Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tracking Pirate Metrics - Revenue

This is the fourth post in our series on tracking Pirate Metrics using Just the Facts.  Our focus this time is on the Revenue metric.

Tracking revenue tells you whether you are making money from your retained, engaged users.  There are a variety of cloud services that can assist with processing payments and tracking revenue; for our purposes, we will assume the use of Stripe for payment processing.

The Stripe dashboard displays a summary count of total customers and sales volume; we can capture this data and use it as the basis for a calculated fact that will track daily revenue.

Go to your Stripe dashboard and activate the Just the Facts plug-in, subscribing to the "Total volume" metric:
Subscribing to Stripe Total Volume
The subscription process will ask you to provide your secret key, which can be found under your account settings:
Stripe Secret Key Form
While we're now capturing the latest value of Total Volume every day, it is not in and of itself the metric we want to track.  Total Volume is a typical example of a "vanity metric" - it can only ever go up.  Instead, let's actually track the sales for a single day - if this is consistently increasing, it shows actual improvement in our business.

To track the day-to-day sales, we'll create a Combined Fact that calculates the difference between consecutive values.  Select "Total Volume" and click the "Combine" button:
Creating a Combined Fact
Select the "Difference between current and previous" radio button and label this fact "Revenue (Daily Sales)":
Calculating the Difference
As in our previous steps, we'll also want to edit the "Total Volume" fact to deselect from our daily email.

At this stage, we now have a dashboard tracking four out of five of our pirate metrics:
Dashboard Showing Source and Calculated Facts
Note that by default all facts, both source and calculated, are displayed.  Since some of the source facts are not of interest and are just used as the basis for calculations, we can bring up a more concise view by using the Filter dropdown to display just the Google Analytics and Combined facts:
Filtering Facts
For our next blog posting, we'll look at pulling in the final Pirate Metric, Referrals, from an additional analytics system.

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