When decisions are based on inaccurate data, every aspect of a business becomes complicated. Especially when there is a great deal of data to track and it is unclear whether errors have crept in. Multiple external services are utilized by online businesses for analytics, product development, marketing automation, and sales. Obtaining cross-service insights requires significant effort, infrastructure, and data teams. Integrations fail easily and invisibly. No one is able to identify the source of the issue. As a result, 76% of business decision makers don’t trust the data they have.
The CEO and co-founder of Trackingplan, Josele Perez, shared this sentiment prior to deciding to launch the company in 2020, just in time for the Coronavirus outbreak.
How Trackingplan started
Josele had to deal with a large amount of data from user interactions as the CEO of two companies prior to Trackingplan, both of which were complex businesses with millions of users. There were always errors in the data, and it was then that he realized something needed to be done.
"What led us into this industry? I think the huge pain we initially felt with other programs." Josele Perez, CEO & Co-founder of Trackingplan.
As a result, Josele, along with Alexandros Chaaraoui, Oleg Kozynenko, Jose Padilla, and Pedro Trujillano - all software, artificial intelligence, and business enthusiasts - began looking for a solution and came up with an idea. From data-driven product development to industrial application of AI algorithms, all five founders were involved in this data-driven business optimization. Despite having worked on opposite ends of the spectrum in this field, they shared a common insight: data exploitation can only be successful if the data is sound, and even then, it can be difficult.
“When people say “data is the new gold”, they actually refer to data applications, i.e. all the potential businesses can gain from exploiting the data they collect, most prominently those applications based on Business Intelligence and Machine Learning. These can lead to an optimization of existing processes and open up new opportunities for business to an extent which certainly can make the difference between market winners and market losers.” Alexandros Andre Chaaraoui, CTO & Co-founder of Trackingplan
Many companies surrender to the pressure of keeping up with the market and attempting to launch AI/ML-based products without investing in their data collection. This is especially true for customer data, where the diverse nature of the applied tools and the related privacy concerns lead to a flood of inconsistencies and missed data. Since they had seen this failure firsthand, the founders' team wanted to focus on step 0: Validate the data collection.
In March 2020, the Trackingplan founders brainstormed together what they would like to solve and how. Eventually, it was clear that they were a strong team with a complementary skill set. They started to design and code the system in their free time and made the best out of the Covid-19 lockdown they were all in.
It quickly became clear that to launch the product and for customers to sign up, they needed the team's total commitment. So they left their corporate jobs in the spring of 2021 and raised their Pre-seed funding round. So, this meant leaving stable and successful jobs and leading positions. But, for their families, it meant having no timetables for the foreseeable future.
Trackingplan’s first client and the lessons learned
Trackingplan signed the first contract with Freepik, an art and design marketplace and production company that offers the largest graphic resource bank worldwide. As a result, it was constructive for the entire team to see how they wanted to use the product and improve it around their needs. The team noticed how they were also using it for an unexpected application: i.e. migrating between analytics tools (specifically Google Universal Analytics to Google Analytics v4).
Since their very first client, they have observed that each case will be extremely unique. Therefore, being cautious with the product was essential.
Critical milestones that shaped Trackingplan
The initial customers were key in shaping the Trackingplan company. Travelperk, the biggest Spanish international retailer and a successful Latam Fintech, and Freepik, which apply cutting-edge and data-driven development, helped shape Trackingplan and prioritize the product features.
Joining Y Combinator in the Winter 2022 batch was a key turning point. It allowed the founders to align the team’s mentality around how they should develop the business, sharing the same education and business survival lessons. It also gave the team a good view of who they compete with and how high the stakes are, which motivates them to work harder.
Trackingplan founders also had strong expert input from advisors such as Diego Mariño, Sergio Álvarez Leiva, and Jame Novoa (K Fund), Michael Seibel and Brad Flora (Y Combinator), Kirby Winfield (Ascend Ventures).
How did we come up with the brand name?
Trackingplan is the name of the company's existing tool, and it explains what the company does. Therefore, it was appropriate to name the company and the product based on the central concept around which the business operates and attempts to automate: a tracking plan is the single source for a company's customer data collection.
The vision of Trackingplan and its five founders is to bridge the trust gap in data and put customers in charge of the entire analytics lifecycle. This encompasses the design, communication, integration, testing, and monitoring stages of the process. Trackingplan is constantly developing innovative solutions that deliver value from day one across products, businesses, and marketing people. This enables businesses to regain trust in their customer data and rely on it to make data-driven decisions.