Why you shouldn’t delay customer-facing analytics

Your SaaS roadmap is long and winding with many feature requests. Customer-facing analytics is only one of them. So it’s tempting to deprioritize in favor of another squeakier wheel. But the further you push it back, the more it could hamper your growth.

Small businesses are 19 times more likely to succeed if they use data in decision-making. So the potential gains are enormous for your customers. And for your SaaS business too. Successful SaaS companies generate up to 20% of new revenue from analytics-based offerings.

Here’s why you need to accelerate analytics development.

The roadblocks to overcome

It’s no shame if your product doesn’t have analytics yet. Your product team might be holding off for various reasons:  

  • The engineering team is spread too thin already.
  • There are bigger fires to put out.
  • It’s not a differentiated feature yet.
  • You don’t know if your customers need it.
  • The return on investment isn’t clear.
  • Your team doesn’t have the expertise to pull it off.
  • Your business requirements aren’t set in stone yet.

Firstly, these are all valid reasons for pumping the brakes. Being cautious of roadblocks is a good thing. You don’t want to rush into building something that’s not worth the time.

However, analytics supports a strategy or tactic that impacts your customer’s business growth. So it will keep reappearing on your to-do list until you bite the bullet and do it.

Illustration of how it can cost you money when you delay analytics

Why it’s dangerous to delay customer-facing analytics

A great customer analytics experience can be a competitive advantage in a crowded SaaS market. 

  • Modern software users expect it.
  • Users love insights. It helps them get more value out of your platform.
  • Managers need metrics to prove the ROI of your platform. 
  • Often, it also helps your customer manage strategy, tactics, and people
  • Your competitors have analytics. So you may already be losing prospects and customers to them.

Illustration of the experience your customers lose out on if you delay customer-facing analytics

The opportunity cost of not building analytics is just as convincing. Because companies who don’t invest in customer-facing analytics lose out on: 

  • Higher client engagement. 
  • Reduced churn
  • Monetization and upsell opportunities
  • Useful product feedback
  • More customer advocacy

The risk of long development cycles

Delaying customer-facing analytics is problematic. But taking too long to build it is risky too. Developing analytics in-house is a complex undertaking. It could take months of planning, development, and testing before your customer analytics are production-ready.

The time, cost, and maintenance of dashboards are resource-intensive. Those resources come at the expense of improving your core product. So unless it’s a core competency with a dedicated team, it often presents a Catch 22 situation. You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

This doesn’t mean you should throw the towel on the idea of customer-facing analytics. There are better and faster alternatives to create an amazing client-facing analytics experience.

Illustration of a speedy deployment if you don't delay customer-facing analytics

Speed and delight with embedded analytics

SaaS companies outsource payment processing to Stripe, chatbots to Intercom, and CMS to WordPress. You would never waste time on building these components yourself. But here you are, considering letting your developers build a dashboard when there is an easier way forward.

Embedded analytics software is a low-code building block solution. It syncs to any data source, configures to any brand look and feel, and embeds with any front-end design stack. You’ll be ready for production in days, instead of months.

The faster you go to market, the faster you’ll see the ROI of embedded analytics.

Avoiding the pitfalls

To avoid delays, picking the right embedded analytics solution matters. Many established BI solutions were built for data scientists; not for SaaS builders. They are complex to set up and use, resulting in:

  • delayed product sprints
  • a drain on resources
  • time lost on specialized training
  • a poor user experience

Established BI tools may seem like a safe bet at first. But beware of the complexity. Ultimately, it will slow down your go-to-market.

The right time was yesterday

Creating an engaging analytics experience doesn’t need to be difficult. The sooner you start, the faster you’ll reap the benefits like higher product adoption and new upselling opportunities. And with the right embedded analytics partner, you can get there in less than 30 days.

Cumul.io focuses 100% on embedding and specializes in SaaS use cases. If you’re ready to bite the bullet, get in touch with our product experts for a consultation or a product tour.

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