Firebase Analytics : An Introduction
Firebase, a library that helps app developers create apps with ease was acquired by Google in 2014. Founded in 2011 by Andrew Lee and James Tamplin. Firebase allows apps to be developed entirely by client side code and update in real time. The foresight of Google has finally paid off with introduction of Firebase Analytics into their cloud platform.
On an average, worldwide, a normal user unlocks an app 150 times per day to perform various basic tasks like read news, check mail, social posts, music and videos. The scope of tracking this user behavior is tremendous for any app based business to understand their respective user profiles. But there are numerous challenges faced by developers around the word as there is no easy way to figure out and capture these data points. It’s difficult to identity a user based on a particular device and particular time. Mobile technology is hard to develop for such use cases. Also, apps don’t have the concept of cookies like in web browser, so it becomes extremely difficult to store local data. There is also constant up gradation happening in tech word which makes the learning curve steeper than it already is. It difficult to maintain that level of advancement at each touch point.
There are a numerous analytics tools from Google Analytics 360, Adobe, and Flurry etc which capture data is various forms which is different than one another but still useful in its own way. This makes it even harder to include every sdks into a single app to track the required data. There is constant conflict between developers and marketing to introduce new sdks as it is required by business heads but puts pressure on the app as its performance affects with each new additional sdk. This challenge is what Google is trying to remove with introduction of Firebase.
Firebase Analytics not only combines different sdks but also gives look into customer journey. It creates an instance in system on fire.com. All one needs to do is include the sdk and we are up and running. We can immediately track data and start asking questions. The most important aspect of this is that it is completely free and unlimited. It has no hit limits and no sampling. It was created by GA on app team with primary focus on apps. By default Firebase tracks 12 events like app install, uninstall, in app purchase etc. It also provides a guide to newbie to start tracking analyzing data immediately. It also has seamless integration across Google products as it provides a single platform to do the developmental work. It is present on Android and iOS and is platform agnostic.
With Firebase Google introduces Universal App Campaigns. There is no need for individual campaigns across ad network; it can handle through singe campaign using Firebase. Can link Adwords account to Firebase as well. Once Firebase sdk is included there is no need to include any third party sdks as it can handled through Firebase Console itself. Data sharing across the ad platforms can be done using Firebase as we as one can pass limited or entire dataset to third party platforms basis on requirements.
Another important aspect was introduction of Firebase Notifications, which allows users to directly open a particular screen instead of the home screen as it happens now. This can help one is understand the open rate, the user behavior once he opens an app.
Firebase is pretty new as of now but already a lot of app based start-ups have shown keen interest and the belief in this Google offering is very positive.