mobile analytics tools

Mobile Analytics Tools: Your Guide to What and How to Measure

By Ritika Puri; Once upon a time, web marketers had limited options when it came to mobile and web analytics: There were a couple resources that provided detailed, consistent reporting that companies needed to fully understand their user base.; But today, the market for mobile analytics tools is becoming more diverse. From the B2B and B2C worlds, virtually every company needs access to data, and a one-size-fits-all analytic solution is slowly becoming obsolete. You need a tool that measures the exact ROI benchmarks that your company cares about in order to better map the decisions you’re making during customer success, product, marketing, and engineering team meetings.; So how do you choose the right mobile analytics platform for your business? The decision starts with knowing what, exactly, to measure. Follow this simple framework as a shortcut and source of structure to your decision cycle.

Step 1: Take a Step Back: Know What Actions Drive ROI in Your App

To successfully measure ROI, you need to know what’s important to your business. Gone are the days of linear buyer journeys: Every single one of your users will span through a series of complex interactions before deciding to make a purchase. Having a mobile analytics solution that can accurately monitor and quantify milestones will help you to better understand these sophisticated journeys.

The process of choosing what to measure can be tough, even more so on a mobile platform. You need to pay attention to the nuances. That’s why, before you start evaluating software, you’ll want to map out the events that signify success within your app. For this reason choose an analytics tool that can help you measure success at every part of your unique conversion funnel.

Top of the funnel

  • What you want to quantify:
    At this stage of the funnel, you want to make sure that you generate, and continue to generate, awareness for your company.
  • Sample metrics:
    Depending on your marketing model and distribution plan, you’ll want to look at some combination of the following:
    • Referrals to your app
    • Download activity
    • Social media shares related to your app

Middle of the funnel

  • What you want to quantify:
    In a nutshell, your goal at this stage of the conversion funnel is to keep users engaged with your app so that they continue to find value in it and stick around long enough to become long-time paying customers.
  • Sample metrics:
    Pay attention to metrics like the following:
    • Daily active usage
    • Engagement with content
    • Interest in promotions or offers

Bottom of the funnel

  • What you want to quantify:
    Here’s where your analysis needs to get transactional. Focus on quantifying milestones that represent the transition from “interested” to “hey, let’s make a purchase.”
  • Sample metrics:
    Focus on quantifying metrics that are most directly tied to sales, like the following:
    • Time to order
    • Average order value
    • Conversion rates from specific campaigns


  • What you want to quantify:
    In addition to sparking first-time sales, you’ll want to keep your customers coming back to make repeat purchases.
  • Sample metrics:
    Here are some signals that you’ll want to track with your analytics software:
    • Repeat purchase rates
    • Post-conversion engagement with content
    • Time elapsing between repeat purchases
All of these example metrics share a common trait: They’re actionable. Based on the knowledge that you’re generating, your company’s various teams can respond with very specific steps. This observation illuminates the larger point: Analytics software shouldn’t just provide insight. It should inspire a very concrete business direction.

Step 2: Know What Perspectives You Want to Capture

Once you have an understanding of the quantitative picture that you would like to capture, start developing your unit of analysis, a statistical concept that’s used to define the “major entity” being analyzed in a study or report. Quite simply, units of analysis can include groups, social organizations, and even individuals.

This concept, as simple as it is, will be one of the most important components to your marketing analytics strategy. Consider the following scenario:

  • You’re looking to build a segmentation strategy and are delivering the same campaign to two groups, A and B.
  • In order to effectively define A and B, map out your units of analysis—in other words, you need to specify the parameters that design the two groups.
  • This perspective will allow you to compare conversion rates between groups—your unit of analysis.

But let’s say that you also want to see which users were most influential to your overall conversion rates. Beyond collecting your data at the aggregate level, make sure that you’re set up to conduct analysis at the user level, anonymized or not. In this case, can you guess what your unit of analysis would be?

It’s the individual user.

Take the time to plan your units of analyses up front. Make sure your mobile analytics tools are set up correctly from a technical standpoint. Imagine if you couldn’t filter down to your app users at the person level: Your software could end up being useless for your exact marketing need.

Step 3: Plan for Future Business Evolution

The last thing you want is to have to replace your mobile analytics tool within a couple of years. When it comes to building a successful analytics strategy, continuity in data is key. You need to make sure you choose a tool that can continue to evolve with your business.

Before investing in an analytics solution, take a step back and ask your organizations the following questions:

  1. What are you tracking now, and how do you expect these metrics to change as your business evolves?
  2. What do you wish you could track that you’re not able to now?
  3. What are several ways your mobile app strategy may evolve in the immediate or long-term future?

You’ll also want to loop in a few team members across your organization:

  • Bring in your IT team to make sure your systems are compliant with international standards and will play well with other tools at your company.
  • Involve legal to ensure that you’re in adherence with privacy laws and will be likely to remain in adherence in the short and long-term.
  • Loop in department heads across your entire company to make sure that your mobile analytics tool will add value to everyone’s efforts.
  • Consult an engineering leader to see how well your mobile analytics tool integrates with complementary systems.

The bottom line is that you don’t want to set yourself up for data fragmentation. The less time you spend chasing fire drills and wrong directions, the more time you can spend focusing on your marketing metrics. Make sure that your analytics tool is a core part of your business for the long haul.