SaaS Analytics: What It Is and Why It Matters (+Research)

Embedded Analytics
Oct 9, 2023
SaaS Analytics: What It Is and Why It Matters (+Research)

If you run a SaaS business, you’re probably drowning in data and all the different metrics. But just having data without knowing which direction to go in can feel overwhelming. This is where SaaS analytics comes in.

Today, we’re going to explain what SaaS analytics is and why it matters. We’re also going to show your original research of SaaS analytics features from 140+ companies.

What is SaaS analytics?

SaaS (Software as a Service) analytics is the process of collecting, analyzing and interpreting data generated in a SaaS app. Companies use these key metrics to analyze their customer journey, understand how customers use their app, which features they (don’t) use, why they churn and more.

The ultimate goal of SaaS analytics is to understand your customers better, improve engagement, lower churn and increase your monthly recurring revenue (MRR) and annual recurring revenue (ARR).

Why is SaaS analytics important?

Companies use SaaS analytics to better understand the people who use their product, as well as their needs and pain points. Here are the practical benefits of using SaaS analytics.

  • It helps you make data-driven decisions. Through data visualization, you can uncover the data that will show you what users are doing in real-time. This can lead to more actionable insights as opposed to just looking at KPIs out of context.
  • It helps you optimize your customer retention and acquisition of new users through product analytics. You’ll find out what customers love about your product and how you can acquire new customers at a potentially lower cost.
  • It helps you guide your product development. By analyzing in-app user behavior with an analytics platform, you’ll find out which features to prioritize, and which ones to scrap.
  • It helps uncover reasons for churn. If you’re struggling with a high churn rate, SaaS analytics can uncover the data and explain why it’s happening. E.g. a faulty onboarding process that is driving newly active users away.

By analyzing different SaaS metrics, companies can achieve revenue growth, all while better solving customer pain points and driving higher user engagement.

Given how important SaaS analytics are, we did our own research on how it benefits users - and what SaaS vendors can learn from that.

Our research: SaaS analytics tools features in 2023

We researched SaaS analytics features of 140 platforms in G2's top 7 software categories. Learn the dos and don'ts of SaaS analytics today.

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 successful web analytics?

To answer these questions, we reviewed the state of analytics in the top seven software categories on G2. For each category, we researched the 20 most popular SaaS platforms. Do you want to find out what SaaS users think about the current SaaS analytics? Here are our insights from reading close to 6,000 product reviews and the customer data inside them.

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.

G2 review data

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:

  • Positive: mentioned in the “what do you like” section of a G2 review
  • Negative: mentioned in the “what do you dislike” section of a G2 review
  • Neutral: reviews that mention an analytics solution without a strong sentiment, e.g. “the product offers reporting or busines intelligence,” etc.

Because this is an updated version of last year’s SaaS analytics research, we kept the number of last year’s reviews and their sentiment towards analytics to have a bigger sample size with more data points.

SaaS websites and pricing pages

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:

  • Product pages: to assess how SaaS vendors leverage analytics as a marketing selling point in their messaging
  • Pricing pages: to assess how SaaS vendors use analytics to drive upsell and a higher conversion rate

The industries we researched

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.

G2 homepage containing the categories used in this research

Importance of SaaS analytics for end users

Across all categories and products, 20% of the reviews on G2 mention 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, resulting in lower customer churn and customer acquisition costs.

Now that we know that users still mention analytics, what are they actually saying?

SaaS analytics sentiment

Like last year, 94% of the 140 software companies received at least one negative review about their analytics. This indicates that there is still room for improvement when it comes to SaaS data analytics, be it in the quality of services, customer support, or something else.

Since one bad review doesn’t indicate whether a SaaS product has good or bad analytics, we will dive deeper into the number 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 who 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 who are probably crafting up beter customer acquisition and marketing campaigns.

Here is what you will have to look out for if you don’t want to be outperformed by 90% of your competitors, especially if you’re a startup looking to drive predictive growth.

10 most common analytics complaints

  1. Poor UX

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:

  • Clunky user experience
  • Confusing to find data
  • Not intuitive
  • Data is spread across multiple sections
  • Steep learning curve
Quote where a SaaS user complains that the analytics features of a SaaS company have a poor UX
  1. Lack of relevancy

The second most filed complaint on G2 is that customers don’t get reports that present the data that they actually need, e.g. customer segmentation into different demographics. 70% of the researched tools get at least one of these complaints:

  • The reporting is quite limited
  • Customers need to export and analyze data to find what they really need
  • It would benefit us if “measure X” would be implemented to view/track
Quote where a SaaS user complains that the analytics features of a SaaS company doesn't show relevant data
  1. Lack of customization options

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 have at least one complaint regarding customizability.

Quote where a SaaS user complains that the analytics dashboards of a SaaS company have no customization options

The rest of the top 10 most cited frustrations have to do with:

  1. Problems with pulling data & reports from their data sources (49%)
  2. No interactivity (39%)
  3. Loads slow (26%)
  4. Ugly, old design (24%)
  5. No possibility to collaborate or set alerts (19%)
  6. Not connected to their normal business workflows (16%)
  7. Analytics features locked behind higher price tier (12%)

What users love about analytics

The key elements to a good Customer Analytics Experience (CAX) are the exact opposites of these main complaints:

  • A premium user experience vs difficult to use reporting
  • Personalization vs a lack of relevancy
  • End-user business value & customizability vs limited customization options
Customer Analytics Experience diagram

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.

Quote where a SaaS user says that the analytics features of a SaaS company have great personalization

An example of a SaaS vendor with good personalization

Quote where a SaaS user says that the analytics features of a SaaS company offer great end-user business value

An example of a SaaS vendor offering end-user business value

Quote where a SaaS user says that the analytics features of a SaaS company offer great end-user business value

An example of a SaaS vendor offering analytics with a premium user experience

Analytics as a SaaS selling point

SaaS companies use analytics as a unique selling point (and a higher monthly recurring revenue) 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.

An example of a SaaS company's website that uses SaaS analytics as a selling point

Dedicated analytics page on Zoho CRM

Monetization of analytical features

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:

  • as a differentiating feature to upsell from basic to more advanced pricing tiers
  • as an add-on to their customer’s standard license
Different price tiers of a ActiveCampaign's product, where analytical features are included in higher tiers

Analytics features integrated in price tiers on ActiveCampaign

Acumatica's feature page, where SaaS analytics are used as a purchasable separate add-on

Analytics features as an add-on on Acumatica

What do customers think about monetizing analytics?

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.

Quote where a SaaS user complains that the analytics features of a SaaS company are not included in the free plan

An overlooked opportunity for SaaS vendors

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:

  1. a premium user experience
  2. personalization
  3. end-user business value

Ironically the three biggest frustrations amongst use in analytics are:

  1. Poor UX
  2. No empowerment to customize reports to their specific needs
  3. And not finding the relevant insights they need about customer behavior

This mismatch presents a huge opportunity for ambitious SaaS companies that want to get a higher customer lifetime value (LTV), all the while lowering their customer acquisition costs (CAC).

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 gain market share.

Embedded analytics software can help you to build a premium analytics experience with less time and resources. Our team at Luzmo is ready to help. Schedule a free consultation or product demo today.

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