Time Series Analytics in Startups

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I heard a term the other day that made me pause and think that it needs to be discussed more frequently: time series analytics. It simply means taking snapshots of data on a regular basis (e.g. daily) and then using it for reporting and decision making. Most startups build web apps that solve problems and provide data at a point in time (e.g. current number of employees) but don’t do a good job of providing time series analytics (e.g. I want a chart of the number of employees per pay period for the past 24 months). Sure, you might have a good feeling about the trends but being able to see it visually can provide more insight.

Here are some time series analytics we already do:

  • Weekly KPIs Google Spreadsheet where a new column is created each week to input the two KPIs per department
  • Monthly financial review where a new column is created each month to track different metrics
  • Marketing metrics powered by GoodData

Time series analytics are one piece of reporting that need to be looked at more frequently. Startups should consider time series analytics in their own app reporting sections.

What else? What do you think of time series analytics?

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