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The New SQL Analytics Stack — Are you keeping up or falling behind?
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes.

Congrats on landing the coveted VP Growth position at a sexy startup. You want to impress your new peers and show an impact right away with the right analytics. The problem: the world of analytics has gone completely crazy the past couple of years. Google Analytics doesn’t cut it anymore…

Where do you get started? We think we might have an answer – in this post we hope to layout a foundation for the new analytics stack and how the pieces all fit together.

The Good Ol’ Days

First, some background. How did we get here and why does everything need to change yet again?

The last couple of years of analytics has seen tremendous innovation in collecting, storing and visualizing data. Products like Mixpanel make it really simple to get started and provide instant reporting for your key metrics or KPIs. A couple of hours to instrument your website or app, and get you get a neat set of metrics around conversion rates, retention rates, revenue amongst others.

Awesome visibility into your business performance to get started.

Well, Almost…

As your company grows, your organizational appetite for data increases. With your marketing, sales and support teams using their own best-of-breed products to do their tasks, you’ve walked into a data collection problem.

Your organizational data is all over the place — revenue data in Stripe, help desk data in Zendesk and marketing data in Marketo, for example. To continue using more tools, your engineering team becomes the bottle neck. Your engineers will have to do the painful and error prone work of instrumenting each tool. Mistakes happen and suddenly you can’t trust the reports being sent to you.

We need a new way.

The New Way is Here

Segment is a data hub that makes it easy for websites and apps to integrate these 3rd party analytics tools. One click, and you can start using a new tool without wasting valuable engineering time on integration. This sounds great!

Segment has shown great traction over the last couple of years – well deserved, they solve a genuinely painful problem. They integrate with hundreds of tools out there with more being added every week.

Our first recommendation to anyone starting to collect data is to use Segment.

BUT WAIT, IT GETS MORE INTERESTING

The holy grail of customer analytics is the so called 360-degree view of a customer, from acquisition sources, revenue data and support workload.

A single view across all your customer touch points.

Until now, this was difficult to achieve, if not impossible.

The good news is that we are getting closer to realizing this vision, with big industry trends on the way:

  1. Rise of cloud-hosted and unbelievably-fast databases such as Amazon Redshift, Google Big Query and Microsoft Azure SQL Server. These databases make storing and querying terabytes of data approachable even to organizations with small budgets.
  2. Easy collection and moving of data from these disparate sources to a single above mentioned database or warehouse.
  3. Analysts entering the industry with SQL knowledge, eager to put their new skills to use.

The Takeaway

The best organizations are data hungry. Truth be told, there are business ideas everywhere — from investors, employees, partners and other stakeholders. What you need is more wood behind fewer arrows. Data helps you do that.

At Silota, we are extremely passionate about:

  1. data, data and more data
  2. evangelizing analysts to do their best work
  3. creating truly data-driven organizations

No matter how early or established your data team is, we want to help you with the best data visualization technology available and let you make the important business and product decisions.

Image Credits: Unsplash.