Making products is hard. Product Analytics makes it easier.
The short answer
A good analytics tool gives you critical knowledge about how people interact with your product, what features they use, and what user behaviors correlate with long-term value.
These insights help you make the right decisions about your product.
THe longer answer
“What gets measured, gets managed”
– Peter Drucker
For years product decisions were shaped by instinct, experience, and interviews. Product Analytics makes these decisions rigorous and reliable.
Why? Because product analytics tells you what is happening in your product. It tells you who uses your product, and how. It lets you segment users to personalize their interactions. It identifies moments of friction in your product, and helps you diagnose them.
With product analytics, you can measure the success of any feature or experience and tie product decisions to larger business metrics.
Finally, analytics tools like Heap let you explore your product to unearth new correlations that can dramatically impact your business.
With Product Analytics, you can:
Run experiments and test hypotheses
Run endless experiments in your product. Test new features. Roll out changes. Fix problems and innovate on solutions.
Then tie all of these to quantifiable success metrics that tell you how well any part of your product is working.
Want to justify the value your product org brings to the business? Product analytics lets you document and share both what metrics you moved and how effective you were in moving them.
What is the typical behavioral flow? Who are your power users? Which activities predict long-term retention? What were users doing right before they dropped off?
And more! Product analytics is an endless source of answers about your product.
What about Google Analytics?
What about Google?
Google Analytics is often an entry point into Product Analytics. But here’s the thing:
GA was created when websites were mostly static pages. As a consequence, it tracks sessions and page views. It was made for marketers interested in calculating ad spend, SEO, and SEM.
Today’s digital products: more complicated than Google can handle
WHy not GA?
Today we have buttons, features, CTAs, user flows. GA cannot measure these.
Nor can GA tell you who your users are. Which segments of users take different activities in your product? GA can’t tell you. If a user visits your site on web and mobile, GA can’t tell you that those visits came from a single user.
Insights, not just reporting
WHy not GA?
While GA may tell you that there is a problem in your product (that people are visiting less often, say), it is very limited in helping you diagnose that problem.
GA may show you that people are leaving your product, but only a more robust tool can help you figure out where they’re leaving, or what group of people is leaving, or what actions people took right before leaving.
Here are more reasons why GA may not be right for you:
GA gives you a distant view of your users, and a lot of non-actionable information. Page views and SEO information aren’t the types of things that help you build better products.
A good analytics tool should provide true insight: information that leads to action.
Your analytics tool should enable exploration, not just reporting.
If your goal is asking “how did we do,” GA can help. If it’s to ask “what should we do,” GA is a no go.
PM’s need to know how people behave while in their product – what they do there, what they click on, what segments of users correspond with different features, and so on.
If you’re interested in measuring SEO and ad spend, GA can be an adequate solution. If you’re looking for insights that deliver truly actionable information, GA won’t do it.