Updates · 5 min read

Intelligence matters

Amanda Myers
Posted June 02, 2021
Intelligence matters

How digital experience intelligence goes way beyond analytics

In 2020, Fullstory recorded over 10 billion sessions—a major milestone on our journey to making the digital world a more perfect place. And while that alone is cause for celebration, it also marked the right time to evaluate Fullstory's evolution from an industry-leading session replay solution to a powerful data engine that informs thousands of leading companies' digital experience strategies.

After launching with a session replay offering, we expanded into experience analytics, including funnels to help understand conversion and user journeys and proactive Signals (like our signature Rage Clicks) to identify points of friction. 

As our platform has continued to evolve to offer rich insights alongside a strong set of analytics, it became clear Fullstory was much more than session replay. While looking at pure data analytics can be insightful, it only gives you part of a user’s story. Reviewing session replay details provides invaluable context, but can be hard to illuminate the big picture when considered in a silo. 

Our ability to deliver a powerful combination of quantitative and qualitative data sets Fullstory apart—so why were we consistently referred to by less comprehensive terminology?

Defining the category

From research reports to third-party articles, it seemed that nearly every author created their own way to define the offerings in “our space.” But none of them quite encompassed the breadth of Fullstory’s value, so we decided to perform our own exploration to more accurately name a platform that captures quantitative data and provides qualitative context to enable improvements and eliminate blind spots.

Fullstory surveyed businesses of all shapes and sizes, listening to hundreds of product managers, engineers, customer experience leaders, and executives and others who felt strongly about digital experience. 

We heard loud and clear that digital experiences have become increasingly sophisticated, producing an ever-growing mountain of data about how users interact with your business online. This balance between, and combination of, quantitative and qualitative data was also a theme that came up time after time.

The feedback on terminology led us to “digital experience intelligence” (DXI). The Cambridge Dictionary defines intelligence as “the ability to learn, understand, and make judgements or have opinions based on reason.” This capacity to provide rich insights around the what and why of what your customers are doing, and lead you to make better decisions, is crucial to Fullstory’s differentiation—and is what your organization needs to be investing in now. 

Bringing DXI to life

In addition to aligning systems, digital experience intelligence unifies teams by not only guiding product management work, but also going beyond product improvement to deliver a continuous improvement of the entire digital experience. 

Let’s say an ecommerce product manager is alerted to a high priority issue on their site by a spike in dead clicks on their product pages. In reviewing user sessions, they get additional context: customers get sidetracked by the number of options available and abandon their cart. 

They bring these insights to their C/X team who mentions that they have a couple of open tickets about this same issue. Having validated the issue with C/X, the product manager reaches out to a mobile engineer and learns they’re also seeing the same trend within the mobile app. The product manager and engineer then work with merchandising to understand what options are truly necessary and share the information with U/X to prioritize streamlining the selection process. Each is working from the same intelligence, knowledge that can inform individual and collective decisions around priorities and next steps.

The result? In addition to an optimized digital experience, DXI supports increased revenue through better conversion, boosts customer growth and retention and improves organizational efficiency. Digital Experience Intelligence also provides teams across the business an opportunity to observe, listen and learn directly from the end user.

Democratizing intelligence across the tech stack

By knowing what is going on with their customers, and in their experiences, brands can do the things required to enhance and optimize them—across the tech stack and beyond data silos.

For example, in the realm of knowledge, many brands have been practicing customer experience management (CXM) for years. This data is often limited to the tiny handful of customers who actually complete surveys and is often the responsibility of CX teams.

Similarly, IT solutions to understand underlying uptime and network latency have become increasingly common. Yet again, they typically serve a very specific purpose and audience. 

Sharing intelligence across teams and systems is imperative to ensuring alignment around key strategic initiatives that have the customer in mind. Here’s what it looks like in action:

  • Bringing digital experience intelligence into a customer experience management platform, voice of the customer tool or applications that help you measure offline interactions provides a more complete view of an experience. 

  • Layering digital experience intelligence over monitoring solutions to fully understand the business implications of poor performance. 

  • Aligning digital experience intelligence with key metrics in your web analytics tool provides additional perspective into site performance.

digital experience intelligence chart

While web analytics are helpful, digital experience intelligence starts with complete, retroactive data collected across digital touchpoints and processed in a privacy-first way. This provides total visibility and informs actionable insights across a user’s journey, and the ways in which digital experience intelligence is made accessible—and useful. 

This unified understanding of the customer experience across teams and elements of the customer experience is critical to the action of doing, which still takes place in key operational systems like your roadmapping and content management tools. 

For a business to create competitive advantage, it’s important to understand both what is happening on your website, app or digital product, and why. Beyond just providing session replay, web analytics, or even digital insights (which are great, but very limited), a DXI platform provides complete visibility and informs actionable insights across a user’s journey. 

If your digital solutions go by another name, you’re likely missing part of the story. Read more about DXI and get a demo of our platform and learn more how to get the full story. 

Amanda MyersHead of Product Marketing

About the author

Amanda is the Head of Product Marketing at Fullstory. She is based in Austin, Texas.

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