Implementation of usage analysis 6 key criteria for Software Usage Analytics
Who analyzed the use of its software products, you can make data-driven decisions, and its product Roadmap to strategically expand. Anyone who has even the developer, can allow such an analysis tool to implement it yourself. However, it is important to consider some aspects.
CompaniesTo Develop and Implement your own solution to the Software use analysis poses several challenges.
Meaningful use of data for software vendors is imperative, in order to optimize products and retain customers for the long term. The analysis reveals how customers use applications, which Features most Commonly used are or what platform the Software is running. UI/UX problems or platform-specific Bugs are faster to identify and fix.
The developers will also gain a better understanding of what users actually need for their daily work. Only in this way a precise coordination between the product portfolio and the practice requirements on the client side is possible in the first place. However, the implementation of Software Usage Analytics and the implementation of an appropriate system, to take account of some important aspects.
1. Planning in advance
Like any complex software project, the construction of an analysis system for use of the software requires a high Level of cooperation. A methodical selection of metrics and meta-data guarantees that all Teams will receive later on, meaningful reports. To do this, the computer count information, installation and runtime statistics, as well as General and Feature-related usage data.
Who defines pre-common questions, do not need to look for in the aftermath of a long time to reply. Who needs access to what information? How the System supports Ad-hoc analysis (Exploration & Discovery)? An important question relates to the telemetry. So the timing of the data transmission which data are collected at all. The establishment of Protocol formats, communication protocols, processes, synchronization schedules, as well as Caching and handling for Offline use also contributes to configure the telemetry in Detail.
The systems to be hosted internally, it is a scalable Hardware infrastructure, Software, Backup, Firewalls, Anti-Malware and other security measures schedule. Even if the solution runs in the Cloud, it is to clarify issues and the cost-Benefit-to evaluate the relationship. The number of required instances, the anticipated costs, as well as scalability and security.
2. Client-instrumentation and telemetry
Another important task-free instrumentation of Clients, as well as the development of a reliable, secure, telemetry between the Client and the Server is the interruption. To create unique user profiles, Trends in the usage for each Installation, track and link installation profiles with Download sources, or marketing campaigns, the System must be able to automatically generate user-installation-IDs, as well as a so-called machine fingerprint.
The To-Do list in terms of telemetry is long:
Build a safe and light-weight Client-Server communication Protocol with built-in security and encryption of sensitive data
Extension of the Client-Server Protocol for the handling of Proxies, Firewalls, web filtering gateway and other network configurations
Development of a method for the generation of unique customer IDs, and tracking the use by the user/Installation, even in anonymous mode
Build your application logic to Aggregate, Compress, and Optimize the data transfer
Build your application logic to Resolve communication errors (e.g., “network not available”)
3. Data collection and management
Solutions for Software Usage Analytics to collect and process typically Terabytes of data. With relational databases and SQL queries, developers in this dataset hit a wall very quickly. Therefore, it is recommended to consider the use of alternative databases and corresponding visualization Frameworks that are specifically designed for Storing, querying, and Associate of large and heterogeneous data.
The development of functions for the detection of application-specific data is complex. Web Analytics systems like Google Analytics, or Microsoft App Insights often missing important Features. In General, it is important to examine exactly how a lot of flexibility of commercial solutions that offer to adapt to company-specific requirements. In many systems, the selection of the elements, the post should be as follows and captures is highly constrained. Be recognized in the data, which create no real value, can cost unnecessarily.
In-house systems are often relatively static. The requirements change, it is important to expand difficult in the aftermath of the collection of data without changing the Client Code and to distribute a new Build. Meaningful the selection is, therefore, possible via a Remote-Control solution, when the user of a Dashboard to quickly and easily Tracking by certain metrics or stop to start.
4. Data visualization and reporting
Once recorded, it is to evaluate the data and to convert them into interactive reports and meaningful visualizations. This task should not be underestimated. There is a lack of visual processing, handling and context, the largest data pool only a little. The Transfer of data into actionable reports takes time and vision to current and future BI-answer the questions.
Central issues in the visualization of concern:
The implementation of a modern, user needs customizable Dashboards
The implementation of a visualization frameworks, including API
The Design of high-performance back-end queries
The implementation of Reports, including Drill-Down functionality
The structure of a data aggregation logic to Detect Trends and Patterns
The provision of functions for data export
5. Data protection and privacy
Privacy plays an important role in software use analysis. Failures can cause companies a significant legal and reputational damage. Data security and granular access controls at all levels, therefore, are Standard. Add to this a comprehensive Opt-in/Opt-out options, which allow users to Tracking your use of software to restrict or block notifications (for example, In-App Messaging).
6. Robust and powerful environment
There are many aspects of the Time-to-Value, reliability, ease of use, and the overall ROI of a Usage Analytics affect the solution. Real value the use of analysis promises, if the solution in the Third-can be integrated applications such as Download and Auto-Update systems, CRM, BI solutions, and licensing tools.
Integration, however, is only possible if the data export either in a processable Format, or via a clearly defined APIs to synchronize. In the case of in-house developments need to be, under certain circumstances, the necessary interfaces built. In addition, it is comprehensive Tests to ensure compatibility, security, reliability, and Performance.
The telemetry System, client-side SDKs on different Client platforms, the infrastructure (using stress testing Frameworks and Tools), as well as the application (including telemetry user interface, reporting, and visualizations, etc.). And not least of all critical systems and Backup and Recovery, automatic Failover, 24×7 Server and service monitoring, as well as arrangements of spikes in the use and uneven patterns in the network Traffic, as with all business need.
Nicole Segerer (Image: Revenera)
Whether it’s a company in the Usage Analytics on an in-house development, is a question of time, resources, Expertise, and business strategy. It is clear, however, that software vendors need comprehensive, accurate, and actionable information about how users use your software products.
Developer Teams are under pressure to introduce new products in ever-faster cycles without losing security issues, budget constraints, cost, Technical Debt, and privacy from the view. Without an accurate understanding of the requirements on the part of the users, it is difficult to have a Roadmap to establish the company in the future safely to their destination.
* Nicole Segerer is Vice President of Product Management and Marketing at Revenera.