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Product management is complicated – it combines tasks of different magnitudes, scopes, and priorities, and acts as the rubber band that holds several teams together. To do that, every product manager needs to have a stack of reliable tools and metrics to support the various goals they pursue on a daily basis. You would think that this is the case but product management can quickly become an unfocused exercise in measuring random metrics and mapping them to whatever is deemed important on that particular day. How do you avoid this dreadful scenario? By setting up a robust process that helps you determine the right goals and KPIs, map them to the right metrics, and get a reporting on those metrics. This is how you can quickly identify trends with the help of product manager analytics tools – let’s get started!
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Data flows in and out of each business unit – and companies that harness every bit of data they can measure are the ones that succeed. Data helps engineers understand the strongest and weakest points of their products. Customer Success teams need data to spot friction points and provide better service to the end user. Marketing uses data to reach as many potential customers as possible in the most meaningful way possible.
Data analytics is a process in which each of these departments handles specific sets of information and makes decisions based on the valuable insights they get. Product Managers (PMs) work closely with those cross-functional teams, including engineers, designers, marketers, and salespeople, to ensure that the product meets the needs of the target market and achieves the company’s goals.
Here’s a brief overview of the complex task of overseeing a product’s development:
Ultimately, the goal of a PM is to ensure that the product meets the needs of customers, is profitable for the company, and is successful in the market. Product adoption is only part of this equation, but a truly important one. Thus, pinpointing friction points and opportunities for providing a better user experience is at the top of the priorities list for every PM.
Understanding the user experience (UX) is becoming a more and more important aspect of every company’s quest for success. Modern customers are not only interested in the product or service that you offer – they want to get the best possible experience at every touchpoint, no matter if it is physical or digital. While there are technologies that allow big consumer brands to track user behavior even at their physical locations, today we’ll focus on the digital UX that drives product adoption and ensures recurring sales and subscriptions.
So, in what ways does data collection assist PMs in creating better user experiences?
Product manager analytics can help PMs understand how users engage with the product: which features are most popular, where users are dropping off, and which workflows are causing confusion. This data can inform decisions about feature prioritization, workflow optimization, and other UX improvements that help drive quicker adoption.
Identifying opportunities for growth by analyzing user behavior and market trends is a big chunk of what PMs do to assist business decisions and development. Analytics may reveal that users are searching for a particular feature that the product doesn’t currently offer, or that there is a market for a related product that the company could develop. Bringing an excellent onboarding experience is another way to set the stage for better adoption, as existing customers excited to recommend the product might bring in valuable new customers.
Measuring the success of the product and tracking progress toward goals is something we already touched upon. By setting up key performance indicators (KPIs) and tracking them over time, product managers can see how the product is performing and make data-driven decisions about how to improve it.
The time has come to list our picks for the most indispensable analytics tools that PMs can use to make better decisions, prioritize product development efforts, and drive quicker adoption – for the product and the company.
When you start researching product manager analytics tools for product managers, you will invariably come to the same conclusion as thousands before you – there are too many options. So you have to choose the one that ticks as many boxes as possible and work from there. Otherwise, you will quickly get overwhelmed by switching from one dashboard to another and comparing data across platforms that are often incompatible. Not to mention that you will need to spend a lot of time on instrumentation for some of these platforms.
To bridge this gap, look no further than SessionStack. It’s a Digital Experience Analytics platform that provides both the quantitative and the qualitative data you need to monitor the user experience from the moment your customers knock on your door and throughout their journey.
How does it achieve this? Here are the basic tenets of the SessionStack approach:
Curious to see for yourself?
Google Analytics is a tried and tested helper that fits the bill for product teams that need to track their website and app operations with a robust, free tool. It’s a fairly complex one that provides a treasure trove of metrics – such as geolocation data, the number of users who have visited the website/app in a specific time period, the time users spend on specific pages, device usage and bounce rate, as well as funnels (that need a specific setup to operate). The recent upgrade from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 was a major step in solving some long-standing problems of the platform, as well as future-proofing its data collection model.
Amplitude is a platform for product analytics that has certainly gained popularity among product teams. It boasts of tracking behavioral data from over 1 trillion+ data points every month (as of 2022). Amplitude allows product teams to pinpoint the unique characteristics of users who are likely to remain loyal to a product over time. Additionally, it can expertly analyze the key steps in a product’s sales funnel to enhance conversion rates. Going beyond “vanity metrics”, this platform provides a comprehensive understanding of user behavior within an application, which gives product managers the tools to measure the impact of their team’s experimental initiatives.
Mixpanel offers a cost-effective solution for organizations of all sizes to analyze user behavior. Its interactive reports provide insights into the popularity of new features and functionalities, as well as highlight power users. With Mixpanel, you can also create retroactive funnels and analyze conversion rates. Unlike other analytics platforms that focus on page views, Mixpanel takes a unique approach by measuring the actions or steps taken by users within the monitored application.
UXCam is a user-friendly mobile app analytics tool designed to effortlessly capture, process, analyze, and visualize user behavior data, providing valuable insights into user motivations and behaviors that drive the user experience. The platform allows teams to add comments to session recordings, heatmaps, and track user journeys through funnels, gaining a deeper understanding of how and why customers engage with their app.
Heap simplifies user analytics reporting for medium to large-sized companies by automatically recording every user action taken on their website. The platform offers an event visualizer, path analysis, and conversion charts to provide comprehensive insights. One of its advantages is that it doesn’t require complex website integration, as it captures all user activity automatically. This ease of use enables product managers to quickly access the information they need. Additionally, even their freemium plan offers basic reports and ad-hoc analytics.
Having the right product manager analytics to guide decisions is of paramount importance – both to product performance and the business’s bottom line. Choosing the right analytics for product development is not an easy task but, if done correctly, sets the PM for success. Trying to make sense of all the product metrics is another challenge – but we’ll leave it for a different day.
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