New Amazon Alexa Analytics Dashboard A Big Improvement

Amazon released a new Alexa skill analytics dashboard earlier this week and it is a big step up from the previous offering. The first reaction from developers was that it was a nice upgrade. The second impression was that it may undermine existing Amazon Alexa analytics partners. Independent Alexa developer Nick Schwab had this reaction:

They provide a lot of valuable new insight without having to write any additional code and seem to be trying to catch up to the metrics that VoiceLabs offers. For example, Amazon’s dashboard now allows me to see that around 25% of intent calls to my Ambient Noise Skills are to play the sounds on an indefinite loop, showing me that most users actually enjoy the default one-hour auto-shutoff. However, it’s disappointing that they took away the ability to compare the usage of multiple Skills in a single graph, but I imagine they’ll bring it back in the future or third-party analytics providers will take advantage of the opportunity.

New Metrics for Sessions and Utterances

A couple of the new analytics dashboards from Amazon include data for sessions and utterances which was previously much more limited. The session data can now be viewed as a time series and you can zero in on failures and sessions per customer. Utterances can be viewed on per session or per customer basis and in time series. You can see how a rise in unsuccessful utterances could be used to zero in on skill interactions that need to be updated to improve user experience.

Independent Analytics Providers Weight In

Arte Merritt is CEO of conversational analytics platform Dashbot that supports Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Facebook Messenger and other solutions. He emphasized that brands and developers are now building for multiple platforms and improvements on a single platform like Amazon probably won’t cause people to move away from Dashbot:

We’ve processed nearly 2 billion messages. We’re cross platform – we support Alexa, Google Home, Facebook, Slack, Kik, and any other conversational interface including SMS and web based bots. Brands are looking for cross platform solutions – one stop to get consistent metrics and comparisons across platforms. In addition, we provide more than just analytics – we provide tools to take action on the data, like our Live Person Takeover of sessions and Push Notifications for re-engagement. 

Voicelabs CEO Adam Marchick emphasized the importance of value-added services such as retention tools.

We are fortunate to have a great partnership with Amazon. Nine months ago, they shared their plans to build an Analytics service for developers…In January, we released The 2017 Voice Report to provide a balanced take on the Voice-First ecosystem, and we pointed out that one of the ecosystem hurdles was retention, which at the time of the report was trending at 3% by week two. Since January, we have been delivering solutions to improve retention, including Speech FinderLast PathPath Explorer and the Retention DashboardVoice Applications on the VoiceLabs Network have steadily improved second-week retention, nearly doubling user retention since January. 

The general sentiment from developers is that the new analytics dashboards are nice and an improvement from what they had. One developer said he didn’t even remember what the old analytics were because he didn’t look at them very often. They were too limited to provide benefit. The new updates were welcomed. However, the new dashboards are unlikely to cause developers to stop using existing third-party analytics tools or custom tools they have built themselves due to cross-platform needs, additional features and analytics depth that Amazon has not addressed.

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Amazon Alexa Skill and Google Action Totals Q1 2017