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How The Fastest-Growing Data Company Uses Data For Everything

At Periscope Data, we practice what we preach. As the fastest-growing data company on Deloitte’s 2018 Technology Fast 500, we’ve seen firsthand how an empowered data team can transform businesses. Here are a few ways leaders in our lines of business make use of our data team every day:

Sales: Driving repeatable, scalable results

“We needed a dashboard that focused on the right metrics to drive sales results. To accomplish this, we leveraged the close partnership between our sales leaders and our data team. After providing a wish list of about 25 charts, it became quickly evident that this was a bit of information overload.

“Thankfully, our data team doesn’t blindly take requirements and build dashboards. They took the time to ask important questions. How is the sales team going to use this dashboard on a daily basis? What decisions is the leadership team looking to make based on the data? What improvements to our sales process do we expect to validate based on the information? Leveraging this additional color coupled with their expertise, our data team created something better than what was initially requested.

“The end result? Insights into the business that drive incremental results which we would have otherwise struggled to realize. That is the value of a truly strategic data team and something that every organization in this world should prioritize building within their own walls.”

Ben Loeffler-Little, head of sales

Product: Building a more efficient product

“A week ago, our chief architect asked me to predict usage growth across all aspects of our product, so that we could plan investments in our capacity to handle load.

“If we plan for 100,000 users per site, for example, that is a much more expensive requirement than if we only have 500 users per site. We have data on this topic, but it was not structured in a way that someone like me, a business user, could effectively use it. I asked my data team this question, and they did more than just give me answers. They built a data model so my entire team can find self-service answers to these kinds of questions and others.

“Now I can manage our resource investment with confidence as we build out our roadmap, solving more customer problems instead of overinvesting in infrastructure.”

Scott Castle, head of product

Operations: Data integrity for better decisions

“I’ve been in my fair share of organizations that did not have centralized or even decentralized data teams. They had operational individuals who were pulling data from their own system of record, and that’s what they were presenting as truth. But it only tells one component of the story. You found, more often than not, that you were showing up to meetings, and two line-of-business leaders were presenting on the same topic with different data, and presenting that data as the truth.

“Whenever you have someone present and say ‘this is the data’ without caveats, you should be nervous. That is the value of a data team, they will lay out all of the caveats, all of the ways this data isn’t 100% reliable. Maybe it hasn’t been fully A/B tested or maybe they know there is a problem with the data source. This helps you get a comprehensive understanding of the integrity of the data before making decisions.”

Greg Strickland, chief operating officer

Finance: Establishing a single source of truth

“In finance there can be a number of routine tasks that have to be done without error — whether that is collecting cash, accounts-payable, booking revenue, etc. These tasks are very manual and pull from a lot of different systems, but they directly impact how you manage the cash flow and operations of your organization. You need to leverage the right data to make sure that you have credibility, and I save time by not having to manually consolidate and reconcile Excel spreadsheets or data from different systems.

“The data has to have integrity and has to be holistic, and then can tell us what to do. Instead of asking, ‘is that number right?’ I can spend time using the data to understand how are we doing, what are the programs we should continue investing in, and where should we pull back.”

Kathy Young, head of finance

In the age of data-driven decisions, your decisions are only as good as your data team. Learn more about the steps your business can take to grow and empower your data team, and the benefits you will realize as result in our new guide, Building & Empowering Your Data Team.

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Franklin Morris
Franklin Morris is Periscope Data's creative director and content leader. Previously, he led content and creative for global tech brands including IBM, Dell, Rackspace, Oracle, EA, 3M and more.