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The 10 KPIs every product leader needs to know

Introduction: Laying the foundation for data-driven product management

If you ask five product managers (PMs) to name the most important product metrics to track, you’re likely (read: definitely) going to end up with five completely different answers—and grounds for some healthy debate. This is because when it comes to data, today’s product leaders find themselves in a paradox of choice. There are so many product metrics you could be tracking, but it’s not always clear which ones you should be tracking.

Gone are the days of a lack of access to meaningful product data. Instead, product practitioners of all levels are tasked with honing in on the metrics that will be most impactful—those that will help them understand how users navigate their product, how product usage correlates with positive outcomes, and how their product impacts the business’ bottom line.

With effective measurement in place, product leaders can base decisions on data, and build products that both meet (and exceed) users’ needs and propel the business forward. Product-led companies go so far as to rally the entire organization around product data as a central resource and shared language. So, they better make sure they’re measuring the right things.

The right KPIs for any one company to track will ultimately depend on its product, growth stage, and overall goals, but we believe there are ten that every product leader should have on their radar. Whether you’re a PM who’s deeply involved in the day-to-day or a product executive who cares more about the big picture, the metrics in this guide will provide a foundation for your product analytics strategy.

Before we dig into the individual metrics, it’s important to zoom out and understand the different types of KPIs at your disposal. Here are three categories to keep in mind:

Business outcomes: Your product impacts key business and financial outcomes both in the short and long term. Most notably, your product experience directly affects retention and churn, which in turn impacts revenue numbers.

Product usage: As the name suggests, these KPIs reflect how users behave inside your product. Which features do they use the most? Where are they getting stuck? How many users continue accessing the product over time? While product usage data is beneficial on its own, it’s even more powerful when combined with qualitative metrics like customer sentiment and feedback.

Product quality: These KPIs measure how well your product is doing what it is supposed to do. What is your product response time? How much downtime did you experience last month? For quality metrics, it’s often best to set an internal benchmark and measure yourself against it monthly or quarterly.

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