These days, you absolutely need to be using analytics tools to track data for desktop and mobile users. The information you will glean from these tools is invaluable in choosing future marketing and content production plans, identifying positive business strategies and more.
Especially important is tracking data from mobile devices, since the way users interact on their phones or tablets is different from the way they use their desktop or laptop.
In fact, the only way to really know what your customers and visitors are doing is to track the incoming flow of traffic with such a tool.
The most popular analytics platform, of course, would be Google’s. You’d be hard-pressed to find a business or company that’s not using the tech giant’s system, especially since it’s integrated with existing Google accounts and free unless you’re running a large enterprise and have a popular site with heavy traffic.
But sometimes — just sometimes — it pays to take a look at the competition to see what they have to offer. Are there viable alternatives to Google Analytics, and more importantly, can they improve productivity for those who use them?
Because these platforms are similar in many ways, we’re going to refrain from discussing the basic features you get with all of these services.
The ultimate purpose behind these platforms is to track incoming traffic and separate the collected data in many ways, some of which are incredibly useful, more so than others.
Instead of the basics, we’re going to focus on what sets these different services apart, how they excel over Google Analytics — if at all — and how they can improve productivity and company practices.
The AppAnalytics service was designed from the ground up to track mobile app stats, and it features a bevy of services to help you better understand your users.
Features of AppAnalytics include:
- Heat mapping
- Gesture identification
- External interactions such as tilting, shaking or changing display orientation
- Push notification tracking
- Crash, bug and exception reporting
- User, version and device analytics
With these tools and features, you can do things like find and improve weak app areas, optimize conversion funnels, increase and manage user retention and even boost the stability of your app through the crash and bug reporting options.
Of course, what makes the AppAnalytics platform so useful is a feature called “In-App Analytics,” which allows you to configure and trigger event-based parameters via the admin dashboard. With this function, you can automate tracking for event-based actions.
For example, let’s say the user hasn’t interacted with your app in some time, and you have an automatic push notification configured. When that notification goes out, this service can continue tracking what happens, like how long the alert is visible, whether or not the user dismisses it and how they react afterward.
This service can help boost productivity by allowing your marketing and content management teams to identify where to best spend their time. If push notifications aren’t generating much interest, they can shift the time they spend to other strategies, and the same goes for any other mobile app functions you may offer.
Kahuna is a popular analytics platform that also offers mobile services to its customers. It’s different from some of the other services on this list — namely, Google Analytics — because it puts an emphasis on understanding who your customers are.
For example, if you use the service as a whole to track desktop and web analytics along with mobile, the system will start to discern the cross-platform behavior of your user-base. In this way, you can see what devices they pick up after they put another down or where they go after exiting a particular channel.
With Kahuna, you can track things like:
- In-app and push messages, which you can also customize them
- Revenue streams and in-app purchases
- Engagement and viewer ratings
- Ideal and active time periods
Kahuna is exceptional if you work with multiple platforms and want to centralize your analytics and reports. In other words, you can use this one service across the board. Ultimately, this saves time for everyone because it cuts down on the platforms and services your teams need to manage and monitor regularly. In addition, the robust tools allow them to automate basic processes, thus allowing them to get things done more quickly.
Piwik differs from a lot of the other platforms on this list because it’s open-source and free. In addition, you need to install the framework on a self-hosted web server. Once it’s all set up, you can use the platform for mobile app tracking.
With it, you can track things like:
- Number of active users
- Engagement and activity patterns
- Buttons, icons and UI
- Important device information like software version, type of phone, etc.
- Custom variables
- New and total user counts
- Error and crash reports
One of the best features of Piwik is that during the initial setup, you can configure automatic email reports to be sent out on a schedule.
This means that your marketing and management teams don’t need to track down stats on their own. This can not only save a lot of time, but it also cuts down on the time they spend poring over analytics reports and detailed information.
It is entirely possible to use KissMetrics to track analytics data for native mobile apps — Android or iOS. You will need to include the correct API commands in your app by using the appropriate development language and IDE. Once that’s done, you’ll be able to successfully track any and all activity within your mobile apps.
KissMetrics can track things like:
- In-app events and activities
- Usage patterns and traffic
- Push notifications and related actions
- Cross-platform and multiple apps usage
Like any of the other analytics tools on the list, KissMetrics improves productivity by offering a single dashboard to track customer stats and information. In addition, there are a variety of marketing tools at your team’s disposal to plan out future strategies and actions.
Flurry is a free, multi-platform mobile analytics tool that works for pretty much all mobile devices including iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry and Java ME devices.
Even though it is free, it’s a remarkably robust and useful analytics platform that can be used to track a variety of customer patterns and actions.
Flurry Analytics can track things like:
- Active users and usage frequency
- Session lengths and retention numbers
- Demographic and personal interests
- Device information and software version info
- Error, crash and bug reports
Flurry can improve productivity by offering marketing teams a multitude of ways to stop on top of relevant information. For example, they can create multiple dashboards that serve as shortcuts to specific events and actions. In addition, they now have a free application available so that Flurry users can monitor stats and analytics data from their smartphone.
These Are Strong Mobile Analytics Alternatives
Who says you absolutely have to stick with Google’s tools and related platforms?
There’s plenty of competition in the space, and as you can see from this list, there are several platforms that offer a lot more than Google does. Don’t be afraid to try out each of the different services listed before settling on one permanently.
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