How Anvil uses Canvas to tie everyday decisions to revenue
Anvil is a platform that empowers businesses to scale paperwork. With Anvil’s no-code Workflows and APIs, businesses can easily capture and share data, gather e-signatures, and produce PDFs in an automated way.
The problem: Anvil’s data was hard to access and heavily siloed.
Sophie, Chief of Staff, and the business teams relied on the engineering team to access product data in the database.
“We didn’t understand how the data was organized and related, so it was really hard to define requests, making every request feel open-ended and onerous.”
For revenue data, the teams relied on Stripe. “But Stripe was only useful at a very micro or macro level – e.g., "I need to go investigate this specific invoice...” or "How much have we grossed since the company began?"
We wanted to get in the practice very early of attributing revenue growth to product and marketing decisions, which is very hard to do if you literally cannot tie those things together in a dynamic way.
All of this together meant that there was not much data exploration, and we weren’t in a position to make truly data-driven business decisions as they grew.
The Solution: Data questions answered without SQL
Product and Operations teams can now tie revenue growth to their daily decisions with Canvas. They’re able to combine Stripe, Hubspot, and product data instead of relying on engineering to provide SQL queries. They check team-wide and company-wide canvases daily for metric updates and use private canvases to investigate hypotheses and explore data.
I have two main canvases that I check daily – if I’m being honest, those are the two browser tabs I never close.
The Results: A team that can tie projects clearly to revenue
For Sophie, it always comes back to connecting the thread between initiatives and their revenue impact. At later stage startups she's worked for, it seemed like there always came the point where the assumptions about how your performance metrics approximate revenue can no longer take your growth to the next level.
The obvious solution to this problem is to give everyone on the business side a clear line of sight into how their actions drive revenue. But time and time again, this completely broke down when it came down to the implementation. With Canvas, Sophie and her team can implement this orientation around revenue from day one and build a culture of truly data-driven decision-making as they grow.