Master thesis: Building funnels at Staying

I have completed my thesis for the Master Computer Science at the University of Twente at the company Staying. The supervisors from the university were Marten van Sinderen and Arend Rensink, and Emiel Mols and Geert-Jan Bruinsma from Staying.

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Abstract: Combining usage and profile data for retrospectively analyzing usability of applications with funnels

This research project shows how usage data gathered using analytics tools from apps and websites can be stored in a structured and scalable way, so that it can be combined with profile data (from the application itself) when the company has questions about their users. Building on this setup this project shows how common application processes, like user sign up, can be tracked and visualized in funnels. A funnels shows how many users successfully made it to each step of a process, giving insight into their behavior. Next to that funnels can show context information to help companies determine why certain users continued or not. These funnels help companies to correctly track usage of their product, so that they know which parts to improve, and if their changes are actually an improvement.

After a system to store and combine usage data with profile data has been created it has been used at the company Staying. This has lead to improvements of the system based on their feedback and validated its usefulness in practice. Four funnels have been made that are now used by Staying, covering their most important processes. These funnels are accommodation sign up, guest sign up, email delivery and text message delivery. Throughout the research project care has been taken to provide alternative options and notes about implementing the system at other companies, which makes it interesting for companies that search for an analytics solution.

View the complete thesis.

Presentation

I have given the presentation of this master project on 7 March at the University of Twente, after which I received my diploma.

Funnel

One important result of my project is a piece of software that can be used to create funnels. A funnel is a visualization of a sequential business process of multiple steps, showing how many users completed each step. Below you can see the funnel of the guest invite process of Staying. At Staying, hotels invite their guests after a booking (creating a 'stay'), after which the guest receives an invite to install the app. The app contains information about the hotel and activities and allows the guest to chat with the staff of the hotel.

 

The funnel below shows the resulting funnel of the guest invite process of Staying. Important features are filtering, parallel steps, notes with context information, tracking people with multiple identifiers. Details are in the thesis.

Guest invite funnel