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Usage Analytics

May 02, 2013

Usage Analytics Shootout
byMark WilcoxinBusiness

Usage Analytics tools help developers understand their users and the way they interact with their apps. Measuring app usage in this way and using the data to help target improvements to the app can significantly improve revenues. We’ve already highlighted the duopoly in this tools sector, with Google and Flurry dominating. Our survey showed that 74% of developers made use of Google Analytics while 41% used Flurry. Clearly there’s some overlap here with developers using both and in fact less than 7.5% of developers who use this type of tool don’t use either Google or Flurry at all. However, lots of developers work on apps across multiple platforms for multiple clients and they may not always be able to use their first choice analytics tool. We asked developers to rate their primary analytics tool across a range of criteria. This data tells us which are developers’ first choice tools and how they compare.

Analytics Shootout


[box type=”alert”]The infogram service is currently experiencing some technical difficulties. We’ll bring back the interactive chart asap. In the meanwhile, you an find the filtered results mentioned in the article here.[/box]

Looking at all responses for developers primary tools Google and Flurry still dominate the market with Flurry slightly closer to Google and more than twice as popular as all of the other vendors combined. All of the tools show very high levels of developer satisfaction with Google slightly ahead overall. Outside of the top five selection criteria the only areas where other tools show significant advantages over Google or Flurry are custom views of the data and real-time analytics. If you have requirements on those areas it may be worth looking at the competition in more detail but for everyone else we can focus on the shootout between the top two.

Google beats Flurry in a head to head comparison

To try to get a more accurate comparison between Google & Flurry we filtered the data down to those developers who use both tools (and possibly others as well) such that they were in a position to make a direct comparison. This produces some interesting results; first, amongst developers that use both, Flurry is the primary tool for a majority of developers (53.1% vs 39.4%); second, on average, developers that use both tools rate Google higher on every single selection criteria, sometimes significantly so. The ratings gap between the two tools is magnified if we weight the criteria by the relative importance developers assigned in the survey. For the most important criteria, ease of integration, Flurry scores higher than Google when all responses are considered but the result is reversed when looking at only those who can make a direct comparison.

The future?

It seems Google has a slightly better tool but Flurry is still holding onto a majority of the developers that have tried both. The explanation for this slightly conflicting result appears to be that Flurry established itself as a leader in iOS analytics early and there is higher adoption of analytics amongst iOS developers in general. So, while Google’s analytics product may have the edge, it’s not sufficiently superior to justify switching for most existing users. Android ports or web apps may use Google analytics but the iOS app sticks with Flurry. This suggests that unless Flurry can improve their offering we may see their market share decline in future surveys as more developers adopt usage analytics. Given developer’s emphasis on ease of integration, the most likely disruption of the duopoly in this market would be an integrated offering – usage analytics combined with crash analytics and maybe also marketing analytics (install/referral tracking) in a single SDK.

AnalyticsDeveloper satisfactionShootout

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