Mobile App Analytics Mobile Apps

Why Firebase Analytics (and not Google Analytics) for your mobile app analytics?

Firebase Analytics

With shifting technology and usage behavior, mobile applications are seeing a higher priority from businesses. As the investment in mobile increases, there is also a demand for detailed analytics from apps. Business stakeholders who approved the investment in the apps want to measure if they are achieving the business objectives.

Organizations want to understand the entire view of the customer, starting from decision to download the app through until the conversions in the mobile app. As a Consulting Organization, we have seen a lot of tools developed over the years to try and address this need through various methods. Back in 2012, when Google came in with their mobile app analytics solution, it was already late. Despite the few success stories, it was always a tough uphill effort to catch up with established players. In 2014, they acquired Firebase which was much superior to Google Analytics for mobile apps. If your organization uses only mobile apps, Firebase Analytics is the go-to tool for you.

Why you ask?

Firebase Analytics is user and event based while Google Analytics is best for a session and page based reality

There is a reason why some app development companies invest on creating in-house analytical tools rather use vendor solutions. Most digital analytical tools including Google Analytics were created in a “pre-mobile app” era. A majority still cater primarily to website architectures. Mobile applications differ greatly from websites.

Websites are click based. Other than forms where the text is typed, a click is supposed to change the page being viewed. Events like video view or document download are afterthoughts to the basic page based architecture.

Apps, on the other hand, have several elements and types of interactions over one or multiple screens. Also, users can call various action by touching, swiping, pinch-in, pinch-out using multiple fingers in various ways. Users can thus interact with various elements that trigger content without changing the screen they are in. There are many apps out there whose interface is just a single screen. The traditional page of websites does not exist.

Firebase Analytics has solved a big question Google Analytics is still struggling How to uniquely identify a user who may access the page from multiple devices/browsers/time gaps? For mobile apps, there is no need to force yourself to the website language of Google Analytics. Your analytics tool must adapt to your business reality and not the other way around. Pure play app creators need a tool that understands users and events. Firebase Analytics is that tool.

Free unlimited event reporting in Firebase Analytics, unlike Google Analytics

Another consequence of the page and session based tools like Google Analytics is that events are an afterthought. Thus there are limits to which one can go while analyzing events. Most paid analytics solutions have a limit on how many events you can report and analyze, but Firebase provides you with unlimited reporting for up to 500 distinct events. Did we mention that Firebase is also free?

Better funnel analysis in Firebase Analytics, compared to Google Analytics

The traditional page flow analysis involves analyzing sequence of pages visited in a session prior to the desired outcome. This is not that useful in mobile apps. This is because most visitors don’t “follow” the path that we want them to.

The correct way to analyze user behavior flow is to identify the critical actions taken at every step of the conversion process. Since Firebase is based on events and not on screen views, it allows you to create funnels based on events which give much more value than the page-view based funnels Google Analytics has.

You can connect Firebase Analytics to Google Analytics

If you want Google Analytics on your websites, then you can integrate Firebase with Google Analytics. Even if you do not, if you have stakeholders who understand only the language of Google Analytics, this connection can be helpful. Firebase has a tight integration with Google Analytics. Connect your Firebase data to Google Analytics and see your Firebase analytics reports without leaving the Google Analytics user interface.

Like Google Analytics, Firebase Analytics is much more than an app analytics tool

Firebase is a mobile and web application platform. Its original product was a real-time database. Along with Firebase Analytics, it also has services and infrastructure designed to help developers build high-quality apps.

Firebase features can be mix-and-matched by developers to fit their needs. After Firebase was acquired by Google in October 2014, it has expanded to become a full suite for app development with many Google products like Admob also integrated into it. You can look at what Firebase has apart from Analytics here. Firebase as a backend service is one of the fast growing businesses in the Android market.

Firebase audiences can be used through the rest of the Firebase Analytics platform

Firebase audiences are like segments in Google Analytics. Additionally, Firebase enables audience-specific push notifications and app configuration changes to be sent out without having to collate that information separately.

Firebase Analytics allows you to identify custom audiences in their console, based on device data, custom events, or user properties. These audiences can be used with any of the other Firebase features and reports.

By investing in Firebase, you will be investing in many more tools from Google that helps in app development and monetization. With the purchase of Fabric developer platform from Twitter last month, Fabric’s reach of 580,000 developers will grow the user base of Firebase. If your digital strategy is app-driven, Firebase is the right analytics tool for you.

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