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Don’t Know What Metrics to Track? Start Asking the Right Questions

(Scene from I, Robot. image source: https://i.imgflip.com/fwri0.jpg)
It’s often best to start with what goals you want to achieve when deciding what metrics to track and events to instrument. This, then, drives key questions. So welcome to today’s post – the prequel to Tuesday’s “Metrics vs. Instrumentation”.

Almost every facet of a business – technical, business, financial, operational, etc. – should have some strategy in place for improvement. As such, there is a need for an understanding of where the company sits today, in the past (if available), and the goals for the future. The natural thing to do, then, is to ask the right questions.

Here are some questions that can help determine the instrumentation and metrics needed:
  • At what rate are we losing existing customers (churn)? à can highlight product-market fit issues, education issues, misaligned expectations, complex UI/ UX, etc.
  • What is the lifetime value of a customer? à help determine the ROI of marketing strategies, especially against the cost of acquisition
  • What is our server uptime service level? à understand if service levels and how that may impact existing customers
  • How often are our users using Feature X? For how long? à help determine roadmap and UI/ UX issues, unnecessary feature sets, etc.
  • How are we acquiring website visitors, and at what rate are we able to convert these visitors to some call-to-action? à test the efficacy and messaging of marketing efforts
  • How often are users visiting our knowledge base? Is there a particular article that is visited most often? à better upfront knowledge sharing/ education, better UI/ UX opportunities
Goals and strategy of the company leads to questions on where the company sits today, and how to achieve tomorrow. Then, instrument as needed to capture status and improvement.

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