May Employee Highlight

Saeed Jahankhani

Role:  Principal Architect
Joined: September 2020
Home: North Vancouver

What were you doing before joining Datajoy?

I spent a decade at SAP building analytical tools while holding multiple roles, continuously learning and tackling the most challenging problems. Most recently, I led the design and engineering of the natural language search engine of SAP Analytics Cloud, where we translated natural language business questions to data queries, surfacing answers as visualizations. 

What attracted you to Datajoy?

One of my goals early on in life was to be an entrepreneur and build a company from the ground up. Once I spoke with both Ken and Jon, I quickly saw the stars aligning as Jon is a seasoned entrepreneur that I could learn a great deal from and Ken, whom I had acquaintance with from SAP, is one of the smartest people I have met in my professional career!

What does your typical day-to-day look like?

I enjoy early mornings and  I’m most productive when everyone is asleep-both at home and at work!  So I’m usually up around 4:30am coding/tackling problems that require the most focus. Between 7-8 I usually walk our dog, Lucy, and have a light breakfast. Rest of the day I try to stay in touch with the team, discussing designs, helping with anything I can and continuing to code!

What makes Datajoy special compared to other companies you worked at?

The amazing people on our team! Not only is everyone super talented, but also hard working, goal oriented and ambitious. Everyone cares deeply about each other and the success of the company!

Favorite thing to do outside of work?

Spending time outdoors exploring the beautiful trails of the north shore with my wife Ajand and our dog Lucy, traveling to new locations any chance we get, and recently, playing indoor soccer with friends. We are also about to welcome our first born daughter any day now!

What is your superpower?

Laser focus and my belief that every problem is solvable if you put your mind to it.

April Employee Highlight

Ray Cypher

Role: Staff Software Engineer
Joined: April 2021
Home: Sherwood Park, Alberta Canada

What were you doing before joining Datajoy?

Prior to joining Datajoy I worked at SAP as a Senior Software Engineer on their Analytics Cloud product.  I worked on the back-end focusing on data transformation and grooming.

What attracted you to Datajoy?

There were two main things that attracted me to Datajoy.

The first was the chance to work in a small company again.  I started my career working in startups and smaller companies but for the last twenty years it has all been at large companies like SAP.  I wanted to work in an environment where everybody’s contribution is impactful and you all feel a real sense of ownership for the product.

The second thing was the people.  I’ve worked with several of my coworkers at previous companies.  In fact Ken was an intern on one of my teams a long time ago.

The chance to work with so many really good people was a big draw.

What does your typical day-to-day look like?

I almost always start my day with a cafe latte which I drink while checking out various tech websites online.  

At work I try to keep a balance between moving new features and infrastructure forward and also handling more immediate issues with onboarding new customers.

What makes Datajoy special compared to other companies you worked at?

There’s a wonderful sense of purpose and camaraderie as everyone works together to build a new product and company from the ground up.

Favorite thing to do outside of work?

When I’m not working my two favorite things are spending time with my family and doing woodworking in my shop.

My son and daughter will be graduating from university this year so I like to get in as much family time as possible before they head out on the next phase of their lives.

I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands and being able to use things that I’ve made so most weekends will find me spending at least some time in my garage workshop making everything from kitchen utensils to furniture.

What is your superpower?

I am a very creative person. I grew up on a small farm with my parents, brother, and two sisters. So whenever we needed something fixed, built or created, we learned to adapt with materials at hand. My parents were both teachers, my mother was a librarian so I was exposed to alot of books and at one point could read 700 plus words a minute.  When we had the twins, I had a lot of fun helping them with school projects: a 4 foot high trebuchet, a potato cannon, a hover craft (a leaf blower, plywood, and plastic tarp), a pipe drum, and mouse trap driven cars. I am proud that they both went into careers where they create and inspire.

March Employee Highlight

Lisette Viola

Role: Principal Visual & Brand Designer
Joined: May 2021
Home: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

What were you doing before joining Datajoy?

I was a Visual Design Lead at Deloitte Digital, working with clients like TMX, TD, Sleep Country, Loblaw and OLG.

What attracted you to Datajoy?

Having spent the majority of my career on the agency side, I was attracted to the opportunity to be able to shape Datajoy’s brand both from a marketing standpoint as well as the overall look and feel of the product. I love being involved in every aspect of the brand and having a voice in every step of the design process. It’s great to have full autonomy and ownership of my projects.

Aside from the work, what appeals to me most is the group of people I get to work with on a daily basis. I am surrounded by a talented team and leaders who understand and appreciate the importance of design. Not only am I learning from different folks from various backgrounds, but I feel challenged to grow in new and different ways.

What does your typical day-to-day look like?

On a typical day, you will find me juggling a few ongoing projects. I am usually working in Figma, Adobe CC, or Google suite. If I’m not expanding/improving our brand, I am designing or updating our website, creating social media graphics, tweaking the UI design of our product, updating our design system or creating assets for our sales team. With my background, I have discovered I have a love for marketing design as well as product design. It is such a treat to be able to do both roles at Datajoy and exercise those skills on a daily basis.

What makes Datajoy special compared to other companies you worked at?

In the past, I’ve always worked in medium to large sized companies but at Datajoy, being a small startup, there are many perks that come along with it. Not only are the benefits pretty generous for an early stage company, but I work in a place where the people come first. Our mental health and our physical well being is always considered, which results in a very good work/life balance.

Also, there is full transparency from the leadership team and I am aware of things happening in the background from a business perspective. It is a tight knit group and we share everything with one another like a family 🙂

Favorite thing to do outside of work?

If I’m not trying a new restaurant in the city, I’m looking for the next show/concert I could attend. In fact, I saw Chelsea Handler last weekend! One of my favourite things to do is spending quality time with my family and my besties. I’ve also caught the travel bug in recent years and was doing a lot of traveling just before the pandemic. The locations I choose are based on a few factors: culture, art and of course, the food. My favorite places are Japan, Spain and Portugal. I hope to visit Greece and Peru in the near future.

What is your superpower?

I’ve been told that I adapt easily in most environments. Because the realm of tech is constantly evolving, it’s important that designers are able to stay both optimistic and realistic during times of adjustment or transition. With any challenge, I like to confront it head-on by keeping an open mind. It is a key step to take in the pursuit to becoming a more adaptable designer, and in turn, a successful one.

January Employee Highlight

Rhodes Denny

Rhodes Denny

Role: Business Development Representative
Joined: April 6th, 2020
Home: Austin, Texas

What were you doing before joining Datajoy?

Before Datajoy I was working for Betts Recruiting, initially as a Recruiting Coordinator and then being promoted to a full cycle SaaS Sales Recruiter. My focus was on recruiting top Sales Reps and placing them at high growth SaaS companies ranging from Seed to late Series companies.

What attracted you to Datajoy?

I was attracted to Datajoy for two main reasons… One being the leadership. Jon, CEO and Co-Founder, has had an extremely successful career as an entrepreneur and CEO, and Ken, CPO and Co-Founder, has so much experience in analytics at some very well known companies such as Tableau, Microsoft, and SAP. Being able to learn from them was something I could not pass up.

The second reason was the ability for me to be part of something where I could see my value and impact on the company. It’s super rewarding!

What does your typical day-to-day look like?

My day to day has changed quite a bit during my time at Datajoy. For the first several months, my main responsibility was setting up ICP meetings with our co-founders in order to find potential customers’ biggest pain points. Then, I was responsible for helping recruit a large part of the Datajoy team!

Now, my typical day to day involves a lot of time in SalesForce, ZoomInfo, LinkedIn, G-Mail, Zoom and Spread-Sheets. I do a lot of sourcing and prospecting into companies on our target list and then come up with creative forms of outreach to prospective clients. It’s been very fun and rewarding working directly with our Head of Sales, Head of Marketing, and CEO to come up with our GTM strategy! 

What makes Datajoy special compared to other companies you worked at?

The talent across the full breadth of the company is pretty surreal. From the earliest days, I have been blown away I’m fairly new to the working world, but I think the obvious answer is this incredible team of smart, hard working, and trustworthy people. The speed and precision at which everything gets done at Datajoy is super special and honestly, very exciting. Everyone pushes each other to be the best version of themself possible.

Favorite thing to do outside of work?

I’m all about anything sports related! I enjoy playing basketball, tennis, spikeball and competing in a men’s softball league with friends. You can also find me watching and cheering on my favorite sports teams on a nightly basis. Go Braves, Hawks, and Falcons!

Aside from sports, I love checking out what Austin, Texas has to offer. I enjoy paddle boarding on the river, finding cool new bars, eating delicious BBQ, attending concerts, and searching for new swimming holes.

Team Datajoy

What is your superpower?

I’d say understanding and empathy. It’d be awesome if it were flying, or teleporting, but I’ve always had a strong desire to understand both things and people, and over some period of time that’s turned into a strength. I love thought experiments, and running them to understand how systems or sets of people would work. I enjoy integrating new ideas, simplifying the complex, and thinking laterally across contexts. People are a source of marvellous complexity, and also a source for everything that gets done in thisI would say my superpower is positivity. I always try to look at the bright side of things and remain optimistic even when things aren’t going as planned.

December Employee Highlight

Tommy Siedlaczek

Role: Principal Software Engineering Manager
Joined: November 9th, 2020
Home: Vancouver, BC, Canada

What were you doing before joining Datajoy?

Before Datajoy I spent almost a decade at Microsoft, initially as an engineer and then becoming a manager, leading teams to deliver new services and productivity tools for customers. I spent the majority of my time there working on Office Online, the web apps, which was a lot of fun with great people.

What attracted you to Datajoy?

The people, the opportunity to build a new business, and the chance to learn a lot while doing so. I believe entrepreneurship is critical to growing the pie for all, and that the world is not zero sum. It takes initiative and risk taking to create new value — and the proposition of joining Datajoy, a startup with amazing talent that was also well-funded, posed a great next step for me in my journey.

What does your typical day-to-day look like?

A strange coincidence of Datajoy is how many people on the team are new parents, and I’m part of that. So I generally start my mornings waking up early with our 6-month-old daughter before my wife takes over for the day. I look forward to it, it’s such a benefit of working from home that I spend quality time with her instead of commuting.

For most of the past year I was on the maker schedule of uninterrupted focused time as we built our product. Mornings would start with a daily sync followed by a ‘parking lot’ of optional deep dives topics to create clarity on immediate work, before transitioning back to focused time. The bonus of an experienced team forming the culture of the company is we’ve all had the chance to experience ways of working that we like and don’t — and we’re all pretty aligned on what that looks like! 

What makes Datajoy special compared to other companies you worked at?

The talent across the full breadth of the company is pretty surreal. From the earliest days, I have been blown away by the quality of each member of the team and how much order they create from the chaos that could otherwise be. Coming from a big company I was expecting to feel a lot of rough edges from working not just in a small company, but in a brand new one. But it’s been so well organized right from my earliest days. This is a company on a clear mission to grow and deliver huge value to customers, and each individual plays a valuable role in their area.

Favorite thing to do outside of work?

Being active while spending time with family and friends is my jam! Lately it’s been hockey and golf, but my regulars also include tennis, snowboarding, volleyball, and cycling. I’ve lived away from my friends and family due to my career in the past, and it was a conscious decision to move back and it’s something I don’t take for granted. Life’s just more enjoyable when spent with the people you love!

What is your superpower?

I’d say understanding and empathy. It’d be awesome if it were flying, or teleporting, but I’ve always had a strong desire to understand both things and people, and over some period of time that’s turned into a strength. I love thought experiments, and running them to understand how systems or sets of people would work. I enjoy integrating new ideas, simplifying the complex, and thinking laterally across contexts. People are a source of marvellous complexity, and also a source for everything that gets done in this world!

November Employee Highlight

Archit Sood

Role: Senior Solutions Engineer
Joined: August, 2021
Home: Vancouver, BC, Canada

What were you doing before joining Datajoy?

I was working at a People Analytics company called Visier. I was there for 5 years, where I held many different job titles, such as, Software Developer, Data Management Engineer, and most recently, Business Intelligence Consultant. 

As a Business Intelligence Consultant, I lead the implementation of Visier’s workforce analytic solution for several different HR topics, such as, Demographics, Movement, Talent Acquisition, and Compensation for several Global 2000 companies. I designed and onboarded different clients’ problems by transforming large amounts of raw data into clean, thoughtfully analysed intel using Visier’s proprietary tool, that was used for making strategic HR decisions. 

What attracted you to Datajoy?

I have always wanted to work in a start-up environment (maybe I was influenced by the TV show, Silicon Valley!) When I interviewed with Ken, the Co-Founder, I felt the culture and values really aligned with my own – I could especially see the importance put on Innovation, Trust and Empathy. 

The vision that Ken shared with me about the organization and my role as Senior Solutions Engineer, was really exciting. In my most recent role as Business Intelligence Consultant, I had a lot of opportunities to work on my customer service skills, but not so much on technical skills, however, at Datajoy I realised I would be utilizing both in equal capacity. Also, getting the opportunity to be closely involved with shaping a product at its earlier stages was something I’ve always wanted to do.

What does your typical day-to-day look like?

Typically, I work with customers and talk about the product and gather information as to what their needs and requirements are. After this, I use awesome technologies such as Snowflake, SQL, Python and our in-house data-modelling tool to deliver analytics that meet their business needs. Going back to the previous section about what attracted me to Datajoy, this is a prime example of getting to utilize both customer service and technical skills.   

It is extremely rewarding to be able to work independently and be involved in the end-to-end delivery. In case of gaps, I get to work internally with our very talented engineering team, product team, and our very own co-founder.

What makes Datajoy special compared to other companies you worked at?

Apart from the amazing work I get to do, I would have to say the people. Everyone is extremely understanding and respectful of each other’s time. The flexibility of being 100% remote but still being so connected to the whole team is an amazing feat for a company to achieve, and Datajoy has delivered. We get to participate in really cool virtual events, such as wine and paint night and pumpkin carving and baking pumpkin pies. We also had the best off-site event that really solidified that bond as a team. 

Favorite thing to do outside of work?

Growing up, I wanted to be a professional tennis player. For 15-16 years of my life, I trained hard – even though I didn’t end up becoming a professional, I still play it regularly, and it’s my favourite thing to do to unwind from a hard day’s work. 

Summer is my favourite season, since I get to be outdoors a lot, and I get to go on long bike rides. Other than that, I love trying new restaurants, and enjoy a good beer, scotch or whiskey! 

What is your superpower?

I love math, and I have this ability to visualise a problem in a graph / chart that makes it much easier to understand. I have tutored many people in math, and they usually get much better grades after I explain my process of working through problems. 

Also, after being an athlete for so long, I have a knack for picking up most sports really quickly. Besides tennis, I’m pretty decent at table tennis, badminton, cricket and soccer. 

Breaking Down Revenue Team Silos to Accelerate Growth with Data

Our CEO and Co-Founder Jon Lee shares about his experience starting 3 companies prior to the founding of Datajoy. 

Learn about the challenges he faced as a CEO trying to make sense of different streams of data, and why he decided to start Datajoy to tackle those challenges.

He covers a wide-range of topics including:

  • Empowering leaders within your company to do their best work
  • The breaking down of departmental silos to drive company growth
  • Why he decided to tackle the revenue data analytics problem

To learn more about Datajoy and the revenue data challenges we’re tackling, check out our blog.

Video Transcript:

CAROLINE
Hi, welcome to Growth Marketing Chat. Today I’m here with Jon Lee, he’s the CEO and Co-Founder of DataJoy. Jon, thank you so much for being with me today. 

JON: 
Thanks for having me. 

CAROLINE
I’m really excited to have you here. I love interviewing entrepreneurs. And so, my first question for you is how did you become an entrepreneur? What was your journey? 

JON: 
Yeah, so I studied industrial engineering and operations research at Berkeley. And you’re typically going into manufacturing engineering, but I took a little bit of a different tack. I went into investment banking for a couple of years, and then I worked in sales, operations, and business operations at Yahoo, where I led business operations for the international search team, helped restructure the team. And, you know, I’d read a book actually called, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” which I’m sure a lot of your watchers or viewers have read before, and it just really changed my perspective around, you know, why do we work and how do we create systems to sort of work for us and get leveraged from other people and other capital to basically create value and do great things for the world. 

And so, I actually started my entrepreneurial journey as sort of a side hustle, so to speak at Yahoo, and I was part of the search team and at the time in 2003, search was pretty new. And I just saw that, you know, there’s a ton more money being spent there because of this new media that was sort of capturing people at the point of inspiration and you can pay on performance. And so basically, you know, the person that I hired to backfill a role when I went to a different role at Yahoo had been in another company that basically was, you know, buying and selling leads. 

 
And so, it’s was like: “Hey, why don’t we do that as a side business?”. And so, we started doing that and we were joking like, hey, if we make $30,000 a month in profit, we’ll quit our jobs. And we basically started and actually got 30,000 in profit in the first two weeks. So we were actually pretty lucky to actually figure out an idea that actually paid for itself and allowed us to take the profits to fund the business. And so, we also saw an opportunity to build a real technology and real process behind it, to provide some real IP that was difficult to replicate and ultimately to deliver what our customers wanted, which was high volumes of a highly profitable and high intent leads via paid search. 

And after that, I mean, I, I just loved it. I mean, as an entrepreneur, I think the most amazing thing is, you get to manifest your own destiny. You know, you’ve nobody to blame for your success or your failure other than yourself. And I think when you have sort of that gun to your head of like, I’ve got to make this successful, I got to make payroll, I’ve got to actualize the vision that, you know, I’ve promised to myself, to my investors, to my employees, it puts a lot of pressure on you to basically work hard and work smart. And when you work hard and you work smart, you actually make a lot of mistakes really fast, and that’s how you learn the best. 

And then you start bringing people around you that have more experience than you. And I just love that ability that I could wake up in the morning and effectively, you know, achieve my dreams based on, you know, what myself and the team would actually do. And that was super empowering and scary. 

CAROLINE: 
Yeah, it is scary right? Because when you start, you have no guarantees at all that is gonna work. 

JON: 
That’s right. Yeah. Yeah. And I think that’s the excitement and it kind of brings the best out of people, I think. Right. You have an objective. You’re not sure if it’s gonna work and you basically take the best prop way possible and you just face the dragon head on and you try to slay it every single day. And if you get it, you just fall down and you said, okay, what I learned from that? You get up and you do it again. And you know, it taught me a lot as an entrepreneur, not just around the happiness of being able to manifest my own destiny, but it also taught me a lot around, you know, how I think in the past working at a big company, there was so much emphasis placed on failure that you can’t fail. 

And as an entrepreneur, you sort of learn like actually failures, okay and that’s part of the process, right? And for those who are not afraid to fail, they’re actually gonna learn more and experience more and achieve more, in my opinion. And over time, what happens is you’ll get more successes, you’ll get more confident and then you start to believe, hey, I can put, do anything I put my mind to. And that’s a really empowering feeling. And I hope everybody gets a chance to feel that. 

CAROLINE: 
Yeah. Yeah. But you need to go through the hard time of getting back up. Right. Because I think as an entrepreneur, you rarely get it right from the first go right? And as you said, you’re going to fail, and it takes a lot to be okay. To fail. Not once, not twice, but over and over again until you get it right. And get back up every single time. 

JON: 
That’s right. Yeah. Because you really don’t have a choice. You have to get back up. You have no one to rely on except yourself and your team. And by the way, your team’s relying on you, your investors are relying on you. Right. 

CAROLINE: 
Right, right. Right. Well, thank you for sharing this with us. So now you are the CEO of DataJoy. So, this is your second company. Am I right? 

JON: 
It’s actually my fourth 

CAROLINE
Your fourth company. Oh, wow. Okay. So, this is your fourth company. Okay. Can you tell us the story behind DataJoy and why you created it? 

JON: 
Yeah, so I’m a pretty quantitative oriented guy. I like creating systems and processes that systematically optimize towards some objective function, right? So, whether it’s, you know, making more money or it’s building create games or increasing your velocity and win rate of customer interactions and sales, my first company was really around, you know, helping you get more profitable leads, right through paid search. Built a $47 million business in a couple of years, doing that, really using algorithms and mathematics to do it systematically and automatically. I sold that company then built a gaming company, which did AB testing of games to maximize fun and virality, and also in-game purchases and sold that to Zynga. 

And then my third company was a company called topper. It’s the number one CRM for Google. If you use Google suite. And that company is all about automatically getting data So you have the best data, so you can make data-driven decisions to maximize the effectiveness of your sales team. And so, I’ve always been passionate about using data to help answer questions towards some very clear goal that also helps you bring your team along with you. Right. You know, what are the leading indicators to achieving that objective and who’s responsible for it and what can we do to systematically increase that over time? And so, I scaled my last company to about 250 people, you know, over 25 million in revenue in about four years. And what I found was that as I added more people and executives, I just got more data systems. Right. 

And I was just being presented with a ton of analysis. And I just really couldn’t make sense of just really basic things, which is like, where are we today? Where do we wanna go tomorrow? And how do I make sure that we’re on track to go hit that goal? And so I just wanted a really simple way to be able to delineate what is that objective, right? In this case, it’s grow revenue quickly, high quality revenue, right. And how do I understand what the leading indicators are in what every individual on the team plays in terms of effecting those leading indicators that would ultimately drive revenue and how do we systematically identify where’s the lowest hanging fruit for us to go tackle such that if we optimize those individual areas over time, we would grow revenue much faster. 

And so, I tried to solve this problem by building a dashboard like most people, you know, I wanted something that was connected to a database that was connected to our CRM and marketing automation. So, I could see the full funnel from marketing sales to success expansion, et cetera. And it was really hard to do it. It took like a year and a half. I had to hire four people, cost me about $2 million. And, you know, by the time I got it, it just wasn’t what I was looking for. And the business had changed and we had to go back and retune it again. And it was just such a problem. And I just kept thinking to myself, like, why am I spending so many resources on serving internal customers like myself when I should really be deploying those resources towards helping my customers be more successful? And so, I thought, you know, so many companies have been successful like Salesforce, like Shopify, like Zoom, they’ve all been through this problem of like using data to grow predictably and profitably and repeatably, why are we reinventing the wheel every single time? Why does the company need to invest in the right person who understands the right data infrastructure architecture, and the right team to build that and have to struggle with understanding the business problems that the finance sales ops marketing team want to solve to grow revenue faster. 

This has all been figured out before. So DataJoy is really this notion that we can provide you in a fraction of the time and a fraction of the cost, both the data infrastructure and the analyses. To answer the questions that the fastest growing and largest software companies have answered, to grow revenue, predictably, profitably, and repeatably. And so, our notion is to be able to give you an infrastructure with accurate data that pulls into all the different silos of marketing sales and success and product, to be able to give you a 360 view of your entire customer journey. So you can actually optimize for the company’s objective, which is to grow high quality, high LTV revenue quickly. And what we saw was, what I saw was, very typical. Marketing only sees marketing data, sales, only sales, et cetera. And so, you saw people basically optimized for what they can measure. And so, marketing would send a bunch of MQLs, but they wouldn’t necessarily convert really well in sales, and sales would win a bunch of deals, but those deals might not retain very well. 

And so, how do you take your downstream information of successful customers that have high quality revenue, that retain well, that expand with you, they’re well within your ICP, and then inform your upstream go-to-market motions in marketing and sales to make sure you’re acquiring the best customers at the right level of investment, such that you maximize growth rate and you have a repeatable, profitable model as proxied by a metric, lock lifetime value divided by cost of acquisition or LTB to CAC. And so, that’s effectively what we do at DataJoy. We give you this infrastructure, you can plug it in with your existing BI stack, if you have one, you can use a Tableau Looker RBI for visualization. We give you a bunch of out of the box reports. In the play that we’ve run with our first three customers, Samsara, HackerRank, and Zenoti, all fast-growing unicorns, is basically, “Hey, if you know who your best customer is and you know which channels drive those customers, you’re going to increase your growth rate because those customers who have the highest win rates, have the highest ACV, have the highest retention, highest LTV, you’re going to focus your team on the right opportunities”. 

Which is naturally gonna increase your win rate, your average sale size, reduce your sales cycle, et cetera. And then we help people optimize the funnel itself from marketing to sales to customer success, and really breaking down that process, understanding where the bottlenecks are, and being able to systematically AB test different sales programs and marketing programs, understand their impact and be able to create this experimentation culture of, “Let’s try this, let’s try that. And let’s see what the effect is.” Thereby decreasing the risk of trying something new. ‘Cause you can catch it if it actually hurts your process or identifying something that’s good and repeating that across other areas of the business. And then we do things like a lot of forecasting. So we use machine learning models to do more accurate forecasting, help you understand the gap between your sales roll up forecast versus our quantitative forecast. And we identify anomalies and help you explain why certain metrics are going awry, whether positive or negative. 

CAROLINE: 
That’s really cool. So, something you said in there about… optimizing for what’s the best for the company. And I think you talked about revenue, but also about profitability. Sometimes what sells best might be something, but then if you don’t return your clients, or if that also might not be the best product to sell. That may be the least profitable product to sell, but this sells best. Knowing and having all teams align on this data, have you seen… maybe you’ve seen this firsthand, I’m not sure, but have you seen the dynamic in between the teams change, in between marketing and sales and customer success by having all this data and all this alignment? 

JON
Yeah! I mean there’s basically… To build a successful company is pretty straightforward. You’ve gotta identify a big market, an urgent problem that people want to pay a lot of money for, understand the process to get their attention, and to ultimately get them to buy, and then most importantly actually deliver the solution. The biggest issue right now is these departments typically, I find, don’t talk to each other. Again, because they only optimize for what they can measure. By bringing all this data together, you basically provide transparency in terms of, “Who are those best customers that grow with us over time?” 

And so, it allows companies to, as opposed to focus on just one metric that doesn’t take into account the issues downstream, like at sales, from a marketing standpoint to sales to success, you can actually focus on bringing in the customers that actually have, not just the highest win rates, like you said, but actually have the greatest opportunity to provide sustainable growing revenue, in your business. And so, it just opens up everyone’s eyes in terms of it’s like, “Okay, well, why am I optimizing for the short term, like number of MQLs? I want to make sure they close.” Okay, well, now they close. Do they stick around? Do they grow? And then you start globally optimizing around the company’s objectives versus the departmental objectives. And then it allows marketing to get closer to the product, sales to get closer to the product and the actual solution, you know, customer success, and it just puts everybody on the same page toward a common goal, which is like, “Hey, we’re all owners in this business. We all believe in the mission. We want this business to grow. Okay. How do we define growth? All right. Now, what do I need to, now that I have the visibility of what truly is success versus just some indication or leading indicator of success that’s not indicative, I can actually really change my behavior and activity to best support that.” 

CAROLINE: 
And I love this because sometimes immediate revenue is really, really different from long-term growth. And, when did you need your immediate revenue, that’s the basics, but then… great companies really understand the value of customers that can grow with them and really go out of their way to identify them. I’m thinking about like HubSpot, for example, they have that startup partnership and they actually vet the startups based on how much do they think they are going to grow and how successful are they going to be to figure out, “Am I giving them this discount?” Because, in the end, it’s probably going to be some of their largest clients, but having this vision, you can’t really have this if you don’t have the data, if you don’t know, “Well, which kind of companies actually start paying $400 a month and then go up to $10,000 a month”. How do you identify these patterns? And what you’re telling me is that this is your mission at DataJoy to help you do this. So that’s really, really cool. 

JON: 
That’s right. Yep! It’s using your past successes to inform your future sales and marketing activities. 
 
CAROLINE: 
Right! Well, I had questions I was going to ask you and we talked about different stuff, but I think it was really great. So… Thank you for participating. I think we covered a lot. I guess, to close out, I just want to ask you, what are some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned… as an entrepreneur, or successful entrepreneur, in front of four companies? 

JON: 
Yeah! I think as an entrepreneur, you’re naturally attuned to taking control of your life, again, towards that idea of manifesting your destiny, and you have a very clear vision of what you want to accomplish. And oftentimes that personality leads towards micromanagement of your team. You want things done a certain way. “Someone’s not doing it. I’ll just do it myself.” Because you’re used to doing that when you’re just one person, two people, three people. And I think what I learned the most is what are opportunities for me to really get… a massive change in a positive way in my company. 

It’s really bringing in other experienced, creative people and giving the environment to let them make their own decisions and be successful. And that’s actually really difficult to do as a control-freak entrepreneur, which most entrepreneurs are. And so, I would just encourage other entrepreneurs who’s listening, to really just focus so much on just getting the best people on your team, being very clear what the goal is, how you measure it, and how you’ll evaluate solutions, and be open to letting them do their thing and measuring that success, being very objective about it and then encouraging them to take risks. Because at the end of the day, if you want to build a big company you’ve got to take risks and you’ve got to innovate and you can’t do it all by yourself. So, you need a great team. That’s what I’ve learned. 

CAROLINE
Do you catch yourself sometimes trying to micromanage and just being like. “No, no! I can’t do this. This is not why you hired this person!” 

JON
Yeah, I do, a lot and people don’t like it. I’ve learned through my CEO coach and feedback. Sometimes you have to… But… I think the notion is you’ve got to think about the long-term. I think, overall, my approach has been, “well, let me figure out what my super powers are. Let me focus on those areas.” And then hire and lead great people who can make up for my shortcomings and let them do their jobs. 

CAROLINE
That’s great advice! What a great way to end this session. 

JON: 
Great! Well, thank you, Caroline. 

CAROLINE: 
Yes! Thank you, Jon, so much. 

Point Solutions for Revenue Analytics: Short Term Relief for Chronic Pain Banner image

Point Solutions for Revenue Analytics: Short Term Relief for Chronic Pain

All spreadsheets-as-revenue-data-systems eventually fail. There is no way around it.

Many businesses see this coming and respond in one of two ways: They invest in point solutions — department-specific tools that help answer specific revenue questions, such as marketing attribution, sales forecasting, or potential customer churn. The other alternative is to build your own revenue analytics solution by investing in a full-fledged analytics stack.

Most companies go with point solutions because they seem fast to deploy, they provide immediate help answering tough questions, and the alternative of an analytics stack seems like a herculean task.

Despite the apparent benefits though, I believe that at the end of the day, all companies need an analytics stack that takes into account all departments across the full revenue funnel. Point solutions are simply not enough.

Point solutions are good, up to a certain point

Vendors selling department-specific solutions are a dime a dozen, each one typically focused on one particular stage of your revenue process or answering a particular revenue-related question.

How can you better run your bottoms-up forecasting process? How should you attribute pipe across different marketing channels or campaigns? Which sales activities have the most impact in the deal process and which reps are the best at them?

Most point solutions answer one of these questions, sometimes two or three, but the answers are department-specific, and only allow you to optimize one portion of the funnel independently of the others. The hope is that when you combine all these solutions together, you’re able to optimize your full revenue funnel across Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success.

There is a fundamental problem with trying to understand your revenue funnel this way.

Fundamentally, the questions we really want to answer go beyond our own departments. Marketing’s goal is not to be able to determine which campaigns drive the most MQLs; their goal, and the goal of every revenue-impacting department is to know how their activities impact pipeline and revenue.


I am accountable to a pipeline number.

That’s the number to optimize.

– CMO, SaaS customer services company

In the end, revenue leaders want to know how everything they do connects to revenue generation—how did our actions change our bookings? No point solution can truly give you an answer to this question.

An additional issue is that point solutions can reinforce siloes between revenue teams, which leads to more strategic and tactical alignment problems. Different point solutions tend to have their own datastores as well as definitions for critical revenue metrics, which makes our answers quickly lose value if we can’t agree on what they mean. 

Take a simple metric like “Pipeline Value”, for example, whose value is often assigned and reassessed as a lead progresses through the revenue funnel. Moreover, this definition not only varies from company to company, its definition tends to change and evolve within a single company as it grows and scales. Some teams may choose to only include opportunities that are “upside” and “commit,” where others may be more broad and include “stage 0” opportunities that are still being qualified. How then, can you know if two different teams are evaluating the same pipeline number if they’re using two different tools?

The reality is that point solutions, while useful, often require us to bring back our favorite duct tape tool—spreadsheets—to bring the full funnel together. This means we’re back to square one: Spreadsheets as our shared source of truth, even if it’s an unsustainable one.

The promise of a unified revenue analytics stack

I believe that the ideal solution for most organizations that have begun to streamline their GTM motions, is to have a analytics stack that unifies data from across their entire revenue funnel into a single platform. n all-in-one, full funnel analytics solution.

Imagine a single pane of glass, a single source of truth for open opportunity and historical data that everyone across all revenue-impacting departments uses. When Sales looks at a metric such as open pipeline, it’s the exact same number as Marketing. Each department drills into the data to the level of detail they need depending on their questions—Sales breaks pipeline by roles, individual reps, regions, while Marketing breaks pipeline down by campaigns and channels. Everyone is on the same page, able to analyze different aspects of the funnel but knowing that they are in fact, looking at the same metrics. The data and metric definitions are in one place, with the flexibility to be used and then reused to answer new questions that emerge.

We all want this. It seems obvious. So why don’t more organizations build such a data stack?

The simple answer is because it’s hard. Very hard. On the surface, it seems like it should be as simple as standing up a data warehouse, connecting it to a dashboarding BI tool, and visualizing some tables. The reality is that there’s so much more work underneath that needs to be done. There’s data transformation, cataloging of definitions, and many more layers to an analytics solution purpose-built for answering revenue-specific questions.

In the next post, I’ll detail what a modern revenue data stack looks like and how you can start building one. We will look at each part of the system, what purpose they serve, why they’re important, and even what pitfalls to watch for.

October Employee Highlight

Eric Alas

Role: Staff Software Engineer
Joined: Jan. 4th, 2021
Home: Windsor, Ontario, Canada

What were you doing before joining Datajoy?

I was at SAP working on SAP Analytics Cloud for almost 5 years, where I designed and rewrote a new application component to migrate from SAPUI5. After completing that project, I ended up leading a team to apply that component into SAP Data Warehouse Cloud.

It was during my time at SAP where I first worked with our teammates André and Ray. I may’ve met Patrick for an interview, and Jacky on a cross-team project!

What attracted you to Datajoy?

The people! During my time at SAP, I worked with a lot of the early Datajoy engineers, and having the opportunity to work with them again was very intriguing. Then when I met with our co-founder Ken, the work-to-be-done he outlined was exciting — some of it was familiar and I knew I could contribute right away, but it was also new at the same time.

Another great thing about the company is being able to work remotely as a new Dad. The team here really does promote a healthy work life balance. I’m really grateful to be able to enjoy the special moments of my daughter during the day. I still remember the first time she started giggling intentionally – my partner called me upstairs, and when she would play with a stuffie in front of our daughter, she had this amazing smile and giggle.

What does your typical day-to-day look like?

I’ve got a 3 hour head start on most of the team, so I usually start my day by prioritizing the work I want to accomplish. From there I’ll jump right in before our standup at noon eastern.

Lately I’ve been working on feature enhancements and bug fixes for our customer HackerRank — adding support to compare data year over year, making more parts of our app configurable and flexible to support different customer use cases. It’s all about making our customers as happy as possible with Datajoy!

What makes Datajoy special compared to other companies you worked at?

As a small team, it’s very rewarding to be able to see the impact of your work. The trust that’s given to our team is amazing. When we talk about “innovation”, we live and breathe it everyday. Each one of us checks our egos at the door (albeit nobody’s got a crazy ego) and we’re all working on the same goal: to build the best software possible for customers.

Favorite thing to do outside of work?

So I used to play in a ska/punk band back in high school, and if I could find a few bandmates and the time, would 100% love to revive my career 😂. I do also enjoy playing rock and indie, bands like Elder Brother, Brand New, and Death Cab for Cutie.

Aside from music, I also love to play and watch basketball. Don’t tell my Canadian friends, but I’m a big Detroit Pistons fan. After all, I’m just across the river from Little Caesars arena vs 3.5 hours to Scotiabank arena in Toronto. And I’m starting to get into American Football because my partner Alyssa and her family are huge Lions fans.

What is your superpower?

I’ve got really good hearing, spookily good. After listening to a song a few times, I’m able to pick it up and play it decently well. And after a few more listens, pick up the small little “extras” in a song that make a song feel full.