Web Analytics

How To Get Started With Mobile App Analytics

Mobile App Analytics

Whereas web tracking is quite common, mobile app tracking is not as popular (yet) but certainly as important. This guide will go through what exactly app analytics is and how to best choose the right tool for your tracking and data analysis. We have listed key topics for you to consider before making the decision to go with a particular platform. Our list of tools that we have selected will help you to get started! 

What Is App Analytics?

There are different types of tools available such as: 

  • App marketing analytics, which focuses on app store data and app downloads.
  • App advertising analytics is used for digital marketing campaigns to measure impressions, ad clicks, app installs, and in-app behaviors. 
  • In-app behavioral analytics covers demographics and user behavior data within the application.
  • App performance analytics, while also providing in-app data is less concerned with user behavior and more so with the “machine” itself, tracks information such as carrier and API latency, crashes, and errors. 

This blog post focuses on in-app analytics tools.

Deciding Factors for the Right Analytics Tool

There are a variety of analytics platforms available, so it is important to know how to choose which one is best for you. Here is what to look for when comparing alternatives.

Pricing plan

The pricing plan is one of the key things to look at because a lot of platforms have different tiers, offering an increasing number of metrics, data points or features as you pay more. If your app will not generate huge amounts of data, then perhaps there is no need to go for the “full feature” tier. Some platforms are free, while others have a free bracket as long as you stick to very basic features.

Key Features

Some platforms offer a specific key feature on top of the basics, such as A/B testing, push notifications or a focus on metrics for games. While some features are universally provided by most platforms, these extra features may not be. Find out what the platform’s unique selling point is and understand whether it is important to your app.

Reporting Objectives

Determine which departments will need access to the data and what they hope to achieve with it. Should your focus be more on performance or user experience analytics? If your app is highly original and standard analytics will not give you much of an insight, you may require customizable metrics.

Security & Compliance

It is crucial to check the tool’s security measures to ensure your data stays protected and trustworthy. Important questions to ask are: How is customer data protected? Is it possible to securely delete a single user’s datapoint? As a result of GDPR, you will need to clarify requirements for several issues – like privacy, encryption, and compliance – with your legal and analytics teams. 

Level of Support

How much documentation does the platform offer? Do they have a 24/7 hotline or account managers to help you when things go wrong? If all the other factors are equal, then this might be the deciding factor in your decision-making process.

Difficulty of Implementation

Some platforms come with a very easy implementation process, whereas others can be significantly more complicated, potentially even slowing your app down or affecting its performance. Ensure that the platform is fully compatible with your app and easy to use.

Our Top Picks for App Analytics Tools 

These are some of our favorites. They are not ranked in any particular order, but the selection was made on a number of factors including how powerful the tool is, whether it offers an insightful visualization, as well as covering the full range of data an app developer or marketer might need. We have listed our top insights for each tool.

Google Analytics

  • Google Analytics for Firebase provides free, unlimited reporting on up to 500 distinct events with access to Google’s new App + Web Property (in beta). 
  • Combines different analytics tools such as behavioral, attribution (advertising), A/B testing, and technical app usage libraries and allows for multiple developer integrations and ad network connections.
  • Export data to Google’s cloud-hosted data warehouse, BigQuery, for deeper and complex analysis. 
  • Source: https://firebase.google.com/products/analytics

Mixpanel

  • Advanced analytics platform for tracking users across devices, platforms, and channels with various pricing tiers.
  • Engineering is required for initial set up and adding new behaviors (events).
  • Proper planning and prior knowledge of events you want to track are essential. 
  • Enrich data with 3rd party sources such as A/B testing, CRM, and Email or export Mixpanel cohorts to Google Ads to use for targeted advertisements (in beta). 
  • Source: https://mixpanel.com/

Heap 

  • Mobile and web analytics merging visits into a single user identity.
  • No extra code required: With “Autocapture”, all user actions (events) are tracked automatically.
  • Data import from 3rd party platforms available as well as easy output of data to data warehouses. Such enhanced features are accessible with upgraded subscription licenses. 
  • Source: https://heap.io/

Amplitude 

  • Robust quantitative analytics tool that tracks users across devices, platforms, and channels with different pricing models.
  • Reporting flexibility: From user journeys and flows, to funnel trends and complex SQL queries. Event Transformations allow cleaning and modifying of event data that can be applied to historical data, available at a higher tier.  
  • The implementation requires engineering assistance and knowing your event schema is crucial to getting the most out of behavior tracking (events).
  • Source: https://amplitude.com/

Still Not Sure?

If you are still not sure which is the right tool for you, we recommend that you start by creating a game plan: 

  • Outline each activity in your app
  • Think about the data you want to collect for each activity
  • Decide what type of reports you will need to understand your users’ behavior and/or your app’s performance. 

The more progress you make with your planning, the better idea you will have on what you will need out of your app tracking tool. Be sure to discuss your requirements with your IT and marketing team or with us, of course.

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