KPI spy is a started launched in October 2017 to redefine how data analysis is done and delivered. The startup is a business metrics reporting platform that delivers video breakdowns, which include human interpretations of all the key marketing data points that business owners should be monitoring regularly for their own companies and their competitors.
There is so much data and so many data tools available to businesses today. It is data noise that’s very difficult to determine what to monitor and what the takeaways should be. Most business owners don’t have the time or the expertise to analyze the data or even how to get it. KPIspy does all the heavy lifting for them and breaks down the key performance indicators as well as their competitions activity in an easy to understand video.
We had a discussion with the founder of KPIspy, Clay Griffith. Catch our chat below.
BIG DATA ANALYSIS INDUSTRY
The concept of big data is well known to the businesses that need it. However, when it comes to general knowledge, very many businesses don’t understand the idea and how data analysis helps their companies grow. Clay says, “BI, as a broad category, should (and does) apply to all business types as a means to successful decision-making through knowing what’s happening for your business and in your space. But — despite great intentions — it’s usually executed poorly and especially so for small and medium sized businesses.”
He continues, “Gartner Research reported way back in 2008 on 9 fatal flaws that lead to BI implementation failure and much of this comes down to a lack of knowing how to interpret data and assigning who takes the lead on reporting.”
Other businesses need to know the significance of data, and what businesses have benefited from big data analysis to exponentially grow.
“In terms of BI successes in the industry at large, one only needs to look to the clients of companies like Tableau and Domo to see how heavily some of the world’s largest organizations use such services,” Clay adds. These two companies are humongous, and so, even by definition sometimes it might appear that BI Data Analysis is for the large companies. However, Clay Griffith disputes that.
“We built KPIspy for small and medium sized business where data analyst teams aren’t feasible but keeping an eye on critical metrics is just as important.”
PROBLEMS IN THE BI SERVICES
Currently existing is a huge number of other tools in this industry. Creating a new startup has to be solving a huge problem that the existing tools in the marketplace do not solve.
“Due to the way that data is gathered and the way many popular tools work, BI is traditionally a practice managed by IT teams. This has made BI adoption difficult for many companies — especially those without IT infrastructure. That same IT-focused history has led to many industry experts proclaiming that “BI as we know it is Dead” as more accessible solutions have entered the market,” says the founder.
“Still, though, look at a list of the top BI tools and you’ll see a common trait; data-intensive dashboards and charts. What this data-overload tends to cause is adoption and data-usage problems that stall out Business Intelligence. Many times, nobody ends up owning the data analysis after reporting is set up and because business decision makers aren’t involved in deciding which data is most important, too much data noise drowns out meaning.”
Clearly, it is a huge setup and adoption problem. Even more, the problem spreads into the general mindset of both the people working in this space and the tools. KPIspy wants to revolutionize that.
“By focusing on key-data takeaways only and monitoring data across numerous focused sources, KPIspy solves the adoption problem by handling the “what matters” problem and provides business owners with accessible answers on a regular schedule. We aim to pull business decision makers out of dashboards and the “excel culture” that stalls decision making while empowering more educated leaders across the team,” he adds.
MISTAKES MADE WHEN ANALYZING BI
As it stands, a lot of noise in charts and graphs passes for data. However, this is borderline data noise sometimes. Clients make mistakes when analyzing data or making BI service purchases.
“When it comes to actually adopting BI, we find that assigning too much value to “volume of data” over “data that matters” is a common error for many companies,” remarks Clay. “There are certainly businesses that require deep, analytical, and often-times algorithmic data interpretation to improve operations and sales. These often-global companies certainly merit the maintenance of a data analyst team with advanced BI tools to match their aims. However, for KPIspy, we recognize that small and medium sized businesses are most often underserved by the BI tools available because of exactly this — deep data reporting that’s built for specialized teams.”
Consequently, KPIspy wants to encourage small and medium-sized businesses to get into the BI services space and start making use of quality data to make crucial business decisions. The founder of KPIspy is definitely quick to clarify what his company does differently.
“We use these same tools to analyze critical data but distill it down to digestible takeaway metrics that have meaning and action-ability to more common-sized businesses,” he says. “In teams of 100 members or less, it’s not unusual for many hats to be worn, for dialogue across teams to be common, and for leadership to be watching over many moving parts. These are the teams we help. By reporting on what matters in quick, understandable ways, we help teams make better decisions.”
MAJOR BENEFITS OF UPGRADING TO BI SERVICES
It is true that small to medium-sized businesses have not embraced BI services. However, there are tools that provide them with snippets of small data in different platforms like Google Analytics, Hootsuite, Mailchimp, Sumome, etc. They need to know the major benefits of upgrading to the BI service.
“Google Analytics and HootSuite are, in fact, modern takes on Business Intelligence services. Each provide meaningful data and visual representations of that data with immense actionable opportunity if a team is evangelizing that information appropriately,” says the founder.
“This, again, is the same problem that traditional IT-focused BI faces and we find that many teams end up with the same failures — even with these tools. Most often, reporting from these dashboard-based tools can go months without reaching leadership in ways that resonate and drive decision-making. It really comes down to how the data is presented and that’s the beauty of KPIspy. We don’t replace these tools, we make them work better by distilling important data and presenting it visually to leadership in ways that drive action. Rather than having reports live in deeply rooted dashboards, KPIspy turns data into snapshots that have meaning. We use these tools to prepare video metric reports with insights, recommendations, and relevance.”
Businesses are obviously looking to grow but are usually afraid of startups that claim to solve a problem “for every business owner” due to the “one size fits all” approach. At KPIspy, the intention is to help small to medium-sized businesses receive data about their businesses delivered in video, in simplicity. Generalization is not the approach the company is going for. Instead it intends to elaborate how businesses will benefit from the platform.
Clay notes, “We’re best suited for small to medium-sized businesses where there are marketing activities (internally or externally managed) already underway. Our service prevents market-blindness and allows business owners and their leadership to regularly understand their activity’s impact, the actions of competition, and how things are trending without dedicating team time to that data interpretation and presentation. Video reports on business metrics that provide meaning. That’s what we do.”
As with all industries, 2005 is different from 2017. Next year will be different too. With the growth in technology necessitating shifts in businesses and big data analysis, new trends are up for grabs. He says, “Yes, actually. The ongoing and emerging trends fall into two categories. Ease of use and data-centralization. In the past 5 years, Business Intelligence has made a hard-shift towards accessible data that more teams can engage with. This means less IT-team focus and more generalized business focus — oftentimes aimed at marketing teams. Furthermore, many tools focus on aggregating data from multiple sources to be one-stop-shops for BI.”
He continues, “KPIspy is in many ways the culmination of both of these trends. By the nature of our human-managed video reporting model, we’re able to use any relevant data source for customers and we interpret that data with that individual business or decision-makers’ needs in mind. This makes BI something anybody can take advantage of without learning to navigate databases of information.”
2018 is approaching closely, but startups can’t afford to plan ahead without looking further than a year later. KPIspy has goals that it believes will propel their teams for the next couple of years.
As we conclude the discussion with Clay Griffith, he speaks regarding this, “We plan to evolve KPIspy more towards automated reports that only showcase those same KPIs we care so much about. This will initially take the form of email but may eventually live in customer-access-only mobile apps as well. The goal for KPIspy will always be to make decision making easier without dedicating an hour or more of your day to clicking around dashboards and assigning meaning. As we learn new ways to break out takeaways and make a business owner’s day easier, we’ll continue to add to our service while cutting out noise.”