Data and Analytics · Analytics

Recommendations for the best business analytics services/tools for startups?

Jessica Alter Entrepreneur & Advisor

December 4th, 2014

We're looking to replace our amalgamation of homegrown + google analytics as our internal reporting and dashboards. We want a solution that is easy on engineering (both setup and ongoing) and intuitive to business owners to both see metrics dashboards and deeper analyses across data sources. We've looked at and Ubiq and heard about Looker. Has anyone had experience with any of these or others that they recommend - either positive or negative?

Sean Power Co-founder at Repable

December 4th, 2014

Need to consider three things:

A) business model (what actions do you consider valuable to you)?

Is this a social site? Is it a lead gen site? Are you trying to convert people to FD? Are you trying to retain FDers? Who you are largely dictates what you'll use to watch.

B) what do you need to look at?

Are you concerned with engineering metrics? revenue metrics? AARRR? How site speed affects perfomance? There's a whole range of things that GA and homegrown tools can cover. What actually matters to your business?

C) for whom is this data, and what are they going to do with it?

Is this data for investors? For the exec team? For the marketing team? The engineering group? What action do you expect to happen when people consume whatever data you're going to be crunching?

Happy to talk more about it, but it may need a phone call or two.

Shashank Shalabh Chief Marketing Officer | Growth Hacker| Digital Marketer| Speaker| Consultant

December 21st, 2017

Hello Jessica,

It could be confusing given the vast number of BI tools available. As you know the "one size fits all" approach wouldn't work in this case as well.

When looking for a BI tool, I'd focus on:

  • Is it cloud based or not?
  • Does it integrate with multiple data sources such as DBs, sreadsheets etc.?
  • Does it have formatted and Ad Hoc Reporting
  • Is the Dashboard user friendly and easy to learn or has a steep learning curve?

Look for a responsive BI tool that uses Machine Learning. This would greatly help a startup.

In my opinion, Tableau and Domo are two useful tools. There is a plethora of tools out there.

Chartio is slow and not as flexible as Excel/Tableau. I personally dont like their UI and the fact that it is not quite intuitive.

Hope that helps.





December 4th, 2014

In the commercial product space we have used (internally & implemented for customers) a product called QlikSense (  I highly recommend it although you will need some level of IT involvement for setup and data integration.

Praveen Ramanathan President & CEO | Delivering Strategic Digital Experience Solutions for B2B & B2C Customers

December 4th, 2014

Between the three, Ubiq is primarily for mySQL optimizations/visualizations. Chartio and Looker might be better suited to your needs if you have disparate data source beyond mySQL.  Also if you are already grappling with big data sets or are going to grow rapidly into that range, then Looker is slightly better equipped to handle those scenarios. Chartio is better for smaller data sets relative to Looker. Hope this helps.

Chris Bechtel Digital Marketing Executive, Customer Acquisition, SaaS Sales Coach, Start-Up Advisor and Growth Hacker

December 4th, 2014

Hi Jessica,

You might want to contact the Geckoboard team to ask status of the MySQL integration. In the meantime, KISS metrics has an integration option for MySQL. Once integrated you can then create "Events" based on the data and then create "Metrics" and Reports based on those events. I am guessing you'd like to see core user data, e.g. daily, monthly, weekly, active users (by type), conversion funnels from visit to sign-up to engaged, etc.? You can also search and find "# of People who..." so if you'd like to run a people report to find those users that performed a specific action (i.e. event) during a certain period you can do that. Hope that helps!

Bernice Wong Data Analytics & Insights at The RealReal

December 5th, 2014

I can't speak to your other options, but our team is currently using Looker and are very happy with it.   We've found it to be a solid platform for both data exploration & basic reporting.  

-- Serves multiple classes of data consumers (from power users all the way to pure dashboard readers)
-- Easy to build & customize data & metrics for those with a basic SQL background 
-- Responsive customer service available to all your end users 

Some watch outs :
-- There is a learning curve to the platform
-- With the flexibility it gives you, it requires end-user training and continual maintenance on the part of your analytics  team to ensure the ways data are being manipulated make sense.  (*this is likely true for any platform you choose)

Fikó Norbert-István Let's do the humanity better! :)

January 12th, 2017

Check the E section of this article:

Chris O'Sullivan Co-Founder & CTO at Lexoo

December 9th, 2014 isn't an analytics tool - but it's definitely a must for someone trying out different tools to see which one they want to go with.

It basically connects to dozens of tools, so you only have to write one lot of javascript. It's been an amazing tool for us trying to gauge which analytics tool is best for us.

Chris Bechtel Digital Marketing Executive, Customer Acquisition, SaaS Sales Coach, Start-Up Advisor and Growth Hacker

December 4th, 2014

Agree with Sean, it depends on what data you really need to track (and what data your are struggling to track easily). 

Typically, I recommend a mix of GA (for traffic, and acquisition channels primarily), KISS metrics for key performance indicators, conversion funnels and Cohort analysis and for providing dashboards and a unified view of kpis across your organization.

Hope that helps!

Nurkan Kirkan co-founder | rakam (500 startups b21)

June 9th, 2017

hey all. it's a great question indeed.

we've noticed so far actually all analytics tools in the market not grow with your business. all of them able to solve one specific problem.

that's why We have been working on an on-premise analytics platform rakam. It’s real-time and it can handle large volumes of data. You can install rakam on your servers, Heroku or AWS (or even your local environment) and send events directly to your servers. Rakam supports funnel analysis, segmentation, retention analytics, user tracking (properties) similar to Mixpanel and you also have the ability to execute custom SQL queries on your event and user data-set.We also have a BI product that you can run your queries via a web interface, create reports and dashboards using generated reports so that you can fully customize Rakam for your needs and don’t need to pay huge amounts of money to other SaaS analytics services and still have the same (or even more!) feature set.