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Feature usage
product analytics

A comprehensive guide to analyzing feature usage

Mar 20, 2024
8 mins read

Data is king in the world of SaaS (software you rent online). However, one kind of data is especially important: feature usage data. 

This tells you how people use the different parts of your software. SaaS businesses can learn a lot about improving their products by analyzing this data.

Feature usage data helps SaaS businesses to;

Make the software better!

Make it easier to use!!

Make customers happy!!

Make more money!

Let's explore how feature usage data can drive improvements and how Usermaven provides crucial insights.

What is feature usage?

Feature usage is all about understanding how people interact with specific parts of a product. It's like taking the pulse of a particular feature to see how well it's doing.

Usermaven CTA

By measuring feature usage, companies can learn,

  • Which features are most popular: This can help them decide which features to invest in improving or promoting.
  • If new features are being used: This can help them gauge the success of recent updates.
  • How people are using features: This can help them identify areas for improvement or unexpected use cases.

Here are some of the things that might be tracked to measure feature usage:

  • Number of users who interact with the feature: This is a basic measure of adoption.
  • Frequency of use: How often do people use the feature?
  • Time spent using the feature: How long do people typically use it each time?

This information can be really helpful for making data-driven decisions about a product.

Why track feature usage?

track feature usage

There are many reasons to track feature usage. Here are some key benefits:

  • Understand what users value: By seeing which features are most popular, you can get a sense of what users find most helpful or enjoyable. This can help you focus development efforts on areas that will have the most impact.
  • Improve the user experience: Usage data can reveal how people are actually using features. This can help you identify areas for improvement or ways to make features more user-friendly.
  • Make data-driven decisions: When you track feature usage, you have hard data to back up your decisions about product development. This can help you avoid making assumptions about what users want.

Tracking feature usage is a way to learn from your users and improve your product.

Calculating feature usage rates

The feature usage rate is a key metric that helps product managers and businesses understand how users interact with specific functionalities within a product. It essentially measures the adoption rate of a particular feature.

The rate is calculated as a percentage by dividing the number of unique users who interacted with the feature by the total number of unique product users and then multiplying by 100.

Here's the formula:

Feature usage rate = (Number of unique feature users / total number of unique product users) * 100

For example, if 1,000 unique users use a feature out of a total of 5,000 product users, the feature usage rate would be 20%.

Usermaven is a product analytics tool that helps businesses measure and improve feature adoption rates. It offers a feature adoption funnel, which includes all active users, used, adopted, and retained stages. These stages allow businesses to track user behavior throughout the funnel and identify areas for improvement.

Usermaven feature usage screenshot

5 steps to conducting a feature usage analysis

1. Determine key metrics

  • Identify goals: Before diving into data collection, clearly define what you want to learn from the analysis. Are you interested in overall user engagement or how specific features are being utilized?
  • Select relevant metrics: Usermaven can help you track various metrics, but it's crucial to choose those that align with your goals. Here are common feature usage metrics:
  • Active users: This reflects the number of users interacting with your product within a specific timeframe. Usermaven can provide user activity reports to determine this.
User stickiness metrics
  • Feature users: This metric isolates users who specifically interact with the feature you're analyzing. Usermaven can track custom events triggered when users engage with the feature.
custom event screenshot
  • Usage frequency: This reveals how often users interact with the feature. Usermaven can track the number of times a specific event (related to the feature) occurs per user.
usage frequency screenshot
  • Time frame: Define the period for data collection (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly). Usermaven allows you to set custom date ranges for your reports.

2. Collect data with Usermaven

  • Install the tracking script: Usermaven supports client-side tracking via the same JavaScript tracking script that powers website tracking. You must include this script in your application's frontend to track signed-in users.
Usernaven tracking pixel
  • Set up the feature adoption dashboard: Usermaven offers a comprehensive feature adoption dashboard. To access it, go to "product insights" and then select "feature adoption" from the drop-down menu. You'll then encounter a prompt guiding you through the setup process.
feature adoption dashboard
  • Define feature adoption criteria: A user is marked 'adopted' if the number of events exceeds your specified threshold. Additionally, criteria for user retention should be set, whether on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis.
feature usage dashboard
  • Analyze feature usage: Once the data is collected, you can analyze it using Usermaven's pre-built product analytics reports. This will help you understand how users interact with your site or app and provide insights into feature adoption rates.
feature usage reports
  • Optimize feature adoption: Use the insights gained from the data analysis to optimize and help users adopt new features. This can be done through various methods, such as promoting new features via announcements, sending email newsletters, or using blogs to discuss detailed features.

3. Analyze user behavior

Here are some ways to analyze user behavior for feature usage in SaaS businesses:

Data collection

  • Track user actions: Most SaaS platforms have built-in analytics that track user actions, such as clicks, button presses, and page visits. This data can be used to see which features are being used the most and how users are moving through the platform.
Usermaven dashboard
  • Set custom events: You can also set up custom events to track specific user interactions with features. This can be helpful for tracking the usage of new features or features that are not well-represented in the built-in analytics.
  • Use heatmaps: Heatmaps are a visual representation of a user clicks on a webpage or app screen. They can help you see where users are focusing their attention and identify any areas of the platform that are confusing or difficult to use.

Segment user groups

  • Divide users into cohorts: Segment users based on demographics, behavior, or other relevant criteria to create distinct user groups.
cohort analysis
  • Analyze feature usage by segment: Compare how different user segments interact with features to uncover variations in preferences and usage behaviors.

5. Assess the impact on retention

  • Track retention rates: Monitor how many users continue to use your product over time. Usermaven might provide user retention reports.
overall retention curve screenshot
  • Correlate feature usage with retention: See if there's a connection between how users interact with the feature and whether they retain it as users. This can help you determine if the feature is contributing to user satisfaction and product loyalty.

Leveraging Usermaven for feature usage analysis

Usermaven is a tool that can help you understand how users interact with your SaaS product, specifically how they use your features. Here's how Usermaven can help with feature usage analysis:

Track feature adoption

  • Usermaven can track how many users access and interact with different features. This helps you understand which features are being used the most and which ones might need more attention.
feature adoption

Analyze user journeys

  • Usermaven allows you to see how users navigate your platform and interact with features. User journeys can help you identify common workflows and any roadblocks users might encounter when using specific features.
user journey

Segment user data

  • You can segment user data based on different factors like user type, subscription plan, or behavior. This allows you to see how different user groups interact with features and identify any variations.
create segment screensot

Funnel analysis

  • Usermaven can help you analyze how users progress through specific tasks or workflows that involve features. This can help you identify drop-off points and areas for improvement within the feature itself or the onboarding process.
funnel analysis

By providing data on how users interact with features, Usermaven can help you make informed decisions about:

  • Prioritizing feature development: Focus resources on improving features that are most valuable to users.
  • Optimizing user onboarding: Ensure users discover and understand how to use important features.
  • Identifying usability issues: Address any confusing or difficult aspects of using features.

Overall, Usermaven equips you with data to understand how users engage with your features and identify opportunities to improve their overall experience.

Conclusion

Analyzing feature usage is essential to see how people use your app to make it even more awesome! 

Usermaven is a tool that helps you understand what users like and don't like about your app so you can make it the best it can be.  With Usermaven, you can get ideas for new features, fix any confusing parts, and keep your users happy!

Book a demo with Usermaven today and witness firsthand how it can transform your product strategy.

FAQs

1. What's the difference between feature usage and feature adoption in SaaS?

Feature adoption looks at the initial uptake of a feature. It tells you what percentage of users even tried the new feature. Feature usage, on the other hand, dives deeper. It measures how often and in what way users interact with a specific feature, giving a clearer picture of its ongoing value.

2. Why is tracking feature usage important for SaaS products?

Tracking feature usage provides valuable insights into user behavior. It helps you understand:

  • Feature value: Are users finding the feature helpful?
  • Engagement: How deeply are users interacting with the feature?
  • Usability: Is the feature easy to understand and use?

By analyzing this data, you can identify areas for improvement, prioritize future development, and ultimately create a more user-centric product.

3. How can I track feature usage in my SaaS product?

There are several tools and techniques for tracking feature usage in SaaS. Many analytics platforms offer built-in features that track user actions within the product. You can also implement custom events to capture specific interactions with your features. By analyzing this data, you gain a deeper understanding of how users are actually experiencing your product.

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