User-Facing Analytics: Insights and Examples
SaaS markets are ultra-competitive; it forces organizations to deliver exceptional experiences and value across each area of their product. This requires product experiences that can engage, retain, and delight users so they become advocates of your brand. One pivotal method to achieve this is by integrating user-facing analytics directly into your app—an opportunity to provide invaluable data precisely where users need it most.
But what makes for remarkable user-facing analytics?
It comes down to ease of use, flexibility and data availability. Can users answer the questions they have about their data? Can they adjust data views if needed in an easy-to-use way? Does the experience give them reason to continuously log back into your app?
Of course, there’s much more than that. The best user-facing analytics dashboards are completely cohesive with your brand and product experience - they don’t feel like a separate entity that’s been appended to your app in a quick panic. They look and feel like love, care and attention has gone into building the best customer-facing dashboard.
In this post, we'll dive into use cases of user-facing analytics, share what's working for other software companies, and dig into real-life examples of the best customer-facing dashboards and reporting capabilities SaaS has to offer. At the end, we'll share how Vizzly can help you achieve your dream analytics dashboard!
Use Cases for User-Facing Analytics
1. Self-service analytics
This can mean a handful of things; ultimately, it’s helping users get answers to the questions they have quickly. There are a number of software companies who start off sending reports manually, besides this being a time-consuming task, not having this information inside your app can hurt engagement and retention rates.
An increasing number of software companies are taking this a step further offering custom reporting or editable dashboards for their users to build their own data views.
2. Data products
For some SaaS companies, their product is data. They invest heavily in data sourcing and engineering—both of which are core competencies. Some of their customers may only want their APIs, but often they'll require a visualization layer or user-facing analytics to help make their product more accessible to the mass market.
3. Displaying user activity data
Many SaaS apps and API platforms will have a web page or two dedicated to user activity, allowing them to display what value their customers are getting from the platform. This is especially important for bottom-up/PLG companies with value-based pricing strategies.
Five Instances of Outstanding User-Facing Analytics
Stripe is one of the benchmarks when it comes to user-facing analytics, with product managers and developers aspiring to produce something that shares the same beauty and functionality.
Stripe's editable dashboard and pre-configured widgets make the experience highly customizable for the end-user, following the self-serve trend we're seeing across SaaS and API platforms.
Another FinTech doing great things in user-facing analytics is Mercury. Similar to Stripe, the home page of the banking application is dedicated to reporting and analytics. The dashboard isn't configurable, but it's highly interactive, with click events triggering actions like account creation and drill downs for more granular views.
Check out this live example.
We get a lot of customers asking us if Vizzly can offer custom reporting, 'just like Rippling' (the answer is yes, by the way). Their users can utilize either pre-built reports or visualizations, or generate their own, which they can download to CSVs or PDFs and share with whomever they need. There are one million and one ways people can cut HR data, so it's vitally important folks have sufficient control in user-facing dashboards in this context.
If you're in a GTM role and have used Salesforce in the past, you'll know how cumbersome in-app CRM reporting can be. Hubspot is one of the few CRM platforms that's actually enjoyable to use. CRMs are complex beasts, but having user-facing analytics that non-data literate users can engage with confidently is a huge plus. Similar to Rippling, they also offer editable dashboards and custom reporting for those data-hungry users.
Relate offers a very similar experience—powered by Vizzly, of course. Full case study here.
When it comes to data products, analytics and visualization needs can be more complex. The API is incredibly robust, offering various cuts of data, and the visualization capabilities are flexible enough to satisfy a broad range of user requirements and use cases. Some of the geospatial data visualizations are super impressive too.
Skyscanner's Travel Insights product is an impressive example of user-facing analytics, one that will have taken many months to craft and develop with an in-house build.
Vizzly can help you build these experiences
Building user-facing analytics can be demanding from a product and engineering perspective. Vizzly offers a solution that is not only quick to market but also flexible and extensible with code. Organizations can leverage the query engine and no-code dashboard builder but customize the dashboard by injecting custom visualizations where necessary and creating custom workflows using Vizzly's callback functions for click events and much more.
Tenants of best-in-class user-facing analytics
To build experiences like those mentioned above, one needs much more than a traditional embedded analytics solution that doesn’t involve building from scratch. To help guide you in your decision, consider these items:
- Time-to-value: get to market in days, not months.
- Control over design & experience: APIs on hand for maximum flexibility
- Product longevity: ability to extend the dashboard in the direction you need
If you’re interested in learning more about what Vizzly can do, sign up for your trial here.