How to Use a Trending Report to Understand Key App Metrics

02/25/13

Mobile Analytics Best Practices

Today’s developers face a significant challenge of accurately measuring and understanding what’s happening in their apps. Fortunately, there are a number of mobile app analytics tools that help developers gain deeper insight into how their app is being used. The cohort analysis report, funnel analysis report, and detailed event reports are all comprehensive reports to help understand app usage. In this post, we will be covering another analytics report, the trending report, which can be used to compare multiple applications or metrics over time.

The trending report is available out of the box with Apsalar’s free mobile app analytics SDK and can be located in the dashboard.

This report can be used in a number of different ways. The first is viewing how a selected metric performs over time.

In this example, an app was launched near the beginning of December, and the developer wants to see how engagement, as measured by sessions per user, changes over time. Sessions per user is a good metric to focus on for engagement and usage because it provides a ratio, rather than a simple number, that takes into account user growth in apps.

Looking at the trending analysis, a developer could see that there is a positive trend in usage since the app launched, and average sessions per user have increased in December.

Another attribute of the trending analysis is the ability to compare one metric vs. another over time. In the previous example, a developer could see that sessions per user are increasing…but does this have any impact on the bottom line? By plotting a second metric, in this case revenue, a developer can see how the growth in average sessions per user affects the revenue metric in December.

There is a clear correlation in this case.  Through the trending analysis report, developers can see how average sessions per user and revenue generated within applications relate to one another over time.

For developers with multiple applications, the trending report also provides a simple way to compare how a metric performs across different application versions. This is crucial to measuring how changes made in an app affect engagement.

In this example, a developer has released an updated application (version 1.2) to the app store. Through the trending report, developers can select the appropriate application versions, date ranges, and the level of granularity desired (day, week or month), then view how that metric compares from the previous version to the new version.

A developer can see that, after the new app version was released on November 22nd, there was an inflection point in the total number of sessions by app version. Shortly afterwards, there is a significant uptick in usage of the new app, and the developer can see the new version has significantly higher session volume than the previous version. It looks like this has been a successful app update, as a key usage metric has dramatically improved.

The last common use case for the trending analysis is using a segment to measure which groups of users are the most valuable to a developer.

In this example, a developer wants to see how the “first time user” segment performs in terms of revenue generated. This segment is pre-built and available out of the box along with the “repeat users segment.”

The trending analysis shows a strong upward revenue trend from first time users of the app. This is a key performance indicator of the app’s health, as it’s crucial that developers are able to demonstrate consistently positive revenue from these new users.

The trending analysis report should be at the center of every developer’s strategy to understand user behavior in their apps.

If you’d like to access the trending analysis for free, you can sign up for Apsalar’s free mobile analytics.

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