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Data Analytics4 min read

What's different about data analytics in subscription businesses?

Beyond transaction data

The continuous subscription customer journey

Data and analytics are part of every modern business. However, the ongoing nature of customer relationships and the connected operations between teams in subscription companies means that the way we approach, manage and benefit from data and analytics is both more complex and more powerful than in organizations focusing on one-off sales.

It's this difference in how data and analytics are used that holds the key to successful, sustainable growth and profitability. So, what does that really mean?


The approach to subscription data and analytics needs to begin
with a user-centric approach that allows you to create
the experiences users want to see next.



What have we collectively got used to thinking?

Common misconceptions about subscription data

To understand how our thinking about data and analytics needs to shift to maximize the benefits in subscription businesses, it helps to bust a few myths. 


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Raw events are all the same in subscription data

Data is often conflated with raw events alone, but in subscription businesses it needs to be more than that–it needs to show the relationship between events as well.

For example, in most systems if a customer adds or removes a product from their subscription, it's recorded as a raw data event without any connecting information. There's no information about whether it's an upgrade or a downgrade–business users are left to fill the gaps with hypotheses and guesswork. This makes it a challenge to understand the customer journey and how it relates to your revenue during reporting.

With keylight, such events are recorded to instantly indicate whether it's an upgrade or downgrade. This is made possible by a different data approach, designed to help users understand and nurture customer relationships. In short, it shows the "why?".


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Forecasting means revenue preview

All companies talk about forecasting, but typically when businesses talk about data, they are calculating backwards from billing KPIs and trying to draw a direct link between actions and results. The information is almost always retrospective and provides a limited, local viewpoint rather than a proper insight. You might be able to understand how many invoices will be generated next Friday but that won't really give you a proper sense of the other implications actions may have, such as discounts, price changes, renewals, or revenue distribution. As a consequence, your actions are always going to be reactive rather than proactive.

In a world where things are happening moment by moment, you need a system that flips that way of thinking on its head. The approach to subscription data and analysis needs to begin with a user-centric approach to create the experiences users want to see next.

Key questions subscription businesses should ask

A cohesive mindset in subscription data & analytics

Armed with the information above, how can you set up the best way to collect and analyze data to fuel your business growth and success? 


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What is subscription data?

Take a moment to step outside historic preconceptions about what was possible, and dare to dream about what you want to be possible with data. Make sure that you and your team are united in your mindset about subscription data and what it is or should be. At keylight, we would say subscription data is about collecting the raw events from customer interactions, including all activities from orders and billing to payments and revenue operations. 

keylight offers end-to-end data collection in a complete ecosystem that allows subscription businesses to follow customers throughout the entire customer journey and understand their interactions with the business.


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How does subscription data benefit businesses?

Consider the whole spectrum of how data impacts your subscription business so that mindset can run through your whole organization and the platform you choose to place it on. 

Subscription data benefits businesses in 3 ways

Reporting on past performance and analyzing customer behavior for future decision-making.

Monitor ongoing activities and processes in the present, and automate decisions in real-time.

Forecasting beyond revenue to improve customer and user experience and therefore business profitability and resilience going forwards. 

Instead of offering static transaction reports based solely on past data, keylight provides dynamic views that encompass the past, present, and future. These reports reflect how customers interact with their subscriptions, enabling business users to understand the evolving nature of customer relationships.


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How is subscription data collected in my
subscription business system?

The first two questions will help you define what you want from your subscription business system. Ask yourself if the platform you have collects data in a format that's comprehensive and structured enough for analytics because that's where the magic happens. 

To unlock the full potential of subscription revenue, it is important that the subscription data collected in the business system paints a comprehensive picture of the customer journey. This will enable your business to strategize for all aspects of customer retention and see the different paths available for growing revenue from both new and existing customer base.


An approach that looks to the future

User-centric subscription events

Ultimately, to collect the right data and leverage it effectively for your business, you need a system that treats user-centric events as atomic events. This system should enable comprehensive and structured insights, so users can discern the correlations between these events.

keylight offers exactly that, in an end-to-end system with a robust mathematical backbone, where every concept, set of logic, process, and component is designed from the outset to be available for data analytics and statistical insights. 

keylight Insights

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