Data Dictionary: How to Build one for you SaaS business


(leonardo) #1

Hey,

Today I published something that I’ve been thinking for more than a year.
In most companies, when it comes down to user metrics, there’s a huge mess and every team has its own interpretation.

What Active Users are for the data team, are Active Subscribers for the Marketing people and Engaged User for the Product team. Total mess.

In this essay, I gave a practical glossary template for SaaS user metrics.

Here’s the link: https://www.plainflow.com/blog/data-dictionary/

ps. if you have additional ideas or you think I missed something, let me know here.


(Chris Cranley) #2

@leonardo Nice article! I agree with your framing the challenge of collaborating through data through growth. In my experience, and I think you hinted at it this somewhat, data dictionaries are about the measurement of progress and therefore can quickly devolve as part of a ‘political’ exchange between departments.

I think that one trend that may have been under-emphasized in the article was the proliferation of tools, especially cloud-based tools, that further define and reinforce an organization’s data silos. I am also glad you mentioned > that hard thing about data dictionaries is keeping them up to date over time.

I could not agree more. The reasons why it is hard to maintain over time are equally interesting: Pace of internal tool changes, leadership priorities, lack of data alignment, mega shifts in the competitive environment, etc. There are a lot of gaps with companies getting the most out of their data that relate to the sequence, volume, and urgency of many operational changes made continually.


(leonardo) #3

I think that one trend that may have been under-emphasized in the article was the proliferation of tools, especially cloud-based tools, that further define and reinforce an organization’s data silos.

Thanks for pointing this out Chris.

I actually wrote also a few things also about this topic:

Here: https://medium.com/plainflow/the-modern-saas-stack-and-the-unexploited-amount-of-data-6bf2e982b596

here: https://medium.com/plainflow/ai-implications-on-marketing-and-analytics-452cda2ef939

and here: https://conversionxl.com/customer-data-platforms/