Analyzing Companies with Big Data: A Primer

The success of a Link Ventures company is determined largely by data — data collection, data analyses and data-driven decisions — and the internet is teeming with information in many forms. Even at a small scale, data can act as a powerful catalyst for company growth. Each data point and pattern is an opportunity for feedback on our understanding of our own business drivers. Data peels back the layers, showing us new avenues for approach and opportunities for deepening our understanding, allowing for a new degree of preparedness and revealing the true potential behind business initiatives. When analyzed and applied correctly, data can tell it all.

Whether implicit or explicit, analyzing data actually gives us the questions and the answers. Data dexterity is an integral requirement for every person and project at our startup incubator, Cogo Labs. Knowing how to interpret data so that it best serves our companies and their customers is what we do for a living… and on a much larger scale. Here in One Kendall Square, we leverage big data every day.

Yes, we use data to make investment decisions and run our own businesses. But we also use it as a differentiated lens to help us look at the outside world.

One way to keep the pulse on the world around us is by using our aggregated data to look at trends in public companies. For example, whereas most investors look at a company and make assessments through resources like periodic SEC filings and press releases, we watch in real time as the company runs ad campaigns, signs up customers, takes orders, etc. This gives us a level of insight into other companies’ operations that rivals our insight into our own.

Through its vast data resources, Cogo collects 5 billion rows of consumer data each day — giving us insight into more than 225 million people. Within its multi-petabyte data set, Cogo can track public company information such as:

  • Changes in major traffic channels which cause a surge or decline in user volume;
  • User reengagement effectiveness through repeat user volumes and frequencies;
  • Intra-site data such as user flow through the site, conversion rates for those steps, and highest volume sections of the site by user or activity; and
  • Monetization events and product distribution through shopping cart activity and order confirmations

By watching a company’s marketing strategy and frequently analyzing its user funnel, we can detect significant changes in a business before they are realized in the company’s stock price. We can also determine the strengths or weaknesses of a company’s revenue model by understanding the driving forces behind the projected numbers. For example, for an e-commerce site, we can track what their sales funnel looks like throughout the purchasing process. The size of the sales funnel, the conversion rate at each step and even the effectiveness of re-engaging shopping cart abandoners can reveal operational metrics that allow us to make predictions about a company’s potential for success — down to individual product lines and purchase orders. Interpreting trends in publics via Cogo’s data helps keep us on the cutting edge, constantly assessing our potential competitors’ strategies and hunting for massive growth potential.

If you are interested in learning more or would like to be considered for a personalized data tour with one of the Link Ventures team members or a Cogo Labs data scientist, please reach out to: margaux@linkventures.com.

Written by

@Link_Ventures — VC firm investing in internet + tech companies. Proud parent company to @CogoLabs. We are the Link between conception and realization…

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