Today’s kids are tech savvy, and app makers realize that family-friendly content is filling a growing niche. As independent developers turn their apps into businesses, they rely on data to help chart their course. What circumstances can change an app’s rankings? Which country generates the most downloads? Which day of the week is most popular for sales? You name it, app developers want to track it.
I interviewed several app makers from the Moms With Apps community about how they use data. Three main themes emerged: 1) analyze past data to chart historical trends, 2) monitor current data to evaluate visibility, and 3) synthesize past and present data to adjust future business strategy. In this article I will illustrate key points from each theme with specific developer testimonials.
1. Prioritizing which app to build first
“We have two apps in the development queue, one that is parents-first and one that is OTs-first… The data allowed us to confirm that our crossover strategy is working, and we have prioritized the parents-first app.” Frank Jensen, Dexteria
2. Building new products for emerging customers
The team at Motion Math will be developing more products fulfilling teacher requests, due to their analysis of historical sales data.
3. Figuring out where to localize
“Demographics helped us see where our users are to make decisions about localisation of our apps. For example Animal Farm 3 in 1 is an app made in 3 languages from the beginning, but we see that it is starting to be popular in China, and we are working on that localisation.” Michael Goldman, We Are Faces
4. Planning updates from customer reviews
“appFigures is really great to analyze your sales by country/product/over time. It’s really well done for that. It’s also very handy to check all reviews (which is important to decide what you should do in your next update)” Pierre Abel, L’Escapadou
“One of the many things we use appFigures for is to understand new reviews posted in other countries to help inform app updates.” Amy Friedlander, WasabiPro
Overall, making rational business decisions
“By having the historical data for other apps on hand, and the daily performance results there for us in black and white, this helps us make rational business decisions that ultimately help our overall growth. It’s a tool we are therefore heavily reliant on (especially the daily email summaries) which are essentially our snapshot of ‘how we’re going’ every day.” Amy Friedlander, WasabiPro
Lorraine Akemann is co-founder of Moms With Apps, a collaborative network of developers who create apps for kids. After launching her own app in 2009, she recognized the need for knowledge-sharing and cross-marketing to help gain exposure in the App Store marketplace. Now hundreds of developers are interconnected over forums, groups and services that sprouted from within the Moms With Apps community. Lorraine’s advocacy and efforts are focused on supporting apps that are designed to respect children and families, and her partnership with the Association for Competitive Technology is based on bringing best practices in online privacy to the forefront of kids’ app development. You can find Lorraine on Twitter @momswithapps.
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