Best App Analytics Tools 2017

Alberto Furlan

Updated: April 19, 2017

Drawing of a black line graph on blue background with icons of a lightbulb, a magnifying glass, a bar chart, two pie charts and a tablet among other symbols.

App analytics are the key to understand how your mobile application works and what you can do to improve it and attract new users or customers.

On both iOS and Android, there are thousands of data points available to examine to determine what to change, where maintenance is required and what actually works.

So which are the best app analytics tool you should know about? This guide will go through what exactly app analytics is, and how to choose the tools to analyse the data.


Types of app analytics: marketing, in-app and performance

According to Tune, app analytics tools can be divided into three macro categories. These are marketing analytics, in-app analytics and performance analytics. Here is a brief description of each.

Analytics Header

App marketing analytics

This covers things like whether users find your app while browsing Apple’s app store or on other websites, the comparison between downloads and in-app purchases and much more besides. This is key to understanding how to monetise the application, increasing ROI and not losing customers.

In-app analytics

These are everything a user does within the application. How do they behave within your app? Do they always go back to the homepage, or follow deep links? A key metric here is demographics: data you analyse on your users will inform the post-publishing development of your app and give useful insights; for example, the most frequent users of your apps need not coincide with the most valuable – so how do you turn one into the other?

App performance analytics

Strictly speaking these are in-app, but less concerned with the users and more so with the “machine” itself. Identifying pages that make an app crash, or devices on which the app slows to crawl, is the groundwork upon which all the analysis above rests. If your mobile application crashes whenever it’s opened on an iPhone 7 (but on no other model), all the marketing in the world is moot.

This is the point where the guide goes more in-depth for each specific type of app analytics.

What are app Marketing Analytics?

The most brilliant app ever made would struggle to become famous these days. Globally, app downloads are decreasing and in 2015, there were around 1000 apps uploaded to the Apple App Store every day. How do you stand out from the crowd? The answer is advertising and marketing.

According to CMOS in their February 2016 survey:

Spending on marketing analytics … is expected to leap from 4.6 percent to almost 22 percent of marketing budgets in the next three years.

Source: CMO Survey

Specifically, the proportion of total marketing budget dedicated to mobile analytics is expected to rise to 8.3% in the next three years.

Ad campaigns can include all sorts of aspects, from adverts to offers and cross-promotion, but to understand what works and what doesn’t, you also need marketing analytics. There are so many ad networks out there, and so many ad formats, that tracking which ones work and understanding why they do is crucial to getting a good return on investment. There are far more data points and metrics than the ones below, but we’ve listed a few major ones.

Marketing KPIs

  • Installs – not just how many times your app is installed, but the path that leads people to installing an app is just as important.
  • Opens – when is your app opened? Is it following a particular deep link, or do users of another app have a high percentage of switching over to yours? At a particular time of day?
  • Purchases – When people purchase something within your app (or when do they purchase the app itself).
  • Registration – If the app requires a registration, its important to know why people decide to register and more importantly why the people that drop out do so.
  • Content Viewed – Self explanatory, as it tells you what you should do more of.
  • Shares – On which platform and for what reason is a link to your app, or its content, shared?
  • Invites – Not only how many invites, but also who invites and who gets invited is key to reaching those demographics.
  • Custom Events – These are metrics set by you, for example to find out when people have followed the “Customers who bought this also liked” button

The real difficulty here however is understanding what to do with all that data. Again according to the CMOS survey, the main reason preventing the use of more marketing analytics is a lack of process and knowledge of what to do with them.

Factors preventing use of marketing analytics according to CMOS survey.

CMOS Survey

Source: CMOS.org

A lot of the platforms we recommend below, however, offer ways of making sense of the data instead of just offering it to you.

Once you have a grip on all of these, you can tailor your marketing campaign accordingly. You could find out, for example, that the majority of people who access your app do so around bedtime, and thus push for more adverts being displayed at those particular hours.

What are in-app analytics?

What users do within your app is the tip of the iceberg for in-app analytics. The category can be broadly divided into three sections: device, user demographics and user behaviour. In the first, things to look at can include what kind of device they are using and whether the model or OS version has any effect on their behaviour (for example, on a particular device the “buy” button on a page could be hidden behind another one). Within user demographics you have language, gender, location and also whether they’re new users or returning.

Finally, user behaviour is the biggest one to consider – how users behave within an application and how that leads (or doesn’t) to income and conversions. There are almost infinite things to track here such as where people click on an app, how long they spend on a page, which pages lead to higher conversions and why (it could be content, it could be product, it could be design).

Analytics KPIs

  • Type of device.
  • In-app behaviour: clicks, levels completed, purchases made.
  • Location, gender, age and language of users.
  • Whether user is new or returning.
  • Operating system.
  • Manufacturer.
  • Time of use.

These all inform how you can change an app for maximum ROI. In the case of games, are there specific levels or bosses that are making people exit the app? How often are they using certain feature, or if given a choice, how often are they picking one over the other? All this information is invaluable when understanding how your users interact with your application. A subset of this is A/B Analytics.

A/B Analytics.

Presenting users one of two different options (whether they present differences in design or experience) and seeing which one works best. The issue is that while you can do this in-house, you will often need ways of doing it “live”, testing it on current users, without breaking the app or turning them away. A/B testing is key, but it is one part of a wider toolset, and thus the companies that supply it often do so alongside other tools as well.

Up next, the foundation of it all: app performance analytics.

What are app performance analytics?

This is the bedrock of optimising an app – without this set of statistics, it’s basically impossible to retain users because you won’t be looking at the most important metric of all: whether an app works or not. From uptime (how long an app is kept open) to crashes, responsiveness and resource usage, you need to know when your app works, slows down or fails; and you need to know it for every single device and operating system your users access your app from. Does your app perform better on a particular brand on phones than in others? You’ll want to know why. Further, your app may depend on third-party services in the cloud, and you’ll want to know exactly how these affect your app both when they are available and unavailable. These are just some of app performance KPIs.

Performance KPIs

  • Carrier latency.
  • API latency.
  • Uptime.
  • Crashes.
  • Exceptions.
  • Errors.
  • Data Transactions.

These are well and truly crucial to know if an app doesn’t work, and how. You may find that opening a specific page on iOS crashes your app – if this is your sales page, you’re in trouble.

So now you know about all the types of app analytics, how do you choose a platform?

How to select an app analytics platform

Tablet with orange screen and various symbols (a person, a pie chart, a cog wheel) pointing to the screen.

As you’ll see in the list below, there’s quite a few analytics platforms out there, so it’s important to know how to choose which one is best for you. Here is a list of things to look for or ask yourself.

Pricing plan

The pricing plan is one of the key things to look at because a lot of platforms have different “tiers”, offering an increasing number of metrics, data points or features as you pay more. If your app won’t generate huge amounts of data or only requires a few metrics, then perhaps you don’t need to go for the “full features list” tier. Some platforms are free, while others have a free bracket as long as you stick to very basic features.

Key features

Some platforms offer a specific key feature on top of the basics, such as A/B testing, push notifications or a focus on metrics for games. While some features are universally provided by most platforms, these may not be. Find out what the platform’s unique selling point is and understand whether it is important to your app.

What does your app need?

Following on from the previous point – what kind of analytics do you need? If your app is going to be used within your enterprise only by a few people, performance analytics may be more important to you than user experience. If your app is highly original and standard analytics won’t give you much of an insight, customisable metrics may be for you.

Level of support

How much documentation does the platform offer? Do they have a 24/7 hotline or account managers to help you when things go wrong? If everything else is equal, this may be the deciding factor in your decision making process.

Size of SDK/implementation difficulty

Most of the platforms here come with a very easy implementation process, sometimes as little as a single line of code. Other SDKs or implementations can be bigger and more complicated, potentially even slowing your app down or affecting its performance. Ensure that the platform is fully compatible with your app and easy to use.

With these points in mind, we hope we have made it easier for you to choose from one of our selected mobile app analytics platforms. If you find these are not enough, you can always take a look through the Business of Apps Marketplace.

Selected mobile app analytics platforms

appsflyer logo

1. AppsFlyer

A mobile app tracking and attribution analytics platform for app developers and marketers, Appsflyer is trusted by, among others, the Wall Street Journal, L’Oreal and Trivago.

Type: Marketing Analytics

Pricing: $0.05, $0.04 and $0.03 per app install, depending on volume.

Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows, Web, Unity, Amazon, TvOS

  • Real-time data to maximise your advertising ROI
  • Reports to maximise the lifetime value of your users
  • One universal SDK for easy integration

Pros:

  • One-stop shop.
  • Twitter and Google Partner
  • Active fraud solution
  • Configurable attribution window

 

Appsee logo

2. Appsee

Appsee provides developers with visual, qualitative insights on their app by using touch heatmaps to allow developers to see true in-app user behaviour.

Type: In-app analytics.

Pricing: a 14 days free trial, regular plans pricing isn’t disclosed

Platforms supported: iOS, Android

  • Real-time in-app analytics
  • Lightweight SDK
  • Demo available

Pros:

  • User experience visualization (app sessions video recordings)
  • Real-time analytics
  • Touch heatmaps
  • Crash recordings
  • Conversion funnels
  • Enterprise solution (dedicated account manager, server side API, 3rd party integrations)

Cons:

  • Metrics set is basic (comparing with other solutions)
  • Not transparent plan upgrade policy
  • High priced plans
  • iOS & Android only

 

App Annie Logo

3. App Annie

App analytics and market data platform to help developers build a better app business, App Annie is also one of the most famous repositories of news and statistics on the mobile world.

Type: Marketing Analytics.

Pricing: Free or custom

Platforms supported: iOS, Android, TvOS, Windows, Amazon, Web

  • One consolidated platform for your data needs
  • Combine data from all your ad platforms, automatically
  • Track your apps and competition with Store Stats

Pros:

  • One of the most comprehensive tools on the market.
  • Very strong analytics.

Cons:

  • Pricing structure is not published.
  • Rumoured to be expensive.

 

Tune logo

4. Tune

Marketing-focused analytics platform, also includes app-store analytics in its “console” and has a free trial period available. Tune also offers supply-side tools for ad networks.

Type: Marketing analytics.

Pricing: Free for up to 10 apps, custom thereafter.

Platforms Supported: iOS, Android, Windows, Web

  • Unifies measurement across user acquisition, discovery, retention and engagement
  • Attribution analytics for accurate campaign performance insights
  • App store analytics to maximise installs

Pros:

  • Real time tracking and reporting.
  • 3rd party ad managment
  • Data is very well organised

Cons:

 

Localytics logo

5. Localytics

An application analytics software which can scale to track up to 100 thousand monthly active users and 12 million datapoints, Localytics keeps track of granular analytics, user flows and funnels.

Type: In-app analytics.

Pricing: Not published online.

Platforms supported: iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, HTML 5

  • Free to use up to 10k MAUs (1 million data points)
  • Free trial available
  • Scaling price plans all include events, funnels, analytics and filters.

Pros:

  • LTV measuring
  • Live demo
  • Retroactive funnel analysis
  • API
  • A/B testing
  • Dedicated account manager
  • Real-time analytics
  • Marketing Automation (push, in-app messaging)
  • Safe Harbor Certified

Cons:

  • Only exports to PDF or CSV.

 

Apsalar logo

6. Apsalar

An enterprise mobile app analytics company, Apsalar provides an analytics platform with Marketing Attribution, Remarketing Audience and CRM & Prospecting Audiences tools.

Type: Marketing analytics.

Pricing: Not published online.

Platforms supported: iOS, Android

  • Large resource database with insights and videos.
  • Offers app-security products and services too.
  • Dedicated account managers as part of support package.

Pros:

  • Real-time cohorts
  • Marketing Automation (push, in-app messaging)
  • LTV measuring
  • It provides users with a combination of both analytics and attribution features
  • Cross-app funnel analysis

Cons:

  • No custom dashboards
  • iOS and Android only
  • Customer support isn’t always responsive

 

4f634168d5cb8c57778b7d3062a28d27_countly.png

7. Countly

Countly covers everything from push notifications to user profiles, attribution to segmentation with real-time analytics of up to 10 million unique identities.

Type: In-app analytics.

Pricing: ranging from a free plan to $250 / month and upwards for Enterprise edition.

Platforms supported: iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Apple Watch, Mac OS X, Unity3D and Flash

  • Pricing plans start at $125/month.
  • Free trials and quotations available.
  • SDKs for other platforms (Unity3D, Mac OSX) available.

Pros:

  • Very responsive and easy-to-use UI
  • Real-time analytics
  • Open Source
  • Flexible statistical plugins management
  • Guided Demo
  • White label (Enterprise Edition)
  • User-permission management

 

mixpanel logo

8.MixPanel

Mixpanel is an advanced analytics platform with nearly 3000 clients including miniclip, AirBnB, WordPress and Match.com, and installed in under 10 minutes.

Type: In-app analytics

Pricing: ranging from from a free plan to $999 / month and custom.

Platforms supported: iOS, Android

  • Free up to 25,000 data points.
  • Very scalable price plan up to 20M datapoints, and then open to negotiation.
  • Huge scale of operations: over 34 billion actions analysed each month.

Pros:

  • A/B testing feature
  • Retroactive funnel analysis
  • True Cohort Analysis
  • Multi-language support
  • Simplified app data presenting interface
  • Bookmarks and annotations support for data graphs
  • Marketing Automation (push, in-app messaging)

Cons:

  • No live demo
  • No custom dashboards
  • Setup requires more technical expertise

 

Game Analytics logo

9. GameAnalytics

As the name implies, GameAnalytics is a game-focused and free analytics tool tracking stats like game progression and level advancement, and also a customisable GUI.

Type: In-app analytics.

Pricing: free

Platforms supported: Unity for iOS, Android, Flash, Windows, Web GL

  • iOS, Android, Flash, Unity3d and Corona compatible
  • No limits on events or traffic
  • Hourly updates, unlimited widgets and dashboard GUIs

Pros:

  • Free
  • Unity legacy SDK to support iOS, Android, Windows, web player and web GL as well as native iOS, native Android Corona SDK, Xamarin SDK, Python and Flash legacy SDK
  • Measures game specific KPIs
  • Pre-configured events for Unity
  • Custom dashboards

 

App Analytics logo

10. AppAnalytics

A very advanced App Analytics platform with plenty of features including touch heatmaps, gesture recognition and push-notification analytics.

Type: In-app analytics.

Pricing: ranging from a free plan, $399/mo Corporate plan to an Enterprise one with non-disclosed pricing tag.

Platforms supported: iOS, Android, Windows Mobile

  • Key clients include Unilever and Fiware.
  • Offers user interface suggestions.
  • Lightweight SDK compatible with all platforms.

Pros:

  • Free trial
  • Touch heatmaps
  • User analytics
  • Gesture recognition
  • Low footprint (doesn’t impact app performance)
  • In-app analytics
  • Conversion funnels
  • Custom dashboards
  • iOS, Android, Windows Mobile & Desktop

Cons:

  • Low funding
  • Young company with credibility yet to deserve

 

Upsight logo

11. UpSight

Analytics platform with customisable metrics and events to track, UpSight also offers consultation and ad optimisation services.

Type: Marketing analytics, in-app analytics.

Pricing: custom pricing, no plans

Platforms supported: iOS, Android

  • Analytics, Marketing and Data Mining sold as both stand-alone and package
  • Free up to 50k monthly users
  • Clients include Ubisoft and Halfbrick Games.

Pros:

  • Custom dashboards
  • Flexible KPIs management
  • A/B testing
  • Live Demo
  • K-factor (growth factor) measuring
  • Marketing Automation (push, in-app messaging)
  • Free Trial
  • Unlimited data storage

Cons:

  • Pricing isn’t available

 

swrve logo

12. SWRVE

SWRVE is designed to track user behaviour and purchases, conduct A/B testing, deliver push notifications and in-app marketing campaigns.

Type: Marketing analytics.

Pricing: free trial, monthly plans pricing is undisclosed

Platforms supported: iOS, Android

  • Free trial available
  • Wide range of expertise, from mobile news media to gaming
  • Covers 3 billion events a day over 750 million devices.

Pros:

  • Live demo
  • A/B testing
  • Marketing Automation (push, in-app messaging)
  • Predictive suite to increase an app marketing efficiency

Cons:

  • iOS and Android only

 

Kochava logo

13. Kochava

Guarantees 99.98% uptime to its platform and doesn’t even need an SDK to implement. Kochava has a strong focus on privacy of user data.

Type: Marketing analytics.

Pricing: free app analytics, $0.03/install for attribution analytics, enterprise level is undisclosed.

Platforms supported: iOS, Apple Watch OS, Android

  • Dedicated account manager to support your app.
  • Privacy first: no retargeting or resale of your data.
  • Server-to-server API or SDK integration to install.

Pros:

  • It provides users with a combination of both analytics and attribution features
  • iBeacons support
  • IdentyLink technology (cross-device app user identification)
  • Buy-side SDK
  • COPPA compliance
  • LTV measuring
  • Server-to-server API
  • The biggest mobile ad network partnership.

 

Appdynamics logo

14. AppDynamics

Specifically focused on enterprise growth and app stats analysis, AppDynamics‘ USP are its six “intelligent engines” for tracking metrics beyond the ordinary.

Type: In-app analytics.

Pricing: free trial, free Lite plan, custom quote for Pro plans

Platforms supported: iOS, Android

  • Key clients include CA Wily, HP Mercury, BMC, Oracle, Sun, and McAfee.
  • Offers a huge amount of consultation services and expertise.
  • Very large knowledge and support base.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-deploy
  • App behavioral learning
  • Self-configuring platform
  • Effective app production monitoring
  • App performance alerts
  • Apple Watch OS support

Cons:

  • Focus on large enterprises
  • Flash-based technology Dashboard

 

heap logo

15. HeapAnalytics

Code-free app analytics platform with both real-time and historical data. Heap also has strong automation features to track and chart metrics.

Type: In-app analytics.

Pricing: Free or custom pricing

Platforms supported: iOS, web

  • Key clients include Crunchbase and Strava.
  • Web or iOS apps.
  • Free trial available.

Pros:

  • Retroactive analytics
  • Real-time analytics
  • Direct data export (part of the Enterprise plan)
  • Retention tracking
  • Funnels building

Cons:

  • No data-out API
  • No native Android support

 

moengage logo

16. MoEngage

User analytics and engagement platform for mobile apps, MoEngage is heavily focused on geo-targeted app push notifications and in-app messages.

Type: In-app analytics.

Pricing: free plan, regular plans pricing is undisclosed

Platforms supported: iOS, Android, Windows Mobile

  • App users profiling (from acquisition to uninstall).
  • Integration with MobileAppTracking, Appsflyer, Apsalar and others.
  • The largest app marketing automation platform in India.

Pros:

  • App users profiling (from acquisition till uninstall)
  • iOS app uninstall tracking
  • Integration with MobileAppTracking, Appsflyer, Apsalar and others
  • Marketing Automation (push, in-app messaging)
  • The largest app marketing automation platform in India

Cons:

  • Limited presence on the US and European app market
  • Young company with credibility yet to deserve

 

Taplytics logo

17. Taplytics

Taplytics is a mobile A/B testing, push notification and analytics platform which also includes push notifications and a free demo period.

Type: In-app analytics.

Pricing: a free plan (to track up to 25k MAU), the Enterprise plan pricing is upon request

Platforms supported: iOS, Android

  • Advanced level of A/B testing to test any app interface element.
  • BigQuery tool to get access to raw data.
  • Mixpanel and Google Analytics integration.

Pros:

  • Advanced level of A/B testing to test any app interface element
  • BigQuery tool to get access to raw data (experiments, events, or push notifications) to setup custom metrics
  • Easy setup
  • Live chat support
  • Mixpanel and Google Analytics integration

Cons:

  • iOS & Android only

 

Final Thoughts

Knowledge is power, and in the field of mobile apps that is extremely true. The more useful statistics you track, the more metrics you know, the more ways you have of improving your mobile app and reaching the right users and customers. We hope the guide has given you an idea of the importance of app analytics, what they are, and who you can trust to obtain some great insights.