This is the first out of three articles about Usage in Planhat.
Together, they will cover what you need to know about "usage data" and how to create calculated metrics in Planhat.
Three types of usage data
For the typical SaaS B2B, Product Usage is one of the main pillars in customer success. The usage module in Planhat is easy to get started with, yet powerful and flexible.
Usage is all about data and you have three different types of data sources.
You may want to leverage only one, two or all of them.
1. User Activities
Activities are tracked per user, and typically you'll want to capture at least 5-10 main action that your users can take.
It's likely you'll want to track activities from different modules of your product which will help you
understand which parts of you product is being used to help your drive product adoption.
While user activities are tracked, and can be followed up per user, they're also automatically aggregated on account level, so you can see how each of your customers are using your product over all.
This data can be collected either by adding our (Planhat's) own Tracking Script to your product, just like you would with Google Analytics or similar.
Another alternative is to send these event straight to our API, which generally has some advantages over using a script.
Last option is to simply enable Planhat in your Segment.com account if you're a Segment customer. See here
2. Account Metrics
In most cases, just looking at user activity will be a good start but it won't take you all the way.
A number of important metrics can only be tracked on account level, since they do not directly result from a specific user taking some action in your product.
Examples could be "Megabyte of storage used", "Number of user accounts", "Total number of projects" etc.
Generally this data will be pulled from your own system and sent to Planhat, once a day or with some other frequency.
There's a very simple API to send this data so getting it over is generally a breeze.
3. Soft Metrics
This could be things stipulated in the license agreement, or a usage target agreed with the customer during onboarding.
For example, the contract with a specific customer may say they're allowed to use have 10 seats (user accounts). Or you may have set a common goal that the customer should Login 500 times during first year (a simple/silly example but goes to show the idea).
We call them soft metrics because they're generally not saved on any computer but exist as verbal agreements or in some contract, which mean data is manually added to Planhat when/if it changes which tends to be rarely.
For most CSMs, this data is either not available at all, or it's a available but in tools like Mixpanel, Heap, Tableau etc. which are great for data analysis and product development teams but too complicated and inaccessible for CSMs to use in practice.
So rather than being an alternative to these other analytics and BI tools, Planhat offers a similar functionality but simplified (though in some cases stronger) and designed with the Customer Success team in mind! Read the below article to learn how