What is Mobile App Usage Data & How to Use It

Learn everything about Mobile App Usage. Understand data sources, popular use cases, and data quality.

What is App Usage Data?

App data refers to information related to or created by mobile apps. It can be divided into several different categories, such as app cache data, app content data, app platform data, app configuration data, system-level app data, etc.

With the growing amount of apps today, the data type has gained its place on our platform.

Who uses App Usage Data, and for what use cases?

App data is collected and used by businesses owning mobile applications, app developers, and app marketers for insights into the performance of their app. This data may include measuring the amount of time spent on a particular feature, tracking screen swipes, or anything. App usage data is highly valuable as it helps app owners identify potential issues and necessary improvements within their app.

Using app usage data, businesses can:

  • Discover potential markets for growth opportunities based on app market trends.
  • Acquire competitive market knowledge by tracking downloads, usage, revenue, and engagement metrics.
  • Identify emerging competitors and potential threats and take action proactively.

Using app usage data, your marketing team can understand user patterns better and create messages that lead to higher conversion rates. App developers working on the app can understand technical flaws within the app and focus on improving the user experience.

Businesses can see which features of their apps are most effective and can lay focus on those areas. App usage data provides a deep understanding of custom attitude and other demographics, which are very helpful in providing personalized user experience.

What are typical App Usage Data attributes?

As a business owner or marketer, you want to know how an app is performing in the industry. What’s working, and what should be improved? Collecting the following mobile app usage metrics will help you measure the impact of your app on your audience. These include:

User engagement attributes
User engagement refers to a user’s interaction, usage pattern, and/or response to the app. This can be assessed using the following attributes:

  • Average app usage time per user
  • App event tracking: Which buttons or icons are clicked
  • Demographics of app users
  • Engagement rate of users with apps
  • Daily session per daily active users
  • Number of active app users (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.)
  • App retention rate: Percentage of app users who come back to your platform
  • App churn: The percentage of users who stop using your app

Customer satisfaction attributes
These attributes define the level of satisfaction people have using an app. These include the following attributes:

  • App rating
  • In-app feedback
  • Support response times: How long it takes to respond to customer requests and feedback.
  • Net promoter score: The likelihood of users to refer your app to others.

User acquisition attributes
This category refers to information about the acquisition of new users for the app, achieved by promotional offers and ad campaigns. These attributes are:

  • App store ranking
  • App store reviews
  • App abandonment
  • Lifetime value: Total revenue you make from a user before the user stops using the app.
  • The average revenue per user

App performance attributes
The attributes in this category define how the app performs in the market. This can be determined by measuring the following attributes:

  • App crashes
  • App speed
  • App latency
  • Network errors
  • App load per period

How App Usage Data is typically collected?

There are several ways to collect app usage data. Some old school methods include sending emails to your app users, attaching a survey form asking for their experience with the app, or approaching the users directly via phone or in the app itself.

There are also dedicated pieces of software which can be implemented in your app. They record the user’s behavior and report the information to a location of your choosing. You can integrate these tools with your apps to add convenience to your workflow.

In addition to that, large scale statistics can be acquired from app stores which record the macro level information like global download and usage statistics.

How to assess the quality of App Usage Data?

Data quality is the ability of a data set to serve the intended purpose. Poor quality data is not effective in providing you with the results you perhaps we’re looking for.

Quality assurance involves assessing the collected data against the rules defined by your use case. Assess your data against multiple attributes, timeliness of data, and consistency of attributes across various data sets, etc. Here’s the step-by-step process to assess the quality of app usage data:

Step 1: Understand the sources and collection
When buying app usage data, make sure you are familiar with the sources of all data you obtain. The source should be legally compliant, ethical, and qualitative to avoid potential issues in the future.

Step 2: Ask for reference customers
Check if your data provider can provide you with reference customers so that you can cross check the quality of data you receive. Reach out to the customers and discuss their experiences about their respective use cases.

Step 3: Apply data testing (sample set)
Ask the provider for a sample data set and test it in the desired environment. Analyze the outcome and see if this is what you expect.

Make sure you develop a quality roadmap for app usage data with input from your support team, the business community, app developers, and data scientists to ensure a solid project sequence.

How is App Usage Data typically priced?

There are three pricing models for app usage data:

  • Subscription / licensing: Usually gives you access to a real time API, which offers regularly updated datasets.
  • Pay per larger batch ( one time payment): You make a one-time payment for each larger batch of datasets.
  • Custom quotes for special needs: If you have varying needs, you can explain this to the app usage data provider. Your pricing will vary depending on your needs.

The #1 issue when buying app usage data?

The number one issue with app usage data acquisition, like with most external data types, is the extremely difficult comparison of data quality among various data vendors.

The market lacks standardization and with a growing variety of data providers entering the competition, choosing the right one becomes crucial.

What to ask App Usage Data providers?

Being a buyer, you should consider asking the following questions from your data provider when buying app usage data:

  • How is the data collected?
  • What is the coverage, and how granular can a single data point be?
  • Can your data set be integrated with my current business technologies?
  • How does the process look like?
  • Do you offer a data sample set for quality testing?

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