App-First Analytics with Firebase Analytics

While Firebase Analytics is separate from Google Analytics for mobile apps, both solutions were built by the same team to ensure Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, the Google Analytics 360 Suite, and Firebase Analytics work together seamlessly. Below, we’ve cross-posted a deep dive into Firebase Analytics from the Firebase blog so you can learn more about the exciting app analytics capabilities available in Firebase. If you’d like to understand more about how Google Analytics products work with Firebase Analytics, check out our Analytics 360 and Google Analytics overviews.

Cross-posted from the Firebase blog by Russell Ketchum, Group Product Manager:
Welcome, current and new Firebase developers! There’s a lot to discover with the Firebase platform — more than we could possibly explain in a single blog post. So over the next several weeks, we’ll be sharing posts focusing on each of the individual features of Firebase. For our first post, we wanted to let you know about Firebase Analytics — the free and unlimited analytics solution for mobile developers.

Analytics are at the heart of successful apps, so when we expanded Firebase to help mobile developers build better apps and grow successful businesses, we thought it was important to build an analytics solution that serves the needs of all app developers, from two-person startups to large, established companies.

Meet Firebase Analytics, a free and unlimited analytics tool built from the ground up for mobile apps. Firebase Analytics is at the core of the Firebase platform, providing the insights you need to build successful apps.

All your app analytics in one place.
Firebase Analytics helps you understand what your users are doing in your app. It has all of the metrics that you’d expect in an app analytics tool (average revenue per user (ARPU), active users, retention reports, event counts, etc.) combined with user properties like device type, app version, and OS version to give you insight into how users interact with your app.

Collecting all of this data is simple and works right out of the box. When you add Firebase to your app, key events are measured automatically – including first opens (think of these like installs), in-app purchases, and more. With up to 500 distinct event types (each with up to 25 key-value pair parameters), you can measure additional suggested and custom events that are unique to your app with just a few lines of code.

Some events are more important to you than others, so with conversion tracking you can define the most important events that happen in your app (like purchasing an item, or sharing your app with others) and create funnels just for these events to discover where users drop out of the process.

But Firebase Analytics helps you analyze more than just user behavior. It also provides a rich set of data that helps describe your users – data like geographic information, demographics, and interests that can help you better tune your app and refine your marketing activities.

While standard demographic data is helpful, it’s also important to understand user properties specific to your app. Firebase Analytics lets you define custom user properties for all of your users. For example, your fitness app can record a user’s favorite exercise or your music app can record your user’s favorite genre. Firebase Analytics is also integrated with BigQuery, Google’s fully-managed data warehouse, so you can export your raw Firebase data and join it with custom data for additional analysis.

Smarter, more effective app marketing.
Understanding user behavior is just one important part of Firebase Analytics — you also need to understand how your advertising and marketing activities influence those behaviors. Firebase Analytics can automatically link user behaviors within your app to a traffic source so you know where your valuable users are coming from. It works with Google AdWords and more than 20 other major ad networks without having to install any additional SDKs, making it easy to understand the ROI of your marketing and advertising spend. You can also import Firebase Analytics conversion events directly into Google AdWords, so you can bid on specific user events that happen in your app with just a few clicks.

Firebase Analytics makes all of Firebase better.
Firebase Analytics is designed to make your analytics data actionable. You can use the Audiences feature to create a segment of users based on their event data and user properties. For example, an audience of people who have added items to their cart but haven’t made a purchase. Or, an audience of classical music fans who have listened to more than 200 songs.

You can then use these audiences in conjunction with other Firebase features, like Remote Config, which allows you to change the look-and-feel of your app just for a specific audience. Want to create a customized home screen for users who have subscribed to your newsletter or have reached a certain level in your fitness app? You can do that directly from the Firebase console using Remote Config and Audiences in Firebase Analytics.

Firebase Analytics Audiences also works with Notifications, allowing you to send in-app notifications to any audience that you’ve defined. So, if you’ve just added a new set of armor to your game’s in-app storefront, you can notify only the users who have purchased in-game items in the past. In addition, when your Firebase account is linked to AdWords, you can use audiences to re-engage lapsed users with ad campaigns. To learn more about the app analytics capabilities in Firebase Analytics, check out our video:

While Firebase works well as a standalone tool, the true power of Firebase Analytics lies in the customer insight it brings to other Firebase capabilities – insight that helps you grow, develop, and earn with your mobile app.