There’s so much value in customer data that it’s almost an online currency.
As a consumer, you trade your data in exchange for downloadable reports, discounts, or free access to tools. As a business, you use customer contact and usage information to accelerate decision-making, increase your product’s value, and incentivize business growth.
But what happens when you make data customer-facing? When used and presented correctly, customer-facing analytics can keep users engaged with your app, encourage them to choose it over competitors, and even recommend it to friends and colleagues.
In this article, you’ll get more details on all these benefits and find out how to add customer-facing analytics to your product.
Find out how to deliver remarkable analytics experiences in just 10% of the time, and hit your product KPIs. Learn more.
Customer-facing analytics vs. user analytics
Customer-facing analytics means showing metrics in your product for end-users to gain insights that benefit them, as well as yourself (we’ll expand on this later). For example, if you’re developing a banking app, you could give users a breakdown of their monthly spending per category (i.e. 30% on rent, 25% on groceries, etc.) which provides users with additional value on top of your core banking service.
User analytics, on the other hand, is a form of data analysis that helps you understand your customer’s preferences, goals, and behaviors. In this case, the data consumer is internal; whereas with user-facing analytics, the consumer is external. Analyzing the way your users interact with your product according to their demographics can result in valuable insights to segment your audience. Presenting this data to your internal team helps them make educated decisions about your product and craft personalized marketing campaigns or sales promotions.
Let’s use Instagram’s example to differentiate these two concepts. End users can see stats relating to their daily activity, previous likes, clicked links, etc. That’s customer-facing analytics. Meanwhile, Instagram’s product team can see the number of active users, feature adoption rates, daily global posts, and so on. That’s user analytics.
4 main benefits of user-facing analytics
Providing data insights to your customers can increase the real and perceived value of your service and enable you to reach better results. This can happen either by showing the concrete benefits you've delivered—like increased leads, money saved, or reduced carbon emissions—or by providing insights that help your users manage their operations and reach their objectives—such as failed payments, staff coverage, or content engagement.
There are four additional benefits to embedding analytics into your app: engagement, retention, gaining competitive advantage, and upselling opportunities. Let’s explore each one in more detail, alongside examples of customer-facing analytics:
When companies invest in improving digital customer engagement, they see an average revenue increase of 90%. There’s no debate that keeping users engaged with your app is a priority. But how to do it?
You can offer a more personalized user experience and add even more value to your product by giving them customer-facing embedded analytics. Once you expose your users to data, they’ll likely want to explore it and learn more about their behaviors, results, and insights.
This is especially useful for most B2B use cases. “If you’re able to show your customers how their business is performing or how your service is helping them hit their targets, and that allows them to make better decisions, you’re providing them value with your analytics,” says Harry Marshall, Co-founder of Embeddable. But it’s all about making sure that you display data insights that really resonate with your audience.
Let’s use Medium as an example. It’s a platform for writers to publish long-form content and share it with the public or private communities. Its users want to know how their pieces are performing and what their readers find valuable. Giving users a dashboard keeps them engaged within the app, lets them set aspirational targets, and encourages them to promote their content. This leads to better results because they can see precise metrics and take action to improve their work instead of having to guess how their content is performing.
A high retention rate is typically associated with customers finding value in your product or service and actively engaging with it.
It costs 5 to 25 times less to retain customers than to acquire new ones, so engaging your audience isn’t just a one-time thing. To avoid churn, your customers should feel that what they get from your product matches (or exceeds) what they pay for.
Implementing a customer-facing analytics dashboard can add a load of value to your app, even if it’s not an intrinsic part of the service you offer. Sure, with a product like Google Analytics or Apple Watch, users expect analytics to be complete, interactive, and available in real time.
But, even if aggregated data isn’t part of the app’s main use case, fast-loading data insights can still provide fundamental value to your customers. Take Intercom as an example.
Intercom’s main function is to improve customer service interactions using chat-style messaging. Users can also monitor, manage, and optimize the service they’re providing using the in-app stats like the number of completed conversations per employee. This can help teams become more efficient, effective, and informed in their roles. In turn, this makes Intercom a more competitive solution.
Just beware of “bad analytics” as this can make your customers feel frustrated. This refers to dashboards with limited, static data or no dashboards at all where users have to get vital data via request rather than accessing self-service analytics. This could actually harm user engagement and lower your product’s perceived value.
3. Competitive advantage
Like Intercom, embedding customer-facing analytics into your tool can differentiate it from competitors and make it more appealing to potential users. However, you need to make sure your analytics live up to your promise. While saying that you offer an interactive and customizable analytics dashboard can help you close sales, offering a static report with predetermined metrics instead can cause user dissatisfaction and accelerate churn.
But, get it right, and you could boost your brand reputation, beat your competitors, and benefit from great word-of-mouth marketing. “Highly engaged, satisfied users are more willing to refer friends, pay more, give you quotes and feedback, answer surveys, and essentially, advocate for your brand,” says Harry.
Let’s use Spotify as an example. At the end of each year, Spotify launches its popular annual Wrapped, giving its users access to personal analytics like minutes played, top songs and artists, and favorite podcasts. This trend creates a social media frenzy and drives engagement in their platform, promotes the brand, and brings in new customers too—becoming one of Spotify’s competitive edges.
4. Upselling opportunities
If displaying customer-facing analytics increases the real or perceived value of your product, by extension it presents you with an opportunity to grow your revenue. You can do this by increasing your base pricing, offering paid features, or introducing new pricing tiers.
Imagine Intercom packaged up its chatbot analytics, touted its value to the end user, and put a price tag on it. It would probably be able to upsell customers that product. Analytics dashboards are usually complex to build, so this approach is very common and can create a lot of value for both you and the customer.
All apps could potentially build a dashboard for customer-facing analytics, but it’s important to consider that not all data will be equally valuable. Some data won’t necessarily encourage all of your customers to part with their cash. “For example, if you have a reservation system, I don't think the average person cares to look up how many reservations they made across the year,” says Steve Morin, Head of Mobile Engineering at a SaaS company and Startup Investor.
However, for that same reservations company, aggregating data about customers’ behavior and sharing it with restaurant managers could give them access to insights on repeat customers, no-shows, or days booked in advance.
Identifying what’s valuable to your user persona can help you come up with a more interesting offer and put an accurate price on it.
How to embed customer-facing dashboards into your tool?
There are three ways of embedding user-facing analytics into your software, each with its own complexities and benefits.
1. Using a third-party business intelligence (BI) or embedded analytics platform
In this case, you use your existing BI tool, like Trevor.io or Tableau, and use their embedding capabilities to add analytics to your app. Or you could use a dedicated embedded analytics solution like Vizzly or Explo.
The biggest problems with either approach are that performance is typically inferior and that you only get access to very basic components without much room for customization. This could result in a frustrating customer experience with limited interactivity and a different look and feel from the rest of your app—as well as hindering you if you ever need to optimize your analytics in the future.
2. Custom-built customer-facing dashboards
Of course, you could build it from scratch in-house or outsource the project to a software development agency. With this option, you’ll get way more customization, with all the functionality, perks, and design options you want. But it’s only typically suitable for enterprises with a big budget.
A custom-built approach to user-facing analytics can be expensive and time-consuming during the initial build and in future tweaks and iterations. According to MicroSurvey, it can take up to 44 weeks to code and take your analytics dashboard to market. “Developing this solution in-house can take a lot of time and is very complex. If you have a small team, building this can take all your energy,” says Steve Morin.
3. The best of both worlds: Embeddable
Since analytics can be so complex to implement from scratch, you usually don’t see them in new products and MVPs. “Data visualizations come later. It's often not core to the use case and people can easily live without it. But it's usually highly desired and you might lose some customers because you don't have it. It's important to add them as soon as you can,” says Steve.
Embeddable combines a:
- Front-end toolkit that dramatically reduces the time to build charting components and modifiers (like date pickers and filters)
- Backend engine that handles the performance, security, caching, and infrastructure requirements
- No-code builder that enables non-technical team members (design, product, customer success) to craft and iterate upon the dashboards.
This means you can build interactive dashboards into your app at any stage of your product development without breaking the bank or overworking your team. Instead, you can simply access the engine and craft your unique, custom-built solution for a much cheaper price.
Want to know more about Embeddable? Request developer’s docs
Keep your users engaged with embedded reporting
Embedding user-facing analytics into your app can help you improve business KPIs like user engagement, retention, and revenue growth.
By offering customers the ability to access and interact with their own data, you not only keep them engaged but also make them feel the value of your product. This can result in increased loyalty and word-of-mouth recommendations. Customer-facing analytics can also differentiate your app from the other options in the market and make it more appealing to potential users.
Additionally, these analytics open the door to upselling opportunities, allowing you to increase the average order value and customer lifetime value—leading to increased long-term revenue.
Find out how to deliver remarkable analytics experiences in just 10% of the time, and hit your product KPIs. Learn more.
Frequently asked questions about customer-facing analytics
What is customer-facing analytics?
Customer-facing analytics is a method for showcasing relevant performance data to users within your software or platform. This enables them to improve their decision-making and review their usage trends. For instance, it could involve presenting users with detailed statistics on their website's traffic, conversion rates, or user engagement metrics, allowing them to optimize their online presence.
What KPIs can I improve with customer-facing analytics?
You can improve multiple KPIs with customer-facing analytics including:
- User engagement rate
- User retention rate
- Customer lifetime value
- Sales ROI
- Average sales cycle length
What is the difference between embedded analytics and customer-facing analytics?