In mid-November, devtodev starts a course on game analytics. We talked with the organizer of the course and the leading analyst of the company Vasily Sabirov about why devtodev is engaged in education, what it takes to become an analyst, as well as about the course itself.


Vasily SabirovThese courses, webinars that you conduct, are free.

What is their purpose for the company itself?

They perform three tasks. Educational content, which devtodev is happy to distribute, allows the company to maintain the image of an expert in the field of web and mobile application analytics. But just as the truth is born in a dispute, and during conversations with cool specialists who take part in the course and webinars, we pay attention (not only our own, but also the listeners of webinars) to the needs of the market. And finally, the course is a way to express yourself, to tell about us to as many potential users as possible.

And how successful are they as a way of promotion?

It all depends on the task, of course. If we talk about the first course, then 561 unique users attended it (at least one lecture), which in my opinion is grandiose! And if you look at the statistics even more closely, then there is reason for pride: the attendance of the second lecture was higher than the first. To the question “what is the retention rate?”, we will answer: “more than a hundred percent.”

The number of registrations to our analytics system after the course has definitely increased, because people tend to trust expert opinion and have seen a real tool that will improve the project.

This impressive growth speaks not only about the success of the courses, but also about their demand from developers. And how do you assess their average level, how, roughly speaking, are they “advanced” in terms of working with data?

The course on application analytics was designed for a wide audience – marketers, startups, game designers, project managers (yes, even Opera and Ballet Theater employees registered!), it is not limited only to developers, as it is necessary to be able to work effectively with data for everyone involved in the development strategy of the project.

Perhaps this fact will allow us to talk about the level: the phrase “from simple to complex” was taken as the subtitle of the course. After the fourth lecture, the stage “to the difficult” just came, so there was a small dump of users: we talked about statistical significance, t-tests, chi-squares and lognormal distribution. Perhaps this served as a stop signal for part of the audience. Well, yes, analytics is not a simple matter, otherwise why conduct a course at all and learn how to evaluate data correctly?

Courses, books, articles are great things that can help a developer in working with data, in evaluating it. But this is not enough to form the basis. What it takes to become an analyst. Or where can I find it?

An analyst is a profession, and the answer is generally obvious: to be an analyst, you need to work as an analyst. Or a producer. Important: an analyst must have the following skills: know probability theory and the basics of mathematical statistics, be able to use SQL and analytical systems, know what a/b tests are and how to draw the right conclusions. If you look more broadly, you also need to understand the specifics of the industry in which you work. Agree, being an analyst in elections and in game projects are two big differences. Follow the new methods of analysis, communicate with colleagues, attend profile events: all this broadens your horizons and helps you understand where to move both you and your project.

Now let’s talk about the new course. What is its cardinal difference from the previous one?

The new course will be devoted to game application analytics, we focused on studying practical methods of product and marketing analytics and joint problem solving so that students could make their own projects even more profitable. This course does not overlap with the previous one by more than 20%, which means it will be useful both for those who have already acquired basic analytical skills, and for a slightly more experienced audience – those who are trying to find growth points in their game project and discover its vulnerabilities. And we invited the appropriate speakers – all from the gaming industry with relevant experience. But at the same time, I would like to note that for those who are not engaged in game projects, the course will also be super useful, since the aspects of analytics that we will discuss are relevant for all projects.

What level of listeners do you expect?

It will be more useful, of course, for those who are already familiar with the industry, as well as for professionals, especially in the case of practical case studies. But also for those who just want to get an idea of the industry, it is worth coming to gain terms and learn about the resources to which we will give a reference.

By the way, going back to your first course. Have there been cases when your students, based on the knowledge they gained, increased certain parameters of projects? Can you tell us about these cases?

At the last lecture of the previous course, we reviewed a number of real projects (by the way, we are also planning on the new course). And we gave recommendations on how to improve this or that project. Then people wrote to me that the ideas really came in handy and worked. And, interestingly, not only those who we helped directly wrote, but also those who just listened to us and got a couple of new ideas for their project. One person even wrote that he had increased the project’s revenue by 4 times. I don’t know how true it is, but of course it’s nice. And all these are different projects with an audience of thousands.

And the last question: I understand that these courses are primarily a method of promoting devtodev. But given the successful experience of webinars, numerous lectures and videos, is there no desire and plans to take up the educational path more seriously?

The fact is that this is a practical activity – it is also a type of education. This is why I like the idea of a training center at the company: I always keep my finger on the pulse of the industry, I am involved in projects, which means I can more accurately reveal a particular topic to listeners, and give relevant examples. Nevertheless, I really do teach in my free time: recently at the HSE I conducted a master class in analytics on how to analyze changes in games, and I also lead an author’s course on data analysis in marketing research at the HSE.

The free course “Marketing and product analytics of games” will be held from November 14 to 30.