How Analytics Fuel Product Growth

David Enarson | December 11, 2015 | Mobile Strategy

These days, mobile analytics are commonplace. A myriad of companies now offer drop-in SDKs to track app views, events, and more. But what’s the best method for developing a sound analytics strategy? Similarly—from a product perspective—what’s the best way to integrate analytics to fuel product growth and yield actionable insights into clients’ specific businesses while also providing aggregate data across implementations to inform the product roadmap?

Let’s segment analytics into several categories: Standard Analytics, Funnel Events, and General UX/Navigation events. Also, let’s consider Operational Performance Metrics such as uptime and responsiveness.

Standard analytics provide general baseline information: number of installs, OS version, number of unique devices, active sessions and session lengths.

Funnel Events are key to a proper analytics strategy. Keep in mind the app’s fundamental purpose. For instance, the primary goal of AuditHere—Propelics’ Mobile Enterprise auditing app—is to successfully complete an audit. This would be the conversion to track so we need to ensure the path is clear. To map this out, it’s important to consider the key events that create this funnel, namely:

1. Login to the App
2. Select an Employee, Store or Product to audit
3. Begin a Survey
4. Review the Survey
5. Submit the Survey

Each of these steps is indicated as an app event. The events are then packaged into a funnel on the analytics dashboard, making it obvious where the most app-abandonment is occurring. Your team can then iterate to improve the product and increase the success of the funnel.

It’s exciting to aggregate metrics from all customer implementations and provide broad industry tags to each customer implementation. Is there a great geographic use in one industry? How is funnel completion in the Retail sector? Aggregated data points can be mined to improve the app, and identify areas of highest value from a product perspective.

In addition, it’s important to measure events outside the main app path, such as: Time Spent on Specific Screens, Interaction with Search vs. List View, and other general UX events. This can help to change the position and path of functionality. Perhaps Search is used more often as a navigation pattern than the list employees see on app launch. This means one of two things:
1. The existing UX is confusing and the data isn’t relevant. This can be improved through providing better data or by improving the navigability of the interface (e.g. by providing headings, additional menus, etc.) or
2. Users simply prefer Search as a navigation pattern. These insights can drive user experience and let design conversations and features evolve to plan on the product roadmap.

From a product management perspective, when dealing with a large number of customer implementations, the platform’s health is our greatest concern. To ensure good health (and in turn a great user experience), each of the operational analytics (e.g. crashes, latency, downtime, etc.) should be aggregated into a realtime dashboard that will proactively monitor the application, allowing your organization to provide the best class of service.

Analytics are an essential tool for advancing a mobile product roadmap. The key not to simply track app events but instead to develop a strategy for tracking and interpreting the most important metrics. The result will be more loyal customers, happier users, and of course a demonstrably better product.

Need help developing a mobile strategy? Looking for some guidance when it comes to interpreting your app analytics? Check out our Enterprise Mobile Roadmap Kickstart and let us help you build a spot-on mobile app strategy!

David Enarson

David Enarson is a Mobile Strategist at Propelics. He has experience leading mobile application initiatives in the Enterprise, specifically with sales force audiences. He has worked with well known brands in the Pharmaceutical, Consumer Packaged Goods and Services verticals. David combines his ability to chart out a big picture strategy with his technical aptitude and understanding of the complexities of the Enterprise to drive value for clients. He has a true passion for startups and mobility and was a past participant and coach at Startup Weekend Chicago. David’s interest in mobility began early on when he founded a company to develop and market applications for the Palm OS.

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