A Developers’ Guide to App Analytics. Part 1.

Is your app stable? Do users like it? Is it making money? In the app space, everything is trackable. In fact, it can all be a little overwhelming. In a series of posts, let’s demystify the world of app analytics.

Business life is a lot easier in the analog world. You make a product. Let’s say it’s a desk diary. You put the diary out there, and if it is any good, retailers sell it. When they run out, they order more.

See? Easy.

But also unsatisfying. After all, what if you want to understand what people like about your product? This is extremely difficult. You can ask customers to fill out a survey form. Or you can commission a focus group.

But these tactics are expensive and inexact. Results depend on the honesty of your consumers, and the skill of your interviewers. And even if you do get answers, they come long after your customers actually purchased your product.

There’s no way to find out what motivated people to buy your diary ‘in the moment’. Or how quickly they started using it after purchase. Or how much time they spend writing in it.

Of course, the opposite dynamics are true in the digital space.

Let’s say you’re selling a mobile diary app. There’s almost no limit to how much you can know about your user base. With modern tracking tools, every kind of metric is available to you. You can analyze user behavior, technical performance, and return on investment.

You can inspect the results using easy-to-understand graphs displayed on a web dashboard. And when you have systems that are tracking your product and activities, you can make changes and see if they work.

Of course, Calldorado’s Caller SDK is one of these tools.

All of this tracking is very welcome. But it can add complexity. There are so many analytics specialists to choose from. Their SDKs take just minutes to implement. But which one is best? Do their results overlap? Could their code degrade the performance of your app?

This post is the first in a series designed to demystify the world of app analytics. We hope it’s useful.

The first factor to consider is what to measure.

As we’ve implied, there are a huge number of things (sometimes called ‘events’) you can track. However, it’s easier to put them into three brackets:

  1. User experience and performance
  2. Engagement
  3. Revenue

Let’s look at each one more closely.


User experience and performance

These metrics give you insight into your app’s technical performance – and how it impacts the user’s experience.

You can track factors such as:

  • App load speed
  • Devices and operating systems (how many Android users? How many Pixel or Galaxy users?)
  • Screen resolution and size
  • Crash reporting (broken down by device, OS etc)


Engagement

These metrics show what users are interacting with in your app. You can deduce from this whether they like it, and make changes to boost engagement.

You can track factors such as:

  • Average session length
  • Session depth
  • Average screens per visit
  • Daily and monthly active users
  • Churn rate/uninstalls
  • Retention (how many users come back after first opening the app)


Revenue

Perhaps the most important one of all. These tools let you see how much you are making from ads, in-app purchases, subscriptions, etc. They also correlate the money you spend on marketing with the income you generate. In other words, you can attribute ad clicks, installs, in-app behaviors, and more to specific campaigns.

You can track factors such as:

  • Average revenue per user
  • Purchases
  • Time to first purchase
  • Lifetime value per user
  • Conversion rate (% of total customers who make a purchase)
  • Cost per install
  • Opens
  • Registrations
  • Shares
  • Invites


So as you can see, there is a vast amount of data app developers can collect and analyze. The challenge is to make sense of it all – and then make changes that lead to improvements.

This requires time and effort. However, some SDK providers are much better than others at making the information easier to digest and act upon.

In this series of posts, we will dig deeper into the world of app analytics and provide some links to those specialists.

Keep a look out for the next article…