The importance of data democracy (and why it’s a must-have for anyone in the app space)
Insights · 7 min read

The importance of data democracy (and why it’s a must-have for anyone in the app space)

The Yodel Mobile Team
Posted July 06, 2022

This post is brought to you by Yodel Mobile, the award-winning and leading global app marketing consultancy. Yodel Mobile has driven sustainable business success for thousands of app companies, both start-ups and scale-ups, through their award-winning growth marketing strategies.

Data democracy is a hot topic in tech, as companies look to empower all employees to go beyond instinct-based decisions and toward data validation. And with fierce competition for mobile users’ attention, reliable data is particularly crucial for anyone looking to optimize their app and related user acquisition funnel.

Marketing budget going toward an ad for a seldom-used app feature. A sales presentation based on last year’s stats. The product team picking the wrong user journey for the next sprint.

Scenarios like these are the stuff that business nightmares are made of, but they’re facts of life when crucial data is only accessible to a limited number of people. Growth comes from making the right decisions at the right time, and without insight into the numbers behind your users’ activity, sustainable growth becomes difficult—and even unlikely.

If that sounds like doom and gloom, you’ll be pleased to know there’s a simple(-ish) answer.

It’s called data democracy.

What is data democracy?

The Ancient Greeks invented “rule by the people.” And it’s taken just another 2,500 years for us to apply that concept to data, allowing everyone at every level within a company the same access to the same data. Forrester research suggests that between 60% and 73% of all data within an enterprise goes unused for analytics, which means there’s a lot of untapped potential in gaining a better understanding of how your products perform.

Making this information available to everyone is the kind of egalitarian approach to data access that can change the course of your business. Best case scenario, you’ve given everyone—finance director to marketing exec—the tools needed to come up with the next Seriously Big Idea for your business. If not that, you’ve at least made sure you’re making decisions based on facts, not guesswork. 


Why data democracy is important for the mobile app sector

The app space is complex. The proprietary nature of Apple and Google has ensured getting a full overview of a user journey—both pre- and post-install—is no easy task. In order to maintain a clear view of that journey, it’s critical to understand how each platform defines growth metrics, and to then match up this data across the different tools you use—Facebook, Google Play, your attribution tool, etc. Only then can you ensure all teams—whether it’s the acquisition, product, marketing, or commercial team—are using the same datasets to work towards their goals. 

To give an example, your paid acquisition team could be working to optimize subscriptions, while your product team is focusing on increasing a user’s lifetime value. If subscriptions increase as a result of the paid acquisition team, but at a lower lifetime value, it will appear the product team is not doing its job. By aligning on metrics and sharing goals across these two (often siloed) teams, this confusion can be avoided. 

4 additional benefits of democratized data

Speed

By removing analytics gatekeepers, data can be accessed, analyzed, and acted upon much faster. From ideation to iteration, it’s now accepted that monitoring progress is essential, whatever part of the business you’re in. If you’re wondering how big an issue this is, McKinsey reports the average employee spends 1.8 hours every day searching and gathering information. That’s more than one day a week doing something other than their actual job. 

Alignment

By giving everyone access to data, you’re making everyone a part of the company’s success. Teams that are not typically driven by data will be able to make evidence-based decisions without the need for outside involvement—a level of independence that fosters accountability. 

Growth

Good decisions come from good information, as any high-growth company will tell you. Without knowing what’s working and what’s not, the chance of making the right choice at the right time becomes infinitely more unlikely. 

Communication

Metaphorically speaking, your coder doesn’t speak the same language as your Head of CRM. But if you give both access to the same data, conversations between these teams become easier thanks to that common language. 

From "why" to "how:" Democratizing data in your org

Step 1: Choose your goals

By agreeing on a small number of overall business goals, each team has clarity on what they can contribute to make them happen. These goals will then naturally guide which app growth metrics need to be measured. 

Step 2: Document everything

Record each event that is being tracked, where it’s being tracked, and how this is accessed, including log-in details. Make this spec sheet accessible to everyone.

Step 3: Ensure data quality

It’s not about more data, but better data. That means all analytics products need to work correctly, and all triggers need to measure what they’re supposed to. Given the importance of getting this right, it’s often something done by outside agencies specializing in the specific data tools’ implementation. Experian’s Global Data Management report found that 75% of companies who had improved their data quality had exceeded their annual objectives. 

Step 4: Agree on data governance

This should include how data quality will be checked and which team is responsible for it, the standardization of naming conventions, and who will be in charge of ensuring the spec sheet is kept updated. By having a standardized inventory of all available data, you allow everyone on the team–whether they’re data analysts, product developers, or marketers–to collaborate better. Fifty-one percent of organizations believe their current data governance programs are ineffective, and with the amount of data available increasing all the time, getting your data in shape will become more important than ever. 

Step 5: Democratize

Give everyone visibility to everything, even things that don’t initially appear to be relevant to their job. Train them appropriately so they understand what they’re looking at. Make it easy for someone to have a brainwave, check the data to see if their assumption is valid, and introduce something new to the company, regardless of department.

The truth behind data democracy

Some real talk: true data democracy takes commitment. 

It takes time to establish data democracy as a practice, and it takes regular work to maintain it. It’s essential that the groundwork is done thoroughly, both in set-up and in documentation, for the overall project to be successful long-term. There’s also a cost consideration, whether it’s investing in new tools or in training staff.  It may even require a cultural shift within the business—the larger a company grows, the less likely it is to have the kind of flat structure typically required for this kind of endeavor. 

All these factors should be offset by the overall benefit to the business. You may not recoup your costs immediately, but it’s something that will pay dividends long-term, potentially changing the future of your business. 

And in the highly competitive world of apps, anything that gives you the edge over the competition is an investment worth making. 


Yodel Mobile is a FullStory Partner. 

Together, Yodel Mobile + FullStory provide holistic app marketing solutions combined with digital experience intelligence, enabling clients to experience long term sustainable growth while crafting a more perfect mobile customer experience. 

If you want to find out more about how improving the mobile customer experience can impact your app marketing campaign or you have any app marketing questions, book your free consultation with the Yodel Mobile Growth Team.

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The Yodel Mobile TeamContent

About the author

Yodel Mobile is the leading app growth consultancy and Mobile Agency of the Year, specialising in launching and scaling apps. We plug in as an extension of our clients’ growth team, with app experts supporting success-driven strategy and implementation to accelerate app growth.

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