Create Your Own App

Mobile App Analytics – Do it Like Sherlock Holmes

My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people don't know.


You recently launched your app on the store. The app seemed to work just fine at the time of launch, the rate of app installs were quite encouraging. Down the line, the app installs tumbled and user engagement receded.


You are intrigued – What could have gone wrong? What if we bring a detective to your rescue? After all, deploying app analytics and good detective work are strikingly parallel. You have a case at hand, a trail of evidence to follow and deduce some actionable insights. Picture this – Flaunting a deerstalker hat, Sherlock Holmes enters the scene. With a smoking pipe tucked in between his lips, his piercing eyes look around for clues and trails.


Yes, there are more things to learn from Holmes about app analytics than you might imagine.


1. Be Obsessive About Data

I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.”


Holmes never left anything to guesswork and neither should you. Be Sherlockian about your app. Delve into the details as finely as you can. Put a rest to speculations and assumptions and get down to the real data. App analytic tools collect data from app marketplaces and in-app navigation and present it visually from multiple angles. The more pieces you have, the easier it will be to draw actionable insights from the analytics and act on those insights to improve the performance of your app.

2. Measure Your App’s End-to-End Value

You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear.”


Seeing is simply not enough. You’ve to shadow your users and follow them wherever they go, not just in your app but out there, on the app store. Observing is watching closely which sections and functions of the app are most frequently used and which ones generate the highest revenue. It is measuring the value of your app at every stage of the entire customer lifecycle and getting answers to the right questions –


  • How are users finding your app?
  • Which users become valuable customers?
  • How do users navigate through the app?
  • Which app revenue model is working for your business?
  • Where are you losing potential customers?


Close observation will help you to form marketing cohorts, allocate your marketing budget smartly and eventually fill the gaps between where your app is and where you would like it to be.

3. Think Beyond App Installs

There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”


This is one mistake that most SMEs make while evaluating the performance of their app – They equate the success of an app with the number of downloads. That seems to be the most obvious thing to do. The bitter fact is, 22% of the downloaded apps are never used more than once (Source: Downloads sum up to nothing if you can’t keep the users engaged. Businesses can learn much more by finding what drove those users to download your app and how, when, and where the users are interacting with it. Shifting your focus on such dynamic metrics is the key to acquiring and retaining users.

4. Mind the Metrics that Matter

You know my method, Watson. It is founded upon the observation of trifles.”


While chasing metrics, it’s easy to lose focus on what’s relevant. Learn to discriminate against data that is easily tracked but has no value. The key to strategic success is to stay focused on the Key Performance Indicators that are relevant and significant. Like Holmes, you should get down to the minutiae of the case. Let’s look at some mobile metrics that really matter –


(a). Users

Analytics allow you to see the total number of new and active app users based on their geographical locations, their device and the version of the app they download. Further, it helps you to identify high value users who spend more time on your app, regularly make in-app purchases, leave raving reviews and ratings on the app store and act as evangelists bringing in more users. Businesses need to shift their marketing costs and efforts to acquire and retain such users.


(b). Screen Tracking

This metric indicates how users navigate through your app – How long users stay on a specific screen and how do they jump from one screen to another. This metric smartly tracks the screen flow and pinpoints the exact cause of why and when the user leaves your app- It might be an intrusive ad, a sign up probe or simply a technical flaw. Nevertheless, this metric comes handy in understanding user behavior and thereby driving engagement. Keeping a tab on every swipe, tap or action taken by user might seem to be a daunting task but it’s worth every second!


(c). App Abandonment Rate

Users often add products to their shopping cart but leave the cart without finishing the order. This phenomenon is known as app abandonment. But if you know which users are interested in your product/services, you can bring them back with their wallet. Yes! With targeted push messages, it’s possible. Personalised push messages can bring down app abandonment rate by 10% (Source: Localytics).


 (d). Customer Acquisition Cost

Great! Your last app marketing campaign lent you a couple of leads. But do you know what it really costed? What if the costs of acquiring users turn out to be higher than the revenues they are going to generate? Once you know which acquisition channels give the best ROI, you can tailor your acquisition strategies to maximise in-app revenue. Looking to save on customer acquisition costs? Here are 15 kick-ass ways to market your app for free.


(e). Conversion Rate

Contrary to the popular belief, conversion rate isn’t always about sales. It can be anything – Signing up, opting in for push messages or clicking on an update. Whatever action the user takes, this metric clearly indicates how your marketing efforts are turning up and lets you see which events generate the highest revenue.


No matter what kind of app you’ve launched, implementing App Analytics will help you improve your app marketing, increase time spent on your app, increase user engagement and stay ahead of the curve. Monitoring KPIs not only helps you diagnose ‘what’s wrong’ but tells you ‘what’s right’ for your app and help you maximise app revenues. And combined with Sherlock’s austere powers of observation and reasoning, there’s no limit to what’s possible with mobile app analytics.


Instappy features in-app analytics dashboard, enabling you to keep a track of your app data such as downloads, usage, ratings, and revenue on one consolidated platform.


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