By Michael Goff, Revulytics
Depending on what you do (product management, software development, etc.), you may call it software usage analytics, runtime intelligence, software business intelligence, or software intelligence (if I missed your favorite please add it in the comments). Software usage analytics is the ability to collect, analyze, present, and visualize data on the use of software applications and describes the solutions to understand the adoption of specific features, user engagement, product lifecycles, computing environments, and more.
Gartner recently included software usage analytics in its Hype Cycle for Customer Experience Analytics, 2018; Hype Cycle for Software as a Service, 2018; and Hype Cycle for Application Security, 2018, and defines it as “the detailed tracking and analysis of users’ interactions within a software application. It is used by software providers and application developers to understand users’ behavior at various levels of aggregation — individual users, users within a customer account and users overall. It provides insights that are used to improve user experience, prioritize feature enhancement, measure user adoption, track compliance and provide real-time user help.”
Our customers implement software usage analytics to better understand which features are adopted and which are ignored. This intelligence is very helpful in the software development lifecycle, but can also point to problems in UI or UX. It also helps them improve the experience of trial downloads: by understanding how (or if) the software is being used, they can better tailor their in-application messaging to these prospective customers and improve conversions.