How to use data to build a better business

The global pandemic has had a huge impact on tech companies. Klipfolio is helping companies use data to respond and adapt to be stronger, better and more competitive. We sat down with co-founder Allan Wille to chat about how to use data to build a better business.


Tell us a bit about yourself and how you started Klipfolio.

I’ve been building things all of my life — I started with running companies in my parents’ basement. The need to create and improve things has always been a part of me. I actually wanted to be an architect and I did industrial design, which I really loved.

That big interest in design led to my passion for user experience design. I started a company called Espial in 1996, during the dotcom boom, and then started Klipfolio in 2001. Overall, I love working with smart, good people and I get to do that every day.

What is Klipfolio? What services do you offer?

We have always been passionate about helping as many people as we can. We started with a dashboard that helped consumers monitor their weather, their news, stock prices etc. So instead of having to go to a website each day, that data came to them. The personal dashboard gained tremendous popularity but there was no money in it. So, we took the concept and applied it to the business world — monitoring sales performance, inventory, and other data. We present data in a meaningful way to help people make good decisions. This mission has been very successful for us.

Your tagline is “Succeed with Data.” How do SaaS companies achieve success with data?

Every day people are tasked with making data-informed decisions. That data must be good and trustworthy. Unfortunately, there are too many people not using data to make decisions. They are ill-informed and guessing. There is a huge unmet need to help people make better, informed decisions.

It’s often wise to keep things simple and start with the three most important metrics to monitor? Then look at the whole interpretation.

  • What does that number mean?
  • Is it a good or bad number?
  • How is the rest of the business tracking?
  • What is the benchmark?

From there, we look at how to share that information. How do we share, educate and curate those important metrics so the rest of the team can make decisions more effectively?

Essentially we are helping people take control of data so they can be more effective and more competitive.

What is MetricHQ?

At the core of our mission, to help people with data, MetricHQ is an open community for metrics and KPIs. Its whole purpose is to share, to educate, and to increase data literacy — which makes businesses healthier and leaders more confident in their decision making.

It is a curated, trusted place. As a business leader, you can learn, research and even start tracking your own metrics,  right from MetricHQ. If you are an expert, we want you to contribute. We started with SaaS companies as that is the space we know. The community has grown and has experts contributing from all sorts of industries.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic messed with data metrics?

The pandemic has shown us that norms can change on a dime. That’s important to understand. The data behind an event is reflective of what is happening. The pandemic is a global event that has rocked metrics for all companies and that is the data that we are now researching —starting with a deep look at retention and churn data for SaaS companies

There will be some really interesting nuggets to see when the research is released. We have thousands of customers, which means we have a lot of data. We watched it happen in real-time. The world went into shock. There was a three-week window in March where we saw everyone go into protection mode. How could they conserve cash? Survive? Protect revenue? It was swift.

It’s interesting. Anytime there is an economic downturn or crisis, people start looking at data more closely. As a data analytics company, that’s very good for us.


Want to learn more about SaaS metrics and getting your SaaS KPIs in order for 2021? Don’t miss Allan Wille at the L-SPARK event, “Get Your SaaS KPIs in Order for 2021” happening on November 26 at 12-1:30pm EST. Click here to learn more.