Product Analytics Newsletter
Edition #16
July 22, 2019

(Image Source: Digital Trends)

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Musk To Your Brain, Do You Copy?
Let’s start the week with news from the world of “not-so-distant-science-fiction”. Brought to you by Elon Musk of course. Neuralink – the implant that brings a computer interface to your brain 🧠.

In full Elon Musk style, the presentation starts with a cool video that shows off what the company does, followed by a typical presentation from Elon where he describes his ideas in his cool usual way, while your jaw drops and wonders how in the world this can actually come reality. (Full video here)

What are the goals of Neuralink?

  • Understand and treat brain disease
  • Preserve and enhance your brain
  • Create a well-aligned future
Impossible to sum up his ideas in 2-3 paragraphs, so here’s a good summary from Medium.

Bootstrapping Your Product’s Analytics
Our company, Lantrns Analytics caters to an audience of product owners who are interested in using analytics to improve their product and might want to go beyond cookie-cutter solutions such as Google Analytics, Amplitude, Mixpanel, etc.

But this article on the ABC of a bootstrapped data framework for product managers just goes to show that taking that first step towards richer product analytics doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Spreadsheets, copy and pasting, functions and… data sources of course. It has the advantage to provide metrics that are more meaningful to your product than what is readily available in your favorite SaaS analytical tool.

Have a look and experiment. And if you want to go beyond that solution, you know where to find us

Facebook Libra from a Chinese Perspective

While governments around the world are freaking out about Libra, it’s refreshing to look at this product from a different cultural point of view.

China has already been living with virtual currencies for a while now, a duopoly shared by QQ Coins and AliPay. It’s not cryptocurrency per se, and is very dissimilar to Libra in many aspects, but it’s still non-state currency being thoroughly used in the digital (and even “real-world”) market.

What’s ahead for a disruptive product such as Libra? How does it transform the digital economy? Does are just some of the questions that this always excellent podcast explores from a Chinese perspective.

Competition in dbt’s Space
I’ve raved about dbt for a while now and what’s been interesting is to see competition arising.

Dataform is such as company, backed up by VC money, which is targeting the same problem as dbt, but maybe with a more web-based approach.

I had a quick exchange with their founders on Twitter where they did acknowledge that the core of their product used dbt at first but they moved to their own thing as they wanted to push the framework in their own direction.

What’s interesting is how Fishtown Analytics (who builds and hosts dbt) is actually embracing this. In his 3-year anniversary post, Tristan Handy does talk about how an ecosystem is starting to evolve around dbt and the modern analytical stack and that this is a positive thing.

Also, this just follows the trend I was speaking of last week where it seems like there is a democratization of data engineering tools, so that analysts can also benefit from what’s best in the modern analytical stacks.

Apple’s ITP and Your Analytical Stack
I spent way too much time this week exploring ITP and what it means for analytics, and to be honest I’m ending up with still a whole lot of questions. Doesn’t mean it should not be on your radar though.

It all started with a 2-part article on the how ITP 2.1 works and what it means for your web analytics, by Snowplow Articles. That did open my eyes on how SaaS analytical tools do rely on cookies to identify your website visitors/users and what are their behaviours. Well, new privacy changes introduced by Safari does have an impact on how a visitor will be segmented between being a new user or a returning user. That might not seem like a huge deal, but it gets important when relying on data to figure out your acquisition strategy for example.

There’s so much to be said on the subject, and I was actually gonna write a Medium article on this, but this is such an evolving issue that it’s hard to know where we’re heading, how other browser vendors will react, and what solutions are best.

I’ll stop here, but don’t hesitate to shoot me an email if you have concerns about this or want to learn more. I’m no expert on the matter but I did learn a lot (probably too much) about types of cookies and strategies to minimize that impact to guide you towards taking the right decision for your needs.

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How can you leverage data to strategically grow your digital product? This newsletter’s mission is to share data analytics’ best practices and new ideas with product owners, so they can incrementally and intelligently improve their product.

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