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  • Writer's pictureNicole

Strategically collecting data in 17hats

Collecting and tracking business data can help you make decisions that might otherwise be difficult. Rather than guessing or just following the latest shiny object trend on social media, a strategic collection of data can help develop your marketing strategies, product & service lineup and more. In this post, we’ll delve into five key data points that you should consider tracking, with specific examples of how to collect this data in 17hats CRM.


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Lead Source data

Understanding where your leads come from is fundamental for creating successful marketing strategies. By tracking where your leads say they heard about your business (whether through internet search, referral, advertising, etc.) you can focus more of your attention, time and resources on your top-performing source. 

Say it’s internet search… hone in on what recent actions you’ve taken to amp up your SEO and keep at it! Maybe your top source is referrals… find a way to recognize and thank the customers who spread the word about your business for you and schedule in some time to make these thank you notes a priority.

Collecting lead source data in 17hats:

Thankfully, 17hats makes it really easy to collect and view this data. Simply activate Lead Source Reporting, enter where your leads are likely to hear about you and ask “how did you hear about us” in your lead capture forms and online scheduling bookings, being sure to map this answer to the lead source field.

Then, put some time in your calendar every quarter or so to look back on this reporting to see where your marketing was most effective.

Income Categories

Another important thing you can do to strategically collect data is assigning income categories to your products & services so that you can get clarity on your top revenue sources. For example, if your business offers multiple services such as event decor, photo booths, rentals, etc. knowing the sales numbers from each of these categories will allow you to find the strongest aspects of your business.

And this type of data collection is great to reflect on when setting goals for the year ahead! You can almost predict when each of your services are most-popular throughout the year and create your marketing plan accordingly.

Collecting income category data in 17hats:

By default, the income categories in your account will be Sales, Service Income and Uncategorized Income. Edit these and add more categories through your Account Settings, then Bookkeeping Options. Note that each of your products can only have a single income category connected, so for service listings like “delivery fee” (which could apply to any service you offer), consider having an income category specifically for “fees”. 

When you’re ready to see how your income categories have been performing, head to the Profit & Loss Report in the bookkeeping section of your account.

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Types of Events Serviced

For businesses operating in the events industry, understanding the types of events they service (and when) is also helpful. Weddings, corporate events, festivals, private parties… each type of event comes with its own needs and preparation. By tracking when each event type is most commonly requested, businesses can ensure their inventory and staffing is where it needs to be.

Knowing the overall sales amounts for each event type will also allow you to identify possible niche markets that can be reflected in your marketing and advertising. 

Collecting event type data in 17hats:

In order to find sales numbers by event type, you’ll want to utilize a tagging system and the Recent Client Activity section accessed through your dashboard. Whether you have event type tags automatically applied through a list / drop-down question on your lead capture form, or if you manually add your event type tag in your workflow, eventually you’ll be able to filter your client activity for paid invoices in a certain time frame with each tag!

Note that your projects cannot be archived in order to show up in the Recent Client Activity section.

Top-Selling Products & Services

Identifying your top-selling products & services will help with inventory management, pricing and potentially even new product or service development as you consider similar offerings that compliment your best products or services. And on the opposite side of the spectrum, in the course of finding your top-selling products & services, you can identify those with the lowest amount of sales. From there, you can either create a new strategy to increase sales for those items, or drop them from your offerings entirely.

Finding Top-Selling Product & Service data in 17hats:

Another built-in report available to you in the bookkeeping section of your account is the Product Sales Report. Here, you’ll be able to select a time frame to examine and quickly see the products (and services) that sold in the highest quantity during that time. Of course you can also extract from this data the products & services that brought in the most revenue as well.

For this report to be as helpful as possible, try to stick with a consistent billing convention when drawing up quotes and invoices for your customers. For example, if you’ve got services listed as “4hr photo experience” and “Photo experience - 4hrs”... both of which deliver the same experience, these service listings will not populate together in the report and will skew your data (not to mention, confuse you when you’re quoting your customers!). Unless an item variant (like color, for example) changes the item price, leave those details out of the product name and instead, put that detail in the item description. 

All in all, this is why I like to take the time to add as many products as possible (along with their income categories) in one go. You’re much more likely to come up with a consistent naming convention when done this way, rather than on the fly. 

Unless an item variant changes the price, leave that detail out of the product name and instead, put it in the item description. 

Top Customers

Last, and definitely not least, is collecting data to find your top customers. This of course includes sales numbers, but also those who refer others to your business. Knowing this info can help you foster loyalty and earn continued repeat business. It’ll also help you identify characteristics of your top customers so that you can create marketing campaigns that reflect this type of ideal customer in its messaging. 

Finding Top Customer data in 17hats:

Similar to the built-in Product Sales Report in 17hats, the Client Sales report will help you quickly identify which clients contributed the highest amounts to your sales over your selected time frame. The referring customer data, however, should be incorporated in the development of your lead source data collection mentioned above. It’s the Lead Source Reporting that will allow you to find the specific names of customers who new leads have identified as the person who referred them. Simply utilize the “Person referred by” token mapping in your lead capture form to make this happen.


As you can see, there are many benefits to strategically collecting and utilizing the data in your business. There are valuable insights to be found in these numbers that can help you stay in front of demand, market yourself on the most effective platforms and showcase the products & services that have meant the most for your bottom line.

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with where to start, I’d suggest picking the type of data that will solve your biggest pain point. Have you been debating whether you should continue offering a particular service? Set up your income categories and see how it performs. Know you’re not giving your best attention to your top customers? Start collecting referral information and schedule time to view the Client Sales report so that you can give those customers a proper thank you.

By the way, my free Workshop Library has a recording that goes over these data types in more detail… along with other recordings specifically for lead source tracking, income categories and more. Check out the library if you’d like to dive deeper!  


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