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Quick, Efficient, Effective Mobile Analytics: Percent Mobile.

PercentMobile as reviewed by Avinash Kaushik, Analytics Evangelist, Google

Source: Viral, Social, Sentiment, Mobile: 4 Delightful Web Analytics Solutions

It is always a really good idea in web analytics to understand how data is captured (case in point the delightful blog post on Competitive Intelligence data capture).

No where is this more true than when it comes to mobile analytics.

There are many methods of collecting data depending on the platform you are on, and if Steve Jobs gets upset he can totally shut you down with a mere update of his TOS! :)

I am not going to cover all that here today. For those of you who already have my second book Web Analytics 2.0 please jump to Page 250 to learn all about data collection options, platform limitations, challenges with campaign analysis and finally reports and KPI's you should measure for mobile.

In this blog post I want to share a lightweight wonderful mobile analytics platform called Percent Mobile.

Now most web analytics tools, like Google Analytics and WebTrends and others, will capture and report data for javascript enabled smart phones (like the iPhone, Android and some Nokia phones). Honestly that is all the traffic that is of commercial value, so even if you miss the rest it is not the hugest of deals.

But all these "big boys" have simply "added on" mobile analytics to their tools. The result is that they suffer from both a lack of imagination and, this is important, truly great databases when it comes to devices and carriers and other unique mobile information.

Not Percent Mobile.

They have two incredible benefits:

1. A really expansive and accurate database and detection mechanism when it comes to mobile platforms.

2. A really simple UI and reporting layer, even your mom will understand the data.

They also have four different methods of enabling data collection, I am using their standard javascript tag on this blog (do a View Source).

Here is what the resulting data looks like…

No hunting and pecking to find the data, like you would in Google Analytics or Site Catalyst or CoreMetrics. A quick at a glance view of how much traffic is mobile, key stats about the devices, the devices themselves (go iPad!!), vendors and operating systems.

If you compare this to your web analytics tool you'll notice almost immediately how much better this data is compared to what the "big boys" are reporting.

Click on the image above and you'll see a bit more clearly other really sweet metrics. % of mobile devices accessing your site via WiFi. Phones with touch screens and full keyboards etc.

[Can you imagine how cool it would be to segment your mobile traffic for full keyboard phone vs none and see which convert better. Or does access via WiFi mean more content consumption than via 3G? Etc. So cool.]

That is not all… if you scroll a bit more you can get a country map view, the networks used to access your site (AT&T still #1 for me!) and countries etc.

Of course it would be hard for me to like any tool that does not allow segmentation. :) You simply drag and drop on to the box on top..

And what would an analytics tool be without the normal search, referrer and all that data we have so come to love (and hate!).

I particularly like the "Activity Types" box at the bottom left, I don't know why web analytics tools don't categorize referrers by default.

I am also surprised at the long tail of referrers. Yes Google is big but there are 91 other referrers for this segment. More mobile SEO!

Why is this cool?

It might seem odd that I would like a tool that would give me similar data that I can get out of WebTrends or Omniture or Xiti or whatever.

The first reason is that, as mentioned above, the data is actually much better because of the databases that power Percent Mobile.

The other thing is that getting this data causes less pain than pulling my two front teeth.

Finally I so do like supporting pretty tools, especially if they have good data!

The one thing Percent Mobile lacks is some way of measuring any outcomes. I can certainly dig to my "conversion pages" but it would be great if they just let me just input them into the tool and then they could measure outcomes for me (even if it is like the Goals process in GA).

But if you want a light weight easy to use free mobile analytics tool just throw Percent Mobile on your site and have fun.

Mobile rocks no?

Copyright © 2006-2010 Occam’s Razor by Avinash Kaushik


Avinash Kaushik

Avinash Kaushik

Avinash Kaushik is Google’s Analytics evangelist and the author of best-selling books, Web Analytics: An Hour a Day and Web Analytics 2.0 . He is also the co-founder of Market Motive, which offers Internet marketing certification courses.

Avinash also writes a popular blog on analytics .


Delivr® is a MarTech platform used by thousands of businesses to drive audiences from print to digital experiences. Established in 2008, Delivr has developed software to track and visualize consumer engagement with printed media, labels and packaging. With TrueMrk®, Delivr is extending its marketing, consumer engagement and analytics platform to authenticate products and identify incidents of counterfeiting and gray market diversion.