23 August, 2023
The only reliable way to create apps people love is to collect data on their experiences and transform them into insights. But with so much data available, it’s important to have a clear plan in place.
Creating a tracking plan is the best way to organize your analytics strategy into a coherent, effective system. And in this UXCam guide, we’ll walk you through the exact steps you need to follow to create one.
Ready to systematize your analytic efforts? Let’s get started.
Your product’s tracking plan is a central document in your analytics strategy.
In fact, it is your analytics strategy—your full “roadmap” for data collection, analysis, and reporting in your mobile app. It contains the objectives, metrics, and KPIs you need to measure the success of your product, as well as detailed technical instructions for how you’ll track them (tools, processes, etc.).
The example below shows a tracking plan developed by AVO.
It’s a spreadsheet that lists all the events and event properties their app tracks (organized into event categories). Each category is matched with KPIs, objectives, and notes about what data they are collecting and why.
Once developed, this plan gets circulated to anyone and everyone involved in the analytics process—from product managers and developers to marketers and business analysts. This ensures all analytics efforts are based on a unified strategy.
Consistent tracking procedures mean access to better data.
To give a simple example, consistently measuring the same version of an event—like a user clicking a particular button—makes it easier to land on deep insights. If you’re tracking multiple versions of the same event, all data associated with that event will be consolidated and harder to interpret.
Your analytics process should be understandable and accessible to anyone involved in it. A huge part of that is making the details of your strategy available on-demand.
Tracking plans give everyone on your team the insights they need without waiting for someone else to provide them.
Finally, tracking plans make it much easier to see connections between data and long-term product goals (as we’ll see in the next section).
When you have a well-thought-out tracking plan to rely on, you don’t need to interpret data on the fly—changes in specific metrics are already linked to larger product goals.
Start by thinking about your top-line strategic goals for the product.
Do you want to capture more market share? Improve customer satisfaction? Increase your revenue? These goals form the foundation of your tracking plan—giving it a clear direction and purpose.
The number of goals you focus on is up to you. However, we recommend SMBs stick to 3-5 goals every 12 months—too many goals can lead to confusion, lack of focus, and poor results.
Make sure the goals you choose are SMART:
Specific: Containing no vague or general language.
Measurable: Easily quantified in some way (e.g., market share, revenue).
Achievable: Realistic and feasible given the resources available.
Relevant: Connected to your business objectives.
Time-bound: With a deadline for completion within 12 months.
If goals are the foundation, objectives are the ground floor. They give your tracking plan a bit of structure.
Objectives are the short-term steps you take to move toward achieving your goals. If one of your goals is “to increase user engagement and retention,” then the objectives you choose might include the following:
Increase DAU by 20% within the next quarter.
Improve user retention rate by 15% in the next six months.
Increase average session duration by 10% within the next three months.
The deadlines for these objectives should fit within the overall timeline of the goal they’re supporting.
It’s time to get into the details.
Once you’ve outlined your objectives, it’s time to set key performance indicators (KPIs) for each one. For example, if you aim to “increase DAU by 20% within the next quarter”, then DAU is the success metric.
Not all objectives map this cleanly, though. Consider the example of “improve user retention rate by 15% within six months”. In this case, you would need to set an acquisition KPI and a retention KPI.
If you need guidance on important KPIs to track, here are some of the big ones:
User growth rate
Daily active users (DAU)
Monthly active users (MAU)
Average revenue per user (ARPU)
Time to first purchase
Customer acquisition cost (CAC)
Cost per acquisition (CPA)
Customer lifetime value (CLV)
Annual profit contribution per customer
Tracking metrics like the ones above is simple with UXCam.
Flexible, modular dashboards give your team instant access to real-time app data collected through UXCam’s battle-tested mobile SDK. Choose from a library of hundreds of pre-built reports covering acquisition, engagement, issues, and users, or build your own from scratch.
Events and properties are the most granular form of in-app data.
For those unfamiliar, events are actions within an app that are meaningful to your business (e.g., a check-out action). Properties add context to those events—data about users, their actions, and the environment that help you gain further insights into why those events happened.
Here are some examples to drive this concept home:
|sign_up||Device Type: iPhone 13 App Version: 1.23||This user created an account|
|cart_activity||User ID: 01928726 Timestamp: 08/16/23 13:05||This user added an item to their cart|
|payment_updated||Payment Type: Visa Debit Plan: Premium||This user updated a payment method|
The events and properties above are just examples—you can track dozens (even hundreds) of events and properties. It all depends on the KPIs you’ve mapped to the objectives and goals above.
However, as a starting point, here’s a list of important events and properties you should consider tracking in your app:
Events: Sign up, log in, cart activity, payment added & updated, purchase completed, search activity, product page view, profile updates, etc.
Properties: Device type, app version, user ID, payment type, plan name & level (for subscriptions), item name & quantity (for purchases), search term (for searches), etc.
Once you have a list of events and properties (that’s mapped to your objectives and goals), it’s time to add them to your analytics tool.
You can generally do this by creating an event and adding its relevant properties. For example, if you want to track a “purchase completed” event, you can create that in your analytics tool of choice and add additional properties like “item name” or “payment type” to it.
With UXCam, this process is a lot easier.
Our all-in-one mobile analytics platform is built with tagless auto-capture. That means all in-app events and properties are tracked automatically—no need for manual tagging. Connect your app with a single code snipped, and your dashboard will start populating with event and property data.
The final step of this process is to diligently document all the steps you’ve gone through to create the tracking plan document.
Most companies use spreadsheets for their tracking plan documents. A simple template might look something like this:
Once you’ve created this document, you can implement it into your analytics workflow.
Creating a tracking plan is an essential first step toward rewarding analytics. It systematizes your processes while ensuring you’re using your data to maximum effect and drawing sound conclusions from it.
At UXCam, we empower mobile product teams with all the tools they need to put their analytics strategy into practice. With qualitative and quantitative tools ranging from session replay to tagless event tracking, we provide an all-in-one solution for your analytics needs.
Get started with a 14-day free trial and see the benefits firsthand.
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