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Product Management

Three Genius Apps for Product Managers to Emulate

By Josh Martin | November 16, 2016
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In my previous post, I talked through the risks of not embedding analytics into your application. When you lose the user you limit your potential future (and current) revenue streams.

Adding analytics into your application makes it more relevant, helps reduce nuisance requests and makes your app invaluable to your users.

But if analytics are so valuable to applications, why doesn’t everyone do it?

First, adding analytics yourself is hard. You probably have amazing developers, but they probably don’t exclusively focus on analytics. So, they’ll rely on a host of open-source solutions that you’ll constantly be hoping continue to work together. Documentation of your custom in-house approach will be limited – so good luck if your developer ever leaves. And advanced capabilities such as self-service are simply not available on the open-source market.

Second, keeping up with the market is challenging. The analytics market is changing rapidly and keeping up with customer demand for new features will require teams of experts if you build yourself. Furthermore, if you don’t offer self-service you’ll be forced to add new features to your product constantly which will impact your roadmap, bloat your code and make positioning your solution difficult.

But there are companies out there that are creating applications with analytics at their core. And when you compare them to their competitors, you can really understand how the analytics and sharing capabilities are creating a stickier user experience.

Here are a few examples:

Google Flights

It engages the user quickly. The Google Flights site has a lot of map data, with overlaid data and pricing alongside links that rapidly get users into the mindset of planning a trip.

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It keeps users engaged through analytics: Price tracking offers more analytics to limit the need to visit other sites.

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It presents the data in different ways: Different data views present alternate ways to plan your travel.

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It’s easy to understand: Simple charts readily demonstrate price changes over time further assisting your planning.

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It brings others into the ecosystem: Google’s sharing features are devised to keep users coming back through link-backs but also to provide guerilla marketing by using users are brand ambassadors to spread the gospel of Google by sharing trip data with others.

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Let’s compare this to another popular travel site, Expedia. By contrast, Expedia doesn’t use data effectively. It’s homepage doesn’t expose any data or invite the user to explore

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Its search results do little to provide additional context or insight.

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And the exposed data is limited and doesn’t show any future trends. Is the price for flights going to go back up in a few weeks? There aren’t a lot of analytics available to inform the user.

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Google has come in with their newer solution and is taking market share from Expedia.

 

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is an essential tool to monitor web traffic, web content and lead generation (among other things) for organizations around the world – and for good reason – Google continues to invest in improving its visualizations and analytical capabilities.

It offers self-service: Google Analytics’ customizable dashboard lets users create the views they need to succeed.

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Its Google Data Studio also makes publishing dashboards easy while keeping everyone in the ecosystem.

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It has a modern look and feel: Modern visuals and an easy-to-use interface make data desirable to use and share.

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By contrast, Marketo, which offers marketing automation software, has limited customization, restricts personalization and inhibits data analysis – all of which push users to export data to Excel.

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An antiquated report builder makes creating analysis more difficult and harder to appreciate.

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Integration with Salesforce is achieved through lists, limiting value, desire to share and ability to fully analyze.

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ADP

Finally, let’s take a look at ADP. When analyzing financial information (especially your 401K investment), it’s pretty easy to get lost in the numbers, and not understand how your investments are doing. ADP offers a custom homepage where users can set up the KPIs most important to them.

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Various products tailor the out-of-the-box experience to different roles and skills within an organization.

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Modern visualizations and a clean interface make using ADP analytics engaging.

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On the other hand, Paycom’s interface is just plain confusing. It’s hard to know where to find the information you are looking for, or to complete necessary tasks.

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Moreover, the experience is not optimized for mobile – something that is pretty much standard for any application today.

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There is a common and recurring theme you may see from the vendors we have highlighted: by providing quality analytics at the core of their experience, they have untold resources at their disposal. Smaller companies don’t have the luxury of spending hundreds of millions of dollars on development resources, which is why an analytics platform such as Logi makes sense.

It’s hard to expect that cobbling together open-source solutions, hoping customers don’t ever need to ask more questions beyond the dashboards provided, and trying to keep up with an ever-changing environment are long-term solutions. Solving this problem was core to our own product development at Logi. So, we created a platform that allows PMs and their application teams to drag and drop advanced modular components to create a compelling analytic feature at the core of their application. And we are constantly improving our platform – in fact we just updated our platform – so your customers will always have the most modern analytics powering their applications.

Analysts estimate 90% of analytics solutions for business users will be embedded in other core applications within the next five years. The longer you wait, the bigger advantage your competitors will have.

 

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.

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