Mobile Metrics: An Interview With Chad Udell

Set Goals for Repeat Usage and Conversions

Mobile Apps, Mobile Strategy Comments (0)

Chad Udell is Float’s managing director, author of Learning Everywhere, and an expert on developing visualizations of the many metrics that are available for managers of mobile learning.

Recently I sent him a set of questions on what is important about metrics for mobile apps. These are his replies:

Which mobile metrics should businesses consider when developing their learning apps?

This answer is going to be different depending on what your key use cases are for the apps you are delivering and their respective audiences, but the leading indicators you should be looking at are likely going to be related to engagement – i.e., key conversions to paying customers, repeat launches, session lengths that meet your experience designer’s expectations.

Downloads, new users and similar top-level measurements only tell a very limited story.

Which metrics are most important, and which ones might not be so important?

People tend to focus on session numbers and downloads, but really, what we’re usually after repeat usage and conversion/use case completions.

Are your users being retained and launching the apps, again and again, to do what you want them to do?

Broken funnels or app uninstalls are key items to be aware of.

Additionally, creating some types of benchmarks or comparing your app performance to similar apps in the marketplace via data aggregators such as Flurry is wise.

Is your shopping app like others? Does your education app perform similarly to your competition? Then you have a basis for comparing the performance of your learning app with others in the same industry.

Is there a design principle in choosing which metrics to use, or should we just track everything possible?  

The best metrics are the ones you create based on the desired engagement paths you design within an app.

Are the users’ tap streams matching your expectations? You’re going to have to construct the paths in your analytics package that allow you to track these. The default events that come with an SDK for the devices you will support are likely not going to be enough to get a good picture of what is going on in your experience.

On the other hand, raw download numbers and session count are only superficially important. Obviously, you need a large funnel to keep people moving through the pipeline, but if your users are opting to not complete key pieces of functionality or abandoning your app altogether, then that is something you need to address.

If you are going to use a “big data” approach to metrics, and track everything possible, then you need to have enough storage to hold the immense amount of data. That approach will generate, and you need the proper analytical software and business analysis expertise to interpret all the possible correlations within the data set that are meaningful to your business.

If you need to develop metrics for the use of your mobile app or mobile website, please contact Chad at Float Mobile Learning.

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Gary Woodill is a senior analyst with Float, as well as CEO of i5 Research. Gary conducts research and market analyses, as well as assessments and forecasting for emerging technologies. Gary is the co-editor of "Mastering Mobile Learning," author of “The Mobile Learning Edge,” and the co-author of “Training and Collaboration with Virtual Worlds.” He also presents at conferences and is the author of numerous articles and research reports on emerging learning technologies. Gary holds a doctor of education degree from the University of Toronto.

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On September 9, 2013

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