Why Leading With Analytics is the Only Way to Run An App

Do you want your customers to get the most out of your app? Mobile app analytics is the way to go. 

With it, you’ll be able to drive product adoption, boost customer loyalty, and increase team motivation. 

This article takes a deeper look at app analytics, its importance in driving better business outcomes, and why leading with analytics is the only way to run an app. 

Read on. 

What is App Analytics? 

Analytics refers to the process used to discover, interpret, and communicate significant patterns in data. 

Analytics allows you to see insights and meaningful data that you might not otherwise detect.

App analytics, in particular, is the accumulation and analysis of data gathered from mobile web and mobile app activity.

Modern analytics fall into four distinct categories: descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive. But, at their core, these different types of analytics serve to let us know: 

  • What has already happened
  • What could happen 
  • What should happen in the future

Why is App Analytics Important? 

Once a developer has launched an app, they still need to find the different ways in which that app can be optimized for performance, customer satisfaction, and growth.

App analytics can help you gather the type of information that will allow you to better serve customers at every stage in their lifecycle and improve every aspect of your app by looking at customer use patterns and feedback.

With millions of apps available on the Play Store and App Store, app analytics will provide you with critical opportunities to optimize your marketing and performance to ensure your app does well in this competitive market.

When done right, business analytics can help you run your app more effectively in order to grow your sales, reduce costs, develop marketing strategies, predict future sales, and make various other business improvements. 

Analytics can also be helpful in improving financial efficiency, increasing productivity through streamlined processes, and much more.

10 Important App Analytics Metrics 

With regard to app analytics, there are a lot of metrics you could focus on to help improve your mobile app performance. However, you must define the most important KPIs for your business so you can laser-focus on the things that will actually move the needle for you.

Below, we take a look at several analytic metrics that are most important and how you can use each of them to assess the reach, usage, and revenue generation of your app. 

I’ve broken them down into three distinct categories: 

  • User Acquisition Analysis
  • User Engagement Analysis
  • App Performance Analysis 

Metrics for User Acquisition Analysis

1. App Attribution 

This will show you how you acquired your app users, whether organically or through marketing spend. 

App attribution shows you how your campaign is performing, while event tracking shows you the value of those app users. This provides you with the information you need to know which campaigns were successful and which ones aren’t worth your investment. 

2. Cost Per Acquisition

This will tell you how much was spent to acquire each user. It can be calculated by dividing the total cost of a campaign by how many users were acquired due to it. 

This is a critical metric that enables you to calculate ROI and identify the most cost-effective way to acquire new users, whether that’s by starting a blog about your app, using email newsletters, hosting a podcast, or using other digital marketing channels to increase the reach of your brand and its app.

3. Lifetime Value (LTV)

This is how much users are expected to spend before they churn. Your users’ LTV informs you how long your customers must be active before they generate their maximum revenue. 

This metric also tells you how much you can expect to make from your app over the coming months. Once you have calculated your users’ lifetime value, you can focus on ways to optimize it. 

This involves identifying why users churn and what would make them spend more on your app. The LTV of different user groups can also be compared to learn which users are cost-effective.

4. Average Revenue Per User

The ARPU tells you the average amount of money generated for each user acquired. This is a smart way to estimate whether you are on track to hit your revenue targets and find new ways to cut variable expenses. This metric is also an essential component of LTV (lifetime value) calculations. 

Metrics for User Engagement Analysis

On average, people use 80 apps on their phones, as evidenced by the image below: 

How many apps do we use

If you’re competing for their attention, it’s crucial for you to know what your engagement metrics are so you can make improvements where necessary. 

5. Events 

Events are one of the main engagement metrics you should track for your app. Tracking events will provide deeper insights into user behavior in relation to in-app activity. For instance, you can track events like purchases, page visits, when users add an item to their cart or complete a level, and what events drive them off the app. 

By tracking each stage of your user’s funnel, you can learn different ways to optimize the entire process and figure out how best to optimize privacy policies, user interface, most-used features, and other functionality to keep users on your app longer.

6. Installs

A download becomes an install the first time the user opens an app. Knowing the number of users who installed your app can be essential to learning which of your marketing campaigns have performed best.

7. Sessions 

This is when a user opens and engages with your app after installation. You need session data to know how often users are opening your app and how a user moves through your user funnel. 

Viewing sessions by device, time, and location user metrics also show when, how, and from where users are accessing your mobile app. 

8. Retention

The retention metric measures how many users come back to the app. Retention rates can also be used to observe when users are likely to churn, as well as at what point you should start to re-engage them.

The retention metric can also help you to detect ways in which your app is not performing well. You’ll be able to learn which campaigns are generating users that are the most valuable over time. 

9. Churn

This will tell you how many users have abandoned your app. This means that a user has either uninstalled the app or is no longer recording sessions in your app. 

This is a critical metric that lets you determine lifetime value and identify the reasons why a user will lose interest in your mobile app. 

For instance, if you have a high churn rate after the first session, you may have technical issues with login or issues with your onboarding experience.

App Performance Analysis

10. Using Data to Drive Performance

A lot of organizations spend considerable time and effort analyzing consumer data in order to improve frontline monetization opportunities.

But, it is equally important to focus on improving productivity and performance

Data and analytics are crucial for streamlining business operations and reducing inefficiency

For example, reporting and analytical dashboards can help you identify data correlations, providing managers with better insights to conduct cost valuations, pricing segmentation, peer benchmarking, and more.  

Similarly, using analytics to measure core performance metrics across different areas like operational excellence, workforce planning, and product innovation can deliver calculated insights to help solve complex business or marketing scenarios.

It’s also important to use mobile analytics reports to test the performance of your app’s functionality

For instance, it’s important for you to know things such as: 

  • The speed of the app
  • How often does it crash during a session
  • Any network errors detracting from the user experience, etc.  

Listening to user feedback and reading reviews for your app in the App Store are great ways to know whether users are satisfied with the functionality.

By putting these types of analytics to use, companies can identify hidden inefficiencies in existing structures in order to generate greater cost savings and make more sales. 

Benefits of Using Analytics 

Now that you know what metrics to track, let’s take a look at the advantages that you can get from app analytics. 

The insights you’ll gain through analytics are the key to understanding your users and are essential to your company’s growth and profitability. 

Without app analytics, you’ll have a hard time identifying the best ways to utilize your resources and move toward your targets.

Analytics will help you determine when users churn, your user’s LTV, and ARPU (the average revenue per user) so you can make data-driven changes to your app for greater success.

It’s clear to see that integrating data analytics into your overall app marketing process yields vast insight. However, there are a few huge advantages that stick out from all the rest. 

Let’s take a quick look:

1. Find More Users for Your App

App analytics allow you to drive personalized, customer-focused marketing. You’ll be able to find more uses for your mobile app by using the information you gather to create individually targeted customer experiences.

When you can deliver customer-targeted push messages to specific users, your app open rates will double very quickly and you’ll be able to convert a lot better than when using generic push messages. 

These types of analytics will also provide you with deep insights into your customers, including new users who you’ll be able to easily convert into higher lifecycle stages instead of watching them fall out of the funnel after a single use. 

By using app analytics, in conjunction with your other marketing campaigns, you’ll be able to win back churned customers using targeted experiences and messages.

2. Know Which Features Attract the Most Visitors

As an app creator, you know that the growth of your app is directly dependent on the amount of value you provide to your customers. 

But, you need to know which acquisition channels work best, as well as how different users respond to different marketing strategies. Without this information, you’ll never be sure what improvements to make to your app in order to increase traction. 

Mobile app analytics will help you put data behind all your customer behavior hypotheses so you can get better results from your marketing efforts.

3. Discover Which Elements Lead to the Most Conversions

App analytics help drive ROI in all aspects of app performance. As previously mentioned, there are millions of apps currently competing for customer attention online. 

If you want your app to be more visible and get better ROI from your customer acquisition strategy, then you need to know which channels deliver the best in terms of conversions. 

Once you know where you get the best ROI for your acquisition strategies, and which channels provide the highest LTV, then you can put the bulk of your marketing dollars on that channel in order to get the best returns.


There you have it. 5 reasons why leading with analytics is the only way to run an app, and 10 important app analytics metrics to track so you can make better business decisions. 

I hope this article has helped you understand the dynamics of your mobile app marketing strategy and how analytics is a crucial part of it if you want to optimize your results and get a higher ROI. 

So, integrate this information as part of your app marketing strategy right now in order to get the most from your consumer use patterns and improve your results. 

Do you think you stand to benefit from integrating analytics into your app? Share your thoughts below! 

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Ron Stefanski is a website entrepreneur and marketing professor who has a passion for helping people create and market their own online business.  You can learn more from him by visiting OneHourProfessor.com. You can also connect with him on YouTube or Linkedi