You’re looking for a product analytics platform, so you know the situation: competition is intense – web, mobile, B2C, B2B… everywhere! It’s getting harder and harder for a product to thrive.
From there, however, it’s hard to say what role data-driven product analytics should play in development. What features and data are must-have and which are nice-to-have? There are also many analytics platforms on the market, making for hard decisions and trade-offs. We can’t tell you exactly what platform is right for your organization, but we can help with research.
That’s why we decided to prepare an extensive comparison of leading product analytics vendors. And in this comparison we summarize the main features of five product analytics platforms: Mixpanel, Amplitude, Heap, Kissmetrics and Piwik PRO.
We strongly believe this comparison will get you started on a path towards excellent product design!
Why product analytics?
Product analytics data is not everything. It may not even be the most important factor shaping your product’s development. It’s just one part of a larger user feedback ecosystem. As Sam Tardif, product manager at Atlassian, wrote, […] it’s great to be data-informed, but being entirely data-driven can sometimes leave you blind to the overall experience that you’re creating for users.
That said, several studies indicate that the use of customer analytics can be a decisive factor in the success of an organization. In a recent survey by McKinsey, they found that: Companies that make extensive use of customer analytics are more likely to report outperforming their competitors on key performance metrics, whether profit, sales, sales growth, or return on investment.
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It turns out the benefits are not only due to the data itself, but also to the effects of a data-driven mindset. What’s even better, McKinsey found that speed and agility of data-driven decision making weren’t the biggest factors. It’s more about the culture. It becomes apparent that having pragmatic and actionable foundations with the right cultural mind-set in place within the organization is more important than the perfect solution.
So don’t worry about building up the perfect set of analysis capabilities right away. Know you’re heading in the right direction and start putting the right pieces in place.
Your choice of a product analytics platform is important. It will serve as the nerve center for data collection and analysis so it needs to be the right fit for your organization.
The impact of customer analytics on corporate performance is significant—and clearly underestimated.
Need a refresher on what product analytics is all about? Check out our introductory blog article:
Product Analytics 101: A Beginner’s Guide
A note about data regulations
Data privacy concerns used to be only for the most data-sensitive sectors, such as healthcare and finance. Recent regulations such as the GDPR in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act have introduced these concerns to a wider audience. Health and finance sectors still have the most to worry about, but organizations of all kinds now need to consider their approach to personal data.
If data privacy is a new topic for you, we suggest you read our series of articles:
GDPR FAQ: Your Most Burning Questions About GDPR Answered.
Though the articles are about European legislation, it’s a good idea to get familiar with these issues even if you don’t operate in the Europe Union. It’s a good bet something similar is coming to a lawmaking body near you. Surveys show that citizens everywhere want control of how their personal data is collected and used.
The recently passed California Consumer Privacy Act, to come into force in 2020, is a good example of a new consensus on basic data privacy principles. We’ll have to wait to see the final shape these laws take, but the takeaway should be clear – pay attention to data privacy.
You don’t want to build a wonderful data-driven organization to find out it’s built on illegal data processing methods.
Before checking out all the features, capabilities, and other characteristic of product analytics vendors, here’s a short introduction to each product we chose to include in our comparison:
Piwik PRO emphasizes adherence to the strictest privacy standards on both sides of the Atlantic. Incorporated in 2013, Piwik PRO is a portfolio company of custom AdTech software house Clearcode.
Heap is a web analytics platform built to capture user actions and provide visualization tools to track trends over time. Heap was founded in 2013 and is located in San Francisco, United States.
Amplitude is a product analytics platform launched in 2014 created to help companies assess and optimize their product development strategies. Among Amplitudes’ customers there is Microsoft, PayPal, Hubspot and Twitter.
Kissmetrics is a customer analytics platform based in San Francisco, United States. Kissmetrics aims to help companies get, keep and grow more customers with its customer engagement automation.
Mixpanel is a business analytics service company founded in 2009 and based in San Francisco, United States specializing in working with web applications (in particular SaaS), but also supporting mobile apps. Mixpanel has almost 20,000 customers worldwide.
Start with questions
Here are some questions we ask ourselves at Piwik PRO about product development and analytics. As both a product developer and user of analytics, we return to these questions regularly with the aim to better serve our clients and improve our internal data analytics culture. We hope they’ll be useful to you too.
- Are you looking just for a product analytics platform, or an general analytics platform with product analytics capabilities?
- What kind of connections do you need with external tools?
- Do you need access to raw data?
- How tightly do you need to control data collection and storage methods?
- What processes do you currently have in place for analytics (product or otherwise)?
- What are your requirements for support and training?
- What features do you need to comply with internal and external data regulations?
After answering those questions you can begin your search for the best product analytics platform and download our Free Comparison of 5 Leading Product Analytics Platforms
Download the FREE Comparison