As a SaaS organization, you know how easy it can be to over-complicate product analytics. You also know that analytics are essential to driving business growth. So how do you get the right balance?
Unsurprisingly, planning is key. Before setting up your analytics account, it’s crucial to take time to understand what it is you actually want to understand and know, about your customer journey. There’s a sea of metrics out there for you to play with after all–and if you’re not careful, you can become lost amongst them very quickly.
Enter: a lean analytics plan. A strategic framework that helps you simplify what you’re tracking and enables you to align product analytics with your customer journey and the way they experience your core value proposition.
In this post, we expand on Timo Dechau’s tracking framework to bring you a new and improved approach to creating your analytics plan. We’ll break down the SaaS journey into three categories and explain how to track each one. By the end of this article, you’ll understand why having a lean analytics plan is a crucial component for every product team's launch of new features and products. Plus, you’ll also walk away with a valuable template to help get you started.
What is a lean analytics plan?
A lean analytics plan is a strategic framework that outlines the crucial steps in your customer journey, including acquisition and monetization events, product features engagement, user flows, and experience. By ensuring your analytics plan is in sync with your customer’s journey and the way they perceive your core value proposition, you can streamline the process of generating accurate reports and actionable insights that can help propel your business forward.
What should your lean analytics plan look like?
When it comes to putting together your lean analytics plan, simplicity plays an important role. Analyzing your product and customer journey should be a clear and logical process.
You can make your first step in your data-driven product iteration journey to drive business growth with just a few events and reports. As you learn more about how users interact with your digital experience, define more events per your discoveries, and segment your users, your definitions dictionary will expand along with the reports you are using to drive growth at each stage.
To make your planning process as easy as possible, we put together a spreadsheet that acts as an essential template for your lean analytics plan. This spreadsheet outlines what you need to track, including the different properties and segments you must stay on top of.
Here’s a breakdown of your SaaS journey in three categories:
1. Business lifecycle events
We recommend 6-8 events to define the crucial steps in your customer lifetime journey, including acquisition and monetization events. Since these events are not expected to change much (or at all), and are key for downstream business analysis and financial reports, we recommend you use custom (often referred to as 'manual') tracking. This will ensure consistency across your dashboards, reports, and analyses.
For example— serverside sign-up or monetization events (financial transactions).
2. Product features and flows events
For product features and flows events, define these events based on how people use a specific feature you’re interested in analyzing. Measure the actions that are correlated most directly with how users experience the feature or flow and engage with your product.
For example— the steps taken to open a new project on your app, or the steps needed to create a new survey and share it with participants.
3. User experience events
User experience events are similar to product events, but focus more on how exactly people engage with your front-end, or user interface. These might be clicks, hovers, scrolls, or any keyboard event. Although user experience events change regularly and are often unpredictable, they are very helpful in understanding your users, finding friction, and identifying growth opportunities.
Coupled with user session replays, these events are the key to understanding which friction points to solve for, and how. But because these events are frequently unanticipated, it is best not to document them in your analytics plan. Instead, you should capture them automatically as they occur and look for patterns and trends over time.
And that’s it! By having a lean analytics plan in place, you can set up the right reports and produce valuable insights with ease. That means no more lengthy processes or over-complicated tracking approaches.
Want to get started? We’ve got you! Check out Timo's lean tracking plan that’s packed with everything you need to boost your business growth and customer value today.