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What is Mobile Analytics?

What is Mobile Analytics?

Mobile analytics take the guesswork out of understanding how users interact with your app. Learn what mobile analytics is, why it's important, and how it differs from web analytics.

August 30, 2022 by Audrey Meissner

what is mobile analytics

Mobile analytics gathers data from mobile app users to track and record behavior and report on an app’s performance. Mobile analytics are used to improve retention, engagement, and conversions. While mobile web can be included in mobile analytics, the majority of focus in this field is on native iOS and Android applications.

Why is mobile analytics important?

Mobile analytics is important because we’re a mobile-first society. Mobile app downloads worldwide are expected to increase dramatically in the next three years. Statista projects that by 2025, consumers will download 187 billion mobile apps from the Google Play Store. 

This means that not only will people be downloading a lot of apps — but those apps will all be in competition with each other to some degree. It's crucial for your business to understand user behavior on your mobile app. Without mobile analytics, there’s no clear way to increase conversions or guarantee your company’s desired outcome.

Check out our webinars to learn more about mobile app analytics best practices, what KPIs and metrics to measure, and why.

Why do companies use mobile analytics?

Companies use mobile analytics data to gain insights into user behavior data they’d otherwise be unaware of. Analytics software like UXCam’s integrates into a companies’ existing mobile apps to capture, store and analyze user data. Businesses then use these insights to improve their product and create a better user experience. Trying to convince your stakeholders that investing in good UX is worth it? Send them these stats. 

What is the difference between mobile and web analytics?

There are several differences between mobile and web analytics. Keeping up with mobile app users is a different game to web analytics

  • Web analytics used to focus on metrics like page views. Today, it focuses on behavior-related metrics, patterns generated by user cohorts, app sessions, interaction frequency, and user interaction with ads. 

  • Mobile app analytics generate a higher amount of data via mobile app analytics tools. These tools work to understand user behavior. Mobile app analytics metrics can focus on: user location, downloads and installs, sign-ins, interaction windows, engagement time, and dozens of other key KPIs

Mobile apps have multiple versions live across platforms, and despite best efforts to push for new version adoption, certain users just prefer to stay on older versions. You’re left with not only having to understand users on multiple platforms but also multiple versions for each platform and multiple device types.

This means that specific, in-depth tooling solutions are required. When it comes to analytics, you’re likely already equipped with quantitative analytics solutions like Amplitude, Segment or Mixpanel. 

The question is: how do you quantify and understand user engagement? The days of simple demographic segmentation are over. Users in completely different age groups can have very similar behavior when it comes to mobile apps. For this, you’ll need to invest in mobile app analytics that dives into the KPIs and metrics that matter most for your business. 

Ready to give mobile app analytics a shot? Try UXCam for free.

What are the different mobile app analytics techniques?

Mobile app analytics, or experience analytics, goes beyond the traditional analytics techniques. It combines three different types of analytics methods to provide a holistic picture of user behavior: quantitative analytics, technical analytics, and qualitative analytics

While all of those techniques provide powerful insights on their own, they’re best utilized in combination with each other. Read on to take a closer look at each technique and how they can help you understand your user’s mobile experience.

What methods are used in quantitative analysis?

Quantitative analysis techniques are all about aggregate data. The most common way to perform quant analysis is to group a data object like users or sessions according to multiple attributes. Once the relevant attributes have been defined, the segmented data can be organized in various structured formats.

There are three main quantitative analytics methods. Here’s a brief overview:

  • Session and user analytics. This method takes a look at a wide range of details. It combines lots of technical information (like the user’s device, app version, device model, etc.) with demographic details (like age or gender). At UXCam, user gestures are an extra attribute to filter sessions that enrich your quantitative reports.

  • Funnel analysis. Funnels break up user journeys into key milestones that users need to meet your mobile app’s end goal. Most funnels will only work in tandem with custom event analytics. UXCam allows users to filter sessions based on the selected funnel step. 

  • Custom event inspection. This method departs from classic metrics and allows you to analyze specific user journeys and inspect new aspects of your app. Choose a tool that allows for custom events and get one step closer to understanding the user experience by reviewing these sessions via session recording.

  • Session exploration. This technique combines many quantitative data points to gain a complete picture of the sessions taking place on your mobile application. By analyzing these metrics over time, you can see trends and draw conclusions about specific cohorts.

For more information on quantitative analysis methods, check out our pocket guide to experience analytics

What methods are used in technical analysis?

Technical analytics is especially important in the case of mobile apps and comprise crash analytics and UI freeze analytics. Here’s a short overview of both:

  • Crash analytics. This method helps you stay on top of technical problems that can damage the customer experience. It can also help decipher drops in a defined funnel. 

  • UI freeze analytics. Also known as issue analytics, this method goes one step beyond crash analytic and digs into the issues that cause the crashes in the first place. These issues can be broken down into handled and unhandled exceptions.

For more information on technical analytics and an in-depth look at issue analytics with integrated session replay, head here. Or, check out our overview of the best crash reporting tools for Android and iOS.

What methods are used in qualitative analysis?

Usability testing and user feedback are some of the better-known qualitative analysis methods. While these techniques can be helpful, they don’t tell the whole story of what users do on an app — but rather what they think they do. 

Opinions are powerful and this feedback is invaluable, but observing how real users truly behave is a different story. When paired with data visualization, qualitative analysis techniques can be easily interpreted.

These are the main methods used in qualitative analysis:

  • Voice-of-customer (VoC) research. This method listens to what customers think about your mobile app and is based on perception. It’s helpful for getting feedback and understanding the way users talk about your product.

  • Gesture-based heatmaps. Heatmaps visualize how users engage with your app. Tracking gestures (like double taps, long presses, rage taps, etc.) can be invaluable to understanding customer needs and avoiding churn. Check out this guide for more info.

  • Session recordings. Also known as session replay, this method allows you to view a user’s experience with your mobile app from start to finish. Go beyond the basics and fully take advantage of session recordings by integrating them with other analysis methods.

  • Behavioral screen flow. Screen flows validate funnels, prove your hypotheses, or show what unexpected paths users take in your app.

For methodologies on how to detect hidden user frustrations and find out what the mobile app users of today expect out of their app experience, download our handy ebook.

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Audrey Meissner

Audrey Meissner

Audrey is a content marketing manager and copywriter with eight years of experience conceptualizing and creating strategic editorial content for direct marketing and social media channels.

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