Posted on April 05/04/18
It’s been another remarkable year for mobile apps and mobile app analytics solution, providers. The number of app downloads surged past over 200 billion in 2017 and revenues from Apple App Store and Google Play Store rose 35%.
“In 2017, holiday season, more people did their holiday shopping on mobile compared to desktop users.”
One thing that’s been a driving force behind these apps are app analytics. App analytics can help monitor app health(Crashes), improve usability, increase(Engagement) user retention(App Stickiness), and optimize mobile marketing and advertising, giving developers the data they need to create an app that stands apart from the crowd.
So, what app analytics industry been up to in the previous year? The answer is a lot. As the mobile app industry evolves, app analytics have also evolved to provide high-competence tracking and reporting functionality.
In this post will discuss some of the biggest updates from the past year, and give you a sneak peek at what you can expect in 2018.
Data Privacy - No Compromise
In the midst of Facebook- Cambridge Analytica data breach, Data Privacy remains one of the top priority for both app marketers and users.Data privacy has always been a profound concern for anyone involved in mobile, from the developer to the end user. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what data users are willing to part with and what data they’ll go to any lengths to protect, but there’s no doubt that privacy, especially on mobile apps, has been making headlines.
It was data privacy that put mobile app analytics, particularly the user session recording feature, on the mainstream agenda recently, following a report on password privacy by Princeton University. User session recordings are one of the most helpful features of app analytics, and they allow developers and designers to see exactly how users interact with their app. However, to do this, the app analytics platform needs to collect information about the user, and even though this information is never used or revealed, it still remains a deeply ethical and legal problem for mobile app analytics.
GDPR Regulation Act
In other news, the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, which protects the privacy of customer data for all EU citizens, will become enforceable starting May 25, 2018 — just two short months from now. What this means is that 55% mobile apps will not be GDPR compliant, either because of their own code or because of the SDKs they use. Since most mobile app analytics platforms provide their clients with an SDK, the GDPR will be a new challenge for them, as they will now be required to stand up to much more stringent privacy laws.
Marketers Need Actions Not Just Data
Up until recently, app analytics were only capable of providing developers with a chunk of numbers: number of downloads, number of screen views, or number of sessions each user spent in the app.
The sole task of app analytics was to take the long strings of numbers and present them in a way that humans can understand: in lists, graphs, and spreadsheets. The onus of actually unraveling these numbers and basing decisions on them was on the product managers and the developers. Other than provide a visual representation of data, analytics could do little to help with the difficult, overwhelming, and guesswork-laden decision-making process.
As that being said so, this kind of app analytics could be easily dissected/understood by only by a select few — data scientists and analytics experts. Today, app analytics platforms can — and should — do so much more, and the reason for this is qualitative analytics.
Users Still Remain In Top Of The Throne
Jeff Bezos, founder, and CEO of Amazon is famous for leaving an empty chair in his conference room to symbolize “the most important person in the room” — the customers/users in our case. In the mobile app world, this is no different. It’s clear by now that advanced personalization is going to be one of the most important trends in mobile app UX in 2018. If customization means allowing the user to choose their own design and settings for an app, a product, or a service, personalization means doing it for them. With personalization, users get an app that is perfect for their needs as soon as they launch it for the first time. This ability gives users a perfect experience, saving them time and making onboarding seamless and lightning-fast.
App analytics, in particular, is an important component in the race for personalization since it gives developers and UX designers the tools to zoom in on specific user journeys and filter them by criteria such as location, device, and more.
Mobile app analytics are now being enhanced by machine learning and big data systems, which help make predictions on user behavior and make personalization automatic and instant.
Use Of Multiple SDK’s
A recent study, reveals that two-thirds of mobile developers use more than one mobile app analytics tool. In fact, the most successful developers, with more than 2 million active users, are more likely to use 3–5 app analytics tools.
One of the challenges app analytics platform providers face is meeting the tending to the various pain points of app development teams. Some focus on just one specific part of the process, such as crash reports or marketing analytics, while others strive to include more features in their SDKs and create an all-encompassing analytics solution.
Mobile app analytics platforms such as Walinns address the various needs of each member of the development team, giving crash reports to developers, and campaign analytics for mobile marketers.
The app analytics industry is growing at top speed, and it is rising to meet the challenges of the future. As users’ needs evolve, so do developers’, and mobile app analytics providers need to take those needs into account. We are now seeing mobile app analytics providers get ready for the GDPR and the changes it will bring. The rest of 2018 will no doubt hold more surprises and new developments to keep us on our toes!
About the author
Shiva, User Growth and Customer Success at Walinns. I write introspective things I hope people can relate to.