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Google Analytics for Firebase can change the way you track and monitor your mobile application's performance PHOTO: Ali Yahya

Tools like Google Analytics have revolutionized how we track and monitor user activity on websites. However, analytics tools for tracking use of mobile applications have lagged behind. How do you derive insights from interactions with your mobile apps with as much precision as you can track interactions with your website?

You don’t have to look far. A Google offering called Google Analytics for Firebase has mobile reporting tools that can bring your app analytics up to speed. With similar functionality to Google Analytics, Firebase is a viable option if you are looking for a mobile analytics tool.

Why Firebase?

Firebase is one of the best options because it is available in the Google suite of products and it is compatible with both the iOS and Android mobile platforms. With Firebase, you can harness tracking capabilities for your mobile app that are similar to the capabilities you already employ with Google Analytics for your website.

However, Analytics for Firebase gathers metrics that are specific to mobile app behavior, rather than website-centric metrics like session and page-view numbers. Moreover, Firebase provides data from your apps in real time, offering metrics such as the number of active users within the past 30 minutes. This is essential for gathering mobile-specific insights, so you can produce data that will help you market your application better.

Firebase also provides reporting for up to 500 different events, including top conversion events. Additionally, it allows you to customize the conversion-tracking functionality, so you can get reports on custom events that are unique to your organization. You can create unlimited reports and produce custom metrics to glean important insights from your app. Firebase even offers a crash reporting feature that helps you improve the reliability of your mobile application.

Finally, Google Analytics for Firebase is completely free. You will only pay to deploy it if you choose to hire a third party to set it up.

Deploying Firebase

Implementation often presents a challenge for organizations. You must determine whether Firebase is a fit for your mobile application and then decide how you would like to implement the tool — internally with your own team, or with the help of an external analytics partner. Fortunately, Google offers good documentation for Firebase. If you decide to deploy it with your in-house team of developers and engineers, you will find the documentation and implementation steps outlined on Google’s Firebase website. Reviewing those steps after implementation is also helpful, because you may need to make adjustments as your reporting requirements adapt and change.

Still, you may not have the time or the in-house expertise to deploy Firebase yourself. In that case, it may be reasonable to partner with an analytics expert. Outside consultants can help you outline a strategy and provide documentation that fits your business and application, and they will work alongside your developers so they learn as the project goes along. Your team will be trained in Firebase maintenance and execution to ensure that you are getting the most out of it.

Is Firebase Right for You?

Most businesses that have developed mobile applications can benefit from Firebase analytics. Consider what Google Analytics has enabled you to learn about your website. Because Firebase is offered within the same suite of Google products, if you are comfortable with Google Analytics, you should be able to use Firebase tools to bring your app analytics and tracking up to the level of your web analytics.

Ultimately, you must consider the time and resources available to you. Decide whether it is more prudent to outsource the implementation and training or deploy Firebase with your team. Because Firebase is free, the real cost is associated with installation of the platform.

Firebase can change the way you track and report on your mobile application’s performance. It is tailored to mobile platforms and offers mobile-centric metrics, such as crash reporting, that will allow you to make decisions in real time. Consider the benefits and the resources it will take to get started, and begin to map out the implementation strategy that works best for you.

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