Improving Your Product with Analytics

Your mobile app may have been released to the public, but the job is far from done.  Both technical and market performance needs to be continuously inspected to improve the app.  There are a number of tools to help you keep up with the changing market.

Google Analytics

Google has the most popular website statistics service, taking up 80.6 percent of online analysis market.  It provides very detailed reports which include visitor location, stay duration, referrer, and event tracking (such as clicking a button).  This type of tracking is enabled by inserting Google specified code segments in designated areas of the website, and the results are displayed in Google Analytic’s online dashboard.

In 2002 Google introduced support for Android and iOS.  The mobile implementation is straightforward and similar to that of websites.  Google has thorough guides for both Android and iOS.

The mobile domain has additional focuses.  Tracking the number of users, visit duration of each page, and geographic location remains relevant.  The installation referrer can be the Google Play Store/Apple App Store (search bar, top charts), the app’s website, or other websites, which can range from social networks to news articles.  There should be plenty of users coming from all sources, as more sources mean more users.  Google Analytics can also detect application crashes and in-app purchases.  The breadth and depth of data is astounding; below is a sample Google Analytics dashboard.


Sample Google Analytics Android Dashboard

There are many data categories other than the ones displayed here.


With Google dominating the analytics business, there is little room for other companies.  However, the company Optimizely brings a unique and fresh outlook to analytics:  A/B testing.  There is A, the control, and B, the treatment.  In the software context, A is the currently used product while B is a test version modified in some way.  Optimizely makes both versions live and randomly shows each user one of the two.  Then it tracks the same metrics as Google Analytics, but this time there are two versions, letting you know the better one.  The position or color of a single button can have significant impacts on user experience.  In effect, Optimizely is live and highly agile prototyping.  You can try a demo on its homepage.

The Optimizely team is still working on its mobile division.  In March, they released a beta platform for native iOS apps.  They are definitely an up-and-coming company that can compete with Google Analytics by enhancing analytics with A/B testing.  Coincidentally, both of its co-founders are former employees of Google.


There many different options out there, but Google Analytics and Optimizely are the most popular as of present.  Whichever you choose, analytics will provide the necessary feedback to close the loop in optimizing your product for public consumption.


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