The secret success factor for building apps that stick

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The secret success factor for building apps that stick

You might remember the catchy Sesame Street song "There's an app for that" - if not, listen and enjoy. The fun thing about the song is that it first aired in November 2010. Back then, the total number of available apps did not even reach 500k. To be concrete, in 2010 there were around 130,000 apps available on the "Android market" (correct, that was how the Google Play Store was called back then), 300,000 apps on the Apple App store and around 18,000 apps on the BlackBerry App World and 25,000 from Nokia's Ovis Store (anyone?!).

Fast-forward a decade to 2021 and on the two most popular app stores (Google Play Store and the Apple App Store) there were nearly 6 million apps available. 

Why apps fail

As impressive as these numbers are, they don't really tell a lot. We all know that quantity is not the same as quality. According to research from Fyresite, only 0.5% of consumer mobile apps and 13% of B2B mobile apps succeed.

With these numbers in mind, it is not surprising that for most apps, engagement and retention rates are low. They aren't sticky. Users log in and leave without ever thinking twice because they aren't getting the experience they want. 

How embedded analytics make a difference

Luckily, there is a solution for that. Research from the Product-Led Alliances (PLA) found out that companies that embed analytics increase engagement by 60% and revenue by 57%. Alongside the digital transformation, the critical success factor for companies today is data. The same applies for apps. Software has eaten the world, and now, too, is data. For building apps, this means to think about how to provide intelligence using data.

The most successful companies are building software, applications, and services that not only leverage data, but provide insights into that data as a part of their offering. As in-app data exploration becomes the new standard in the user experience (UX) of both B2B and B2C apps, users expect these applications to offer analytics to help them get value out of their data to quantify and better understand their world. 

Data is the new UX 

But... just as quantity is not the same as quality, embedded analytics alone is not enough if it fails to provide meaningful insights relevant to the user, or is too complicated to use. To put it this way: Companies can't simply embed analytics. They need to rethink the kind of UX these embedded analytics provide. The data from the PLA research shows that the analytics UX is more important than ever. Nearly 80% of product builders cited the need for better customization tied to specific business needs, while more than half noted the need to empower users to intuitively find their own answers. We need a new analytics paradigm, where any user can explore this data on their own to find meaningful, relevant insights.

In other words, we need to treat data as the new UX. Instead of limiting what customers can do with data, companies need to build products that allow its users to engage their curiosity and drill down to the finest levels. The only way to do this is by treating data as the new UX—not a nice-to-have feature, but a requirement for increasing engagement and revenue.

Sumeet Arora is the Chief Development Officer at ThoughtSpot. Arora leads ThoughtSpot's global Engineering and Product teams in continuously improving and scaling the AI-powered data analytics platform.

Prior to joining ThoughtSpot, Sumeet served as SVP and GM of Service Provider Networking at Cisco. In this role, he led the Engineering & Product management team for the Service Provider routing portfolio and was responsible for driving profitable market share growth of this multi-billion dollar business.