A soup to nuts guide to mobile app analytics, by Taptica

#3 Key questions to ask of your data

A soup to nuts guide to mobile app analytics, by Taptica
Matt Tubergen is VP and GM of Taptica, a performance-based mobile advertising network. Matt has over 10 years experience in the mobile app and content industry, bringing large brands and gaming properties to market.

Matt's previous positions includes senior management roles at THQ and W3i along with supporting multiple successful start ups as founder and co-founder.

Welcome once again to our series of articles about mobile app analytics, including app store analytics, pre-install analytics and post-install analytics.

In previous posts, I've discussed the importance of defining questions prior to securing an analytics solution. In this post we will focus on key and common questions to ask of your data or analytics tools.

Previously, I wrote about how the true value in any analytics solution is the ability to help make decisions. As such, it's absolutely critical to understand the decisions that need to be made and turn them into questions that need to be answered.

Below are some key questions we propose you ask, so before you get started on instrumenting your solutions, make sure you have an idea of meaningful questions that will help you with your decision-making.

Forewarning! These questions will not be easily answered but they will help set the table for how you instrument any analytics solution.

Where are my users coming from?

Whether you have a budget of a million dollars a month or are completely bootstrapped, it's important to know where your users are coming from and how they provide value.

Was it a blog post that drove new user acquisition or a cross promotional channel? Kill the ones that are not working and do more of what is.

What is a qualified/valuable user?

In today's world of so many great free apps, mobile users may be installing more apps but are also less committed to actually using them.

Before looking to tailor or improve your app, make sure the data you are looking at is from qualified users. Flurry calls these 'heavy users'.

You may not know who these people are or might only have a light understanding of a qualified user but at least have a starting point. Is a qualified user active daily? Weekly? Monthly?

Who are my qualified users?

Demographic data is becoming easier to access and relate to groups or cohorts of users. Understanding who is using your app will help you make decisions in the future for a myriad of things from brand to UI to vernacular.

What are users doing the most?

I often hear of stories regarding high usage of a specific feature or function that was unintended. To a former product manager this feedback is gold!

Make sure you have instrumented a way to evaluate usage based on a series of comparables such as features, function, characters, levels, special powers, upgrades…… the list could go on forever.

What is driving consumption and conversion?

Understanding what usage patterns trigger conversions – whether they be paid or unpaid – is critical to any successful application.

In many cases, this is considered funnel tracking (which we will get into in a later post) and can be a useful tool for understanding patterns of behaviour.

What is driving virality?

Virality is an important user acquisition tool.

Having a clear understanding of why people might share a piece of content from your application or what might drive additional user acquisition and retention through recommendation is important.

Measuring impacts of your efforts is key. Cut what doesn't work, do more of the good stuff.

What is driving retention?

Why do people come back to your application? What reasons make them want more? Again, do more of what works, kill what doesn't.

These are just a few key and simple conceptual questions to ask before you get started. I am sure you are already thinking about more for your own apps.

Make sure to write them down, they are important for later retrieval when looking to instrument your analytics strategy! You will need to find a way to answer them.

Next time

No-one disagrees with the importance of SEO for a web site, so why not the same for App store SEO?

In the next post we will share useful tips, tricks and tools for app store analytics and SEO. See you next time!

To find out more about Taptica and the services it offers, take a look at the company's website.

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