Software Product Development: Collecting Data & Analytics Ethically

PublisherSol Minion Developmenthttps:https://assets.solminion.co/logo.svgPublished Product Development data analyticsecommerceinformation management

The best way to ensure the success of your software product or service is to get a good, qualitative understanding of how your users engage with that software. However, a solid understanding of how to collect data ethically and run analytics on that data is just as vital to your long-term success. So, what are product analytics, and how do you collect data ethically?

What Are Product Analytics?

Product analytics is the analysis of how your software users engage with your product or service. It helps you track behaviors, create reports, and make updates to your development roadmap. By using data, information, and analytics, you’ll be able to quantify how your users work with your software.

Why Is Product Analytics Important?

Product analytics are important to achieving your goals for your product and your business. By analyzing user behavior, you can achieve the following outcomes:

  • Better Data: Rather than rely on self-reporting surveys, you can track actual user behavior and engagement.
  • Better Decisions: Using that data, you can make better decisions on product features, user interface, and new products.
  • Personalization: You can personalize a user’s experience based on their past behavior.
  • Efficiency: Users want your product to be easy to use and get them to their solutions quickly. Insight into this will help you create efficiencies for them and for your business.
  • Customer Retention: Lack of personalization can lead to client turnover, while using personalization can actually increase sales. When your users are better engaged with your products, they stick around.

What Is Ethical Data Analysis?

The ethical collection and use of user data in your analytics generally means that you are both transparent and honest about how data is collected and how it will be used. It also means allowing your users to control personally-identifying data. In fact, there are already laws and regulations on the books that mandate such care with user data (learn more here).

What Are The 3 Basics Of Data Ethics?

As you consider how your software product or service can benefit from the analysis of user data, consider how you will collect this data ethically. The three basic principles of ethical data collection include:

  1. Ownership: Clearly define who will own the data, including users’ personally-identifying information (PII).
  2. Transparency: Users need to understand how this data will be collected, stored, backed up, and used.
  3. Privacy: Ensure that personally-identifying information is properly safeguarded, ensuring that it does not fall into the wrong hands. Users trust you to maintain their privacy.

How Do You Ensure Ethical Collection Of Data?

Collecting user data for analysis goes beyond the technical and secure storage of that data. This becomes part of your company’s culture. The way you do business integrates into how you will handle this sensitive information. Ongoing training, established policies, and well-documented procedures are all part of an ethical data collection plan.

What Is The Dark Side Of Customer Analytics?

The dark side of customer analytics emerges with a lapse in policies, training, and procedures. That can result in user’s PII leaking out into the wrong hands, causing financial damage and a PR nightmare for the business as well as stress and possible financial injury to the users. Data analytics can be a huge tool for the development of your software product, as we stated above. That can all get wiped away when ethics and security are not part of the equation.

Conclusion

Information security is part of every project we do here at Sol Minion Development. It’s in our DNA and becomes part of your product’s DNA. As we roll out your project scope and plan, the ethical collection and use of analytics will be at the forefront. That will help us both create the best software possible, while keeping your users’ data and your business’ information safe and private.

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