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InfoQ Homepage News Apple Brings Comparative Group Analytics to App Store Connect

Apple Brings Comparative Group Analytics to App Store Connect

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Peer group benchmarks is a new App Store Connect feature aimed to help developers track the performance of their apps relative to other similar apps.

To define which apps are sufficiently similar to be part of the same benchmark group, Apple considers a number of factors, including which App Store categories they belong to, their business model, as well as download volumes.

This means, for example, that Apple will benchmark together lifestyle apps using the freemium business model and having approximately the same download volumes. For subscription-based apps, Apple specifies that for an app to be considered part of the subscription business model, at least 50% of its revenues must come from auto-renewable subscriptions.

Apple states the new feature uses differential privacy to preserve data privacy:

When creating peer group values, we use a technique called differential privacy, which is the gold standard for ensuring that individual values within a group remain private. Every week, we ensure that each peer group has at least a certain number of apps before it’s released, and we add a certain amount of noise to each data point to provide an extra layer of protection.

Peer group benchmarking is pretty lean when it comes to the kind of metrics it supports, which include six different metrics: conversion rate, proceeds per paying user, crash rate, and three distinct levels of user retention, one day-, one week-, or four week-retention. The six metrics are displayed in a dashboard view which includes data from the last available week.

Additionally, for each metric, you can see how it is trending in time and refine the criteria which determine which apps belong to the same peer group. Specifically, you can choose whether to include in it apps with low, medium, or high download volumes, as well as change the reference App Store category, switching between the two categories that you assigned to your app when publishing it. The trend view also allows you to choose the reference percentile to understand how they vary.

What is particularly interesting in this new tool is that it is based on data from the entire App Store catalog, according to what Apple says, including Apple's own apps. This overcomes a limitation suffered by other, third-party analytics solutions available on the market, which can only access data from the apps that use any particular service.

Additionally, it can be used along with the rest of analytics tools provided by Apple, for more advanced strategies aimed to improve an app performance by, e.g., creating custom product pages and then compare how they fare with each other and the competition.

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