Convenience is a Feature

Anyone who builds software knows those moments when a customer tells you about a way they use your product, or wish they could use your product, that causes lights to go on. A case is made for something useful and in hindsight so obvious that you wonder why you didn’t introduce it earlier.

Such was the case when we recently talked with a regular user of our Scorecard who basically said, ‘I love this graph, but I wish you would do the math for me.’ She was referring to our Customer Count graph, which is a rich source of subscriber growth data. It shows gains of both trial starts and conversions along with lost trials and cancellations with a net subscribers line overlaid. It has detailed mouse-overs and overall provides a great picture of an SVOD business.

customer count chart

What it doesn’t do is the “math” that our customer was referring to. She found herself having to calculate conversions minus cancellations to get a daily or weekly net change to total subscribers. She was doing this calculation because she was trying to assess whether they were on track to hit upcoming subscriber goals. All the data (and more) was there, but it wasn’t presented in a way that made her particular, very important task, easy. 

We pretty instantly decided that, as the adage goes, the customer was right. We needed to make her job easier, and in doing so we’d help all of our customers. In our newest Wicket: “Net Customer Change,” we tried to address her request and serve the purpose behind the request. She wanted us to do the math, because she was trying to calculate whether they were on track.  This graph delivers on our customer’s primary request, which is to “do the math” on conversions minus lost customers and show that as a net number. We also addressed the “are we on track?” question by building in projections. 

Like our primary Wickets, this one has many nice features built in. It’s easy to look at net change on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, and it’s easy to zoom in or out to a specific date range. In addition you can overlay business milestones. 

Unlike our other Wickets, we take the extra step here of providing the aforementioned projections. These are based on a linear regression analysis of past data which we display as a trend line along with forward looking rollups based on granularity selection of the graph (e.g. daily, weekly, monthly).

This makes it really easy to think about both things that our customer asked for: an easy way to see the net of conversions minus cancellations rolled up weekly, and a sense for whether they are on track for a goal, via projections. 

Net Customer Change (2)

We added one more convenience, while we were working on this, which is a tab of trends next to milestones. With this, it is easy to see month and quarter-end projections as well as a rolling 4 week average of net change and how that compares to projections.

Trends

It was really gratifying to show the customer who started this story a preview of what we launched this week. “This is version 2.0 of what I was hoping for” was a welcome review from a demanding client, and certainly justified the thought we put into delivering on more than just “doing the math”. We could have made her happy with a chart that just showed net change, but we really wanted to solve her bigger challenge, so we built in projections as an added bonus. This is a great example of how we create win/win scenarios for our entire customer base when we engage and seek to understand what our most active users are trying to do. If you’d like to learn more about this Wicket and the way we engage with our customers, please drop us a line!

 

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