What we learned from analyzing 140 SaaS platforms in G2’s most popular software categories.
Customer-facing analytics are essential in today’s data-driven world, even though it isn’t as easy to integrate into your SaaS platform as you might think. What do customers really value during their analytics experience? What are the stepping stones and roadblocks?
To answer these questions, we reviewed the state of analytics in the top 7 software categories on G2. For each category, we researched the 20 most popular SaaS platforms. Do you want to find out what SaaS user think about the current SaaS analytics? Here are our insights from reading close to 6,000 product reviews.
This research report will give you the insights you need to build better analytics. Ultimately, you will help your customers make smarter and faster business decisions while increasing your product engagement and customer satisfaction.
Here is how we collected and analyzed all our data for this research.
For each software product, we collected the 50 most recent G2 reviews containing an analytics-related keyword such as ‘analytics,’ ‘dashboard(s), and ‘report(s)’. For the resulting dataset of 6000 reviews, we labeled each review with a sentiment:
Because this is an updated version of last year’s SaaS analytics research, we kept the amount of last year’s reviews and their sentiment towards analytics to have a bigger sample size.
Besides customer feedback, we also mapped the efforts of SaaS companies to market and monetize their analytical feature set. We analyzed two elements of each vendor’s company website:
We mapped the SaaS data analytics landscape for the most popular software categories, listed on G2’s home page. The research comprises the following 7 G2 categories:
Per vertical, we selected 20 tools. This adds up to a total of 140 researched SaaS products. Note that we did not include 2 categories on the G2 home page, Online Backup and Video Conferencing. Because of a remarkably low volume of analytics reviews, these industries were considered less relevant to analyze.
Across all categories and products, 20% of the reviews on G2 mentions analytics. Just like last year, this means that 1 in 5 users find analytics important enough to comment on, while SaaS reporting is not the core function of the product. On top of that, G2 does not specifically ask users for feedback about analytics in their review process.
In a world where data-driven decision making has become essential to lift your business to the next level, this is not a surprising statistic. According to a McKinsey study, data-driven companies are 23x more likely to attract new customers, and 6x more likely to retain them. This means that there are clear benefits of embedded analytics.
Now that we know that users still mention analytics, what are they actually saying?
Like last year, 94% of the 140 software companies receive at least one negative review about their analytics. This indicates that there is still room for improvement when it comes to SaaS data analytics.
Since one bad review doesn’t indicate whether a SaaS product has good or bad analytics, we will dive deeper into the amount of negative reviews across all 140 companies. 27% of the reviews where analytics were mentioned had a negative sentiment. This means that around 1 in 4 users that feel the need to comment on the analytics had something negative to mention about it.
All the statistics above prove that analytics are not only an important part of your SaaS, but that it also isn’t performing as well as you might’ve thought. On top of that, 9% of all 140 companies had more negative analytics reviews than positive. This doesn’t seem like much, but if you end up within the bottom 10%, you are at a great disadvantage to your competitors.
Here is what you will have to look out for if you don’t want to be outperformed by 90% of your competitors.
The most cited frustration on G2 is that the interface is clunky. 74% of the tools have at least one complaint that the interface is difficult to use. This frustration is stated in multiple ways:
The second most filed complaint on G2 is that customers don’t get reports that present the data that they actually need. 70% of the researched tools get at least one of these complaints:
The third most cited frustration on G2 is that users have little to no options to edit or customize their data analytics dashboard. 56% of the tools get at least one complaint regarding customizability.
The rest of the top 10 most cited frustrations have to do with:
The key elements to a good Customer Analytics Experience (CAX) are the exact opposites of these main complaints:
When looking at positive reviews, we stumbled upon one caveat. On sites like G2, it’s common practice for software companies to incentivize their users to leave a positive review.
While the negative reviews we analyzed were descriptive and detailed, we noticed that positive reviews were overall shorter and more superficial. Most reviewers simply mention they like the analytics, but they don’t say why or which aspects.
So instead of quantifying which characteristics received the most praise, we have curated a set of detailed positive reviews below to support the CAX framework above.
SaaS companies use analytics as a unique selling point, since data-driven decision making and dashboards are so important nowadays. Only 4.5% of the 140 SaaS tools did not mention analytics at all on their website.
There is a difference in the degree to which these tools advertise reporting and analytics. 68% of the companies have a dedicated product page for their analytics and reporting within the tool, while 28% display their analytics feature set only as a subsection on their product pages.
Finally, we researched if SaaS companies are actively charging their customers for value-adding insights. Around 6 out of 10 of the researched tools (59%) include analytics as a pricing point on their pricing page. Most of the researched tools monetize analytics in one of the following two ways:
One thing to look out for when monetizing your analytics is how the end user is going to react to it. We noticed that around 12% of all companies received at least one complaint regarding analytical features being locked behind higher price tiers. When we compare this to the amount of companies who monetize their analytics, this percentage jumps to 21%. In other words, 1 in 5 companies who monetize their analytics get at least one complaint about this topic.
While this number may seem discouraging towards monetizing your analytics, there is one remark to be made. Most complaints had to do with customers only wanting to purchase the analytical features, which wasn’t possible since companies work with price tiers that included many other features alongside the reporting. This often meant that users would have to opt for a more expensive plan, just to get that one extra feature they desire. This disincentivizes customers to purchase your SaaS data analytics. Therefore, monetizing your analytics as a separate add-on might be a safer bet, since we noticed that people really want to enjoy the benefits of embedded analytics.
95% of the researched SaaS companies promote their analytics and 60% charge their customers for analytics and insights, while simultaneously 94% receive public complaints about their analytical features.
Does this mean that SaaS companies oversell and underdeliver their customer analytics experience?
A great customer experience consists of:
Ironically the three biggest frustrations amongst use in analytics are:
This mismatch presents a huge opportunity for ambitious SaaS companies. It is clear what users are missing, while you have a chance to do something about it. Turn your SaaS reporting into an engaging and interactive customer analytics experience to stand out amongst competitors and to gain market share.
Embedded analytics software can help you to build a premium analytics experience with less time and resources. Our team at Cumul.io is ready to help. Schedule a free consultation or product demo today.