Google Analytics Sunsetting Native App Analytics

September 11th, 2019

What’s Happening? 

In late 2018 Google announced that they are sunsetting their Google Analytics for mobile apps and the related SDK in October of 2019. Last november they sent an email to current GA users saying:

“We want to let you know that in October 2019 we will begin to sunset our Google Analytics for mobile apps reporting and the Google Analytics Services SDK.”

If you didn’t receive that email, they have started notifying users when they log into their GA account. Not sure how to check? Check out the screenshot below. You can also click the link to the announcement here. Panicking? Don’t! Use this as an opportunity to evaluate your current data and really figure out what will be the most valuable to you. This will not only help with the transition into a new platform but will also set a framework for future data analysis. Looking for guidance – jump to our Transition Guide below!

Why are they doing this?

Google bought Firebase back in 2014 with the intent to scale the current backend service to a point where they could transition apps off of GA as smoothly as possible. Google wants to have two separate platforms for web and apps – therefore Google Analytics will be focusing solely on web analytics after October 31 and Firebase will be Google’s native app package.

Who will it affect 

This will only affect customers who are currently using the FREE version of Google Analytics native app analytics. If you’re not sure if this will affect you – scroll up to the top and check out the screenshot we provided! You will get a banner notification at the top of your GA account once you are logged in.

“Well, what if I’m a Google Analytics 360 user?” 

This does not affect you at all! Only free users.

When exactly will this happen?

As of October 31 – Google will stop tracking all data for native apps. Don’t wait until the 30th to act on this, though. Make sure to give yourself some time to implement changes and give your app users time to update their apps so you don’t lose user data! Another important date to mark down is January 31 – if you don’t archive your historical data by January 31, ALL of your data that your app has collected will be gone forever. So mark it in your calendar!

Transition Guide: How To Update Your Analytics Package

Follow the steps below to learn how to update your analytics package.

STEP 1Decide on a new analytics solution and get developing!

We recommend you replace your analytics package and release a new app by October 1st so there’s time for users to update the app before analytics stops working. Don’t know which analytics to use next? We have put together a few different package options depending on your specific needs.

FREE PACKAGES

Firebase

      • Pros – very quick set-up, simple interface, basic funnels (make 6 events), real-time user engagement data
      • Differentiator: speed for set-up, default events, integration with google adwords, performance and A/B testing extensions all connected together
      • Cons: limited parameters related to events… for example if you want to know what a user purchased, the total purchase cost and a few other data points, you may run out of parameters quickly.  Firebase connects to Big Picture to support expanded parameter reporting, but that comes with a price tag and the need for someone who can write queries and manipulate the data.

Flurry

      • Pros: very quick set-up, simple interface, basic funnels,
      • Differentiator: user-specific engagement data reports go beyond real-time, Expanded, advanced funnel
      • Cons: limit the time frame that the data is kept.

PAID SOLUTIONS

Paid solutions tend to expand beyond analytics into marketing automation and advertising management.  Using customer segmentation and trigger based push notifications, these packages can lower you customer acquisition cost and improve repeat engagement. Here are a few options to dig into if you need a step up from the free versions:

      • LeanPlum
      • MixPanel
      • Amplitude
      • AppMetrica
      • Localytics

Need help deciding? Reach out to us at the form below and we’ll provide a recommendation and can implement the update for you!

STEP 2: Capture that Historical Data!

Pull down reports and archive all of your historical events and data by January 31st. Log in and make sure to export ALL historical data! This might get tricky – so give yourself some time to get it done. Wondering what to spend time capturing? Here’s a quick list on what questions you should ALWAYS be able to answer about your app:

      • How often do customers use the app?
      • What are the most popular screens/events that occur in the app?
      • How many conversions occurred? How much revenue did these conversions generate?

We can help

Still overwhelmed? We can help! Feel free to contact us below to get a free estimate on taking over the transition!

Karli Taylor

As a Marketing Analyst at Accella, Karli Taylor spends time defining and implementing data metrics that align with client marketing and business objectives. Karli focuses on producing actionable insights based on data analysis to aid clients in their UX and marketing efforts.

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