Let Data Show the Way Through Uncertainty

How we uncovered an unexpected sales opportunity through data sleuthing.

If you’ve seen Glengarry Glen Ross, you know the phrase “always be closing."

In the world of analysts, our phrase is “always be digging." In a recent data exercise, we uncovered a sizable revenue opportunity through data analysis. In this case and others, it’s important to remember the amazing power data and analytics bring. In fact, the phrase “data is the new oil” has a unique relevance today.

Today’s blog post serves as a how-we-did-it tale of realizing opportunity through data analysis and correlation. In short, I put on my analyst hat and experienced an aha moment that our team chased with an exciting result.

Finding a Discrepancy

In today’s business environment, it’s critical to ensure our teams aren’t letting potential revenue slip through our fingers. Enter analytics: Using Postgres, Salesforce and our modern data stack of Fivetran, BigQuery and Looker, we investigated our sales figures to seek out opportunities for improvement.

When I queried our production database, I saw a typical number of accounts created per month. However, in our Salesforce, our figures only showed 50% of our actual accounts created per month.

Limiting Potential Revenue Loss

Why was there a delta of hundreds of accounts per month? After digging, we realized a handful of these were duplicate accounts, some were partner accounts, and some were test accounts. However, upon further research, I realized a portion of this delta represented real customers creating real accounts with data flowing, i.e., taking actions that convert from trials to paid accounts, without notification to our sales team to make sure they converted to a paying account.

In fact, in March alone, we uncovered a sizable number of new accounts successfully start trials in Postgres completing a source and destination connection to deliver data to the destination without any sales interaction in Salesforce. With these data points in hand, I convened with my go-to-market (GTM) partners and shared the potential revenue that we were missing out on. This delta could have resulted in considerable potential lost annual revenue.

With these numbers, the priority of making changes to address this became obvious and consensus was easy. As a result, we’re actively making changes in our processes to fill this gap.

Using Data to Tame Business Uncertainty

Uncertainty is unavoidable in business, but with analytics, there is always the next question to ask and more value to find. Centralized analytics and broad access to data are increasingly important across all business units in every organization. Use the right tools and resources to set your organization up to get the most value out of what you already have. With Fivetran, getting the data you need will never be the blocker to finding the value you already have.

I’m going to continue to share the ways that we at Fivetran are using our own data to create value for the organization. For me, it's these types of data-driven improvements that get me excited to build out tools to automate data access.

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