Many commercial software products produce logs of their usage. These logs contain everything from information about the user’s computer (operating system, video card, etc.) to the number and type of mouse clicks to execute a certain command or utilize a specific feature. Often, these usage logs are the provenance of software engineers or IT, providing them with a means to evaluate performance, resolve bugs, and track basic product usage.

Recently, our clients have begun to realize that software usage logs are a source of incredibly rich information about how customers interact with their product. Rather than having to rely on more traditional and subjective metrics for assessing software usage or developing marketing campaigns, software usage analytics can provide a robust, quantitative measure of the precise way in which the software is used. In addition to being used in predictive models to drive value, this data can be visualized to analyze usage trends over time. Analyzing log data provides powerful insight into user behavior that can be used to improve software design and enhance user experience. Some example use cases are:

Account Managers / Sales Managers

  • Increase trial conversion rates through better awareness of trial users' usage data and areas where they may be running into problems.
  • Prioritize at-risk customers to improve customer retention and reduce customer churn.

User Experience Teams

  • Monitor new or existing feature adoption to improve user experience and accelerate feature and release adoption rates.
  • Improve user workflows by analyzing software commands and command sequences usage by different user segments to identify ways to make workflows easier or more efficient.

Software Development Teams

  • Analyze crashes and bug reports to prioritize bug or crash fixes and improve software stability.
  • Analyze command and feature usage in order to improve documentation and training.

Although the possibilities for deriving value from software log data are numerous, the process for understanding this data can be challenging. Software usage log data is almost always collected and stored in a format that is not amenable to analytics and requires significant data exploration and ETL prior to modeling. Elder Research can provide a comprehensive analytics platform to collect, store, transform, analyze, model, and visualize software log data.

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Elder Research can provide an entire Product Usage Analytics platform or individual services on an as-needed basis. What sets us apart is our flexibility to provide only the analytics necessary to drive product and customer service excellence for your organization.

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Product Usage Case Studies

Our clients—whether newly formed analytics teams or established pros—find that we help them understand their data, strengthen their teams’ abilities, and bring to the forefront basic and advanced levels of insights aligned to their needs. Examples of our product usage and log analytics solutions include:

Using Product Usage Analytics to Improve User Experience


Elder Research successfully used over 1TB of log data to build a user segmentation model for a major software client. We also created a custom visualization tool allowing the client to visualize their log data in a way that was previously impossible.

Results: User segments defining unique software user personas were reproducible with 92% accuracy and have proven extremely valuable in helping SolidWorks understand user needs and behavior. Product Usage Analytics enabled SolidWorks to better understand, communicate with, and serve their users, facilitating more effective customer engagement and outreach.

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Contact us for a consultation to explore how Elder Research Product Usage Analytics consulting can reveal user behavior insights and improve user experience.