Analytics is a waste of time

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Obviously this isn’t always true, but it usually is. There are only a few cases where analytics is not a waste of time. And to be honest – time while spent inside of an analytics tool usually doesn’t take very long.

The key to not wasting time with analytics is to be conscious of exactly what you need to know before digging around inside of a bunch of tools.

If you know what you’re looking for it shouldn’t take very long to find it.

The SaaS analytics lifecycle


Whether you’re starting or growing a SaaS business there’s a natural progression of analytics tools you will go through. One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is trying to use a tool that their business isn’t ready for.

Using tools beyond your current scope will lead to wasted setup time, analysis paralysis and disappointment when that exciting new tool falls short of expectations.

What you really want is well spent setup time that leads to interesting and actionable results. Here’s my 3 stages of SaaS analytics and the analytics tools that are helpful at each stage.

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The highest converting metric (that no one tracks)

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The most valuable interaction you can have with a customer is face-to-face. Short of a lunch date, a Skype or phone call are super valuable too.

I think most people realize the significance of shaking hands and looking someone in the eye. But I bet you’re not tracking those interactions in your analytics software or CRM. Most people aren’t.

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Mixpanel for Bootstrappers: A Poor Man’s Guide to Free People Analytics

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Mixpanel is Great. But it’s not cheap.

$150 for the cheapest Events package PLUS $150 for the cheapest People package. I have a feeling some people get sticker shock. At least I did (at first).

In this post I describe how to use the free offerings in mixpanel:
That includes event tracking, people analytics, and automated email/push notifications.

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Social Media Vanity Metrics

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We’ve all heard about vanity metrics. Metrics that make us feel good, but don’t actually lead to sales or action.

There are standard vanity metrics like visits, pageviews and time on site. I would also include geographic location, real-time analytics and total registered users as vain in most cases.

It’s time to recognize social media metrics as vain.

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