The head of GamesAnalytics tells about the main mistakes of developers when working with analytics, as well as what, first of all, should be paid attention to when arranging key events. 

One of the three main components of success in the mobile application market – along with creative ideas and high-quality design – is analytics today, writes Mark Robinson, one of the founders of GamesAnalytics, in his article on Pocket Gamer CCO.

Mark RobinsonAnalytics often means reports on downloads, sales, and so on.

But this data only gives general information about the success of your application.

That’s why the industry is moving towards more specific data about the user, to analytics tied to the actions of users in the game. This allows you to make precise changes in the game based on the gaming experience of thousands and thousands of users.

But there is a problem: high fragmentation of the audience, devices, markets. To make it easier for developers to understand all this, Robinsom gives the following recommendations:

1. Embed analytics from the very first day of application development

Usually, analytical services/various “beacons” are introduced into the game last of all. It’s just ‘economically incongruous. In the last stages, integration takes three to five times longer than if the developers had started doing it right away.

2. Event data should be available in advance

When the key events and their parameters are defined, the developer can already decide what information and when he needs it.

Embedding this data structure into the code from the beginning of development ensures that the information will be easily accessible and will be in the right place in the code.

On average, in those games where key events were recorded retroactively, only 60% of important information was collected. This is about the same as wasting money.

3. Link all data from one player to the same player

The more complex the games become, the more different systems are involved. For example, registration is carried out by one service, payment by another. All this leads to the fact that data simultaneously comes from servers and game clients. 

Therefore, something like an imperative is to make sure that these data are “on the shelves” in one “folder” – behind a certain user ID and a certain session of it.    

4. Synchronize timestamps 

This is also the case with event data. They come from different sources and from different time zones. So it is important that the “timestamps” are synchronized, otherwise serious difficulties may arise when analyzing the data. 

5. Each session must have its own ID

A unique session ID, which contains all event data for one session, is necessary for effective analysis. 

6. First of all, consider the results of the session

This is often much more important than the player’s actions during the session. For example, information about what the user achieved as a result of the mission (how many points he earned, how many enemies he killed) is more useful than collecting information about each shot made in the game.

7. Completeness of data versus project effectiveness

It is always a problem for every developer to choose the right balance between the amount of data and their usefulness. 

Retention is often the most important aspect of any F2P game. So make sure that you have implemented retention analytics in the first place.

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