Choosing the right mobile app analytics tool
Uncover the potential of your app with product analytics
You've invested time, money, and effort into creating an exceptional mobile app. But how can you ensure that your design and execution genuinely contribute to your apps success? Mobile app analytics is the answer—by examining user engagement with your app, you can enhance the user experience and build better products.
"Analytics" can encompass a wide range of data, which may cause confusion. For the most part, it focuses on front-end tracking data, such as monitoring which pages users visit and the buttons they click. This will be our primary focus for now.
Detailed event tracking data can provide insights to help you better understand the big three and address questions like:
- Does my app deliver value to users?
- Which features are effective and which aren't?
- What should I develop next?
Key features of mobile event tracking tools
Choosing an event tracking tool involves more than just firing events. Consider these factors:
As a solo-founder, your time is precious. You can't afford to spend 2 weeks setting up your analytics platform. You have other tasks to handle. If you have a team, implementation might not be your top priority, but your engineers will be deeply concerned about the details. Typical methods for integrating event tracking tools into an app include SDKs, auto-capture, and custom event setup.
💡 Tip: Opt for tools that makes it super easy to start with, and offer both SDKs and custom events to expand your choices over time.
Ease of use
Who is responsible for analyzing the event data and making product decisions? Is it you? If it's the product team, they should have access to tools that make understanding user behavior within the event tracking tool simple; for an agency, you might prefer a mobile app tracking tool that doesn't require a two day onboarding process. The "analytics" should be readily available within the tool and not necessitate daily exports.
💡 Tip: Designate an owner to examine event tracking data and ensure they have the tools to visualize it.
User privacy and compliance
Many end users are hesitant to opt in to tracking and highly value their privacy. Compliance with regulations like GDPR is essential to avoid penalties. A "track everything" approach may not be the best choice nowadays. For example, if you track your daily active users with custom events, you might unintentionally collect personal data (e.g., IP addresses or location data), which, without proper anonymization, could violate GDPR principles such as data minimization and purpose limitation (Article 5, GDPR).
💡 Tip: Opt for an analytics tool that emphasizes user privacy and offers built-in features to support compliance with data protection regulations like GDPR.
Some tools are closed source only, some have fully open source offerings, and others have free tiers for limited use based on the number of events or users. As we know, open source is usually free, so it requires more engineering effort and hosting costs are many times close to the on-premise pricing. It can be attractive in highly regulated industries. For small businesses, however, a freemium plan isn't really that limiting and works great.
💡 Tip: Get your budget and compliance requirements list ready, as event tracking can be heavily regulated in regions like Europe.