Are analytics on your 2017 product roadmap? Whether you’re updating some old in-app analytics or adding dashboards and reports for the first time, consider these 3 questions before you get started.
1. What’s your plan when people get used to the data you’re giving them and they start asking for more?
If you’ve offered analytics as part of your application for a while, you know that it doesn’t take long for customers to start asking for different KPIs, more insights, and new visualizations. This leads to ongoing ad-hoc nuisance requests that take up your dev team’s valuable time—so instead of focusing on your core product, they’re constantly managing the backlog of customer demands.
The usual response has been to offer self-service solutions to your end users. But we’ve found that typical self-service tools—which are frequently found in a standalone application—simply aren’t adopted. According to Logi’s 2017 State of Analytics Adoption survey, users say their access to self-service analytics tools is higher than ever—up 21 percent this year from the past two years. However, despite the wider availability of these tools, user adoption of self-service analytics is down 20 percent from the past two years.
Fortunately, there is a way to provide self-service tools to people in a way that they’ll actually use. Embedding analytics inside the applications they’re already using empowers people to answer their own questions. Over time, as they become more confident with the solution and start to ask new questions, embedded self-service allows them to answer their own questions within your application.
2. How will you keep your in-app analytics and dashboards up to date?
You can release the most cutting-edge analytics application on the market today—and in 12 months, it will still feel out of date.
Keeping up to date with modern requirements and making sure your analytics are taking advantage of the most updated technologies requires dedicated resources focused solely on your in-app analytics. Most of our clients’ applications offer more than just dashboards, and they find it hard if not impossible to commit resources to focusing solely on analytics when the core product needs to constantly improve as well.
The solution? Partner with a third-party analytics platform that is constantly improving to ensure your analytics are always modern and updated. With an extensible development platform in place, your product team can rapidly build and deploy new, sophisticated analytics capabilities into your application. A platform also makes it easier to customize the elements of your application.
3. What do you do when your lead analytics developer leaves the company?
Every developer does things differently. By relying exclusively on a few internal resources that don’t extensively document their approaches, you run the risk of significant delays when it’s time to update your in-app analytics if developers leave your company. Many in-house solutions rely on a combination of various components that only the developers may know. So a new dev team would need to first familiarize themselves with the existing code base and tools used, then they would need to assess what has to change, put their own spin on the improvements, and finally implement changes. By this point, months have elapsed and your promised GM date has passed.
Partnering with a third party alleviates this burden. By using a platform that offers documentation, ongoing expert support and modular elements, new developers can quickly unpack the efforts of their predecessors and begin upgrading their analytics.
A platform gives you consistent control over your application and minimizes downtime. It also allows your developers to focus on more important tasks. And if a developer leaves or if one of the elements changes, you can rest assured that the platform is in place to support any updates you need to make.