Many of us understand that, sooner or later, we need to start collecting first-party data, but with the latest e-privacy law changes, we need to start working on it TODAY. This is because we need to be able to store all of our user data and spendings in one place, somewhere we can trust, like a local data infrastructure, and rely less on third parties to help us comply with the law.
Building Your Data Infrastructure Taking Too long
On average, a company needs 8 months to collect and store all of the relevant data. This isn’t something you should do from day one, but it definitely can change the way you make decisions. The best time to start thinking about owning your data is around the time you start advertising and paying for your ads. Why is that? Well, it’s because this is the stage where data can become critical if you want to maximize each euro you spend and get the best return on your investment. If you spend a small budget on bringing in users without knowing how each euro you’re spending is being monetized, you could end up with burned money, or worse, burned users who will never come back.
Throughout my career, I have encountered many businesses that started doing paid marketing, but because they didn’t have any data, they couldn’t decide whether they should invest in Facebook ads or Google search – nor could they decide if they should spend money on a new feature or on improving an existing one. This had the company’s owners running around unsure if they could make a concept work. If they’d had the numbers, maybe things could have been turned around.
Decision-makers can’t steer a company without data, and yet many of us have learned to make decisions based on untrustworthy data or just by gut feeling. I do believe that you can’t make bad decisions when you believe in your product, but having data on your side can be very helpful to simplify decision-making and maximize euro/dollar spending.
Most likely, you use a lot of third-party services to collect your data from a CRM tool to send push notifications and newsletters to attribution and tracking tools and advertising platforms, all of them collecting a specific view of your users. But later, you need to connect the dots yourself or once again use a third-party tool to collect the data for you and compile it so you can read it.
Why Shouldn’t You Do it Yourself?
If you decided to use your own solution to collect, store, process and visualize data, it will take you up to 12 months until most of the dashboards are out, and by this point, you will have a huge backlog of changes waiting for your small analytics/BI team to correct. This isn’t an ideal situation considering the trade-off you had to make and you still don’t know if you are investing your euros in the best way!
You will need to collect feedback from various stakeholders with different needs, then translate it into a language your data engineers can understand. Then you will discover that whatever was relevant when you started to work on this project is no longer relevant because the business has evolved and the external environment has changed. 6 months, or even 12, is a very long time in a fast-growing startup, and now you will need to find solutions to answer these changes.
Even if you have senior engineers on board, this won’t guarantee you success. That’s because there is so much work that is already too old to deal with. In the majority of cases I encountered in the past, there was one senior engineer and 3-4 juniors who were all trying to do a senior engineer’s job – but let’s face it, their code is inefficient and they’re unfamiliar with all the API connectors and the team’s needs. What you end up with is one overworked engineer who will look to escape as soon as possible and four eager-to-learn juniors who want to become senior and escape the boat in the hope of a better paycheck.
Even when I facilitate data strategy workshops, as I do with most of my clients, I find that in many cases, the understanding of data just isn’t there. Data is still being dreamt of, not lived, and as a result, people ask for data that is either insignificant when it comes to decision making or data they have heard is essential in the type of organization they work at. This is why it’s important to have a professional who can facilitate your data strategy workshop, a senior analyst or a senior data strategist, otherwise, you will just create a load of dashboards that mean nothing and will need to be revised afterward.
How Can We Help You?
Are you still up for this? Tale About Data can save you ⅔ of the time you would likely spend building your infrastructure with our easy to deploy data infrastructure. In just a few weeks, you could have everything in one place with the assistance of a senior data strategist. They can help you with the development of your first dashboards, dashboards that ensure the best outcomes. Three months later, after you have been working with the data and learned what is important or not, we can help you adapt your dashboards.
In up to 12 weeks of work, not only do we collect and store your data on your own server, but we also help you to understand your data. We can help you find the best ways to visualize it and drive great results to grow your business and strengthen your team’s data-led decision-making.