Subscription metrics have always been a pain point. We are excited to see Zuora raise the bar by providing attractive and accessible metrics out-of-the-box with Zuora Analytics. - Talbot McInnis, Engineering Lead at Control Play
ARR, MRR, NRR, Churn, & More
Recurring revenue comes with an entirely new set of metrics. Are you monitoring them all?
Check out this on-demand recording to learn how you can set up your dashboard in Zuora Analytics by using Subscribed Institute-verified subscription metrics to track the performance of your business.
In this recording, I am joined by Amy Konary, Global VP, Chair of the Subscribed Institute along with Zuora customer Shahin Kohan, President of AIMS360, to discuss the following topics.
Check out the recording:
Here are the slides for the session:
How do you mitigate the impact on analytics when you have to restructure a customer? For example, when a customer decides not to do consolidated billing and wants to be billed separately will this look like churn or contraction and in turn also new business?
One recommendation here is to solve through process updates in conjunction with a detailed understanding of how Business Impact categories are computed in Zuora Analytics. To learn more about how the Business Impact attribute is computed, click here.
I understand new business/expenses/churn/contraction is a key indicator. Do you think subscription-based on physical products vs software would change this perception?
This what the Net Billings dataset is for. To learn more, click here.
What is the difference between older 'Insights' and new 'Analytics' and some tenants have both?
The original insights product was focused more on subscriber churn prediction. Zuora analytics is primarily used for understanding the order to revenue flow and the key metrics within that process.
How can you tell if your analytics is the updated version?
Analytics is always updated to the latest version. This week we are deploying the newest version, which includes multiple dashboards.
Can you create a dataset by connecting Zuora data to other external data, like CSVs or Salesforce, or NetSuite data?
This isnt possible today. Right now, we are focused on surfacing insights and essential metrics based on the wealth of data that lives within Zuora Billing.
If we have a multi-entity tenant, will we have to update the data sets within each tenant or will they flow through to all of the entities?
At this time, each entity maintains its own datasets, cards, and dashboards. While the product does not currently offer the ability to roll-up data across entities in Analytics, consistent dataset definitions within each entity, along with currency conversion options, help streamline the cross-entity rollup process..
How can we get the Invoice Item field? I do not find the object.
Invoice Item records are available as a Transaction Type in the Analytics Transaction. object. Pending customer demand, we may expand the fields that we make available in dataset to include Invoice Item as a selectable object.
Is there a time frame for when you will be adding analytics based on the revenue recognition rules instead of at the billing level?
We are currently evaluating providing recognized revenue (based on revenue recognition rules) as a new metric in Analytics. We dont have an exact timeframe for this.
Is this functionality dependent on the home currency settings from finance settings and can we still use this functionality if we currently do not have the home currency set?
Analytics currency conversion is not dependent on home currency. Yes, Analytics can be used without a home currency set up in your Zuora tenant.
Is data from custom objects accessible at this time?
The data from Custom Objects arent at this time.
What recommendations do you have for more accurately tracking, treating, and approaching seasonal or temporary revenue?
One of the values of staying focused on MRR is that it will not include revenue that can tend to be spikey -- things like one-time or usage charges. Zuora Analytics supports custom fields and one practice that many customers employ with success is leveraging custom fields in the product catalog for product or plans to exclude certain revenue from being displayed in Analytics. In addition to filtering, Analytics datasets offer a variety of aggregation periods for each metric (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual). Using Analytics Time Series Cards in conjunction with those aggregation periods make it very easy to spot seasonal trends, which you can then explore further to get at underlying business drivers.
How does the Analytics engine differentiate between Churn and Contraction? Ive come across many companies where this definition is fluid.
You can use Discover Analytics (available at the top of every dashboard and Explorer page) to access the Analytics metrics glossary, which contains a detailed explanation of how Analytics computes churn, contraction, expansion, and new business, along with every metric available in Analytics.
Are there examples of customers exporting this data into more accessible sources for broader/enterprise based reporting? How do you get to the root causes of churn? does the data tell you or do you conduct surveys?what is contraction versus churn?
Yes, all of the data in Cards and Datasets are exportable via CSV and we find a lot of customers are leveraging these exports as the basis for internal reporting.
Analytics helps you understand churn in a many useful ways. First, you can create a dataset to measure either subscriber churn, or MRR churn, so you can keep track of those trends. From there, Analytics will let you slice those metrics by key dimensions to understand what is happen in greater detail. Cut churn by individual accounts, or key account attributes you store in Account custom fields (like vertical, segment, CSM, and more) to understand which types of accounts are driving churn. Go further, by breaking churn down by product, by plan, and by other subscription and plan attributes (like term duration, billing period, term type) to see if there is a problem in your product catalog or pricing structure. Service and product delivery teams can also take the quantitative data from Zuora to inform their qualitative user research initiatives to make sure they are finding and talking to not only the customers who are churning, but also the ones who are expanding with you so that you can figure out what is driving success.
Regarding contraction versus churn: contraction is a subscriber who downgrades their subscription(s) with you to pay less, but does not completely cancel; churn is a subscriber who cancels all of their subscription(s) to completely stop paying for your service.
Can the system differentiate between different types of expansion, e.g. price increases, volume increases within an account, additional subscriptions within the same parent account?
No, as of now, Analytics does not offer sub-categories to the Business Impact field. This is something we are considering adding so that you can further subdivide your MRR Changes or ARR Changes into those categories. Thank you for the question to help validate the need.
In addition to our subscription business, we also have some noisy financial data thats unrelated to key lines of business. Whats the best way to filter these out?
The answer, unfortunately, depends a little bit on how your Zuora setup has modeled these lines of business. If, for example, these lines of business are captured in your Product Catalog (which would be the ideal setup), then you can include the relevant product or rate plan metadata in your dataset configuration and you will be able to filter them out of either your datasets or your cards.
Subscription Metrics Guide
If you have any questions, post them below.