How Zuora, Lyft and Mixpanel spark company transformation with data

Moments of inspiration can be elusive, but for many companies across industries, data is the spark for transformations big and small. Whether it’s a burgeoning startup, non-profit, or household name, each organization shares this one thing in common. Data-driven insights create compelling moments of change for a product, team, or an entire organization. As more and more companies focus on new strategies for growth, leaders from product, analytics, and executive groups have to collaborate.


Zuora’s CIO Alvina Antar joined the CEO and Co-founder of Mixpanel Suhail Doshi and the Head of Analytics at Lyft George Xing to share how data inspires people and their businesses to take action and make critical decisions.


Below are some great quotes from the three speakers at Mixpanel’s Summer Salon about how they use data to grow, make discoveries, find and follow their North Star metrics, and out-maneuver the competition. You can watch the panel session here.


Alvina Antar, CIO at Zuora

  • IT needs to take siloed data across business functions to use it for measurable outcomes.
  • Data is great but it’s only as good as the investment you make in its integrity.
  • You can report on data all day long, but if you have no idea if it’s accurate, it’s a sad day. That happens too often.
  • Automation is critical to your ability to scale.
  • Build or buy a central hub to allow data accessible and reported against in a single location.


Suhail Doshi, CEO and Co-Founder of Mixpanel

  • Things are far more intuition driven when you’re small. When your sample size grows, you can test. Balance intuition and risk.
  • You have to find a way to make your team to feel comfortable and trust the data.
  • When you have something new to measure, review it as a team frequently, have the same standard format to review data every time.
  • There’s value to art and creativity. Must acknowledge this is important to maximize data. It cannot make decisions for you, but it can guide you. That’s the value of experimentation.
  • In the early days, be open to trying things. There’s value in quick decision making.


George Xing, Head of Analytics at Lyft

  • Take data out of the supporting role, make it a driving role in the company.
  • Get everyone behind the framework to make decisions.
  • Always a default to use quantitative data, but qualitative is just as important. Incorporate both in decision making.
  • Everyone has questions, never enough people to answer them. This works when you’re small and questions are straight forward, but the most impactful answers take complex questions. When you’re bigger, spend more time going deeper. The same old questions will always be there, so you need to scale team to up-level the answers.
  • Data is only an asset for the data scientist, but as you grow, data needs to be a tool everybody uses.

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