The growth of mobile has spurred a demand for mobile analytics, and cloud-based data storage/retrieval/processing has greatly simplified the process and lowered the price. Slowly, mobile app developers, interactive agencies, and market research companies are seeing the benefits of data analysis in evaluating mobile strategy and mobile projects.
Most mobile analytics companies are very similar: they require that you drop a small amount of their code into your app, which then allows a stream of granular data from every installed device to be captured. This data is then displayed on a web-based dashboard, which can help you monitor your users and slice/dice the data. This style of measurement is limited to only measuring within an app and not the entire device, reducing context of the app data. Examples of companies using this method: Localytics, Mixpanel, Flurry, PreEmptive, Countly, Appacts, Google Analytics, Bango.
Some analytics companies are aggregators–they capture IP traffic and then strip away web data and run analytics on the IP traffic coming from mobile devices. Lots of interesting datasets from this, but given the wide variety of native mobile app traffic, it’s a limited view. Companies capturing this kind of data are usually the big boys from the web, such as Google.
And then there are market research firms who buy data from lots of different sources in order to put all these data streams into context. Firms like Nielsen and GfK are massive aggregators and have lots of big name clients to show for it; one of the things we are doing here at Curious Analytics is culling unique data so that market research firms aren’t just looking at a stream of IP or in app behavior.
These solutions aren’t for everybody or certainly every budget, but the takeaway here is that you need to be doing research on your markets, audiences, and users. Research is a vital component of planning and development…what sort of analytics do YOU use?