Apple App Analytics Intro & FAQs – What the Data?

3. Juni 2015 - Post category: App Store Optimization Basics

In April, Apple launched the private Beta of Apple’s App Analytics built into the iTunes Connect Console. Since May, it is open for all developers – time to talk about the metrics and answer questions like what does App units mean, what  is a good conversion rate?

App Analytics – Launch

App Analytics iTunes Connect

When launching App Analytics within your iTunes Connect account you will see a table which contains all your apps and some metrics beside each app. These metrics help you to get a quick overview of your apps performance especially in comparison with the previous timeslot (30 days by default). If you can’t enter App Analytics double check if you have the sufficient rights to use it. App Analytics is available to all iTunes Connect users with the Admin, Finance, or Sales role.

App Analytics – Metrics

The metrics shown on this view are App Store Views, App Units, Sales and Sessions. Let’s have a closer look at them and explain them in detail.

App Analytics Dashboard

App Store Views

App Store views counts the amount how often your App Store page has been viewed using iOS 8 or later. Only App Store product page views are counted.

App Units

App units is the number how often your app has been downloaded for the first time. Updates, re-downloads and downloads on other devices with the same Apple ID are not counted.


The Sales number describes the overall sum of the revenue generated through app purchases and in app purchases.


Sessions is the number how often your app has been in the foreground for at least 2 seconds. If the app is in the background and is used again later, that counts as another session.

Opt-in Only

You may wonder what Opt-in Only means. You will find this sentence besides different metrics. With the launch of iOS 8 users can opt in to send their user information to developers. As you can imagine, only a few people will do this. You can find out how many % of your users opted in to share this information be clicking on the ? next to “About App Analytics Data”.

App Analytics Opt in Number

About App Analytics

That sums these metrics up, anyway, if you want to go more into detail you can check out the official Apple App Analytics FAQs.

App Analytics – Detail View

When clicking on the name of an app, you switch over to the details view of the selected app. There you can dig deeper by analyzing more data.


The overview page contains high level information concerning your app performance metrics and also gives you some insights on the best performing countries of your app. A metric which hasn’t been described yet is “Active Devices”. Active Devices counts the number of devices which started your app at least once during the selected time period – only iOS8 or later are included.

App Analytics Detail View


On the metrics page you will see the high level metrics displayed on a timeline, so you can easily find out which days of the week bring in the most traffic and downloads.

App Analytics Metrics


On the sources overview you see which websites bring in the most traffic and downloads for your app. You can really use this overview to gather insides on hidden diamonds; websites which you didn’t have on your radar and can be used to generate even more app downloads.

App Analytics Sources


On the retention overview you can see the retention rate of your app. In general nothing special, because there are a of lot 3rd party providers out there which can provide you this information as well. The advantage is, you don’t have to integrate any SDK or 3rd party solution to get insights on this data.

App Analytics Retention


Now you can also create campaigns and track their performance. To setup a campaign visit “Sources” and click on “Top Campaigns” – there you will find the possibility to generate a campaign link. Give it a generic easy to understand name which you will be able to understand even in months from now (e.g. Blogpost ABC 2015/05/20).

App Analytics Campaigns

App Analytics Campaign Link

Copy the link and use it or share it, depending on what you are going to do.

App Analytics Key Performance Indicators

You should now have a better understanding of Apple’s App Analytics und its metrics. However, if you want to break it down to comparable indicators here are some ideas which ones to use.

Conversion Rate

Install Conversion = App Units / App Store Views

Example: 100 App Store Views, 50 App Units

50 / 100 = 0,5

This means that your install conversion is 50% (every second view converts into an install)

Conversion Rate / Campaign

Within the campaigns overview you can calculate the conversion rate of each campaign and see which marketing activity converted users and which didn’t.

App Store Optimization Value

In general you can say that the work of ASO equals Total Units – all Website Units – all Campaign Units.

Organic Downloads = Total Units – All Websites Units – All Campaign Units

Sessions, Retention

But watch out, conversion rate and installs are a really important metric but they are not the only metric to be looked at. If you get a lot of installs but users don’t use your app, the value of the installs metric is by far not so high compared to a source, where people install and use your app. Check sessions and retention to get these insights.

App Analytics Hints

Comparing App Analytics Data

When optimizing your apps at a professional level, knowing where the data comes from and which data counts can make the difference in optimizing your app marketing efforts. Choose the time period wisely when comparing your data and campaigns.

App Analytics Time Picker

For an overview and getting general information about the performance of your app, the standard setting with last 30 days makes sense. By this, you can compare your metrics compared to the metrics 30 days ahead the set time frame.

With the help of the custom range, you can compare individual updates of your app – which makes the most sense when digging deep into the data and finding out how your app updates or app marketing strategy changes had an impact on the metrics.

Bringing it to the next level – time zone of the data

There is one topic, which really hurts when ignoring it. This topic is timing and time zones. When combining date from different data sources you should always check the time zones of these different sources (when does a day end and when does a new day start).

An App Analytics day starts at 12 AM UTC and ends at 11:59 PM.

App Analytics Timezone

App Analytics Cheat Sheet Download

We prepared a little cheat sheet which can be printed for you. It contains all the important data and metrics explanations. Go ahead and download it for free.


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