Dynatrace: What is Mobile Application Monitoring? And the importance of mobile analytics
Users downloaded more than 218 billion mobile applications in 2020, according to a report by Statista. And they’re now spending more four hours a day using these apps. With so much competition for users’ attention, it’s crucial that your apps perform flawlessly. Mobile app monitoring and mobile analytics make this possible.
By providing insight into how apps are working and why they’re crashing, mobile analytics lets you know what’s going on with your apps and what steps you can take to fix potential issues. With the right monitoring solution, you can anticipate issues to help increase overall application adoption and user satisfaction.
What is Mobile Application Monitoring?
Mobile application monitoring is the process of collecting and analyzing application performance data. This performance is influenced by various factors, including the application code itself, the device used, the server handling the data, and the network providing the connection. Mobile analytics and monitoring provide context around your mobile app’s performance – the better the performance, the better for your bottom line. If apps crash or have connection or loading issues, users will delete your app and use something else.
Mobile application monitoring helps quantify application performance issues. For example, you can track the number of crashes on your app over a specific time period to get an idea of how often crashes occur. While end-user crash reports are also useful, they are harder to correlate with specific issues over time.
What is Mobile Analytics?
While mobile app monitoring focuses on collecting app performance data, mobile analytics focuses on user-centric data collection and analysis. This includes app downloads and installs, time spent in apps, actions performed in the app, and the type of devices used to access the app.
Analytics provides information about user-facing aspects of your application, such as user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). This information helps to better understand user behaviors and uncover trends impacting the overall success of your application.
Why Use Mobile Analytics and App Monitoring?
Think of mobile analytics and app monitoring as two sides of the same coin. Mobile app monitoring focuses on the functions inherent in the app itself as well as connection and network related issues. Mobile analytics examines the user’s role and the impact of app responses (or lack thereof) on their decision to download, install, and use your app.
An important factor to consider is app crashes. Many users point to a lack of functionality as a reason for uninstalling apps. But regular outages can have a significant impact on the “permanence” of your app on users’ devices. Like Technological beacon notes, some of the most common reasons for app crashes include memory management, lack of testing, exception handling, excessive code, and mobile software lifecycle speed. However, the challenge is that user crash reports don’t indicate exactly what went wrong. Instead, they serve as a starting point for deeper mobile analytics and app monitoring to help identify root causes. As a result, collision analysis tools are essential for companies to get an overview.
How do mobile analytics and mobile monitoring work?
Mobile analytics and monitoring works by identifying and collecting key data from incidents as they happen. For example, a mobile app monitoring solution can map your app’s connected components and microservices, providing detailed insights into how they interact and where users are experiencing issues. Mobile analytics capabilities capture and record user-facing information to help businesses understand the impact of UI and UX components on mobile interactions.
Common data captured by mobile monitoring and analytics tools can include:
Total number of page views
Number of visits and unique visitors
Chains of actions taken by users
Armed with this information, mobile monitoring solutions can help organizations determine how effective their applications are for users. This data allows teams to measure behaviors such as the average length of user visits and the features and functions they interact with the most. Teams can also measure which specific factors drive actions, like purchases or newsletter signups. More importantly, teams can identify where users may be having issues with mobile apps.
By leveraging the data collected and results generated by mobile application monitoring solutions, organizations can create continuous feedback loops. These ecosystems can detect problems, identify solutions, and re-evaluate applications based on ongoing user behavior.
What is a mobile monitoring solution and why do you need it?
A mobile surveillance solution provides a unified platform for monitoring and analysis. Instead of using multiple tools to identify crashes, lags, UI hangs, downloads, installs, and time spent in apps, monitoring solutions help collect, access, and analyze key data in real time.
As mobile apps continue to proliferate, monitoring solutions are essential for long-term app success. And as development accelerates, the amount of data applications generate exceeds the ability of teams to manually capture and correlate it.
Mobile apps and development are separate from their web app counterparts. As such, they introduce distinct challenges for monitoring. Here are three critical differences:
- Separate development teams. Since mobile teams are often separated from web development teams, they need specialized capabilities to integrate application monitoring into a larger monitoring platform. This ensures that mobile and web app development teams have information across all channels.
- More involved development process. Given the variety of platforms and mobile devices, the process of developing native mobile apps is more complex. This requires more intensive application monitoring to ensure that performance meets expectations.
- Updates involving the user. Unlike web apps, which are updated centrally, new versions of mobile apps must go through an app store and require users to download the new version for updates.
- Reduced visibility. Without URLs and other web identifiers, it’s often harder for teams to identify issues in mobile apps.
Best Practices for Mobile Application Monitoring
- Collect data as soon as possible. The sooner you start collecting data, the better you will understand where apps are working and where they need to be improved.
- Constantly review app data. Continuous analysis of collected data allows you to identify trends and patterns that may suggest the need for further investigation.
- Integrate automation. Automating key processes like crash detection and time spent in the app frees teams to focus on finding answers.
- Focus on root causes. Make the most of monitoring tools to uncover common patterns of application outages – which, in turn, helps address root causes rather than surface symptoms.
Automatic and intelligent monitoring of mobile applications
Mobile Application Monitoring with the Dynatrace platform provides detailed information about your application’s operations, functions and failures to help you implement targeted and effective remediation and optimization strategies.
It starts with end-to-end visibility, all the way to the backend, so you know exactly what’s happening, when, and why. Next comes AI-powered crash and error analysis that provides deterministic root cause identification to provide answers to any issues. Then go even deeper with mobile session replay to see exactly what users were doing at the time of the crash and streamline the entire process with automatic instrumentation to focus on what matters most: improving application performance.
Ultimately, mobile matters more than ever. Ensure your apps are ready to compete in the growing mobile market with Dynatrace’s robust app monitoring and analytics.