Real-time mobile analytics: Streaming data right to you

By Jonathan Hassell

Analytics has quickly become the cornerstone of the new data-driven economy. In particular, real-time mobile analytics — the data that can stream back from an app almost instantly — can help enterprises ensure that their business processes are as efficient as possible. After all, according to 2015 data from Smart Insights, apps account for 89 percent of media time in the mobile sphere, so information about this particular type of device usage can be extremely powerful.

Of course, the focus on real-time mobile analytics does not mean that enterprises should eschew the important fundamentals of traditional analytics, such as acquisition, behavior, conversion and segmenting. But mobile analytics adds a new, richer and more data-intensive dimension. After all, this data makes it easier for you to see customer activity in real-time, and you can gain valuable business insights by understanding how user behaviors and actions change and mature. Overall, it’s clear that this data is about more than just the number of times your app has been downloaded. Some of the most valuable information you can have is who makes up your audience, how they use your app and where they use it.

How to drive analytics capabilities

There are a variety of ways that app developers can advance enterprise analytical capabilities through real-time applications. After all, part of building out a robust corporate analytics suite is reporting analytics when users download, install, use and engage with your app. This can occur in five major areas:

  • Tracking activity in a mobile app
    By understanding your audience’s demographics and how they typically use your app, you can get a better sense of your customers’ wants and needs.
  • Tracking screen views
    By analyzing the number and frequency of screen views (which are like browser hits, but within your native mobile app), you can get a sense of what customers are interested in and where trouble spots might arise in their interactions with your brand. This insight can help you to determine where you should focus your future innovation efforts.
  • Producing and consuming events
    Ideally, you want your app to be set up so every user action fires an event that you can track. This type of programming allows you to define events that correlate to customer acquisition and conversion. For instance, in-app purchases would be a key metric to track. You can then use this data to further segment and refine your demographic information.
  • Reporting app errors and crashes
    Naturally, customers will engage less with an app that crashes or experiences errors on a regular basis. Thankfully, real-time mobile analytics provide you with the tools you need to understand the root causes of crashes and track them as they happen. This information allows you to go through the mitigation and repair process at a faster rate.
  • Understanding user engagement
    By understanding how different features such as push notifications, email marketing campaigns and SMS notifications prompt users to open your app, you can target your marketing efforts more accurately, ensuring that the right message gets to the right customers at the right time.

Once you release your app into the wild and publish it on app marketplaces, you can never be sure just how potential customers will respond. By enabling real-time mobile analytics and taking advantage of the information it provides, you can make the most out of your app investment.

Written By

Jonathan Hassell

President, 82 Ventures

Jonathan Hassell runs 82 Ventures, a technical writing and consulting firm based in Charlotte, NC. He centers his focus around network administrator, security, the cloud, and mobile technologies.

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