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The Single Biggest Blind Spot for Mobile Product Managers

DZone's Guide to

The Single Biggest Blind Spot for Mobile Product Managers

When it comes to product management and metrics, the most important aspect is breaking down data silos and merging the departments in your company.

· Mobile Zone ·
Free Resource

Over the years, the mobility landscape has matured. Major players separately emerged in the usual categories: tools directed at marketers, developers, and analysts. These product silos emerged as a holdover from the web where there was a clean separation between marketing tools, backend server performance, and business analytics.

Silos Towers

The issue is that mobile doesn’t have the same clean separation that web does. User behavior is highly influenced by app performance, which in turn has an impact on your business metrics. Marketing tools today analyze user behavior and business metrics, ignoring app performance. It’s no wonder that a drop in a funnel in a marketing tool doesn’t tell you why those users don’t continue to the next step. The same issue is present in mobile crash and performance software. Most tools present Product Managers with a detailed pile of technical issues without offering a view of how those issues impact business metrics and how they influence user behavior. Mobile PMs are therefore left with no meaningful way to prioritize efforts based on what matters.

Breaking Down Data Silos

Apteligent recently released evidence of the correlation between an increase in crash rate and higher churn rates. This insight is a great example of what you wouldn’t know with a niche tool. A business metric like churn is hugely important; high churn means lower revenue and higher acquisition costs (remember, it’s more expensive to acquire a new user than it is to retain an existing user). A niche marketing tool provides visibility into churn rate but no data reflecting the reasons behind it or how to fix it.

What Is App Intelligence?

Visibility into crashes alone is not enough. Performance alone is not enough. User behavior alone is not enough. The key is to combine app performance with user behavior and then measure your business results. This is the only data-driven way to gain a view into why users aren’t completing your funnel. Another way to think about this: Poor performance leads to a change in user behavior which has a direct business impact. As a product manager, you must deliver business value and maintain the respect of your developers. So you must go one step further: you must view your product development processes through the lens of business impact.

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What key issues should you address to lower your churn rate? You can attempt to build a predictive model by attempting to piece together a complex puzzle through brute force (and wasted development time). Alternatively, you can leverage a data platform that applies data science to do the work for you and actually predict your churn rate based on your app performance.

Examples of App Intelligence

Once a predictable connection between app performance and business performance is established, product managers and business leaders have the intelligence to know where to invest the team’s time. For example, if you are reading this and user retention is an issue, take a look at app start time. Research shows that your app is far more likely than not to be taking too much time to load. With a working understanding of the interplay between app performance, user experience, and business results, you can assign development resources to fix the issue and you will have data to prove it. In another scenario, you may discover revenue to be lower than expected. Naturally, the checkout flow should be analyzed, but it contains complex moving pieces. An App Intelligence solution will tell you that your payment provider’s service is having stability issues impacting your revenue. A crash reporting service won’t and a marketing analytics tool won’t. App Intelligence means having the data to either keep that provider honest to their SLA or seek out a different service.

Summary

Development and marketing teams need to be unified through data. As a product manager or analyst, it is your core responsibility to ensure this unification takes place. This means you must establish shared access to tools that enable connections to be drawn between app performance, user behavior, and business results. This provides a clear picture of user experience and allows the business to properly prioritize resources to meet their mobile business objectives.

Topics:
mobile ,data silos ,mobile performance

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