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Data Collection: Getting It Right the First Time Around

Data Collection: Getting It Right the First Time Around
By Arpit Choudhury • Issue #2 • View online
👋 Hey there, welcome to the astorik newsletter that helps keep pace with the data space!
In this issue, I am sharing tips to get your primary data collection efforts right.

Data collection typically refers to tracking customer data from your website, web app, and mobile apps – these properties are your primary sources of customer data. [1]
While data collection also takes place when people interact with your brand via other touchpoints such as emails, support conversations, and social media, this issue is focused on the primary sources of customer data.
Tracking customer data starts when a user lands on your website or downloads your app and goes on as the user creates an account on your web/mobile app, performs key actions inside the app, makes a purchase, and so on. 
And implementing a tracking project successfully requires a set of people, processes, and tools. I like to refer to this as the PPT framework for data collection – let’s take a look!
People
The people involved in a data collection process depends on the company size and stage but at the very least, every company needs the following resources: 
  1. An engineer who handles the technical implementation 
  2. Stakeholders from various teams who share their data needs 
  3. An ops (operations) manager who is responsible for the end-to-end process of getting tracking implemented in collaboration with the engineer and the stakeholders.  
The ops manager, in particular, needs to have a deep understanding of the product as well as the customers it caters to. 
During my time as the head of growth at Integromat, I played the role of the ops manager which led me to eventually build Data-led Academy. 
Now assume that you are the ops manager and read on..
Process
There are two key steps in the process of implementing tracking – documentation and the actual implementation. A lot of companies invest in tools and jump straight into implementation – big mistake, please avoid it.  
Start by documenting the requirements of different teams in the form of questions that various stakeholders are looking to answer. These questions will help you figure out what data you need to track in the first place. [2] 
The next step is to create a data tracking plan, which in its simplest form is a document that contains all the information related to the customer data you wish to collect. It is also referred to as an implementation spec or just a tracking plan.
Don’t underestimate the importance of building a detailed, accurate, easy-to-understand tracking plan – it is often the only document that tells your colleagues what customer data your company collects and what that data looks like. [3]
Tools
In this issue, I won’t be talking about specific tools because it is a classic trap to spend a ridiculous amount of time evaluating various tools and technologies without having the foundation in place. 
I am obsessed with data-related tools and technologies and I can tell you this with conviction – while the right tool makes a lot of difference in the long-run, it is not the first thing to figure out when starting your data collection efforts.  
Don’t worry though, I won’t leave you hanging and in the next issue, I’ll cover all the tools and technologies you can explore for your data collection needs.
Thanks for reading! 🙏
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Arpit Choudhury

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