Analytical systems for mobile applications: test and selection criteria
If you have already decided on a list of the main characteristics and capabilities that an analytical system should have, then you just have to pass the test “Choosing a mobile analytics system”. After answering 6 questions you will receive detailed information on each analytical system that meets your requirements. If you have not yet decided on the exact list of requirements, then this article is just for you.
When choosing an analytical system, you may encounter several difficulties:
- Decide on goals and objectives. Determine exactly what capabilities, functionality and characteristics an analytical system must have so that you can achieve the results you need and your goals.
- Financial and technical capabilities of your company. You need to understand who will be involved in the integration and subsequent analysis of the data, will your experts have enough experience and knowledge, how much money are you willing to spend every month on this, and is it worth it?
- A large number of analytical systems , with various functionality and cost. It is necessary to find, organize and analyze a large amount of information.
With the first difficulty, everything is not as simple as it might seem at first glance. It is important to initially answer the main question: What is the main purpose of using the analytical system? How can she help you achieve this goal? What capabilities should an analytical system have in order for it to help you solve the assigned tasks? You need to understand what kind of result you need in order to recoup the time, financial and technical resources that you spend on integrating the analytical system, collecting, analyzing and implementing changes based on the data received.
Define your purpose
Each analytical platform has its own specifics. Some specializes in analyzing the behavior of players, others have cool marketing tools, and thirdly, convenient work with traffic analysis. Therefore, you need to determine your main goal - to understand what exactly you want to do in the first place. Increase the number and quality of users? Increase profits? Increase user engagement and retention rates?
Knowing the goal, you will be able to determine the set of necessary functionalities that the analytical system should possess. To make it clearer, consider the three listed goals as examples.
Attracting New Players
Attracting new players is a huge job and high financial costs. Now there are many channels to attract users, but how to quickly understand which channels are effective and which are not? It is important to evaluate the various traffic channels not only by the number of users who downloaded the game, but also by how often players return to the game, and most importantly, how much they pay in the game. Cut off the channels through which a low-quality audience comes: bots and motivated traffic.
Players must not only attract, but also keep in the game. To do this, you must be sure that they intuitively understand what they need to do, can quickly feel satisfaction from the game and want to return to the game again and again. To determine whether it’s easy for beginners to understand the gameplay, whether their game is addictive, you need to analyze how the players go through the tutorial and the first levels of the game (onbording analysis), what percentage of players returns to the game (Stiky factor, Retention). It is also necessary to assess the quality of traffic by the number and quality of paying players (Paying share, ARPU, ARPPU).
It is important not to forget about the virality of the game. Experiment with different methods of increasing virality in the game and evaluate the effectiveness of each method individually using an analytical system. This will help you achieve significant success in increasing the organic traffic to the game.
With this data, you will know if you need to make the game more friendly and interesting for beginners. Understand which traffic channels are profitable to use. You will learn which ways to increase virality actually work, and which do not.
To achieve this goal, you need to monitor the behavior of paying and not paying players. Understand which segments of the audience bring you the most revenue - and work with them. Analyze what, how and when players buy. Understanding your players, you can increase engagement, optimize monetization, create successful marketing campaigns and return paying users to the game.
Here you need to explore the behavior of users within the game - how they play, what they like or dislike in the current gameplay. Conduct polls among players - what content they want, what opportunities they lack. The player’s wish list will help you create new content and improve gameplay. Next, you need to analyze how users perceived the innovations - what they liked and what didn't. So you will begin to understand your audience and will be able to increase the involvement of players. Pay particular attention to the behavior and desires of paying users. Explore each type of paying player individually. This will not only allow you to increase engagement, but also increase LTV.
At the initial stage, you can use free analytics systems to understand what they really can give you and whether you can use this data to achieve your goals. For integration and data collection, you can attract a programmer working on a project. If you have qualified employees and financial capabilities, then paid analytical systems will suit you.
With the third difficulty, the “Choosing a Mobile Analytics System” test will help you . Having answered 6 questions, you will receive an e-mail PDF file with a list of analytical systems that meet your requirements, with detailed information and tables that compare the capabilities, characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of each analytical system.
Other criteria for choosing an analytical system
In addition to the goal, it is necessary to take into account such selection criteria as:
- Integration in the application. You need to decide whether you need enough data from the store or if you want to collect data inside the game - for example, about user behavior - then you need to integrate the SDK into the application.
- Technical training of your specialists. Working with some systems requires serious technical training from your specialists. Of course, you can train specialists or find new ones - but this will require additional time and financial costs.
- Price. Some analytics platforms cost thousands of dollars a month. Large companies can even use several of these systems to process any data. Small studios and indie developers can not afford it - it is better to start with cheaper or free platforms. Now many services calculate the cost individually - depending on the number of players and the data collected. Contact the manager and specify how much the subscription will cost for your company.
- Multi-platform. It is important that the analytics system supports all the platforms your application runs on. Almost everyone works with iOS and Android. For less popular platforms - you need to look for a suitable service.
Design your own or take your finished
Creating your own analytical system is useful in two cases:
- You currently do not have a budget for a paid platform, and the functions of free systems are not enough. You make an analytical system with disabilities “sharpened” for your goals and needs.
- You want to have your own analytics system for your games for a number of reasons: to be able to get accurate data and compare it with the data of another analytical system, to have access to "raw data", you do not want to trust your data to a third-party service, etc. At the same time, you have qualified specialists who could make a high-quality analytics system and you understand that you can recoup its creation, development and support.
It is easier for a large company to create its own system - you can select a separate team that will do this. If you cannot hire additional employees, you will have to distract programmers from their main job. You will have to spend time and money on development - but over time it will pay off. After all, analytics allows you to improve the product, make it more profitable and attract more players. Many companies combine recorders and turnkey systems. For example, data on user behavior in the game is collected by themselves, and for marketing purposes they use third-party solutions.
The best way to determine the right system is to select several and test. Most analytical platforms have a trial period of 2-4 weeks. This is enough to understand which service you are comfortable with.