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The role of analytics in product development

By Angela Baker

Analytics and product management always goes hand in hand. Without analytics, it’s impossible to create a high-quality product that perfectly meets the target audience’s needs.  

Analytics is essential for the understanding of the market, user behavior, and the product itself. It gives developers a clear picture of what features of the product work perfectly and what features should be improved or updated.

Do you want to know the true role of analytics? Keep on reading.

Help to avoid complexity

We live in an age where we can get access to literally any type of data. We can find out how much time our customers spend on a product page before proceeding to checkout. We can define how a little change in the size or color of a CTA button can impact sales.

But the truth is that we shouldn’t try to collect all the data possible. Why? Because it will cause complexity and slow down the product development process.

That’s where analytics come to play.  Using analytics, we can find out what specific data add value to our project and decide how to capitalize on our resources wisely. We can avoid complexity, get rid of the data we don’t need, and focus on the aspects of our product that matters the most.

Provide in-depth user experience insights

Analytics tools help product development teams to define the reasons why users buy and use (or, vice versa, don’t want to buy and don’t like to use) the product. It allows developers to understand what they did right and what they did wrong when creating a product.

Have you heard stories of the famous products initially intended for a completely different purpose? Coca-Cola started out as a cure for morphine addiction. Bubble wrap was originally presented to the market as wallpaper. Hair restoration medicine Rogaine was designed to treat blood pressure issues.

Just like these famous brands, digital companies may face the necessity to repurpose their products. The product team might design a great product to solve problem X, but users decide to use it to solve problem Z. 

“The task of the product manager is to use analytics tools to spot changes in users’ behavior. If there are any significant changes, the team should decide to repurpose the product and adjust the marketing strategy,” says Brittany Robinson, a project manager at BestWritingAdvisor, the best writing services review site.

Help to understand market trends

Not only users’ behavior, but also market trends influence the company’s success. If a team doesn’t adjust its strategy to new market conditions promptly, the project will be doomed to failure.

A product manager should use analytics tools to understand what’s happening in the market and predict what will happen next. If the data says that the product doesn’t fit the market, the team should tweak the product slightly or repurpose it completely.  

Here is an excellent example of how one startup can repurpose its digital product. During the quarantine, developers of OurStreets transformed their product, a bike safety app, into the app that helps people to find necessities (toilet paper, diapers, etc.). 

Why did OurStreets make such a strategic decision? Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, demand for biking services and the demand for the company’s product dropped. Developers decided to grow their product in something new. They identified the current market need and redesigned their product. It helped OurStreets to keep business afloat in the time when many startups were forced to file bankruptcy. 

Help to make the right strategic decisions 

No matter how talented and experienced developers are, they can’t create a great product using their expertise and intuition only. They need to leverage data analytics to get a clear picture of how the final product should look like.

Analytics can help the team members to find answers to the following questions:

  • What features of the product are the most important ones?

  • How should the final product differ from the products that exist in the market?

  • Is the market ready for this product?

  • Who will use the product? Do prospective users have technical and other skills to understand how the product works?

Let’s say you want to develop a personal finance app for seniors. Before moving to the development stage, your team should analyze the needs and technical skills level of the target audience. 

What strategic decision will you make if you know that users have no previous experience of using similar apps? You will likely collaborate with UX writers, for instance, experts from, who know how to design a super easy-to-use interface. Working together, in-house developers and outsourced UX writers will build an app that performs smoothly and matches the needs and skills of the target audience.

Give a better understanding of the product

Do you know your product well enough? Start using analytics tools, and you will get a better understanding of your product’s past performance. You will be able to predict upcoming issues, prevent technical glitches, and test new features faster and easier – you will take your product to a brand new level.

Your product, just like other modern products in the market, becomes more and more sophisticated and complex. If you don’t start using analytics tools today, you will not be able to track your product’s progress tomorrow. You will have no chance to test the viability of your ideas and find out whether your project can succeed in the long run. 

Wrapping up

The role of analytics in product development is hard to overestimate. The use of analytics tools helps to avoid complexity, understand user behavior better, research the market, and make more meaningful strategic decisions.

Are you about to start developing your first product? Don’t hesitate to use analytics tools – they will ease the work of your team and help you to achieve higher results.

Angela Baker is a self-driven specialist who is currently working as a freelance writer at GrabMyEssay and BestEssayEducation writing services, editor on WowGrade and is trying to improve herself and her blogging career. She is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth and is convinced that it’s always important to broaden horizons. That’s why Angela develops and improves her skills throughout the writing process to help to inspire people. Also, she writes for LiveInspiredMagazine, rounding out her professional writing career.

Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Steve is the founder and former publisher of Apple World Today and has authored a number of books about Apple products. He's an avid photographer, an FAA-licensed drone pilot, and a really bad guitarist. Steve and his wife Barb love to travel everywhere!