We live in a data-driven world. If your organization isn’t taking advantage of the data it’s collecting, then you’re leaving money on the table and probably losing customers (or at least missing a BIG way you could be making your customers happier). Embedding analytics is a huge way to add value to your company’s product or service. Usage analytics, self-service analytics, and customer-facing analytics make your product stickier and your customers happier. The right data and analytics solution can even help completely transform your company.

Usage Analytics: Who’s Doing What?

If we live in a data-driven world, then you definitely want your company to be data-driven. Whatever your product or service is, if you’re not digging into how your customers are using it, you’re flying blind. Focus groups, user testing, and surveys can only tell you part of the story. True usage analytics show you what people are actually doing. Every decision you make behind the scenes requires some of your company’s limited resources. Wouldn’t you like to know that your efforts are (or aren’t) having the desired effect before the other shoe drops and you start losing customers?

usage analytics

When you roll out a new product or feature, usage analytics show you if customers are actually taking advantage of it. Netflix tracks usage analytics incessantly, leveraging the number of viewers for their latest series or big-name movie for press releases and news coverage. This information also helps them know which kinds of shows are most popular with viewers so they can redouble their efforts. This is why whenever a sci-fi or fantasy movie is a hit on Netflix, we get a handful of movies and shows just like it (they can’t just live off those The Office reruns forever!).

Spotify does the same thing, using downloads and listens to drive marketing campaigns and determine which artists to sign and develop. Amazon clearly recognized that shoppers were buying the same items regularly and created the option to “subscribe” to various items and have them shipped on a regular basis. Whatever your business model, a deeper understanding of your users’ behavioral patterns will help you better serve them and reduce churn.

Embedding Self-Service Analytics: Empowering the User

Some companies have already hit upon the notion that they need to provide some kind of analytics reporting for their customers and have taken action. They might gather up a bunch of data and send their customers a report every week or month or whatever period of time makes sense for that platform. It’s a nice start, but it doesn’t go far enough. How far back into the customer’s history does it go? Does it have any historical data at all or is it just “here are your stats from last week!”? Data without context is not that powerful.

Trying to anticipate your users’ wants and needs by sending them reports based on those assumptions is a good start for a well-intentioned organization. However, empowering your users to get the answers themselves is even better. Embedding self-service usage analytics is the way to go when it comes to giving users the power and control over how they’ve been using your service. Let them pick the variables that they want to dig into and the timeframes that matter to them, and they’ll have a better picture of how much your service means to them.

Already sold on providing self-service usage analytics? Now the headaches really begin as you start dedicating developer resources to tackling this huge challenge. If your team is already taxed, a customizable out-of-the-box analytics solution could be the answer. The right solution will allow you to easily build standalone analytical apps that users can interface with directly or that can live inside your software. Wherever your users are, you should be able to put the analytics that matter most to them, without killing your dev team. You don’t have to build it from scratch, just find a tool that has a high degree of customization and you can ship analytics and start seeing ROI in weeks instead of months (or years).

Analytics and Subscriptions: A Winning Combo

So you want to know how your customers are using your service, and so do they. Customer-facing embedded analytics is the answer. Whatever your offering is, a little tab labeled “analytics” or “your stats” can be huge. Most people love hearing about themselves and analytics like these make your offering stickier and keep users coming back and digging into their own data in a unique way that helps keep engagement up. They also help users understand what they’re getting out of your service.

This understanding can also help turn customers into subscribers, the Holy Grail of the modern day product or service model. However, it’s not just a matter of slapping some embedded analytics into your software or website and calling it a day. Once you have your analytics strategy and system in place, it’ll change the way customers view your company and how your company views customer needs, interests, and more. To handle all this effectively, you’ll need real-time data and detailed analytics (ideally powered by AI, to help you manage all this). Usage analytics impact subscription billing, customer retention activities, and many other aspects of your business. The right analytics solution will make building the analytical framework to support all this easier and help keep your development resources focused on other aspects of your business.

Embedding to Win

Whatever your data challenges, usage analytics are a powerful addition to your strategy. They help you understand how customers are using your service, changing the way you market, manage subscriptions, handle retention, and more. And embedded analytics that the customer can see and use make your service stickier and keep them coming back, learning more about their usage habits, and hopefully staying a happier and more engaged customer.

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