In the last three blog posts, we’ve covered SaaS (software as a service) in quite some detail. We’ve introduced SaaS architecture, it’s main components and some of the features you can expect to find in a SaaS solution. We’ve also looked at the steps you can take to start building out your own SaaS product, some of the pitfalls and some of the technology that you’ll need, and more recently, we examined in detail, numerous SaaS KPIs and metrics that are valuable for your business to track when your SaaS solution has been released to the market, how they can be interpreted and what they can mean for your bottom line.
In this blog post, we continue with the analytics and audit theme and look at 6 SaaS analytics tools that will help you surface even more valuable, actionable insights to help you better understand the data being generated by your SaaS application. Whether you’re a data scientist, analytics expert, dba, web developer or CTO, we’re sure you’ll find some golden nugget in this article. Specifically, we look at the following SaaS analytics tools:
We couldn’t compose this article without mentioning Google Analytics. Google Analytics has been around for quite some time, by tapping into the digital analytics it presents your with, you can vastly improve your customer experience. One of the best things about the product is, you can use it for free! Google analytics lets your track a wide range of insights and data points in your website, the people visiting your site, your most popular web pages and much more.
It’s a powerful and flexible tool which is easy to use. Setting your site up for Google Analytics reporting is simple too. Simply log into the Google Analytics dashboard and generated the required script which you can then copy and paste into your web pages that you want to track.
From an easy to use dashboard, Google Analytics gives you a breakdown of the types of users that visit your site, everything from demographics such as gender, age, and location to the types machine or device being used by each website visitor. Notice that most of your website visitors used mobile? Maybe it’s time to make sure every aspect of your website is responsive and resizes on the most popular web-browsers. Or maybe you’ve identified that most of your site visits are 18-35-year-old males, using this information, you can best offer products, services or content that aligns with this age-specific age range.
Google Analytics is especially useful for digital marketers, for example, you can identify which social channels or marketing campaigns effectively bring the most traffic to your website, thereby giving you insights into which channels need some attention or channels that are responsible for the most traffic. This type of information can help drive your digital marketing strategy, get better results and ultimately make your site one the visitors keep coming back to.
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Next up is Adobe Analytics. The tooling is pitched as a product that helps give your business a holistic view of customer interactions and furthermore helping you turn them into actionable insights. Using its dashboards, you can slice and dice real-time information to help you further identify problems or opportunities. With companies such as Airbus using the platform to understand their customers and better target them, you can be assured that Adobe Analytics is up there with the likes of Google Analytics.
The Adobe Analytics features a rich set of products and solutions to handle almost every use case you can think of. The Analytics platform offers up three different plans for you to choose from:
Going into each of these in detail would require many blog posts, the plans offer so much functionality! For example, with the Select plan, with an easy to use drag and drop interface, you can build customized reports to help you easily identify high ROI customers, you can then use this information to optimize your digital marketing campaigns.
One neat feature is the Activity Map which leverages visual overlays and real-time analytics to help you see how customers are interacting with your website and the general flow they work through when going from page to page. You can then take the data and visualize button clicks, for example, to help you better plan the design or your websites user interface, thereby improving the user experience which should hopefully translate into users spending more time on your site!
Whilst the Select plan is enough to get started with, the Prime plan ships with some additional features such as anomaly detection and customer retention modules that let you better understand what is driving customer churn and why a KPI or metric has changed.
You can find out more about the Adobe Analytics platform and what it has to offer here.
ProfitWell is an analytics tool that lets you gather all your subscription metrics under one roof. It’s a fantastic product that is trusted by over 1,000 business such as HubSpot and Code Ship, and with no additional customization or development time, you can be on top of your SaaS financials quickly. Profitwell has dealt with so many SaaS platforms in their time, they even have a community of SaaS experts that have seen a lot of the challenges you may have. When you sign up for Profitwell, you get access to these experts who will give you detailed descriptions of key SaaS metrics, how it’s calculated and more importantly, why it matters to your business.
Once logged into ProfitWell, you can set monthly financial goals and track the progress and if you want, you can opt to receive updates for each goal. Goals are one thing, but being able to identify why you’re growing (or in some cases why you’re NOT growing) is equally important. With Profitwell, you can see how changes in different types of revenue and/or plan are affecting your growth. For example, you can slice and dice metrics of your different plans over time to calculate MRR, LTV customers across each of your subscriptions.
Whilst a lot of web analytics tools are focussed towards auditing pageviews, duration on web pages and such things, Mixpanel takes a slightly different approach. The platform logs and analyses that specific “actions” or steps that users take whilst they’re on your website. An “action” in Mixpanel can be anything really, for example, someone might upload a file or share an article and reply to a comment on your company blog.
Mixpanel has been developed to let your SaaS business, regardless of its size, to be able to effectively monitor and analyse user behaviour – regardless of your company size, and whilst most behavioural data analysis involves the development of SQL stored procedures or queries (often carried out by technical specialists such as data scientists or software engineers), with Mixpanel, you can use its straightforward interface to drill deep into how users of your SaaS product are behaving which ultimately can help you improve your SaaS applications functionality or design.
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At the time of writing, in a single month, Mixpanel is responsible for processing 67 billion actions and can surface this data to its users in an easy to consume manner.
It’s also worth pointing out that Mixpanel isn’t just restricted to web-based products, it can also support iOS and Android solutions thereby giving the platform the ability to track more than just actions and page views in a website.
At the end of the day, Mixpanel is an event-centric analytics tool where tracking goes beyond auditing pageviews and mouse clicks. Sure, you can audit events in Google Analytics, but that’s not its sole focus whereas Mixpanels is. Mixpanel can help you gauge your SaaS products key events which can help you to really identify trends or even create sales funnels.
For example, with Mixpanel, you can identify where users drop off in your application, thereby giving you a call to action in terms of refining your sale funnel. The data may even suggest you need to make the copy on your site clearer.
With customers that include, but are not limited to Microsoft, PayPal, HubSpot, Booking.com and even Twitter, Amplitude Analytics is another major player in the analytics sector. Launched in 2014 and backed by IVP, Battery Ventures, and Benchmark capital, Amplitude Analytics is a product analytics platform that helps you understand user behavior, can help you make informed decisions regarding which features to build and ultimately drive the direction of your SaaS business.
The platform lets you understand how users are engaging with your SaaS application, which features are popular and which ones aren’t and can also help you improve long-term user retention.
The community site Patreon doesn’t need too much of an introduction, it effectively allows creators to be paid for content creation on the Patreon platform. With over 100,000 creators and 2,000,000 subscription members, Patreon has torrents of data to process. By using event segmentation and funnel analysis, Patreon could identify fixes in their process that helped convert twice the number of casual browsers into subscribers. Amplitude could do this by surfacing insights into user behavior and helped Patreon optimize specific screens within their SaaS business.
A product like Amplitude can help you mine your SaaS platforms metrics – at scale, across multiple products and devices whilst providing easy access to accurate data insights, it’s an analytics tool that’s’ well worth checking out!
Finally, we look at Baremetrics. Bare metrics is an easy to use platform that ships with an abundance of features and the best thing about it is, that in just a few clicks, you can drill down into your customer base and examine key metrics such as LTV, MRR and other important figures of your SaaS application. You can opt into daily, weekly or monthly reports, thereby helping you keep updated. Some of the other features of Baremetrics include, but are not limited to:
- Customer segmentation – helping you to compare and contrast your subscribers
- Forecasting – to help you predict and plan for future events, such as anticipated churn, growth and cash flow
- Analytics API – to let you extend and integrate the Baremetrics platform with other platforms you use thereby allowing you to mine your data for further insights
The platform integrates with all the main payment providers such as Square, PayPal, and Shopify to name a few thereby ensuring they have you covered. You can even send important updates from Baremetrics to your team’s Slack channel! With over 800 businesses around the globe using the Baremetrics platform to grow with confidence such as Buffer, Frame.io, and Clearbit, its worth checking out. They even have a 14-day free trial, so what have you got to lose?!
So, there you have it, 6 of the best SaaS analytics tools for 2018. We’ve looked at some big hitters in this article such as Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics. AS the old saying goes, you cant improve what you don’t measure and in this blog post, we’ve looked at how the features in these products can help give your business the end when it comes to analyzing the data that your SaaS properties are generating. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article. What products and services are you using to audit key metric in your SaaS platform? Do you have a favorite product? Let us know in the comments below!
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