Amplitude Product Recap: Our Biggest Innovations in 2020

Grant Wensley

Technical Product Marketing Manager

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7-minute Read,

Posted on January 29, 2021

Step changes to product analytics, a reimagined data governance hub, and predictive targeting across the experience stack. These were Amplitude’s premier product launches in 2020.

In 2020, digital products became essential to how we lived, worked, played, watched, learned, and connected. For product teams to meet this moment, they had to iterate faster than ever before. For Amplitude, that meant diving deep into our customers’ challenges, and innovating across all aspects of our platform to become the complete, best-in-class solution for product analytics. 

In 2020, we made major investments in core analytics, reimagined our data governance tools, and laid the foundation for personalization at scale. If we removed the limits for our customers to build faster, smarter, and together, we knew we could help them thrive in 2020. We’re thrilled to share that the mission was a success, and our customers have rated Amplitude the clear #1 solution for product analytics.

This is just the beginning of what’s ahead for Amplitude. Read on for a recap of the major features and enhancements we shipped in 2020, across each of our strategic product pillars. 

Product Analytics: Prove the Impact of Digital Products and Automate Key Insights

Digital products have evolved beyond linear experiences, and product analytics needs to evolve with them. To help teams understand and build this next generation of products, Amplitude launched several industry-first analyses in 2020, including Conversion Drivers, Milestone Analysis, and Journeys. Together, they make up the most complete conversion analysis available today. 

Conversion Drivers

Businesses use digital outcomes, such as registrations, purchases, or activations, as key performance indicators (KPIs). Funnel analysis has become an industry standard for measuring these outcomes, but understanding why some customers achieve them and others drop off has historically required time-intensive data science. With Conversion Drivers, Amplitude can now tell product teams which behaviors drive conversion or drop-off with the click of a button. It analyzes any Amplitude funnel chart and identifies events and properties correlated with conversion and drop-off for the entire funnel, or between two individual steps. In addition, it provides a table with the correlation score for each event, the percentage of users who performed it, the event frequency, and the overall time it took users to convert. More than 1700 product teams leveraged Conversion Drivers in 2020, including Fanduel, who uses the analysis to determine which product bets encourage fans to join their first fantasy league. 

Milestone Analysis via Historical Count

Historical Count in Amplitude allows teams to measure the milestones that propel users on their journey to becoming a high-value customer. Instead of categorizing a user’s events as “new” because they were new to your product that week or month, we’re now able to measure how many times a user has done a specific action—ever.  For example, Mindbody used Historical Count to learn that finishing your 5th workout is a critical step for new users to become loyal customers. Now they monitor 5th workout as a KPI in Amplitude, and make product bets to help new users get there faster.  

Journeys

To build for growth in a world of increasingly complex digital experiences, teams need tools that analyze the big picture of their customer journey and individual user behaviors simultaneously. In 2020 Amplitude made this possible for any team with Journeys: an industry-first solution that analyzes the breadth and depth of your customer journey. Journeys focuses on the two events that matter most–the starting point for new users, and the moment they achieve a target outcome. It then surfaces the paths and behavioral patterns between these two events, so your team can understand what drives customers between states like free to paid, trial to subscribed, or new user to high-value customer. When Atlassian made their products freely available to businesses supporting the fight against COVID-19, Journeys helped their product team identify meaningful pathways in their ecosystem, remove bottlenecks they would have otherwise missed, and double down on features that led to cross-product adoption. 

Behavioral Targeting: Power More Contextual Digital Experiences

Sending the right message to the right user at the right time is a shared goal for all marketers, but it’s not common practice. Personalization on this scale—the kind that drives your Netflix and Amazon recommendations—is prohibitively expensive. It requires access to high-quality behavioral data about your customers, along with machine learning systems to translate that data into predictive insights at a user level. Amplitude relies on high-quality behavioral data, so we’ve long thought that if we could integrate machine learning into our platform we’d be uniquely positioned to power personalization at scale. In 2020 that dream became reality when Amplitude acquired the premier innovator in the predictive analytics space, Clearbrain. Thanks to their partnership and technology, we enhanced Nova—the analytics engine behind Amplitude—with an automated machine learning layer that enables predictive insights. In turn, we launched Predictive Cohorts.

Predictive Cohorts

Predictive Cohorts by Amplitude employs machine learning to target users based on future behaviors, not past behaviors. This is a monumental shift in how you build audiences and find the right users to target. Simply select a target behavior or outcome like activation, retention, or LTV, and Predictive Cohorts will group users based on their likelihood to achieve it. Next, you can further analyze the group in Amplitude to understand their preferences, and send them a personalized experience through partner platforms like Facebook, Braze, or Google Ads. For example, world-wide gaming company Jumbo Interactive uses Predictive Cohorts to identify which users are likely to activate across dozens of game paths, and sends them email offers to nudge them in the right direction. 

New Amplitude Engage Partners

Amplitude Engage lets you automatically send your behavioral segments in Amplitude to ad networks, marketing automation tools, and personalization engines for retargeting. In 2020, we continued to grow our partner network, and launched several new integrations, including Intercom, Appcues and Amazon S3. This unlocked the value of Engage for customers like Square, which uses Amazon S3 as a central hub to push Amplitude cohorts to engagement platforms for each of their products, simultaneously.

Data Management: Enable Data Leaders to Control their Data

Comprehensive, accurate event data is integral to making data-driven decisions with Amplitude. That means it’s our responsibility to help data leaders provide the right data in the right places to the right people. In 2020, we took big steps forward in this mission with the release of Pipelines, Govern, and several new integrations.

Pipelines

Pipelines makes connecting and creating data sources and destinations easier through improved workflows, and new import/export capabilities. Adding new data sources is quicker and easier thanks to a dedicated hub, and guided workflows. In addition, direct connections to Adobe Analytics, Amazon S3, Intercom, and upgraded server-side SDKs joined our ever-growing collection of supported integrations. On the destination side, Pipelines provides one place to add destinations for Amplitude Engage, or to send enriched events from Amplitude back to your source of truth. 

Govern 

With Govern, we reimagined data management in Amplitude, and built a new central hub to make governance a seamless and enjoyable experience. Govern streamlines existing workflows like event planning, validation, and transformation. It also includes new capabilities like bulk actions, query metrics for each event, and links to charts and dashboards where events are in use. Govern steps beyond filters and controls–it helps you understand whether events are providing insight to your team, or if they’re just creating noise. Global sportswear leader Under Armour uses Amplitude to improve customer experiences in connected fitness apps MapMyFitness and Endomondo. With Govern, they can quickly standardize global customer data into a common language for analysis at HQ. 

 

Collaboration: Create a Culture of Data-informed Decision-making

Data-informed cultures can only flourish with easily understood, accurate data, and a system to share insights once they’re discovered. For growing and distributed teams, this doesn’t just happen by chance. In 2020, Amplitude added several features to its collaboration suite that are cultivating data-informed cultures for customers like AB Inbev, Peloton, and NBC.

Event Explorer

Learning a new analytics system comes with inevitable confusion about the event taxonomy: “Should I query ‘Signup,’ ‘Sign-Up,’ or sign_up’?” With Event Explorer, Amplitude has completely reimagined the learning experience for new analytics users. The interactive tool tracks your designated user ID as you interact with your own product, displays their corresponding Amplitude events and properties in real-time, and directly applies them to charts. Beverage giant AB InBev operates over 30 business units in 55 different countries, so knowing which data to use to answer questions is incredibly difficult. They empower local teams with Event Explorer, so they can independently find the data they need to analyze their customers and personalize campaigns for their region.

Breadcrumbs

In the trenches of product development, sharing is often an afterthought and almost always requires you to retrace your steps. Breadcrumbs eliminates this extra work. As you dig through your data you can bookmark thoughts, chart views, or user segments and Breadcrumbs loads them into a Notebook automatically. This saves time for customers like Houzz, who uses Amplitude to understand what connects home goods designers and shoppers on their marketplace platform. Breadcrumbs allows their product team to create shareable content while they discover insights, and broadcast them to the rest of the organization.

Templates 

Through working with our customers we’ve learned that great product teams each have common Amplitude workflows that are repeatable except for small chart adjustments for the latest experiment, feature release, or campaign. This inspired Templates, a workflow tool that analyzes the chart filters on an existing dashboard, allows you to edit those filters in one centralized view, and save the updated charts as a new dashboard. Templates allowed FinTech innovator ClearScore to 5x their experimentation velocity, and as a result fix an unknown bug in their core onboarding funnel and double their subscription rate.  

Looking Forward to 2021

Like everyone, product teams faced unprecedented challenges in 2020, and required new tools to meet this moment. We think we delivered, but don’t plan on slowing our innovation any time soon. To find our 2020 releases in their entirety, visit release notes here. To learn about our plans to become the operating system for digital business in 2021, join our leadership team for a Product Roadmap Webinar on March 3.

Grant Wensley

Grant is a technical product marketing manager, writing the “how we do it” section of Amplitude’s story.

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