Defeat chaos in product analytics if you haven’t done it before. VSCO photo application case

Preparing for an analytics interview, I decided to read all the cases about analytics on the Mixpanel blog (48 articles), and at the same time publish condensed translations here.

VSCO is a photo editor application. 30 million users.

The product collects kilometers of logs, but it is impossible to use it. The data is scattered, contradictory, and sometimes just wrong. There is no documentation, to build a report you need to ask the “old-timers” where to look.

As the company grows, things do not get better, what should the product do?

There is no easy way

The company allocated a team of engineers who focused on metrics for several months. CPO Mat Turner, along with CTO Stephen Tang, went through each tracked event with the question – should the c-level team track this? What about the product team? Development? Sales?

What worked

Everything matters means nothing matters. Initially, all events were tracked in the product, but later it turned out that no one was watching them. For example, one of the most popular events in the system was “setting set”, while no one knew what this setting was. All “I don’t know” events have been removed.

How can we include some events in other, simpler/important events? Created reports with more high-level, but revealing events.

For example, a photo has a lot of settings – exposure, saturation, contrast… it turned out that you don’t need to track the time of each setting, it’s enough to know the average photo setting time to understand how well the photo editor works.

Tracking metrics was not a top development priority. Features were added and the analytics remained old, often not accurate. A team of engineers has been working on this tech for several months. debt.

At the beginning the company was a team of 6 people in one room, as it grew it was necessary to document the metrics well so that new colleagues could use.

How to sell analytics within the company

Ok, the analytics system is set up, and the c-level knows how to use it, how to implement a data-driven culture in other departments, this is what worked:

You have to wait a couple of minutes until the person asks a question that can be answered with data. And then show him how to find the answer in Mixpanel. Most people will say: “what, it was possible? Can I make an account too?

People are embarrassed to ask questions so as not to waste the general time.

A person does not need to know everything about the system, it is enough for him to find the answer to his question.

VSCO is not the only example. As the company grows, it becomes more difficult to track metrics, more errors. Especially if analytics was not a priority during the first rapid growth. We can all find ourselves in this situation, but for the systematic and systematic growth of the product, we still need an accurate system of metrics.

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