North Star in Action: Amplitude’s North Star Metric and Inputs

Amplitude’s North Star is designed around a North Star Metric that Amplitude calls Weekly Learning Users (WLUs). Amplitude defines WLUs as “the count of active Amplitude users who have shared a learning that is consumed by at least two other people in the previous seven days.”

This North Star represents Amplitude’s most valuable user persona, the Advocate, who shares context to drive decisions and take action in an organization. Amplitude’s product strategy is to be learning-driven, providing insights to cross-functional teams. WLUs represent this strategy. The core belief underpinning this North Star Metric is that Amplitude brings forth deliberate learning that compounds with collaboration.

Amplitude has identified three Inputs to WLUs that are related to activating customers and encouraging users to create and share their insights. Each Input is a key facet of Amplitude’s team-focused, learning-focused strategy.

These Inputs are:

  • Activated Organizations (AO). These are organizations that have exceeded five WLUs.
  • Broadcasted Learnings (BL). These are things like charts, dashboards, and notebooks consumed by two or more people in a seven-day period. In other words, the user “broadcasts” something they learned, and someone checks it out.
  • Consumption of Learnings (CoL). These describe the total reach of the BLs in an organization. Maybe that one notebook ends up being viewed by lots of people.

Abbie Kouzmanoff, Product Manager at Amplitude, explains the value of the WLUs North Star like this:

“First, our North Star Metric focuses on customer value and the exchange of value. We experimented with using Weekly or Daily Active Users (WAUs or DAUs), but Active Users doesn’t really tell us anything about the value that was exchanged. Second, WLUs represent Amplitude’s unique product strategy. It is not generic. And finally, WLUs connect the customer value we are trying to create as a product team with the business impact that the executive team in our company ultimately cares about.”

By using WLUs and its Inputs in the North Star Framework, Abbie’s team is better able to evaluate and prioritize feature requests and deliver a product that satisfies customers and builds Amplitude’s business. For example, after implementing WLUs as their North Star Metric, Abbie’s team evaluated a request for a “Bulk Editing of Records” feature, a common request in B2B products. Because of the North Star, they asked, “How does this impact Broadcasted Learnings, Consumption of Learnings, and WLUs?” By asking that question, they were able to see past the surface request to understand the deeper impact on how Amplitude’s users create and share insights.

The team discovered they could solve the customer problem behind the bulk editing of records request and drive the Inputs to the North Star Metric with a new “templating” feature. This feature works for advanced users but also gives new users a starting point—a template—for creating new learnings, thus speeding up their journey to becoming a Weekly Learning User. In this way, the Amplitude product teams addressed the customer’s problem through product improvements that directly affected the Consumption of Learnings Input and therefore improved their North Star Metric.

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