Question: What data are data scientists at startups actually analyzing? How is it collected?
(Coming from a web analytics background I’m wondering what data are data scientist at IT companies actually analyzing. Is it server-side or client-side? Is it collected internally or using some external tool?)
Part 1: What are startups analyzing?
It depends on the Business Model and the Stage that they are at.
Business Models: Marketplace, Ecom, SaaS, Media, etc.
Stage: Early, Mid, Late
So let’s say you have a SaaS model and you’re in Mid-stage (post product-market fit stage) then you would tend to be focused on things like: Engagement, Churn, etc…and ideally they should be focused on measuring what aligns best with the strategy (instead of capturing everything!)
Let’s take another example. Let’s say you are a Marketplace in late-stage. So you would tend to be focused more on the “money” and so you can measure things like: transactions, commissions, etc…
I recommend reading “lean analytics” book as it goes much deeper and it’s a great starting point for anyone to understand how analytics could help a startup.
Part 2: How is it collected?
Now this also depends on your product. Assuming you’re a tech startup, you would have Web App and/or Desktop app and/or Mobile app. And now depending on your delivery approach plus your measurement needs, the “how” part will be determined. It would invariably be a combination of your transactions data source, web/mobile events stack (like Google analytics/other-Vendor or Custom), finance data source among others.
This post points to 10 other blogs which lists their “data” stack: The Data Infrastructure Meta-Analysis: How Top Engineering Organizations Built Their Big Data Stacks – The Data Point