Enhancements to the mobile app analytics platform are among several recent updates implemented by Google.
Google is very bullish on its redesigned mobile app analytics, going as far as to say it has “re-imagined app analytics from the ground up.” Google says its recently expanded mobile app analytics capabilities include new and active user reports that provide data such as the number of users who launch an app in a given day, top traffic sources that drive conversions and most popular mobile devices/platforms for a specific app.
In addition, engagement reports track the “stickiness” of specific apps and can also offer insight into how certain events affect app download and usage. Visual flowcharts display when and how users engage with screens and exception reporting offers alerts and reports about crashes and other app exceptions. Other reports include goal conversion tracking (i.e., how much time users spend in an app) and in-app purchase reporting. Google also offers its standard analytics features such as dashboards and segmentation for mobile apps, and is releasing version 2.0 of its mobile app software development kit (SDK), designed to be more lightweight and streamlined for simplified rollout and usage.
Other recent updates include a new Change History feature which automatically summarizes important account changes (such as to users, profiles and goals) made during the past 180 days, support for multiple currencies in transaction metric tracking (including revenue, tax and shipping and handling) for Google e-commerce customers and a new Google Chrome extension called Tag Assistant that automatically alerts users if tags exist on a page they are viewing and if tags are working properly or have errors.
Google Follows Up on Beta Test
Google's new mobile app analytics functionality has not appeared out of the blue. In late June 2012, Google released a public beta version of mobile app developer tools at its IO developer event which CMSWire described as “measure(ing) the mobile customer's voyage through an app, from discovery to download to engagement. They monitor the app's acquisition and user metrics including downloads and new users, engagement metrics such as retention and conversions plus outcome metrics including the all-important in-app purchases.”
Considering that the final official release offers the exact same functionality, it is safe to assume that Google’s beta testing met with success. CMSWire also opined at the time of the beta test that “For developers, the ability to track crashes and errors will bring a useful level of troubleshooting and management. This could also help solve the source of the problem, if it is related to the app, or a particular hardware/OS combination.” Beta users were apparently impressed with Google’s mobile app analytics, now it’s time for the wider market to weigh in.
Mobile App Managers Need Analytics
According to a recent post on the Econsultancy blog, Google is meeting a critical need of mobile app managers by releasing its mobile app analytics. While the posting does not mention Google’s new analytics offering by name, it does state that “(mobile app) problems occur when brands don’t listen to feedback, or don’t track any analytics, and then send out an update that hasn’t fixed anything! App updates are to be expected in order to continuously improve the app and this means you don’t have to get it right first time!”
The conclusion? “Maintaining an app is a continual process that requires updates based on user feedback and a thorough understanding of the analytics available. As more users spend time in mobile apps rather than on the web, it’s vital businesses and brands are treating their apps like any of their other marketing channels.” Google mobile app analytics is not the only tool app managers and marketers have at their disposal, but sounds like it is worth investigating.