Measuring for improvement
The importance of analytics in immersive experiences
In the digital era, immersive experiences have gained unprecedented significance. Whether in the sphere of entertainment, training, or industry, the ability to immerse people in virtual or augmented environments is revolutionizing the way we interact with technology.
However, to fully leverage these immersive experiences and enhance their effectiveness, analytics plays a crucial role. By collecting and analyzing data on how users interact with these immersive experiences, this information provides valuable insights that enable the optimization and personalization of these experiences, which is essential for their long-term success.
The importance of context in metrics for immersive experiences
Just like in the world of websites, analytics is an essential part of immersive experiences. We need to see them as starting points for evaluating the evolution of a solution. They allow us to understand, based on data, what’s working well and what’s not meeting expectations. Through analytics, we can identify trends and, using all this information, improve and optimize the user experience.
One key aspect when approaching these metrics is segmenting them by types of experiences. We cannot compare metrics generated in metaverse experiences with, for example, training experiences since the user's motivation to access these experiences is different. These impact the way they will be used by users, and therefore the analytics we generate.
To make these data truly useful and help us improve, it’s important to distinguish and compare similar types of experiences, considering the context in which they unfold. By doing so, we can evaluate them appropriately and make informed decisions.
What types of KPIs are taken into account?
Immersive experiences generate a wealth of data. Every movement, action, or decision a user makes within these environments can be recorded and analyzed. This richness of data provides detailed insights into how users interact with the experience, their preferences, behaviors, and emotions.
Analytics leverages this information to gain a deep understanding of interaction patterns, enabling informed and evidence-based decision-making to improve the immersive experience.
In any case, before delving into a detailed analysis of a specific experience, organizations require macro indicators that provide an overall view of consumption and the impact generated by different experiences.
Next, we provide a set of standard indicators that allow us to generate this overview:
- Sessions: These are recorded periods of activity on the platform during a selected timeframe, from when the user accesses the platform until they disconnect or enter an inactive state.
- Active users: This refers to the number of users who have accessed the platform within a given time frame.
- Bounce rate: This measures the percentage of users who have logged in but have not accessed any experiences.
- Total time: This is the cumulative time spent by all active users on the platform.
Based on these indicators, it’s possible to generate charts that provide interesting insights about immersive experiences, such as:
- Evolution: This graph allows comparing the evolution of different KPIs within a selected period. Evolution helps identify trends and how different actions performed over time are impacting the KPIs.
- Active Users by Experience Type: This report allows comparing the time spent within the platform and the number of users, separated by type of experience. This indicator helps assess the alignment of the immersive platform implementation strategy with the actual usage by users.
- Experience Ranking: Most popular experiences (based on active users/more time spent), segmented by type of experience. Rankings allow learning from experiences that are generating a greater impact and enhancing other experiences with similar solutions to improve their impact.
And this is just the beginning. So far, we have talked about quantitative indicators, but to measure the generated impact, it’s necessary to have qualitative indicators based on user feedback. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) indicator is based on a satisfaction survey conducted at the end of the experience. It indicates to what extent the user would recommend the experience, a piece of data that can provide valuable insights into the user's perception of the different experiences.
New frontiers in analytics for immersive experiences
While we’ve made interesting advancements in analytics for immersive experiences, we’re still at the early stages of applying analytics to this technology. For example, we are beginning to see analytics that can detect where users are looking during the immersive experience, similar to how heat maps work on websites. This allows us to understand if users focus more on the left or right side, or if they pay more attention to one object over another.
By analyzing user gaze patterns, we can determine which objects in a room are perceived as interactable. It’s crucial to understand if engagement mechanisms are working to assess the expected level of user engagement.
Analytics can also help identify potential obstacles or problematic areas within the immersive experience. By analyzing interaction data, we can detect patterns that indicate difficulties or confusing areas for users. This capability provides with the opportunity to make specific adjustments and improvements to eliminate barriers and ensure a seamless and uninterrupted experience.
Ultimately, analytics in immersive experiences are key to understanding how users interact with the content. This enables real-time content adjustments and optimizations, providing a more engaging and satisfying experience for users. It’s important to note that while having data about immersive experiences is crucial, giving those data the appropriate context is the true key to making the best decisions.
NAKA, the VR platform by NTT DATA, incorporates an advanced analytics system that provides key insights into its usage and the experiences created over time.