Often when we hear the word “Analytics” it is associated with “IBM Watson”, “Jeopardy” and the advances in cancer research and healthcare.
This article discusses Mobile analytics. What are mobile analytics? The quick answer: done right, mobile infrastructure analytics provides an end-to-end (view of mobile user experience such that trouble areas can be easily identified and proactive steps taken to correct them.
Should you care? Yes
Note: Web Analytics is similar but traditionally assumes desktop browser access as opposed to a device which has a smaller screen. Web analytics doesn’t address issues where a user may have had to rotate the device to see more clearly or or how often had to use fingers to enlarge an image.
Should you care about mobile analytics for the enterprise?
- Is your enterprise planning to implement mobile applications in the near future?
- Does your business rely on the use of mobile applications by customers?
- Does your help desk get frequent calls about mobile apps not working?
- Are you losing business or consumer transactions because users are having difficulty and abandoning the application or cart? Would you even know?
If you said yes to any of the above, then yes, you should care about mobile analytics!
What does it mean to you?
Not having good analytics tools could mean losing business, money and reputation in the market. Your customers or employees may be avoiding adoption of applications because of bad experiences using your app—experiences that could be corrected and prevented using mobile infrastructure analytics.
Let’s start at the beginning. I’ve been around (some say forever) in computing for over 33 years and mobility for 17. I’m still a bit old school, and I don’t use apps as much as folks of more recent generations. Because I don’t use them frequently, it’s much more disturbing. Some applications seem to randomly return errors, crash and need to be opened again or even require a device reset. When this happens, I usually delete the app and attempt to get money back where applicable. I have always held that if it’s happening to me, it can and is happening to others too.
That said, Millennial’s have grown up with “apps”, expect them to work and may be less tolerant and less loyal to brands.
When a user deletes an app, What does this mean for the enterprise?
- An online merchant loses customers and sales as carts are abandoned.
- If it’s a standalone app, the app doesn’t make the sales it should or if free doesn’t get the pass-through advertising or other revenue it should.
- If it’s an enterprise app, it is not adopted by employees and they work around it or lose productivity.
Where’s the app failure coming from?
As I wrote in a previous post, there are in the mobile infrastructure: enterprise, security, Internet, and user. All four zones must be working properly for the successful daily use of mobile devices in the enterprise. However, they are not all under the control of the enterprise, and a failure of any one of the elements in a zone can cause problems. The app on the device and the app server are only two pieces.
I can’t count the times that I’ve been handed an iPhone or iPad by a family member saying that Facebook, Pinterest, email or a shopping app isn’t working. In most cases, clearing the error message and trying again gets everything working fine. The app no longer fails, data comes back from the server, and therefore the error was in between. Such as, the local ISP or a load balancer at the enterprise and not app or site itself but, giving the app, app provider or IT team the black eye. Not to mention, my having to try to explain.
We have all heard the help desk cries:
- The app hangs or takes forever to respond!
- The app went away and I had to reopen it!
- I keep getting an error message!
Mobile application administrators and help desks hear these statements day in and day out. At any point of failure, even those outside the control of mobile IT, the app gets the blame because the user’s perception is that the application or server isn’t working. Until recently, enterprises had no end-to-end view of how an app was performing or if something was causing it to fail to perform in the users’ eyes.
Where mobile infrastructure analytics can help
Mobile infrastructure analytics provides an end-to-end view of the infrastructure supporting your mobile application. This includes tracking things like
- The overall user experience
- How long users stay on a page, what they search for and add to the cart
- Whether they have to rotate the screen or expand or shrink the view
- Whether they buy or abandon the cart, where they abandon from, and whether they return to it
- Whether smartphones abandon more than tablets
All of this data and much more can be collected and and presented grapically to help companies understand the mobile user experience and provide insights for improvement.
Mobile infrastructure analytics correlates the errors seen by the user to events and errors in the infrastructure allowing administrators to proactively respond, correct and prevent additional issues. Mobile analytics predictive capabilities can generate alerts that a problem is coming, and administrators can stake actions to prevent users from ever being effected.
This is what mobile analytics means and why you should care.
How to learn more and get started
Want to know more about mobile analytics and how tools can provide actionable insights into your mobile application infrastructure, performance and your customer or employee user experiences? I suggest a look at the following links for more information:
- Companion blog post, “Mobile analytics demystified”
- Short, “Simple” Mobile Analytics Demo
- Gartner’s Market Guide for Mobile App Analytics:
Why Analytics are Paramount to Success
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of mobile analytics and why it’s important for the enterprise. If you have more questions about the value of analytics, leave a comment.