In brief, analytics refers to the ability to track what users are doing in your app. It can be a very useful tool for figuring out what your users want, where they're getting stuck and, perhaps most crucially, how they're using your app. This article will give a brief overview of what you can get out Mag+ today and how to implement it.
How Analytics Work
Several companies provide analytics services. They typically have code that gets built into an app which then anonymously tracks a user's actions. When the app next gets online, the code then beams that data back to the company's server, where it gets displayed in a dashboard for you.
Mag+ supports several analytics services directly within the app so that you have a choice:
- Google Analytics (Beta)
Once you've set-up your app to work with one of the services, your app starts collecting and beaming information, and you simply log on to your account with your chosen provider and check out the data.
Note: Mag+ doesn't track any data itself, and you don't have to go through us to get to it—your relationship with the provider is yours and you should know that we're not seeing or using your data for our own purposes.
How to Let Your Users Turn off Analytics
If you want to allow your users to opt out of the analytics data capture, you can choose to have the app present an opt-out box the first time the user runs the app. To enable this, follow the steps below.
1. Log on to the Mag+ Publish portal at <http://publish.magplus.com>.
4. Under "Startup", put a checkmark next to "Enable Analytics Popup".
The default text of the message is: "We collect anonymous analytics from your use of our app in order to improve it. May we collect this anonymous data from you?"
You can customize the message in the Application Texts section when customizing your app. Once the user makes a choice, they will not be presented with this box again, though they can later opt back in (in iOS) via their Settings for your app.
How to Enable Analytics
Before you begin
- Set-up an account with one of the analytics providers mentioned above.
- Make note of the Analytics Key provided to you by the service.
Note: Analytics is what Mag+ refers to a "live setting"— that is, something you can and set-up (or change) after your app is live, without having to rebuild. That's because the code for all the services is built into every app—you're just telling it which service to use. From then on, every time the app is online, it checks the backend for that choice. You can also use a different analytics provider for each platform (iOS and Android/Kindle Fire).
3. Configure the Analytics settings and click on "Save."
- Analytics Type: Choose one of the services supported by the Mag+ app.
- Analytics Key: Enter the unique key provided by the analytics provider when you signed up. For Omniture, this is usually the name of the report suite that you set up for your app and can be found in SiteCatalyst.
- Analytics Offline Reporting (iOS Only): Enable if you want to turn on offline reporting, provided that it is supported by the analytics service. Currently, only Omniture/Adobe Marketing Cloud supports this feature.
Important Information if Using Omniture/Adobe Marketing Cloud
If you're using Omniture, there's one more step to complete set-up: In Apps > Live Settings, you'll see a place to enter an Omniture tracking server—this is typically the same for all your company's apps and sites and something you'll get from your Omniture representatives. It's usually the s.trackingserver found in your s.code file.
Mag+ works with Omniture SiteCatalyst 14 or 15. Because Mag+ is built on a uniform app code base, it's not possible to add your own custom events to track. However, if there are things you'd like to capture that aren't available now, you can visit our user forums and make a request. Mag+ is always open to exploring whether or not it's something we can add to the code base.
Information You Can Get Outside of an Analytics Provider
Before getting into the analytics providers, it's important to know there is some data you can gather independent of these.
The Mag+ Publish portal
In the Issue tab of your Mag+ Publish portal, you can see:
- The number of successful downloads of any given Issue. This includes automatic Newsstand downloads as well as user-initiated downloads. This stat updates in real-time.
- The number of single-issue purchases for any given issue. This does not include subscription purchases. This is only updated when someone has purchased this Issue on its own via the in-app store.
Under the Sales and Trends section of your iTunes Connect account, you can find:
- App Downloads (total and by country)
- App updates (total and by country)
- Purchases – both of subscriptions and single copies (total and by country)
- The name, email and zip code of subscribers who have agreed to share data with you via an Apple-supplied pop-up box during the subscription process (downloadable weekly in a spreadsheet)
Note: iTunes only displays data going back three months, and then it's gone forever, so Mag+ strongly recommends you use a third-party service like AppAnnie to store and visualize this data over time.
If you embed clickable links in your Issue—say, a link to your home page, or to an advertiser's Web site—those can be tracked like any other link on the Web. When the user clicks that link, it will open your app's in-app Web browser and go to that URL. If that URL is a redirect or a unique URL, your standard Web analytics tool can see how many hits that link got.
Information from Analytics Providers
The built in analytics providers all capture generic user data—that is, you won't get personal or demographic information, but you will see how many visitors you have and how often they use the app—as well as information about what they do in the app, such as opening an issue, reading an article or clicking a link. You can find detailed info about each one of the providers in their respective articles below, but in general:
- Localytics gives you a rich set of info as it specializes in publishing apps. It also offers a suite of marketing tools that integrate with analytics so you can send a message only to people who have performed certain actions, for example.
- Omniture also provides good data on articles and issues read and some data on users, but the dashboard is still geared for web analytics.
- Flurry is a completely free option that provides basic data on users, issue reading and article views, but you have much less capability to view, sort and correlate that data in useful ways.
- Google Analytics is still in Beta and only provides very basic information set about users and issue use, but no article or event-level data.