The AppD Approach: Increasing Mobile Engagement with Business iQ

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Learn how to quickly measure the success of new applications and features.

With 2.3 billion smartphone users worldwide, enterprises can’t afford to ignore the mobile channel. Last year, $2 billion of Black Friday’s total sales of $5.03 billion were spent on mobile devices. And mobile isn’t just about shopping. People are now spending equal amounts of time on mobile devices and desktop computers. Flurry Insights pegs the average time that people devote to mobile devices at 5 hours a day.

In an attempt to capture a fraction of their attention, nearly three-quarters of enterprises surveyed by Gartner last year deployed an average of 8 mobile applications. But their efforts were only modestly rewarded. That is because total mobile engagement is depressingly low. According to Localytics, 63% of users visit a mobile app less than 10 times, while 24% use an app only once.

Product managers are trying to address the engagement crisis by creating more compelling user experiences. But they find it hard to measure their success. They often have to guess: Is the new feature I rolled out last week pleasing users or annoying them? It turns out that producing great mobile experiences requires the same deep visibility as more traditional applications do. Product managers and their operations teams need to understand user journeys and to quickly diagnose performance issues. This is simple to do with AppDynamics Business iQ, of course, but I suspect that few product managers understand how easy it is to set up and use our solution.

I was reminded of this during a recent customer engagement at a large bank. The product manager was updating one of the bank’s mobile apps, and she asked me if AppDynamics could help her determine if users liked the new features she was adding or not.

Given that there will be around 200 billion mobile applications downloaded this year, I suspect her question is a common one. In the rest of this blog post, I’ll walk through the steps I showed the product manager so that others can get started just as quickly.

The first step is to go to the “Analytics” tab and “Add a new Search.”

Since feature registration is one of the Business Transactions automatically discovered by the APM agent, we can use AppDynamics Query Language (ADQL) to select all the features that have been registered by all users.

The screenshot below (a mockup) shows an ADQL statement that will count all the features that have been registered during a selected time period. You can see that the top features registered are “Quick Balance,” “Push Notification,” and “Quick Transactions.”

As developers continue to release new features for the application, the Analytics Dashboard will automatically display the registration occurrences of new features without any reconfiguration (i.e. ADQL statement).

Let’s say that “Quick Balance” is the new feature that the product manager has just released. The fact that there are 350 registrations indicates that the users are responding favorably to the pop-up screen promoting the feature.

However, as the promotion continues, the product manager notices a growing number of deregistrations from the Analytics Dashboard. By the end of the week, Quick Balance is showing the highest number of deregistrations.

Let’s assume the high number of deregistrations also coincides with negative feedback left on a handful of mobile app rating sites, providing quantitative confirmation that users do not like it.

By drilling into the “Quick Balance” transactions, the product manager can see at a glance that the performance of the feature is being affected by errors.

At this point, she can share the dashboard with IT Ops and ask them to follow up on the problems associated with Quick Balance. Once the performance issues are corrected, the Analytics Dashboard should register a decrease in deregistrations and the rating sites will also likely begin to show positive feedback.

Successful product management in the digital world requires rapid insight into user experience. Learn more about AppDynamics Business iQ and how you can gain real-time awareness of application performance, user experience, and their impact on your business performance.