As a product manager, there are many characteristics that you need to embody to successfully manage a product team and launch a product. The product development process requires a lot of upfront planning before it even moves to production. And even then, the actual management of the design and development process has a greater set of requirements.
During these processes, while the demands can become overwhelming, there’s one thing that can help you in planning for success: analytics.
So here are five ways to use product analytics to set your launch (and team) up for success:
That means identifying and tracking the right metrics, ensuring that it matches your business metrics, and ultimately creating a view of your customer base.
Metrics rarely provide much insight when considered in isolation. This presents an opportunity to group data points and filter them according to projected user flows identified during the development process. Taking note of your user flows would allow for easier tracking and measurement and help to establish a baseline to measure against later on in the product cycle.
It’s also good to consider other functions within your organization and what data points they may need. This can help them to better understand how a customer uses the product, providing a more complete picture of a user journey. Incorporating these data points into a shared dashboard will help different teams remain aligned on the overall purpose of the product.
As much as we’d all love to have the perfect product or big feature launch, there are many potential risks. It’s not always possible to plan for every scenario, but having the tools or measures in place to track crashes and errors or other performance roadblocks as they happen, may provide many advantages.
Ensuring that your team receives as much information as possible about the cause of these issues also increases the chances of identifying and solving the problem.
There’s the common understanding that every project has three factors that make an ideal project: it’s feature-rich, within budget, and on time. Anyone who’s worked on a project knows that you can only realistically have two of these outcomes at a time.
When a product is released, particularly with a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) approach, plenty of work remains to be done long after the launch day. Using specific product analytics tools with an active customer base can turn this into an advantage by providing actual customer feedback, for example:
These tools can take the guesswork and opinions out of updates and place the ultimate choice in the customer's hands.
Product analytics solutions are almost in themselves optimized to fulfill this objective.
Beyond validating ideas and new features, products are never entirely done. Technology, trends, and user behavior will continue to change, and the product has to remain competitive within the industry and amongst competitors. Product teams have to continually make improvements to keep up with these changes while also improving the product’s overall offering.
Many product analytics tools and measures that help validate ideas or track the customer journey are also helpful in terms of optimization, as both focus on customer experience. Using a platform that caters explicitly to product analytics will provide an all-in-one solution that’s scalable and somewhat future-proof, so that you can optimize your product and continue to do so as it grows.
If you’re working with customer data in any capacity, you must comply with regulations and protocols relevant to the industry and region that you’re operating in. Regional compliance measures like GDPR or CPRA or industry-specific regulations like HIPAA must be incorporated into your product’s development and be in place during launch.
When using analytics, it’s important to incorporate data privacy measures as part of the product development process rather than as an afterthought. For example, it can have implications if you plan on releasing a mobile product: Apple set privacy requirements from iOS 14.5 that affect your ability to list your app in the App Store if you don’t comply with specific regulations.
Trying to aim for the perfect product launch can become overwhelming. Actively implementing analytics processes can provide you with tools that work in your favor and for a comparatively lower amount of effort. The sooner you’re able to incorporate an analytics strategy into your plans, the more likely you are to set yourself up for success.