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The State of Product Analytics 2020

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Although COVID-19 is leaving us with more questions than answers, one thing is for certain: product investments of all shapes and sizes are being­ scrutinized more than ever. And, like it or not, this trend is not going anywhere soon.

Providing data backed POVs on what is resonating with customers and how it impacts the business is now a non-negotiable. This imperative is accelerating the already rapid growth we’re seeing in the adoption of self-service product analytics platforms. Gone are the days where a data request takes a week to turn around. Now, more than ever, individuals across the organization need to be fully empowered to access, understand, and action on data in real-time.

“Even before this pandemic swept the country, we at Bottle Rocket were observing a significant uptick in brands coming to the table with more focus, more passion, and more humility around leveling up their data and analytics strategy.”

In a matter of weeks, COVID-19 has turbo-boosted this mindset. It is no longer acceptable for brands to not have a reliable source to go to for quick-turn product insights. Platforms like Mixpanel, a leader in the product analytics space, give brands the access and confidence they need to ensure they are continuously making the right product decisions.

Regardless of where your organization is on the journey to having a meaningful product analytics strategy, there are four key principals to consider to help increase the likelihood of success.


  1. Organizations must first shift their mindset before investing in a toolset. Articulating the value of embracing data at the organization and cultural level is one of the hardest, yet most impactful, levers a product team can pull. It requires persistence, patience, and the right amount of pressure. Once you encourage teams to #LoveTheData, operationalizing this mindset is the next complex challenge to tackle.
  2. Stories move people to action, data does not. Finding compelling insights from the data is critical; however, weaving these insights into a persuasive story is equally–if not more–important. Zoom in to mine and tie data points together but remind yourself to regularly step back to organize your findings into a cohesive and strategic story. Oh, and please be a gracious host to your audience: do the thinking for them.
  3. Regardless of title, strive to be a “data champion.” Data champions not only find creative ways to habitually share insights across the organization, but they find ways to empower others to discover insights on their own. Democratizing data and enabling others to understand user behavior is a surefire way to move faster and smarter. Leveraging data is a team sport–the more perspective, the better. It’s the product managers’ role to step up and be the team captain.
  4. Product analytics tells us the what, while qualitative research tells us the why and brings to light the questions we should be finding answers to. They must work together harmoniously to make real impact. Finding lean and scalable ways to get “closer to the why” is just as important as standing up and supporting a reliable analytics platform. Understanding both the what and the why will increase the odds of getting closer to the truth.

What’s interesting is that regardless of where an organization sits on the data sophistication spectrum, everyone is looking to level up their skillset, toolset, and–most importantly–their mindset. We are seeing more and more “data champions” within our clients’ business. These are the individuals who are not only finding creative ways to share insights across the organization, but are finding meaningful way to empower others to discover insights on their own.

Having a pulse on user behavior has never been more important that it is now. An objective view on how users navigate your products and how that activity contributes to desired business outcomes is your lifeline to future investments.


Alex Cohen is Client Partner, Director of Strategy and Transformation at Bottle Rocket, a Dallas-based digital experience consultancy. He has spent the last several years of his career leading product teams in the ever-evolving world of mobile technology. While at Bottle Rocket, Alex advises clients on focusing on the highest value opportunities and addressing the right gaps across the product spectrum. When Alex isn’t helping teams ship product, he is pretending to know how to landscape and garden.‪ 


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