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You need to choose the right metrics to look at and have a good understanding of them in order to optimise every single stage of your product development process. So you’ve got an early stage tech startup, you’ve built a minimum viable product (MVP) and you’re committed to turn it into a full-blown product, scale and go big. You’ve probably already started collecting lots of qualitative and quantitative data, but the real question here is what do you actually do with it and how can you leverage it to guide your product development and optimise your processes. So where do you start?
The first thing to do, before actually choosing the metrics to look at, is to carefully define your conversion funnel - that is the stages your users pass through, from the first interaction they have with your product to the moment when they actually make the purchase and become your customers. The difficult part here is that there is no generally applicable model of conversion funnel and you have to understand your users’ journey to define the funnel that’s adequate for you.
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Once you’ve got your conversion funnel straight, you should proceed to choosing the right metrics to analyse. Closely monitoring these metrics will help you optimise your product development process based on the information provided by data. If you’re an early stage tech startup looking to make documented decisions, here are a couple of indicators you should take a look at:
Bear in mind that besides all these metrics, there are several other industry-specific indicators that you should consider in order to understand where you’re standing right now and how can you constantly improve your product and user experience.
Remember: Measuring the right indicators is not enough! You should have an in-depth understanding of their actual meaning and you should constantly test and analyse the results for being able to optimise your processes. You can do so by using:
Test, test, test and constantly analyse the results to get an in-depth understanding of how you can better solve the problems of your users!
There are several tools you can use to help you out along this process, starting from the very basic Microsoft Excel, that you are already familiar with, and going up to several automated ones such as Google Analytics, MixPanel, KissMetrics or LaunchRock, to name just a few. The tools you use for analytics are your personal choice, and their complexity has to evolve as your understanding of the product grows.
It’s not easy to choose the right product metrics and get a complete understanding of them, but it’s definitely worth investing the time and effort needed to make it happen. Once you do this right, you’ll be able to optimise your product development process and take the right decisions at the right time.
Bogdan Ripa, ex-Master Product Owner at Adobe Romania, now looking for cofounders to start a new entrepreneurial journey, has extensively discussed these aspects with the MVP Academy Class of 2015. Inventures.eu is closely following the evolution of the teams that are part of the second batch of the pre-accelerator programme and will get back to you soon with more valuable insights from the workshops in the program.
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