Understanding and forecasting revenue is crucial to a company’s health. However, trying to extract data from dozens of disparate sources to form actionable insights is often a huge burden. In one small company’s case, its “data team of one” uses the modern data stack to deliver customer relationship management (CRM) platform insights to sales leadership.
Clari is a revenue operations platform that sits on top of a company’s CRM platform to provide valuable insights back to the people who need them, ultimately helping teams within companies sell better. Business intelligence is at the core of Clari’s business model.
“Understanding how to improve sales execution, move deals along in a particular quarter, and have predictable revenue are key for most of our customers,” said Gary Sahota, Clari’s one-man analytics department.
At the Modern Data Stack Conference 2020, Sahota shared three ways he’s using data insights to drive both innovation and revenue.
Automate Data Integration to Save Valuable Time
As the only analytics employee, Sahota recognizes the need to empower others in the organization with a big-picture view, while also protecting his own time to spend on insight-generating projects.
He set out to build a modern, cloud-based data stack with the following must-haves:
- A multitude of connectors to raw data sources, enabling quick access to data as the business applications
- Automatic schema migration to detect changes to data sources (such as new columns or file types) and to mitigate downtime
- JSON support for Clari’s custom application
- An easy user interface
As a result, Clari’s resulting data stack includes Fivetran, Snowflake and Tableau.
“I wanted a modern data stack because it’s very easy to configure and maintain, and enables me to keep driving insights and decisions that impact revenue and help our product mature as fast as possible,” he said.
Driving Product Growth With Data
When Sahota joined Clari, employees referenced data that was siloed in apps such as Salesforce, Marketo and LinkedIn, which made it virtually impossible to gain a holistic business view of the business. Clari used its own internal tool to predict and track revenue, adding to the fractured view of data insights.
“I take data from the individual business applications and our core product itself, and provide the BI dashboards, insights and reporting that drives cross-functional decision-making,” Sahota said. “In most analytics organizations, that’s where the buck stops. But what I’ve really started doing in my role is inspiring innovation back into the product as well.”
As a power-user of Clari’s own core product, Sahota can battle-test Clari’s software and more deeply understand customers’ experiences. The insights he generates are instrumental in determining new product features.
Analytics Adds Value and Drives Revenue
At the end of the day, Sahota’s goal is to not only provide colleagues with their requested reports and data, but to encourage them to use the insights to influence the product itself. His on-the-ground perspective is already helping the company’s product managers decide which features would be most impactful to build out.
“With my data stack in place, I can effectively build data models and analyze them without having to worry about infrastructure. Through data analytics, I can add revenue to our business and generate insights or dashboards that lead to new product features. This reflects that analytics is a core function and a strategic investment for the company."