Rob Nelson here, founder and CEO of Grow.com
First, I want to give a big thank you to our customers. It is my goal to help companies like yours reach their full potential by helping you identify and track the critical business insights you need to succeed.
My purpose for this post is twofold: One, to let you know that I hear you and our team hears you. We know that you face challenges and problems as you grow your business, and as you use Grow. Business intelligence, even with a perfect platform, is hard work. But we are working hard to make Grow the easiest way for you to visualize and share your business performance in real time, and to address the specific issues you’re facing.
Two, I want to give you a sneak peek of what we’re doing (and what we’re building) to solve those problems. We’re excited about the coming changes and improvements, and hope you will be too.
So, without further ado, here are the 7 things we’re working on to create a better experience for you, our customers.
The biggest and most consistent area of feedback we’ve received has been around app performance. Loading and navigating the app can be slow, which can make it time-consuming to complete tasks in Grow.
We hear you—as heavy Grow users within our company, we know your pain on a personal level. We’re currently updating our infrastructure with new technologies that will speed up the Grow app and help you get more done faster.
Another issue we hear is, “I know what I want … but I don’t know how to create it in Grow.” Sometimes the next step isn’t obvious, or the tool you need isn’t immediately apparent, or the process is more complicated than anticipated. Sometimes, no matter how you slice it, business intelligence is just hard.
But while finding, defining, and getting the insights you want can be difficult, we want to do better at guiding you in that process. The hard part should be figuring out and applying actionable insights in your company, not figuring out how to use Grow.
Our team is working to provide a brand new builder experience—one that’s cleaner, faster, and easier to navigate. While the current builder is powerful, it can be confusing. We want to continue providing all the power and flexibility you currently enjoy, but with a much more straightforward and simple path to create metrics quickly. I’m insanely excited for this to launch and we’ve had amazing feedback in early user testing. Here’s a sneak peek at the new UI:
For some of our users, platform stability is also a critical issue, especially if you need to pull in big quantities of data. On our end, pulling data from over 150 data sources and making sure 300k customer metrics pull exactly when they need to presents a large technical challenge.
We’ve made huge strides in the last year to address platform stability, but we’re doing even more. We are continuously upgrading our connections to data sources and our server processes to make sure your data is always pulling accurately and on time.
By and large, the language of business intelligence is SQL. While SQL is a powerful tool that allows us to perform complex customizations on data, it’s not the most user-friendly. And unfortunately, Grow too often requires that you, someone on your team, or your data consultant does work in SQL to get exactly what you want.
We’re working hard to reduce, and even eliminate, the need for SQL in Grow by adding new, user-friendly tools—such as the Tagging Transform and the Compare Transform. Both of these tools allow you to easily perform tasks that used to take SQL knowledge. As we add more of these tools, it will be easier to create the metrics you need without SQL.
Dates are foundational to measuring performance, and most of our customers’ metrics involve dates in some way or another. However, for such small, simple pieces of data, dates can be surprisingly tricky to manage, and aggregating, formatting, and recognizing dates are all too difficult in Grow today.
Simply put, we know we have to do a better job. Our goal is for Grow to automatically recognize which columns are dates and help you do what you need with them. The new builder experience is taking steps in that direction, as well as the new Compare Transform that is in open beta right now.
We call them Key Values for a reason—they are an incredibly important and powerful part of your data and metrics, and are a huge part of making “at a glance” insights possible. However, it currently can be a bit difficult to create Key Values in Grow and often requires SQL.
One way we’re working to simplify Key Values is by automating a comparison value for specific periods. So, for example, if you want to see “Month to Date vs. Previous Month to Date,” you’ll soon be able to select that automatically-generated Key Value from a drop-down menu.
We know that finding and pulling the correct information from data sources can be a challenge, especially since every company seems to develop their own unique terminology. For example, if you want to track conversions in Facebook, you have to know to look in a column called “Actions,” even though you would expect it to be in a column called “Conversions.”
You shouldn’t have to learn the ins and outs of each data source’s API, so we are taking steps to simplify and automate the process of getting the data you want. One way we’re doing this is by adding pre-built datasets that will give you the data you want with much less work (and in a format that actually makes sense).
As we strive to make Grow the easiest way for you to visualize and share your business performance in real time, and reach your full potential, we want you to know that we appreciate you, our customers. While we know Grow isn’t perfect (yet), we appreciate your patience and your honest feedback—it’s incredibly valuable to us.
We know that business intelligence can be challenging and time consuming. But the end result is worth it. I constantly hear things from customers like Patrick Jungo, co-founder of Edit Suits, who said, “Grow has given us a 360-degree view of our business, allowing us to see where we’ve been, where we are, and where we need to go.”
That kind of data visibility is game-changing, and I believe that it’s possible for all of our customers to get that kind of insight—the kind that drives real growth and success—through BI. I want you to know that we’re committed to making that process as easy as it can possibly be.
I would love any feedback or thoughts you have on this. Please feel free to reach out to me by email, firstname.lastname@example.org (yes, it goes to me!), or chat in on the app.