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Image: The Future of Product Usage Data

How much attention do you pay to product usage data? There’s a wealth of information contained within software usage analytics, but how much time do you commit to reviewing and learning from the insights at your fingertips?

When hit with never-ending questions about feature development, roadmaps, and bug fixes, it’s easy to skip the routine of stepping back and studying customer behavior data.

However, when all your energy is focused on emerging priorities and ‘shiny new things’, it’s almost inevitable to miss game-changing observations staring you in the face.

What is Product Usage Data?

Product usage data is the key to unlocking future pathways, allowing you to make informed decisions based on facts rather than feelings.

Ultimately, gaining clarity into user activity and environments enables you to establish trends that can lead to better products and happier customers.

Stakeholders from across your organization can use these insights to establish:

  • Monetization models
  • Feature prioritization/deprecation
  • UI/UX design
  • Piracy tracking
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Churn risk – allowing customer success teams to proactively reach out to address concerns and boost engagement.

Additionally, as suppliers increasingly move toward a SaaS transition with hybrid deployment models, product usage data is integral to modern licensing strategies, such as consumption-based and metered pricing.

Usage Analytics Report

As part of the annual Monetization Monitor series, Revenera has published a new report exploring trends in usage analytics.

Based on a global survey of 450 software companies, the results confirm product usage data has become increasingly important, with headlines including:

  • 97% will collect product usage data by 2025
  • Only 40% believe they currently collect usage data “very well”
  • 26% now use a commercial usage analytics solution, up from 16% last year

The full report covers more detail, but here are a few highlights:

Data Collection Confidence

While 97% are either collecting product usage data today or at least plan to by 2025, 5% are unclear about customer acceptance or where they stand with regards to data privacy.

Bar chart showing the growing adoption of product usage data collection.

The remaining 3% with no plans to capture product usage data are in the clear minority, but it’ll be interesting to see how this trend develops in the coming years as gathering usage intelligence has so many advantages that the few remaining stragglers may find themselves adopting it soon enough.

Growth in Usage-based Monetization

As perpetual licensing gradually fades and suppliers embrace new monetization models, product usage data will be key to those adopting usage-based pricing, which is expected to grow by a healthy margin.

Bar chart showing the expected rise of product usage data-enabled monetization models.

Naturally, usage analytics is recommended for all software licensing models as the insights can strengthen product development, positioning, and customer relationships, but it’s practically essential for usage-based monetization.

Approaches to Collecting Customer Insights

When asked about “highly effective” methods for collecting customer feedback, customer interviews are the top qualitative approach while advanced product usage analytics are the top quantitative approach:

Graphic showing how 74% of survey respondents rate advanced analytics as the most effective product usage data collection method.

While direct customer communication has clear benefits, this manual approach requires a significant time commitment and doesn’t scale with ease. Therefore, having automated quantitative product usage data is key to developing rounded insights that can corroborate or challenge anecdotal exchanges.

Managing Customer Lifecycles

Surprisingly, only 41% of respondents say they track customer renewal dates, indicating significant room for improvement on a vital data point for revenue optimization.

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For those who claim to gather product usage data “very well,” the ability to track all customers and their entitlements is the capability that jumps most significantly – up to 51% from 39% overall.

Graphic showing the benefits of collecting product usage data.

Being able to share product usage data and have open conversations with customers about entitlements/use rights and feature adoption facilitates healthy two-way communication, ensuring customers get the most value from their investment, which improves the likelihood they’ll renew.

If you need actionable insights for on-premises products, you can gat instant access to Revenera Usage Intelligence with a 30-day free trial.

To get the full picture on product usage data trends, please download the full Monetization Monitor report and see how your strategy compares to industry peers.