SaaS Analytics: A Quick Guide To Proxies And Data Collection
While the collection and analysis of data is crucial for all businesses, it is especially important if you run a SaaS company. Unlike regular business analytics that mostly just stick to understanding buying trends and finding moments of the highest engagement, SaaS analytics must probe deeper than that. Your SaaS company needs to track all phases of your customer’s journey to completely understand and improve it.
In this article, we focus on how proxies can help optimize this process and improve your SaaS business. You can use the table of contents to jump to a particular section if there is something specific you are looking for. Let’s start by discussing key concepts.
What is SaaS Analysis?
Saas analysis refers to the process by which businesses in the SaaS industry gather data that is subsequently used to understand and optimize their business. SaaS analytics refers to the data collected via this process. So, SaaS analysis is the process and SaaS analytics are the outcomes of that process.
SaaS – software as a service – businesses are inherently different from traditional businesses mainly because of the manner in which revenue is acquired. The bottom line for SaaS businesses heavily depends on how long customers are retained. Although the same can be said for many other businesses, it is especially true for SaaS companies.
Huge investments are made to acquire customers in the first place and the return on that investment is not gained instantaneously, but rather, over a long duration of time referred to as the customer lifetime. So, if customers are not happy with a service and they churn quickly, a SaaS business tends to have huge losses due to the investment they made in order to get that customer. As such, the metrics used to understand and optimize SaaS businesses are very different from those used for traditional businesses. Some examples are:
- Lifetime value: This refers to the total amount you are supposed to receive from a customer over the entire course of their subscription to your service.
- Customer acquisition cost: This refers to the total cost that will be incurred from all the efforts made to acquire a customer.
- Recurring income: This can be calculated on a monthly or an annual basis. It refers to the total amount of revenue that a SaaS company can look forward to per month or year.
Why is SaaS Analysis Important?
SaaS analysis allows you deeply understand your customers and provide them with a personalized experience. Here’s how that contributes to the success of your business:
1. Improves customer retention
Since customer retention is key for SaaS businesses, most of the focus of SaaS analysis is understanding customer behavior – especially the most profitable customers – and finding ways to retain them. For instance, SaaS predictive analysis is a form of data analysis in which historical data and a wide range of techniques are used to forecast things like customer preferences and spending habits.
2. Optimizes user experience
Saas analytics can be used to optimize your users’ experiences by mapping out each step in their journey, identifying areas with the highest drop-off rates, and then optimizing those areas. This will not only help to reduce churn but could also contribute to the acquisition of new customers by increasing the conversion of leads into paying customers.
The acquisition of new customers should not be your focus as a SaaS company because it is cheaper and more effective to focus on retaining existing customers. But, acquiring new customers is still crucial for your SaaS business to remain viable.
3. Increase recurring revenue
This is the ultimate goal. As already mentioned, SaaS companies receive revenue over an extended period of time. When customers are retained for longer periods, recurring revenue increases.
How to Collect SaaS Data for Analysis
For SaaS data to be analyzed, it must first be collected or extracted. As SaaS businesses are digital in nature, most of the data related to them exists online and one of the best ways to collect and then organize that data is via a process called web scraping.
Web scraping is an automated process carried out by a bot designed to collect huge amounts of relevant data and translate it into a readable document that can be understood and analyzed by humans. So, instead of you having to go through the process of manually visiting pages and conducting multiple bouts of copying and pasting, you can simply have a web scraper do all of that for you in a much shorter period and without the risk of human errors. This data can also be directly funneled into another software or program for immediate use.
Sounds wonderful, right? Unfortunately, to a lot of websites, web scrapers look suspicious because they make requests at lightning-fast, inhuman speeds. As a result, they resemble malware and tend to be banned quickly.
Thankfully, proxies exist. We extensively cover what proxies are in this blog post. But, the basic idea is that a proxy helps you switch up your IP address – a unique set of numbers and letters that allows websites to identify and locate your device. Websites block you from accessing them through your IP address. So, if you use a proxy while web scraping, when one IP address is banned, you can switch to another one. That depends, however, on the kind of proxy that you use. We talk more about that below.
Benefits of Using a Proxy for SaaS Data Analytics
From SEO research to competitor research and improved security, proxies can help grow your business in several ways. When it comes to amassing data for SaaS analytics specifically, here’s how proxies can help:
1. Maneuvering blocks and bans
There are three main types of proxies you can choose from: dedicated, semi-dedicated and rotating proxies. A dedicated proxy is limited to one user for the duration that it is purchased. A semi-dedicated proxy is shared by a few users at the same time. Both have their pros and cons, but overall, they are best for individual use.
As a SaaS company investing in proxies for web scraping, you are going to be collecting massive amounts of data. And, you are inevitably going to get blocked from websites. The only kind of proxy that will work for this purpose is a rotating proxy. Rotating proxy IP addresses are switched out as often as the user needs. So, as soon as one gets banned, another is provided. This allows the web scraping process to be smooth and uninterrupted.
2. Maintaining anonymity
IP addresses allow websites to monitor you and track your online activity. As your IP address is switched out ever so often with a rotating proxy, it will look like you are collecting data from various locations and devices. This not only allows you to maintain anonymity but also allows you to scrape data at higher volumes.
3. Breaking barriers caused by geo-blocking
You can choose the location of your proxy IP address. As such, if a website is not available or banned in your country of residence, with a proxy IP address, you can access and scrape it for the data that you need.
How to Pick the Best Providers of SaaS Proxies
Although there are free proxies on the market, they are not a good bet for your business. They provide a potential portal of entry for bad actors to get access to your company’s data. And, because they tend to be used by many people at once, they are too slow for the purpose of web scraping.
A paid proxy provider is simply the best way to go. A good one should be able to provide you with a vast array of IP address locations to choose from, 24/7 customer care, and fast network speeds to hasten the entire process. These requirements are the bare minimum. At Blazing SEO, our services are tailored towards giving you the best possible web scraping experiences. On top of everything listed above, we offer unlimited bandwidth and have end-to-end control of our hardware to ensure that your SaaS data stays well-secured.
Together with our partner company Scraping Robot, we offer web scrapers that work with proxies to allow more efficient and uninterrupted collection of your SaaS analytics. Scraping Robot is easy to use even for beginners, and highly customizable with loads of modules you can choose from. What’s more, they offer a free trial that allows you to get as many as 5000 scrapes which allows you to test it out first before you take the leap of investing.
The Bottom Line on Proxies for SaaS Analysis
Staying on top of certain key metrics and deeply understanding your customer’s journey is crucial to the success of your SaaS business. The only way to do this is by amassing large amounts of data that can then be further analyzed to provide various insights. Using an automated web scraper is one of the most efficient ways of doing this and using a proxy with that web scraper makes the process all the more efficient. By helping you avoid bans, location switch, and maintain anonymity, proxies take the process of obtaining SaaS analytics to a higher plane of ease and speed.
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