Business intelligence · Metrics

What are some good tools for tracking basic startup metrics (revenue, repeat customers, traffic)?


October 1st, 2013

In Paul Graham's July essay Do Things that Don't Scale, he talked about picking a given metric and working on growing it 10% a week. It's time a set up a dashboard for my company, Arithmetic

I'm definitely aware of Google Analytics for web traffic, but I'd like to create a simple, visual dashboard where I can start tracking a number of things. 

Chartio looks cool, but at $90/mo. is a little pricy and when I first experimented with it, it seemed a little complicated. I'm not a big fan of Excel, but I could certainly create a spreadsheet. Or is there something simple and cool waiting for me to check it out? 

Robert Faibish Mixpanel

October 1st, 2013


Sandeep Arneja Co-founder & CTO at

October 1st, 2013

If you are interested in tracking feature usage on your site without making any code changes, then try  I personally hate it when I have to make code changes every time i want to track something.

Check out this video between 0:00 - 1:14:

Matt Farnell

October 1st, 2013


Harper Lee Mathematician

May 26th, 2020

Useful information for thought.

Todd Ellermann Experienced I.T. Leader, CTO, and Creative Entrepreneur

October 1st, 2013

Andy, If you write code or integrate with at this stage of your business you get an B+ for engineering cleverness and D- for business decision making. Dump your data into SQL database, setup Excel Pivot tables and charts using ODBC datasource and get back to taking care of customers and making a great product! $.02 What data you collect is going to decide your fate, not how cool your dashboard is. Best of luck, -T ******************************************************************* Todd R. Ellermann VP of Engineering Founder Researcher Personal: 805-850-8044 cell ******************************************************************* Does getting an ASU MBA with existing UofA BSCE make me a SunCat? or a WildDevil? Go Cats! ...said with a Devilish grin ;)

Alexander Ross Head of Business Development at Verifide

October 1st, 2013

I haven't used it myself but I've heard good things about Geckoboard. I'm curious about anyone who has tried Paul Graham's technique of 'grow x% per month'. It does seem like a great single metric. But I'm curious, is it realistic and practical? My experience has been more by growing by fits and starts. For example, any press hit adds a quick burst that then drops. Adding new traffic source also shows step gains that are way more lumpy than a gradual percent increase. Anyone have any real world experiences to share?

Toren Ajk Digital Marketer

October 1st, 2013

Chartio looks interesting. You might might also want to checkout Geckoboard


October 2nd, 2013

Wow, so many great responses. Thanks to all. I'm looking forward to digging in and studying this stuff. 

Alexander, I met a YC alum and the impression I got is that Paul Graham suggests having a range of metrics and focusing on one per week. Traffic and revenue are obvious, but chances are most startups can't grow revenue 100% in 10 weeks. 

But there are tons of metrics: social shares, time spent on the site, customer reviews, etc. Most most startups can pretty easily say, "We'll get 10% more X" in a week. Apparently just having small goals like that creates momentum that ends up boosting bigger picture metrics, too. 

Adam Porroni Entrepreneur / Criminologist / Developer

October 2nd, 2013

If you're making anything web-based, Optimizely is one of the best resources for A/B testing.  Full metrics, customizable, and super-useful for studying UI design and interactivity.  Nice dashboard for multiple tests and projects in order to compare success over time and refine future tests.

Jay Cahill Tech Advisers Network - WPI School of Business at Worcester Polytechnic Institute

October 1st, 2013

I've had the chance to do a number of projects related to this of late and can say there are a lot of great tools for publishing dashboards on the web - I'm a fan of the Geckoboard UI.  

FWIW - Before you jump in to one, I would spend some cycles modeling it in Excel.  At a miniimum it'll help assure you're capturing the data you want to report and give you a relatively cheap way to model out your UI requirements for a web based dashboard.

Best of luck!