different industries use their data, and which metrics are most important to track.

Christian Pain

Christian Pain, Director of Advertising, Arora Project

Location: Florida, USA

How do you make better decisions using data?

By analyzing data we’re able to make decisions without any guess work. Every move, every change, every decision is backed by metrics that point to a certain finding. It’s the reason we know certain elements in ads work, or how we know what percentage of a page viewed will result in the highest conversion rate. It’s data points like these that when combined in groups open doors for leaders, allowing them to make confident, strong decisions without the worry of that ever hunting word…guessing.

What app are you using the most right now?

On a daily basis, I use Google Analytics, Facebook Ads & Analytics, and Google Ads. This is mainly for my daily analysis and checkups on what’s going on with ads’ performance on our campaigns. This is why I love Klipfolio. I build dashboards that put together a lot of this data in a single dashboards. Sure, other tools can do that, but what I like is that I built these dashboards, so I always look at exactly the data I want to see. It’s efficient. We use a number of other tools to measure performance at various levels or simply to do market research, from Hotjar to Kickstarter to Indiegogo to Typeform to AdBeat to SEMRush to SimilarWeb…you name it. If it’s got a purpose in digital marketing, we’ve got an eye on it.

What are the top 3 metrics you use to gauge your success?

It really depends on the type of campaign we’re running and what the client’s business and goals are. But some universal metrics that are applicable to every campaign are things like CPC, CTR, CPM, Relevance Score (For Facebook Ads), Bounce Rates to determine traffic quality depending on source, and — obviously — CPA.

However, we tend to create our own metrics. What we mean is we use a lot of custom event tracking for the sole purpose of data analysis. For example, we’ll create custom event segments on a site of: percentage of video watched, percentage of page scrolled, and time spent on a page.

Then we look at the data that comes in and we identify the best performing actions based on these custom event definitions. So we’re able to say things like people who watch 50% of our homepage video, scroll 30% of the page, and spend 25 seconds engaging, convert 20% higher than other groups taking different actions. Once we know this, we optimize our campaigns for these specific actions because we know it will perform better. Under this scenario, the metrics we care about now are “50% of video watched”, “30% of page scrolled”, and “25 secs spent on page”. It can get pretty technical, but once you get to this point of analysis is when you can confidently scale things up and know you’ve got the numbers guiding you.

Lisa Wester

Lisa Wester, Email Marketing Officer, RootedElm

Location: Missouri, USA

How do you make better decisions using data?

With email marketing, engagement and conversion data is used to determine if an email campaign is successful based on its goal. Audience data from the email service provider is used to improve future email campaigns in regards to design and content, also, to understand audience growth and churn. Additionally, all of the data collected lends to insight to enhance audience and buyer personas.

What app are you using the most right now?

Litmus is a software as a service tool that is indispensable for email marketers. We use this software to design, build, test and analyze our email campaigns, and those we create for clients.

Before we began using Litmus, we were testing each email campaign on different webmail providers (in various browsers), desktop clients, and a multitude of mobile devices. This process took a great deal of time and truthfully, we were never 100% confident the email was rendering accurately. The type of device the subscriber viewed the email campaign on, the provider itself, or how long they engaged with it, was unknown. Today, the analytic reporting we obtain from Litmus is used to optimize future email campaigns and to focus on troubleshooting rendering issues within each email service provider our audience interacts.

What are the top 3 metrics you use to gauge your success?

  1. The click-to-open rate for an individual email campaign in addition to trends over time, specifically with a recurring email within an email journey.
  2. Audience engagement over time - using Litmus Analytics we can evaluate time spent viewing each campaign and on what device.
  3. Email subscriber acquisition source, unsubscribe rates and reason for unsubscribing.
Brett Knowles

Brett Knowles, Founder, PM2 Consulting

Location: Toronto, Canada

How do you make better decisions using data?

Most of our decisions seem to be based on “gut feel”…based on our intuition. But in reality, we make better decisions when we can substantiate our gut-feel with facts and data, so for us data is all about validating our metal models.

What app are you using the most right now?

Our favorite app is….Klipfolio! We need near real-time data to make our decisions…the pace of our business is such that if our data does not reflect what is going on right now… it is too late and of no use to me. The challenge of near real-time data is the blizzard of information and the challenge of making sense out of it. Being able to visualize the data, to see the trends, is critical. Having it anywhere, anytime is super important.

What are the top 3 metrics you use to gauge your success?

  1. Cell phone minutes: This is our awesome indicator of future revenue: There is a direct relationship between our cell phone minutes this month and revenue two months in the future. This is a great measures for several reasons:
    • It supports our most important strategic goal: Drive Sales Growth
    • It gives us the lead time we need for our most important decisions… it takes us about two months to increase our staff level…or if our cell phone minutes are low, two months is enough lead time to find cheap golf vacations!
    • It is data we get for free through our cell phone bill – no one has to stop what they are doing to fill in a form or report their activities (while they are reporting their activities, they are not selling new clients).
  2. Airline & Hotel points earned: This indicator tells me how closely we are working with out clients – and how many clients we are servicing. If all our consultants make “gold” status it means we are having a great year! Fees earned is not as good as it does not tell us where the work is done, or how much time we are spending with our clients.
  3. Web-leads: We have been lucky enough to have stumbled into a high SEO for our business area. We gradually started getting more and more leads from our website. This seems like free money to me… no outbound sales effort, high closing ratio, etc. The more we can grow that number, the better. The challenge for us is that we are not sure what has caused our high SEO and as such do not know what the “input” measure is that causes this “output”.
Rupert Bonham-Carter

Rupert Bonham-Carter, Chief Success Officer, Klipfolio

Location: Ottawa, Canada

How do you make better decisions using data?

Having the data helps me be in control, and ensures I am focused on the the correct things to help the business grow and succeed. Without this insight, we’re just guessing. The data gives us a common lens to collaborate and ensure the team is pulling in the same direction.

What app are you using the most right now?

I’m using data most stored in Salesforce, with Klipfolio. Of course!!

What are the top 3 metrics you use to gauge your success?

I have a hard time choosing just three. I like key sales metrics like new customers and revenue, but spend a lot of time looking at good predictive indicators like trial starts, customer conversations, customer usage metrics.

Terri Storey

Terri Storey, CEO, Snapclarity

Location: Ottawa, Canada

How do you make better decisions using data?

By using data, we are able to make confident, better decisions to do things like improve the user experience and adjust our sales process. With data, we are able to continue to grow Snapclarity by making informed decisions, rather than making decisions based off assumptions!

What app are you using the most right now?

Right now, we're using Hubspot for just about about everything!

What are the top 3 metrics you use to gauge your success?

To choose just three is hard, since there are so many good KPIs. We are always looking at our User Engagement, Response Rate for our sales emails and Conversion Rate!

Brian Dainis

Brian Dainis, CEO, Curotec

Location: Pennsylvania, USA

How do you make better decisions using data?

Just like any business we have a lot of data available to us. What’s key for us when it comes to decision making is being able to view the data visually to extract insights. Using a dashboard shortens the time it takes to comprehend the data. Seeing the data visually means we can make accurate decisions, faster.

What app are you using the most right now?

Our tool of choice is Klipfolio. It’s really simple to use, the reporting is extensive, and there is a gallery of pre-built dashboards so you aren’t starting from scratch every time. They have already created a large number of integrations to other business applications, so we can pull data in from AWS, a Excel or Google spreadsheet, or our accounting software without having to build the API or ETL ourselves.

What are the top 3 metrics you use to gauge your success?

Our performance against our financial forecast is one metric we use to measure success. Instead of looking backward it lets us know how we’re performing against where we want to be. Another important metric we use is our payroll to revenue ratio. This tells us whether we are overstaffed or understaffed and can give us a lot of insight into the months ahead. Third, we have built logic to predict expenses and define our future sales targets up to 1 year out so that we know with certainty where we need to be in order to keep the health of the business in good standings.

David Mennie

David Mennie, Chief Product Officer, Klipfolio

Location: Ottawa, Canada

How do you make better decisions using data?

Making data-informed decisions is key for any product manager. I like the term “data informed” rather than “data-driven” because the latter sounds like it’s an automated process which it is not - there is clearly both art and science in making a good product decision - but the data is the science.

In a SaaS company, if having a great product is the first ingredient to success, being customer-centric and caring about your users is clearly the second. Everyone in the company needs to have regular conversations with customers. But being customer-centric also means that you fully understand the true value your users get out of your product - why they love it and what they’re willing to pay for.

In addition to speaking with and listening to our customers and prospects often, and looking competitively across our market, we use our own product, Klipfolio, to bring our key metrics together across a variety of data sources.

What app are you using the most right now?

In terms of gaining that understanding of the value users are finding within our product, I personally use Mixpanel. We’re able to see clearly across our customers’ journey where they go most often in the product, what features they use, which ones they don’t, where they are successful, and where we can improve the UX.

I also make heavy use of Zuora data and Salesforce data within Klipfolio to track key SaaS metrics and product health metrics for our business.

What are the top 3 metrics you use to gauge your success?

There are at least 20 metrics that I track almost daily. Outside of the key business metrics like New Wins, New MRR, Average New MRR, Expansion MRR, Cancelled Accounts, etc. there are many product health metrics that inform the choices we make as a product management team.

For example, while we’ve been incredibly successful with individuals using and getting value from Klipfolio, we are focused on expanding use and adoption within teams. As such, one of the key metrics I track is:

Average # Users/Account: Average number of users from new accounts that have logged in at least twice in the first 30 days of their account life.

One of the best ways you can keep track of how well you’re doing at building a product that your users love it. Think of ways to build a fanbase instead of a user-base. Once you’ve built a tool that is a pleasure to use, you need to get users to understand the journey you’re on through transparency and a feedback-driven product cycle. Keeping our customers delighted with our product, it’s ease of use, and motivating them to help spread spread the word about our great solution to their colleagues or even providing us with a positive review or user rating on an online review platform is fuel to our business. For this reason, our average NPS response is a key metric:

Average NPS response: Average NPS response for accounts (based on their creation date) in the first 60 days.

Finally, we do have a 14-day free trial but converting our trial customers into a paid plan is essential to the growth of our business. This means I’m staying close to our conversion to paid metric.

Conversion to Paid: Percent of accounts on paid plan in 60 days.

James Baker

James Baker, CEO, Keynote Search

Location: Ottawa, Canada

How do you make better decisions using data?

Data allows us to be more objective as we can compare people, their profiles and backgrounds based on success, trajectory and personality - all ahead of initial conversations. We are able to remove subjectivity and unconscious bias that undermines traditional recruitment approaches.

What app are you using the most right now?

CrystalKnows and KAIT

What are the top 3 metrics you use to gauge your success?

Stick rates on people we place, engagement percentages of targeted candidates, prospect pipeline metrics

Anastasiya Shulyarenko

Anastasiya Shulyarenko, Senior Marketing Manager, Desk Nibbles

Location: Ottawa, Canada

How do you make better decisions using data?

Any modern marketer knows that since the coming of digital marketing, it's become increasingly easier to measure cost of acquisition for customers. Data-driven business decisions are key to any successful marketing initiatives taken by a company. At Desk Nibbles, we look at our traction channels and focus on growing those that yield the highest ROI.

What app are you using the most right now?

The LinkedIn platform and Google AdWords are huge growth drivers of our current business.

What are the top 3 metrics you use to gauge your success?

Looking at metrics such as CPA and CPL when it comes to paid efforts is key to ensuring best return, as well as evaluating keyword rankings and backlinks to our domain to determine organic results.

Ashleigh Bilodeaux

Ashleigh Bilodeaux, Director of Demand Generation, Rainforest QA

Location: California, USA

How do you make better decisions using data?

Data drives all activities and priorities within our marketing organization. We use data to determine what channels are effectively resulting in qualified leads, opportunities, and closed won revenue from our campaigns. Without data we would be flying in the blind and unable to determine the return on our marketing investments.

What app are you using the most right now?

There isn't a day that goes by where I am not in Salesforce and/or Marketo.

What are the top 3 metrics you use to gauge your success?

MQL's (Marketing Qualified Leads), SQO's (Sales Qualified Opportunities), Closed Won (Deals Closed and Won)

Christian Pane

Taras Velychko, Deputy CEO MagneticOne

Location: Ukraine

How do you make better decisions using data?

We can more precisely define the core reasons behind any situation, and, what's probably even more important - we are able to better uncover strategic opportunities, with our marketers better understanding and managing conversions.

What app are you using the most right now?

We're switching to Intercom right now and most probably it will become our most used app. But as of now, they are Google Analytics, Jira, and an admin panel of our apps and services.

What are the top 3 metrics you use to gauge your success?

Conversion rates at each stage of the funnel, successful fully automated migrations, % of total (for our migration services), and not to prevaricate - income

Elias Crum

Elias Crum, Owner, Marketing Guys

Location: Utrecht, Netherlands

How do you make better decisions using data?

Using real-time data in a dashboard enables me to manage our online presence daily instead of monthly or weekly which was the case before. Currently we have all KPI’s realtime on our LED screen in the office and I can see instantly how we are performing.

What app are you using the most right now?

Klipfolio in our CMO Control Center

What are the top 3 metrics you use to gauge your success?

Website Visits/Conversion rate (CTR) / MQL and SQL funnel. Overall my main indicator is monthly revenue.

Wesley Knowles

Wes Knowles, Management Consultant, PM2 Consulting

Location: Toronto, Canada

How do you make better decisions using data?

As a consultant, I use data as a way to validate recommendations to clients. It's easy to get stuck discussing anecdotal evidence, but bringing in historical data and trends allows you to lead the conversation down the right path. Data visualized and explained the right way can make all the difference!

What app are you using the most right now?

For now, it's Google Sheets. It lets me quickly throw in data and share it with others very easily. Unfortunately, its capabilities are fairly lacking, so my new year's resolution is to step my game up with better visualization tools in 2019.

What are the top 3 metrics you use to gauge your success?

Sleep time: For me, I need to get 7.5 hours of sleep a night, or I'll have a hard time focusing and engaging with clients. I use Sleep as Android to make sure I'm hitting those numbers.

Time Spent Distracted: Since consulting has such variable work, sometimes you get stuck doing things that bore you half to death - like filling in expense forms. These are the times I slip off and get lost on Wikipedia for two hours, reading about Star Wars lore. I'll use my browser history as a way to roughly estimate how distracted I was on any given day, to guilt myself into working harder for the rest of the week.

Number of Learning Moments: As I'm early in my career, there's always room to learn - whether it's an insightful performance management article, an interesting way a coworker solves a problem, or the way my boss sells follow-up work. I keep track of learning moments throughout the day, and if my workday is lacking, I'll make sure to spend some time reading business related books I've thrown on my Kobo.

Digital Customer Care

Anthony Carter, Managing Director, Digital Customer Care Company

Location: Netherlands

How do you make better decisions using data?

Since our customers outsource live chat to us it is important that we inform them about our performance. Together with our customers we try to keep improving our performance a little bit every day. With this we become a better partner with whom our customers want to keep doing business.

What app are you using the most right now?

To be able to answer to questions from visitors very quickly, we use a super fast online knowledge base called MyAnswers.io.

What are the top 3 metrics you use to gauge your success?

Chat satisfaction, response time and conversion from chat to lead.

Share

Topics:

Originally published February 14, 2019, updated May, 30 2019

Related Articles

chat support office

Grow your business with these six live chat metrics

By Yaakov KardaAugust 19, 2019

Why customer support should be metrics-driven

By Akshaya SrikanthJuly 2, 2019

+100 services and pre-built metrics to choose from.

Start building dashboards for your team and your clients.