Whether your business is producing a healthy profit or is striving to survive, a relevant question will always be: What should we do next with our software products? Should we do anything? Should we retire functionality or complete the application? Should we improve usability? Maybe add new functionality? Should we try to tackle the backlog? Or maybe develop an entirely new product and extent our market? How many man-hours would it take?
Some of these questions can be answered easily. But others are hard to address or estimate. And it is even harder to predict the impact of a new product version on your users. Will they like it? Will they love the new awesome feature which took forever to develop?
You best know that software development can be a costly affair. Actually, any organization with a software development department knows that. It needs R&D managers, team leads, system architects, software developers, graphical designers, testers. And these are just the direct costs. Often you also need technical writers for documentation, support guys, and even translators. Not to mention product managers, marketing managers, and so on. Costs pile up.
To put this into perspective, “Are we to update that old and ugly sign-up form, or are we to create that new killer feature which will take 110% of our budget and resources?”
You can (and you should) start collecting indisputable facts about your application users and their usage patterns which to help you answer these questions. You can add analytics to any mobile, web or desktop application and start discovering your users. They will tell you everything about your application, and you can validate the direction of that new killer feature you are working on, anonymously and right away. Your users will show you how they engage with your application, what they use (or don’t use), and how long it takes to complete a task. You can even get crash and error repots before your users report them. How cool is that!
With application analytics you will know whether that new feature you added in the last version was indeed well-received, and that you shouldn’t be spending any more time on the About section, which nobody cares about.
Wondering where to start? Telerik has the answer. Try our newest product - EQATEC Application Analytics. It will help you gather the facts, analyze the data, and concentrate your development efforts on what your users need the most. With EQATEC Application Analytics you will have a much better understanding of your software products, your market, and your customers.
With this information many hard decisions will be easier to make, and you’ll be able to make better judgments on a daily basis. When used properly, data can lead to optimizations that over time may have a substantial positive impact on your business (and decreased development costs). Google, Adobe and Microsoft have been doing this for years. Why shouldn’t you?
Head out to www.telerik.com/analytics and create an account. The 1st application is on us (up to 100 monitored app instances per month), so it is completely free to try and explore. Available for WPF, WinForms, Silverlight, Windows Phone 7, and seven other platforms.
Vassil Petev is a Product Manager at Telerik. Loves gadgets, sailing, skiing and DJing.