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Generate more data than you think you'll need

Build in tracking for things in advance even if you think you won't use them because data is the first step towards developing something new.

Data is the beginning

Data is the first step towards developing something new. If you don’t have the data, you can’t develop anything. In the beginning, you make do with whatever data you have at the moment.

Making decisions based on incomplete data is not ideal. Often, you have to delay decisions so that you can gather some data first.

As you grow, it becomes important to track things in advance.

So, you should generate more data than you think

In Supplybunny, we held off working on a feature till we gathered the data required. Eventually, that evolved into predicting what data we should start gathering now, to facilitate future discussions.

That evolved into tracking anything that we might think would be useful.

This way, you have historical data right when you need it

You won’t be making decisions based on incomplete data.

You won’t have to delay decisions because you have to create tracking first.

And some data, if not captured at the point of interaction, cannot be backfilled. For instance, if you wanted to keep track of what browser the user was on when making an order.

This applies to external and internal systems

Internally, your platform should generate related data when possible. You should keep in mind what related data you might need in the future and what data, if not generated now, cannot be backfilled. And during development, you should pre-emptively generate them.

Externally, you should make thorough use of the chosen analytics service. In Google Analytics, for example, that means making use of events as well as e-commerce features.

With practice, you will be able to accurately predict the data you’ll need.

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