“Analytics will take center stage as the volume of data generated by embedded systems increases and vast pools of structured and unstructured data inside and outside the enterprise are analyzed. Every app now needs to be an analytic app” – David Cearley, VP, Gartner
With the dominance of mobile ever increasing, and surpassing usage of the desktop mobile analytics will take the spotlight in 2015.
Mobile Analytics Predictions for 2015
1. The Need for Mobile Analytics Professionals
Analytics in general is cited as the top skill to have in the area of digital marketing and also where the gap is greatest averaging below 37% (see chart below). HR folks, recruiters, placement firms are all going to have a very busy time trying to source such professionals from other companies, trying to find new talent and I see companies themselves funding huge education projects designed to migrate staff to more analytics centric positions. While mobile is at the forefront of digital marketing, it only stands to reason that a majority of these efforts will go into mobile marketing.
Due to increasing mobile dominance more and more companies will implement mobile analytics tools, develop analytics based infrastructure in house and recruit the relevant resources to make sense of this data. This is a new area of expertise that many companies, especially smaller ones, are lacking. The demand for analytics professionals will increase greatly in 2015.
“The analytics market is a bit like computer programming was in the 1990s – we’re in the phase of building up competence and it’s the beginning of a long journey, … The mobile app industry didn’t exist five years ago. Some companies are blazing a trail and some are just trying to figure out what they can do. The title ‘data scientist’ implies an academic slant, but it’s increasingly important to business” – Alwin Magimay, head of digital and analytics at KPMG UK
2. Sifting through the BIG Data
The use of advanced and transparent mobile analytics will be championed by companies both large and small. Analytics will be everywhere, but for the most part will remain unseen and while the data is crucial, the answers that the data reveals will be the driving force.
The sheer volume of BIG Data that is generated will make every app experience one that needs to be analyzed. Companies will need to know how best to manage the large amount of data that is coming from a multitude of sources and because of all these sources, the mobile space is one apt for analyzing under a big data microscope.
The data coming out of mobile is not just a product of mobile adoption or patterns of use. The data generated by apps and other mobile services is ever increasing as users shift from a web based society to a mobile based one. In short, data is always being created as a trail following us wherever we go. Yes. Even when we aren’t active on our devices, we are generating loads of data.
Big data will be even bigger due to the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT days are upon us and as more devices get connected, there will be a wider channel of data flowing down the IoT river. The deluge of data will be front and center as the IoT becomes more of a reality and everything from cars to your kitchen gets connected. That’s a lot more data that needs to be analyzed.
Companies will need to harness the power that mobile analytics provides to tackle this flood of data. Making sense of all this data using traditional analytical tools such as those provided by Google will make this all a nightmare. For the most part, these tools only provide a snapshot of the key metrics, the numbers, and do not focus on what will provide insights as to the reasons for user actions.
Understanding the why behind all this data is the key challenge that visual mobile analytics, such as Appsee provides, aims to solve as oppose to traditional analytics platforms such as Google and Flurry that focus primarily on the key metrics. The next generation of visual mobile analytics will not just provide visual reports, but will also provide actionable insights indicating exactly what the issues are and suggesting which measures need to be taken to correct them. These analytical insights will enable app owners to streamline the app optimization process.
3. What Needs Monitoring
The following are the areas I see as important in the scope of mobile analytics and where I see app owners putting more emphasis in the coming year:
- User Acquisition/Attribution – App publishers will be looking to analyze beyond basic acquisition metrics such as downloads by gaining information about the sources of the download or campaign, demographic and the number of sessions by users, user’s LTV (LifeTime Value) and the total revenue generated by source. This way app publishers will know just where to focus their ad spend, putting more money into avenues that work while doing away with ad strategies that are not yielding returns.
- User Experience (UX) – With so much time and financial resources going into the development of apps and having your app downloaded, a huge achievement in itself, it’s not the pot of gold most are looking to reach. This is especially the case when using the freemium model. More app publishers will be using mobile analytics to monitor for any friction in the user experience and refine their onboarding experience and beyond in order to engage and retain their users.
Mobile users have little patience, if any, for any obstacles to get what they need. They seldom give apps another chance. That is why mobile UX is so important. You want it right on from day one. I know that sounds like a tall order but you need to always be monitoring to find those little friction points, refine them and re-release. It is an ongoing process that is sure to increase your app’s LTV.
- Monetization – By utilizing such monetization strategies as in-app advertising , app publishers seek to maximize monetization to create a revenue flow. The use of mobile analytics will grow as app user monitoring is key in learning what monetization methods are most effective. Once publishers understand the why behind the success or failure of their monetization efforts, they will be able to refine to ensure app monetization is streamlined and users are experiencing a seamless mobile experience. Such an experience is vital in increasing monetization.
4. The Use of Real-Time In-App Analytics
By being able to monitor user behaviors in real time, app developers will be empowered to offer them services based on their immediate context. If they just used your app to search a certain item, you might want to offer them a product based on that search.
What it comes down to is being all about the user and tailoring your marketing campaign based on their likes and dislikes. Seeing what content they like and offering them something based on that context is something that will not only impress them, but will retain users and consequently make them more active.
Seeing which ad grabbed their attention is important in tailoring your user’s experience. Hence, driving the biggest thing happening in mobile right now: Mobile advertising. This is where real-time in-app analytics shines, by giving you a detailed and live snapshot of your users’ behavior.
5. Streamlining the Enterprise
Creating mobile apps for the enterprise is not an automatic fix for the business. Though, utilizing analytics to see how your internal users are interacting with, and using your app can do a lot for making things easier and business processes more efficient.
For example, employees at Enterprises are an increasingly mobile force, spending only a few hours a week, if at all at their desks. The data they have access to is becoming increasingly more available to them on mobile, as it has become more critical than ever.
Mobile Analytics will be a key factor in seeing how users are accessing this data as well as what they’re accessing. Enterprises will be using the analysis of this data to perfect internal apps and I see this trend flourishing in 2015. I also see this development being the impetus for mobile vendors from across the board to deliver interfaces that intuitively provide these employees with the information they need when they need it.
My Final Thoughts
I’ve just gone over my predictions for where mobile analytics will enjoy a surge in popularity. Whether you are a startup or enterprise, it will be worth investing in some sort of analytical tools. Competition is getting fiercer with each passing hour and app publishers will be looking to get a leg up on the competition.