Design KPIs – what improvement did you celebrate in your last analytics software release?


I know to a lot of software teams, getting features/fixes/releases out the door feels like improvement. However, did you actually create or improve the value of your service?

To to that, you have to understand what your users actually value, so you can align your efforts accordingly. Most of the time, these nuggets of useful customer information do not come right out of a sales conversation, or via the Leave Feedback link, or through your customer service/support channels.

When was the last time your measured your software updates in these types of terms?

  • You helped routine task X take Y mins less to accomplish by making the workflow easier. This helped your customers get in/out faster since they really don't want to be in the analytics any more than absolutely necessary. (In your research, you also found out your service is most used on Friday afternoons, and ultimately, what you're really doing is getting a working parent out the door, on time, to get to that evening band concert, soccer game, or dance recital). That is value.
  • You made it possible to discover the relationship between X and Y, which can enable C cost savings. Perhaps the data was always there, but the design didn't facilitate making that discovery. Now it does. And you just helped the buyer justify the cost of your service.
  • You made an internal entry-level employee or worker feel valued through the use of your analytics servicePerhaps an insight they found made them stand out to their manager, and gave them the feeling that they, and their role, really do matter to the organization.
  • Your design change allowed improve a downstream health outcome, or encourage a provider/patient intervention to happen at the right time. Not only did some downstream stakeholder (e.g. a patient) get value from the software update, but you also made the user of your analytics feel wonderful about their impact on the patient.

The # of bug fixes you released is a good engineering metric, but it's not a directly a customer value KPI. To find those, you have to get out, talk to users, and observe the quality of the experience that your design is actually facilitating.