Product intelligence might make you think of robots and other smart technologies. However, the term doesn’t mean your products will start walking and talking on their own. It’s another term for product analytics, and you can use the two interchangeably. Product intelligence is a critical aspect of supporting your company and listening to your users’ feedback.
Kissmetrics explores the ideas behind product intelligence, how it works, the type of information it gathers, and how you can leverage it for your company.
How Do You Define Product Intelligence?
Product intelligence is the term for gathering information about how your users interact with your product, interpreting that information, and then strategizing to leverage your insights.
It’s something that you may already do in some way or another. Finding out information about your users is the number one way to improve your products, services, and a company’s interactions with their audience members.
How Is Product Intelligence Different From Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence is a hot topic, especially among roboticists and engineers nowadays, but it is very different from product intelligence. Artificial intelligence refers to the study of machine learning or how non-organic devices can interact with the world intelligently. A Roomba, for example, demonstrates artificial intelligence by learning where your walls and furniture are, so it can vacuum the areas around those spaces without bumping into anything.
Product intelligence doesn’t have to be so high-tech. It describes the process of gathering information about how humans use your products and then translates that data into insights and actionable goals.
You can collect information about any kind of product, robotic or not. It’s all about finding a new way for users to show you what features they like and which ones they don’t.
How Does Product Intelligence Work?
Product analytics tools like Kissmetrics gather data about various aspects of your users and how they interact with your website. This data is compiled into meaningful reports that demonstrate areas that attract more users and places where you need to make some improvements.
The first step in product intelligence is gathering the data. With product analytics tools, you don’t have to worry about manual inputs; your tools will automatically function and mine the information.
Automation is a critical part of the tool and can save you time and effort when aggregating data.
The second step is analyzing the data. Of course, now that you have tons of detailed insights, you don’t want to waste time wracking your brain to interpret it and understand what it all means. Product analytics tools do that for you, compiling the information into a simple, straightforward report.
For marketing and product development teams who want to get into the nitty-gritty details, they’re available. Most tools allow you to customize your data gathering and the subsequent reports to get the information that adds the most value.
Keep in mind that product analytics won’t give you the whole picture. It doesn’t replace important surveys asking users about their overall satisfaction; it simply augments them.
The nature of science is to test. So once you’ve gathered your data and formed some ideas about new things to try, the best thing to do is try them out and continue recording the information.
Your original data might have focused on one feature of your product, which led your company to focus on it too. Keep watching to see how your users react to the changes you make and adjust your product development accordingly to keep them satisfied.
Which Information Does a Product Intelligence Tool Gather?
Product intelligence tools specialize in gathering and aggregating information about your users and how they use your products. This data is then compiled into an insightful report documenting your users’ preferences.
Product intelligence tools gather information like:
- Which features see the most use.
- How often users use your product.
- How your products perform based on the season.
- When users buy from you.
- Customer information like location, age, and other demographics.
Why Is Product Intelligence Important?
Product intelligence is a way of analyzing user habits and interactions. When users interact with your products, learning what features they use the most and which ones sit ignored will help you move forward with your company.
One of the most significant benefits of product intelligence over surveying your users is you can be sure the information is accurate.
Not to imply that users purposefully lie on surveys, but they may make mistakes and leave things out. Their feedback can often be fueled by emotions and not cold, hard facts. Product intelligence skips over the sentiment and brings you the facts you need to make decisions about your product.
Product intelligence tools are vital for scalability. As your company comes out with more products, gathers a more extensive user base, or simply grows in size, it becomes an enormous task to monitor your users’ feedback and understand how they are using or not using your products.
Without an automated tool gathering data for you, you’d have to hire increasingly large numbers of employees whose sole task would be to monitor product usage. That’s not a good use of their time or your money.
Creating New, Improved Versions of Your Product
The best way to stay ahead of competitors is to give the people what they want. There are few better ways to do that than constantly monitoring and recording how people use your product.
Customers use the features that add value to their lives and give you the information you need to tweak products and make adjustments to function better.
For example, your company might have been very excited to release a product with new features, but if your users continue to use the same three and leave the other ones alone, you’ll know that it’s best to focus on strengthening the original ones.
Accelerating the Product’s Time-to-Market
Instead of assigning members of your development team to closely monitor all of the feedback rolling in about your new product, using a product intelligence tool automates the process. When you can easily click on a report generated by your analytics tool, you save time and effort.
With accurate, real-time insights about your product and its features, you can speed up the timeline for your next big product. Users may be eagerly awaiting the release from beta-testing, and with product intelligence, you can continuously monitor progress throughout testing and development.
This is especially relevant in e-commerce spaces when putting out the idea or product earlier can make a difference in edging ahead of the competition.
Automatic Quality Manufacturing Processes Enforcement
With a product intelligence tool, everyone will have access to the same information. Instead of waiting for a member of one development team to remember to forward a dozen reports to a secondary design or implementation team, the reports are instantly available to everyone with access to the software.
This can help speed up the product’s time-to-market and ensure that bugs and other flaws will be caught before they come out.
Your teams will appreciate the ability to correct errors without writing additional code or spending hours pouring over the lines they’ve already written. Simply input error parameters into your product analytics tool, and the tool automatically flags anything that pops up.
How Can I Use a Product Intelligence Platform?
When you understand your audience, you can design the right products and features to satisfy their needs. Additionally, as you roll out updates, products, services, and features, a product intelligence platform will document how users interact with your product. This allows you to see which aspects are particularly useful to those users.
Besides giving you ideas for enhancements and new designs, this information can also influence your marketing strategies. Knowing your audience also means knowing how to appeal to them and entice them to convert.
It’s not just about getting them to your website, either. Documenting the users’ journeys from the first visit through conversion gives you a better idea of what content attracts people. It incentivizes them to move beyond a casual visitor to become a regular user or customer.
One of the biggest questions a company should ask is why do some people buy my product and others don’t? Product intelligence looks for innovative ways to answer that question by documenting user interactions, illustrating conversion paths, and detailing which marketing campaigns attract new visitors to your website, as well as how your product adds value to peoples’ lives.
Visit Kissmetrics for more information about product intelligence and how you can leverage your users’ information.