The DataHero Blog

3 Data Sources To Help You Build Customer Personas

April 28th, 2015


We all have access to more user data than ever before; coming from our customer support systems, site analytics, and even surveys where we can collect more qualitative information. All of this data builds the foundation for customer personas. Read on to find out which sources to pull your customer information from, and how to maximize it to build customer personas that truly represent your target audience.

Site Metrics

Pull data in from a service like Google Analytics or Mixpanel to get a better understanding of who is visiting your site and how your current customer interacts with the site. Cross reference campaigns with time on site, or certain blog posts with likelihood to purchase. The heat map below, for example, shows lead source, landing page and average time on site.

DataHero Average Time on Site by Landing Site by Lead Source (1)

We can see that the Bloggers page shows the highest average time on site, especially if they come through Twitter. Because these landing pages are broken down by use cases or vertical, it gives us a great idea of what kinds of users we are attracting, and the best method to speak to them.

 Cohort analysis is another great tool here to analyze user behavior. You can pull this data from a service like Mixpanel and ask questions like: do customers who sign up in January tend to engage more with your product than customers who signed up in March, for example? Drag on something like customer creation date and login date to see how customer creation date affects engagement with your product.

DataHero Cohort Analysis by Customer Creation Date and Login Date

Customer Support System

Support services like Zendesk and Desk allow you to tag each case that a customer files with a tag. Pull this information out of your customer success platform and apply it to your persona research. The chart below displays cases by tag by creation date. Many of these tags are feature requests, which gives you a great idea of your target customer.

DataHero Number of Records of Tags by Created Date (1)

We can see that requests for more advanced features take the top two positions (Customized Templates and Analytics). This means that a fair amount of these users are pretty tech-savvy. There are others who are focused on this tool as a hub, requesting other third party integrations or increased ability to share.

You can even combine this customer support data with your Mixpanel data as long as you have the user ID in both datasets. Then determine if there is a relationship between users who file more technical requests and the features they engage with the most on the site.


Surveys are perhaps the most common way to collect information about users. They’re a great way to collect demographic data, which is easily represented in a chart. Cross reference this demographic data again with site metrics or revenue to identify your most valuable demographics. Surveys also provide a wealth of qualitative information, which can help you address more of the “whys” in your customer persona research. Why is a customer purchasing your product? What pain points did he/she have before your product?

In the process of building your own customer personas? Take a look at the data you already have access to and use every day to give you a solid foundation. Then refine that foundation with focus groups or market research.


Create My Free Account To Visualize My Customer Persona Data


By Kelli Simpson

Create my Free DataHero Account

Get the fastest, easiest way to understand your data today.