BI Trends

Why Fitbit Product Managers should be focused on Analytics

By Josh Martin
Share on LinkedIn Tweet about this on Twitter Share on Facebook

Fitbit is the poster child for consumer analytics. Its line of wearable pedometers and associated app helped bring fitness data and subsequent analysis mainstream. Over the past few years, this has helped highlight several things.

  • Data can be viewed as a premium revenue stream through the creation of a tier of premium data services
  • More Sensors + More Data = Better Analysis, and thus more expensive devices. In fact, Fitbit devices range from below $50 to well over $200.

To call Fitbit an innovator may not actually be giving it enough credit – that’s how massive its impact has been on the wearable device, health/fitness and consumer data market.

However, the one area where the company has not kept pace is in self-service data capabilities. Fitbit offers its users a select few types of data that are included on a singular dashboard. This may have been acceptable some years ago but not anymore.

>> What’s the Future of Self-Service Analytics? Read the Latest Research Report <<

Through our extensive work in BI and analytics, Logi has found that when users get access to data, over time they begin to want access to more data and want to be able to do more with it.

So it was interesting to see this article from Lifehacker the other day, titled Create a Dashboard That Displays All Your Fitbit Data on a Single Screen, which highlights how users – frustrated or otherwise disengaged from the Fitbit dashboard – can export all their data to see it all in a single screen (and potentially integrate it with other data). Not to get too technical, the approach recognizes that Fitbit doesn’t meet user needs anymore and provides a workaround for customers to export data to another platform for improved self-service analysis.

Losing the direct relationship with the user is antithetical to developing a long-term relationship with customers – a relationship that Fitbit must forge to have lasting success. Instead of instantiating itself into the daily lives of users, it is separating itself out and losing the user by becoming a device that measures steps (and other things).

Just think about this for a moment. If you’re a Fitbit owner who relies on daily Fitbit dashboards optimized for you, and you’re totally satisfied with your views – when it comes time to replace or upgrade your device, you’re likely to choose another Fitbit device. However, if you are already exporting all your data elsewhere, does the actual device matter? You could just as easily replace your Fitbit with a Jawbone, Nike, Garmin, Misfit, Apple Watch, Android Wear, etc. Now Fitbit becomes much more susceptible to pricing, design or the simple desire to change, derailing its effort avoid user churn.

We understand that designing, developing and maintaining analytics for a range of users is difficult. However, for smart companies that seek to keep an ongoing relationship with the user know the philosophy of “don’t lose the user” is critical to maintaining hardware revenue, prompt rapid upgrade cycles and grow new revenue streams. Without this ongoing sustainable income innovating in other areas with be challenged further inhibiting available resources to improve and innovate on the core product suite.


Originally published September 6, 2016; updated on August 10th, 2017

About the Author

Josh Martin is the Director of Product Marketing at Logi Analytics. Prior to joining Logi he was an industry analyst covering bleeding edge distribution channels and their impact on the consumer market. In this role he was a thought leader and advised clients on how to successfully benefit from market shifts while positioning products and services for long-term success. Josh holds a Bachelor degree in Business from Babson College.