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May 18, 2022

6 ways to make fast product decisions with analytics

Enzo Avigo

How does your product analytics make you feel? Is it working for you, or does it suck your time?

Do you feel you have to block time in your agenda to explore your data? Do you sometime feel stuck because only one person has the context required?
Or  do you feel like you're repeating the same tasks again and again? (👋 Hello "Select * from")

With all that, can you even tell what features are the most used in your product? Are your features successful or do they need another iteration to stick? Do you know who are your top 10 most active users this week?

Now imagine Instant analytics. An analytics that work for you. Imagine knowing about what features is being used.  Imagine being on top of users behaviors changes since your last feature release.

Every week we welcome dozens of new customers to June - the instant analytics. Through hundreds of personalized onboardings, we've seen how the most efficient product teams work.

Their success boils down in making fast decisions using these 6 techniques.

1. Trash your dashboards, use reports

Organizing graph inside dashboards can feel orderly. But this the beginning of the spiral of death.

Only the one who creates a dashboards knows what data points are behind each graph, and where is each graph.  

When a dashboard has too many graph, a second one get creates. Then a third one, etc. After a few weeks you end up with dozens of dashboards that no one have time to read them. Since no one knows where to find what graph, new graph get created, and so on and so forth.

Source: dashboards are dead

Trash you dashboard and use vertical reports instead.

A well crafted report is the in-depth answer to a complex question you have. It contains all the elements to answer that question, in one-place.

example: if your question is "what's the adoption for that feature?" you answer should be a feature release report.

Give your reports a descriptive name and anyone will be able to find it:

2. Use a focus metrics

A focus metrics is a metrics that you put at the top of every product initiative you have. You know that by moving this metrics up you're improving your business.

When you get started with analytics it's tempting to measure every corner of your product. This is not the way to go!

The most successful product companies in the world use focus metrics. It helps them make sure their teams work on initiatives that move the needle.

Pick a focus metrics from our templates list

The right focus metrics are:

  • user retention (company retention if you're B2B) - to build a sticky business
  • active users - to build a growing business
  • # of actions - to build an engaging business

June automatically sets up focus metrics for you when you get started so you don't have to think about it.

Everyone in your product org should know your focus metrics. Once you have it set up add a weekly update in a Slack channel so that your team gets updated on it.

3. Move to a "pull" motion

You started to instrument a new part of your product, great! Now you have to wait to collect enough data points to analyse it.

So you add an analysis task in your to-do or calendar apps. Chances are you will never do it. You're a busy, something else will bump and become higher priority. Keep doing that and soon you'll feel like you don't know what your users do in your product.

To fix that pick a graph that you want to follow from a report and add it to a Slack channel.

Add your graph to your favourite communication workflows

Pick a cadence, and see your analyses building up without to lift a finger. Your team will enjoy and be able to comment it!

Adding a graph to Slack take 2-click

4. Before each Roadmap do a feature audit

The best product teams know what features are used, by what percentage of their users. Before each roadmap exercise do a feature audit and use this information before your prioritization exercise. The idea is to take your current features and plot them on a graph:

Horizontal axis: Popularity is the ratio of the number of people who used this feature to the number of people who used any feature

Vertical axis: Frequency is the ratio of the number of days an event was performed, divided by the number of days any events were performed in your product

In this way, you'll get a map of your features, like this:

All the features that are in the top right section of the graph should be your priority. These features are the core reasons why customers love your product. If you can make improvements here, it will delight all your customers.

Bottom left features are not your best ones. If you want to improve them make sure they move to the top right. Otherwise you are losing your precious time on something that few customers use only once in a while.

Resist the urge to create a funnel for every workflow in your product. Most analytics out there will sell you funnels. Yet a good feature audit is 10x more powerful to deliver product impact

5. Track your releases

Have you ever written a long tagging plan and asked an engineer to put it in place? And in the end you did not have enough time to analyse the things you wanted?

Product teams are agile but for some reasons when it comes to data they operate waterfall. And that's because data feels complex.

To make things simple your product is the sum of its release. Which means you can be exhaustive by measuring your releases.

When you push a new release follow these 4 simple steps:

  1. Attach a track event to that release
  2. Set a feature release analysis
  3. Receive live alerts for this event
  4. Move to a "pull" motion, set Slack alerts on relevant graph in an ephemeral channel
Live alerts make your release more exciting on launch day

Having too many Slack channels is not better than having dozens of dashboards. Make sure you close ephemeral channels when your adoption targets are hit.

6.  Talk regularly with your power users

In theory analytics does not tell you how users feel about your product - only what they do.

To change that you should extracts emails from your power users and reach out to them.  Your CRM cannot tell you your power users, use your analytics for that.

That's it! =)

The best product teams love and use these techniques. With them, you can stay focused on making fast product decision, while being data informed.

June features to help you move fast.

  • 15+ Templates - Set up a report in 2-click without expertise required
  • Feature audit - Learn the popularity and frequency of usage of your features
  • Feature release - Discovery, adoption and usage of your latest features
  • Slack digest - Receive updates without having to remember to do it
  • Live notification - Be notified live when actions happen. Create awareness and excitement.
  • CSV exports - Interact directly with your customers when you have an hypothesis or question.

Want to make quick product decision with data? Try out June!

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June 1.0 - Instant analytics reports built on top of Segment | Product Hunt