According to Kapost, a B2B marketing company, it’s up to 7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an existing customer1. One of the key metrics to understanding whether you are keeping the right customers is customer churn rate. Many SaaS application vendors look at customer churn rate on a monthly or quarterly basis. So too, do the sourcing and vendor management teams who manage software renewal processes at many businesses. According to Kissmetrics, the biggest source of customer churn is usage2. Maintaining your current customer base is a vital part of expanding your business, and increasing usage of your application is one of the best ways to do that.
Embedding analytics in your product can improve your time-to-market, save your development team time, effort, and capital, and improve your users’ analytics experience. But it can also be one of the best ways to increase user usage of your product. Here are the top 3 ways:
1. By Decreasing Actionable Insight Bottlenecks
“As much as 80% of Data Archive customers have recognized they no longer need a separate reporting solution because they can do so much more with ours” Mukesh Marodia of Informatica stated right after initial release.
The biggest way embedded analytics can increase application usage is by making it easier for users to garner and act upon actionable data insights all contained within your application. Having sub-standard reporting can be one of the biggest bottlenecks users experience in their day-to-day workflow in your product. It can drive them to look for alternatives to your current analytics experience. And at that point you can cause two points of contention, your users aren’t happy they can’t do everything they want right there, and then and your customer’s IT department aren’t happy they have to spend time beyond their normal duties to find, test, implement, and manage another solution. It’s also at this point that you see a drop off in user usage time because as soon as users have to go into separate applications to report on data from your application, they’re using your application less. By enhancing your reporting and analytics feature set with embedded analytics, you can win over those who had issues with your reporting thereby increasing the overall adoption rate of your application. You can save your customer’s the time, money, and hassle to find, buy, and implement a separate analytics application. And you can make it more efficient for them to act on intelligence gained from your application’s data because they no longer have to switch back and forth between two applications.
2. By Increasing Sharing in All of Your User Groups
In the context of embedded analytics, the feature set referred to as “self-service analytics” can often be somewhat of a misnomer. Yes, it’s true that with JReport, you can extend the ability to create and edit reports, dashboards, and widgets to your users. But just as importantly, users can share the reports, dashboards, and widgets they create with other users. In the fast-moving modern business world of today, collaborative decision-making and collaborative data discovery have become essential to the functions of any business. Terms like, “teamwork”, “collaboration”, and worst of all, “synergy” are used by today’s executives to the point of parody. But the reason they became popular, and the reason they remain so popular in the day-to-day vocabulary of the business world is because collaborative decision-making does work. And by giving users more ways to share and use data in your product, you enhance their ability to collaborate to answer the important business problems your product helps answer, thereby giving them more reasons to use your product more.
3. By Improving and Extending Existing Application Workflows
Embedded analytics has the power to enhance your application’s user experience by complementing and extending existing workflows with compelling analytics visualizations. We’ve seen many cases where added analytics functionality has given development teams the ability to add enriching workflows to existing applications because the self-service and advanced visualization capabilities of JReport can be used in so many contexts and can be useful to users in so many ways. This is especially true of JReport when compared to other vendors because JReport has the ability to integrate deeply into applications with extensive APIs and administrative features. Analytics doesn’t have to be an afterthought or an add-on. It can be an integral part of your application.
Customer retention in today’s competitive software landscape is essential to the long-term health of any business. By increasing the usefulness of your product with embedded analytics, you can increase the time users spend using your product and reduce customer churn. And by doing so you extend the lifetime value of your customers, meaning a better ROI on your original cost of acquisition and more long-term profits.