The Importance Of Data In A Start Up

People are drawn to stories and no story is as moving or touching as a start-up story. There is always the element of discovering the David, who wants to stand up to the Goliaths of the world, and listening to their ‘Eureka’ moment gives us a glimpse into how the journey to the start-up began.

People will like this story, boost it on their social media but when it comes to the crux of it, no one will open their purse-strings and fund that start-up. Because stories get you that foot in the door but then you need to back up your growth projections with facts!

If you have a presentation which describes what you do, what gap you are filling in your vertical and how you propose to grow, it makes the Investors lean ahead and perk up their ears! But the only thing that will make you cross the chasm from “Hmm..Interesting story” to “The numbers look good for a Start-up” is nothing but Numbers! Numbers which denote how you managed to achieve what you have been putting up on slide after slide, numbers which denote that you know your user base and numbers which indicate the potential you have if you continue at the same or a better growth rate!

This number crunching exercise which every Start-up should focus on, when they go out in this vast world to seek out like-minded Investors, should be carried out in a systematic manner once all other other glitches have been ironed out.

When it comes to collecting data, the team has an option to simply look at overall numbers OR has an option to first figure out where all data can be captured and then start capturing it in the places it is easy to do so. But once a start-up has a data plan in place, it can slowly move towards having better, cleaner and meaningful figures by doing data analysis on whatever it has managed to collect so far.

This is an iterative exercise but it helps the team to understand

a. Why are we capturing it?
b. Are we learning anything from this?
c. Can we do Goal setting based on this?
d. Can we measure Actuals v/s Goals and maybe refine the Goals?
e. Can we identify ways to boost the numbers?
f. Is there something totally out of our control and are we better off not wasting time trying to capture it?

I will continue more on this topic in part II of this Blogpost however if you are excited about this idea and would love to volunteer for a part of it, do check out this volunteering opportunity.

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