BI Trends

Why Losing Users can Lose Product Managers Their Jobs

By Josh Martin
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Simply put: Without analytics at the core of your application, you risk extinction.

Product Managers have been pressured to add analytics to their apps since the early days of Crystal Reporting and SSRS. But those solutions – while an important step forward at the time – feel antiquated and insufficient to provide the capabilities today’s sophisticated users demand. As the competition adds modern analytics to their apps, Product Managers must solve for how to do the same without having their teams lose focus on their core product.

Failure to add analytics puts your software at significant risk of the following:

1. Your App Becomes a Dumb Pipe – a simple pass through entity that is easily replaced. Most user time is spent conducting analysis – so you’re driving users away at the most valued time

2. Limited switching pain. Setting up KPIs relied on by an organization and educating teams on this takes time. But if that happens outside your app, users don’t really have any pain points when switching to your competitor.

3. Minimal Opportunity for Upcharge. By not offering capabilities desperately needed, you limit potential future (and current) revenue streams.

If adoption wanes and customers churn, your budgets could be cut which could limit future resources to continued core product evolution ultimately leading to product lines being eliminated.

One key challenge to successfully integrating analytics is what we call “the success problem.” Once improved analytics – beyond static reports and charts – are added to applications, users quickly begin wanting more. They want a bar chart turned into a column chart. They desire adding new data sources. They seeks out advanced visualizations.

In the old world a PM had to account for these requests and allocate development time to ongoing ad-hoc requests. As anyone that has developed in a sprint to reach milestones on a product roadmap can attest to – distractions are the enemy of timely product launches.

Since Logi is laser focused on solving problems for application owners, we have created a platform that allows for rapidly embeddable self-service to empower end users and local administrators. By distributing these white-labeled capabilities, your app becomes more relevant, you reduce nuisance requests and your app becomes invaluable (and maybe sales won’t need to heavily discount during the next upgrade cycle).

Here’s an example of how Logi’s self-service keeps users in your app. Let’s pretend you develop point-of-sale software. Retail employees log transactions, metadata is collected and management relies on that data to analyze performance. If your software doesn’t offer them the flexibility to drill into anomalies, create new dashboards (such as Black Friday performance), or adjust to suit their capricious needs, they’ll export the data to Excel and your app becomes an afterthought. When they share that data with their CEO, they’re sending the Excel file via e-mail or Slack or Microsoft PowerPoint. Your software isn’t seen by the executives that will ultimately approve budget decisions and you become commoditized.

Not only does management not understand the value of your software you lose out on several other benefits as well.

1. No Exposure to a Wider Audience. Since content is shared from the system where it’s analyzed, Excel will likely get all the credit.

2. Data Integrity Issues Appear. Once shared via these channels, data manipulation is uncontrolled, eliminating “one version of the truth.”

3. Sub-Par Data Is Blamed on your App. Poor visualizations, incorrect analysis and more can make your offering seem uninteresting.

If you want your app to ‘land and expand’ from one department to another or simply increase the number of users within a team, you cannot afford to lose the free exposure social sharing affords you. By ignoring this important aspect you risk your product being replaced – or, at best, make it very difficult to spread through organizations.

During the analysis phase and sharing phase, it’s important to make sure you are not only driving usage of your application, but you are driving users back to your application. Offering inline analytics, white-labeled self-service and infused workflows turns any app into a genius app that:

  • Keeps users and those they share analysis with in your application
  • Creates an opportunity for product differentiation and upsell
  • Makes your software stickier by offering analytics, dashboards and other content customized to end users
  • Offers self-service capabilities that allow developers to focus on the core product
  • Has fewer ad-hoc requests result in limited core product feature creep

As a Product Manager, your biggest challenge is ensuring your product roadmap incorporates compelling features, is delivered on-time and stays ahead of the competition. Logi’s platform is designed to help you achieve these ends while also having modern analytics, visuals and interactivity users craze.

In my next post, I’ll take a look at a few examples of genius applications that are gaining market share over competitors by doing just this. Many examples are big companies with large development teams but with Logi you don’t need a big team to develop and deliver a modern application with analytics at the core.


Originally published November 4, 2016; updated on August 9th, 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.