Excellent post by David Skok at http://www.forentrepreneurs.com/on using a using analytics to manage a SaaS business. I posted comments also emphasizing need to use analytics to assess changing markets/external factors for #entrepreneurial ventures. Also strongly recommend the site – http://www.forentrepreneurs.com/- excellent resource for entrepreneurs
Below is a copy of my posted comments – you can review the original post at http://www.forentrepreneurs.com/saas-metrics-2/
Here is a copy of my posted comments..
Excellent article- thanks.
Several months ago I was invited to do a guest blog post and serve as an Advisor for Funding Profiles, a Santa Clara-based company offering a powerful suite of financial analytic tools that “integrates with existing business applications to continuously translate traditional financial metrics into the language of business strategy”. For companies with thousands of products, infrastructure, and processes spanning the globe, the ability to ‘drill down’, examine ‘what-ifs’, and assess how and if global LOBs meet KPIs and support the strategic plan, is a powerful planning tool. Your post reinforces this point.
But markets and technology are moving quickly, consumer power is increasing, and external global factors will impact all global businesses which creates risk and uncertainty. In fact, one study shows macro-environment, competitive and corporate positioning factors account for about 80 percent of ROA variation among LOBs. So optimizing the company’s internal resources, processes, and KPI’s really address only 20 percent of the planning challenge based on these findings. My post “How Analytics is “Raising the Bar” for Corporate Strategy: Understanding the External Environment” talks about how new analytic tools can provide a competitive edge, creating what Tom Davenport (Author- Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning) defines as “analytic competitors”.
Bottom line- while emphasis of the above is larger corporations, my view is entrepreneurs that also understand how to analyze markets, external opportunities and threats, and how to use analytics with Porter’s Five Forces Model, STEEP, and competitive benchmarking tools can achieve a competitive edge. Properly used, external market analytics provide a competitive edge for evaluating, strategy positioning, and managing entrepreneurial ventures. During the past six months, I have looked at ventures in areas of wearable healthcare monitoring devices, clinical analytics, analytics for fraud detection, legal analytics, and solar energy among others. To accurately gauge outlook and opportunity for these and others, venture evaluation must go well beyond the typical “size of market, expected market share” and ‘drill-down’ to understand external market threats and opportunities. We have a way to go yet in educating the entrepreneurial community but I believe today’s “hyper competitive” dynamic global markets will help accelerate the adoption of these new analytics capabilities.
Paul B. Silverman is an Adjunct Professor in the R.H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, former CEO of public and private companies, Managing Partner Gemini Business Group, LLC. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or blog at http://paulbsilverman.com/blog/, or twitter at @globalbizmentor.