When working in any aspect of software or application development, the goal is for our users to get results. We pour over things like user analytics to track how our intended audience is interacting and engaging with the lines and bits of code we’ve created.
And, we want them to spend more time on our platform and see data that reinforces the value they are receiving each time they log in.
Have you ever wondered if the addition of end user experience metrics within your platform could help to better demonstrate the value of your software and apps?
At Keen, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how user-facing metrics can enrich the end-user experience for our customers’ platforms.
You might be wondering though, aren’t user-facing metrics the same as embedded analytics? Can’t you just glean the insights you’re looking for from all the data you’re software and apps are already gathering?
To better answer these questions, let’s break things down a little further.
The truth is, it’s common to confuse user-facing metrics with embedded analytics, which can be a form of metrics for end users, but these are typically more internal facing for product user experience metrics and for business teams.
An excerpt from Gartner defines embedded analytics as, “The use of reporting and analytic capabilities in transactional business applications. These capabilities must be easily accessible from inside the application, without forcing users to switch between systems.”
All user analytics provide data, but in a world that is drowning in data, the data itself is not necessarily valuable. It’s relevant and contextual information in the form of personalized user analytics dashboards and other visual representations that ultimately allow users to analyze, answer questions, and improve results without having to leave the app.
So why end user analytics, and why now?
The need for user-facing metrics, is steadily expanding — one study found that nearly 90% of UK and US application decision-makers are planning on investing in embedded analytics in the next 12 months. And the business implications are massive. In a similar study, 90% of the app teams surveyed reported a reduction in customer churn and 91% reported improving win rates due to their user analytics. Additionally, 68% said that they can charge more for their product because of the added value that the metrics for end users bring.
Additionally, users have begun to expect personalized data when they engage with consumer and business applications. Any well-meaning mother could tell you we’re attached to our apps. We’ve grown accustomed to instant access to huge amounts of information at the touch of a button on any laptop, tablet, or mobile device.
Details related to our online behaviors have become commonplace with the infinite rise of social media, and this has driven us to expect companies to observe our preferences, our actions, and to tailor a personal experience.
Some companies are using user-facing metrics to enhance the usage of their services. Pixlee helps huge brands like Marriott and Levi’s curate and display customer content from their biggest fans. As a result, they show increased shopping cart conversion among other benefits through their user-facing metrics.
Next Big Sound (NBS) studies the popularity of musicians by tracking data on their popularity from various platforms, like social media, radio, or streaming services. They use this data to help their customers, like advertisers or record labels, understand why certain songs are played more than others, and to help cultivate future musical successes. NBS also launched a partnership with Spotify that extends these services to artists, who can use this data to understand how impactful their music is and for their own promotion.
In IoT (internet of things), devices like FitBit or other health trackers owe their success in part to effective user data visualization. When you wear one they track several aspects of fitness activity like the steps you take, your rate of recovery and aspects of your sleep habits, such as oxygen intake. Having instant access to historical and present user analytics concerning your health is a major reason to wear such a device.
Similarly, the app MapMyFitness tracks where you’ve gone by tracing a map on your mobile device or computer. It tells you things like how many calories you burned, the hills you have climbed and how steep they were, and how you rank in comparison to other runners or bikers. The app also lets you connect to fellow users and find new routes for exercising, among other things. And, there are hundreds and thousands of other apps all tracking and reporting back usage and results anytime a user logs in.
For these reasons embedding user analytics and end user experience metrics into your applications is no longer an option. It’s expected to give your users and end users the best experience possible. These days, it’s become a source of competitive advantage. Imagine the reactions of your users when you begin providing them with the information and insights they’ve been craving — we think it may look something like this:
We’d love to hear how you use analytics to improve applications for your users. Tweet us @keen_io.
This article was originally published July 2018 and was updated January 2020.