Ability to Gather Software Product Usage Data Improving, but Still Only 40 Percent Do it “Very Well”
The Revenera Monetization Monitor: Software Usage Analytics 2023 report shows areas of improvement as collection of product usage data grows
Itasca, IL - October 19, 2023 Revenera, producer of leading solutions that help technology companies build better products, accelerate time to value, and monetize what matters, today released the Revenera Monetization Monitor: Software Usage Analytics 2023 report. Part of an annual series in its fifth year, this report evaluates the best practices of software suppliers with the most practical approaches to software usage and analytics. It also illustrates how software, intelligent device, and IoT company product executives can evolve their practices to optimize business goals.
“Software producers recognize the importance of usage data. Many, though, have room to grow as they work toward optimized software usage analytics practices that can aid everything from product roadmap decisions, product pricing, user interfaces, and more,” said Nicole Segerer, SVP and General Manager at Revenera. “The vast majority of survey respondents, 97 percent, either gather product usage data or plan to do so, yet almost a quarter of respondents collect telemetry data but let it go to waste. With more than half of respondents planning to change monetization strategies in order to offer usage-based models, there’s a clear need to ensure that resources are in place to align monetization strategies based on actual usage trends.”
Highlights from the Revenera Monetization Monitor: Software Usage Analytics 2023 report include:
- Software suppliers are expanding their reliance on product usage data.
- 97 percent of respondents either gather product usage data or plan to do so, a jump from 91 percent who reported the same in 2022. Among all respondents, 79 percent collect software product usage data, a jump from 62 percent reported in 2022. An additional 13 percent plan to collect software usage data by 2025, with 5 percent planning to do this but aren’t yet clear about customer acceptance or other inhibitors, like data privacy.
- The ability to gather product usage data continues to improve: the number of respondents who can gather product usage data “very well” grew from 26 percent in 2022 to 40 percent in 2023. Another promising sign is that the number of respondents who don’t plan to capture this data dropped from 9 percent to 3 percent over the same period.
- More efficient practices are necessary to support business goals, such as optimizing annual recurring revenue (ARR): 39 percent in 2023 report needing manual processes or engineering work in their product usage data collection efforts.
- Greater understanding of feature use is needed to help strengthen renewals: currently, 62 percent of respondents can see if features in a product are being used. For the fundamental metric of if customers are using the software at all, only 21 percent of suppliers that do not collect usage data have this insight; even among suppliers that collect usage data very well, only 66 percent can see this, indicating room for improvement across the board.
- Software data collection and analysis programs increasingly rely on commercial usage analytics solutions.
- More than one-quarter (26 percent) rely on a commercial usage analytics solution: This jump of 10 percentage points in the past year, from 16 percent in 2022, indicates recognition of a need to establish effective practices. More than 37 percent of respondents build their own solutions for collecting and analyzing software usage data.
- A growing number of respondents are letting usage data go to waste: Currently, 24 percent collect telemetry data but don’t use it; this is a significant jump from 11 percent a year ago, indicating that many may be struggling to organize and analyze what they collect.
- The most effective single method of collecting customer intelligence is advanced product usage analytics, a quantitative method: 74 percent of respondents rated advanced product usage analytics (i.e., more than just basic product telemetry or log files) as either “effective” or “highly effective.”
- Blending the approaches used to collect customer intelligence is common: 69 percent of respondents rely on user segmentation provided from product usage analytics, an automated quantitative approach, to collect additional insights and/or ask follow-up questions. This uses quantitative methods to optimize the often more time-consuming qualitative methods, identifying the audience most likely to be suited to methods such as customer interviews.
- Software usage analytics can help meet customers’ needs.
- Software usage data can provide valuable information that helps optimize the customer lifecycle: Only three capabilities, though, are held by 40 percent or more of respondents: to measure product and feature adoption (43 percent), to see product/software versions per customer (42 percent), and to track maintenance renewal dates (41 percent).
- To share usage data with customers and illustrate the value that customers receive, software suppliers must first capture that data: 35 percent of respondents say that more than half of their customers already have access to usage data, but many more want it: 34 percent of respondents say that more than half of their customers want insights into their data and 37 percent say that more than half already have access to usage data but want additional insights/functionality.
- Tracking all customers and their entitlements/use rights is an essential functionality that many respondents are missing: 39 percent of respondents overall have this functionality, a number that goes up to 51 percent among those who can currently gather product usage data very well, indicating room for improvement across the board.
- Many software suppliers don’t have the necessary software usage data to align product price with the value, as perceived by customers: more than half (56 percent) of respondents indicate that a top driver of planned changes to monetization strategies is to offer usage-based models to align with customer value, but hurdles to achieving alignment in price and value include lack of insights into user personas and their priorities (reported by 43 percent) and lack of insights to monetize the most valuable features (reported by 42 percent).
- The inability to adopt/implement new monetization models is cited as one of the biggest barriers to growing annual recurring revenue by 41 percent of all respondents. Collecting and analyzing usage data effectively can help implement new monetization models, particularly as reliance on usage-based models grows.
Revenera conducted the 2023 Revenera Monetization Monitor Software Industry Survey from March through July 2023. Job levels of the 454 survey respondents were C-level/executive (16 percent), SVP/VP (13 percent), director (34 percent), manager/team leader (27 percent), and individual contributors/consultants (10 percent). This report, the second in the Revenera Monetization Monitor 2023 series, focuses on software usage analytics. The first focused on software monetization models and strategies; the third and final report will address software compliance and piracy.
Revenera helps product executives build better products, accelerate time to value and monetize what matters. Revenera's leading solutions help software and technology companies drive top line revenue with modern software monetization, understand usage and compliance with software usage analytics, empower the use of open source with software composition analysis and deliver an excellent user experience—for embedded, on-premises, cloud and SaaS products. To learn more, visit www.revenera.com.
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