Mar 6 2009

Daily Data

I had a call this morning with a CEO of a young company I’m on the board of.  They are well funded so they have plenty of urgency, but no panic, around what they are doing.  During the conversation, he asked what he could do to increase the board member’s visibility of the progress they are making. 

I told him to start sending out “daily data”.  There is a lot of data flowing through their system and there are several different dimensions of growth that are easy to measure.  Rather than hand collecting stuff, I encouraged him to automate all of this right now, while the company is young.  It can be web-based data (which I’d just toss in my daily information routine) or better yet emailed to me so it shows up with other reports like this in my daily folder.

Many of the companies I’m involved in do this.  A lot of them provide the data weekly, although I always prefer to get it daily as I feel more engaged and can synthesize the trends better.  I also notice the step function changes a lot better when I’m seeing the data stream by on a daily basis.

An example of what I’m talking about is the Lijit Stats Robot.  Every day I get an email from the Lijit Stats Robot that includes the following daily data:

  • Total signups
  • # users who visited the site
  • # of non-users who visited the site
  • Sign-up conversion rate
  • # of searches
  • # of Re-searches
  • # of Re-searches from other search engines
  • # of Re-Searches from Lijit
  • # active search Wijits
  • # Wijit views
  • # unique Wijit views
  • # distinct publishers searched
  • # distinct publishers Re-Searched
  • Top 10 publishers searched
  • Top 10 Wijit views
  • List of new publishers (and where they came from)

Another example would be the data I see every day from Gyminee

  • Users
  • Actives
  • % Active
  • Paying
  • Trial
  • % Paying
  • Cancel Rate
  • Projected Revenue for the Qtr
  • Views
  • Monthly Views
  • Unique Visitors
  • Monthly Unique Visitors

Obviously both of these data sets are trending data sets so I see the trend rollup monthly, but by getting to see the daily data a quick glance can often generate an interesting insight.  It also causes me to spend at least ten seconds thinking about the company each day, which probably serves the CEO well as it increases the likelihood that I’ll notice something else throughout the day that might be helpful to him.