author Marlee Hirson, Monday August 17, 2015

The ability to utilize download, subscriber, and in-app usage data is incredibly helpful in accessing the effectiveness of your mobile safety app. The data can be analyzed to tweak mobile features or even marketing approaches. However, using vanity metrics in assessment is a common pitfall that you want to avoid.

Vanity Metrics

Vanity metrics look and feel nice, but don’t create easily actionable information. As an example, app downloads are a vanity metric as they don't provide an accurate picture of how a safety app is actually being used. The valuable data is the repeat usage and retention, rather than download scores. User engagement should be the focus, as it provides a deeper understanding of user behaviour which can in turn, drive more downloads.

Understanding Actionable Metrics

Effective mobile safety apps should be both proactive and reactive, which is why our philosophy is to focus on what comes before, during, and after a crisis occurs; not just reactionary measures. Highlighting user patterns, active traffic, and user interactions helps you see clearly.

The most valuable addition to any sort of metrics are questions. These can include:

  • How is monthly growth rate compared to our number of total users?
  • Which user source is bringing in the most traffic?
  • Which features are used the most?

Data metrics provide insights into user behaviour and can help form the types of questions you need to be asking. For example, looking at which safety feature is activated the most often by students shows how you can adjust you custom AppArmor app to meet the unique needs of your community.

At the end of the day, improving user experience should be one of the main objectives for extracting and assessing data, circling back to user retention and an increase in downloads.

How do you use data for your safety app? What metrics do you consider important? Have any tips for other schools? Comment on this article and tell us about them!

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