Each year, the big tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­nies hold their con­fer­ences announc­ing the lat­est and great­est solu­tions for the mar­ket avail­able in the future, but every once in awhile that new tech­nol­o­gy sur­pris­es every­one and is avail­able that day.

In the dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing world, we often hear about “sneak peeks”, “future inte­gra­tion”, and “ship­ping next quar­ter” but it is not very often that some­thing hits the mar­ket that wasn’t real­ly known about ahead of time and is avail­able the day it is announced.

At Google I/O this year, Google pulled a fast one on the ana­lyt­ics indus­try. We got a new prod­uct! Well, kind of a new prod­uct. In late 2014, Google acquired the com­pa­ny Fire­base “to help devel­op­ers build bet­ter real-time apps.” At the time Fire­base was a com­peti­tor to Face­book Parse and every­body essen­tial­ly wrote it off as Google buy­ing their way into a space to com­pete with Face­book. Fast for­ward a year and a half, today Google wel­comed Fire­base Ana­lyt­ics to the Google Ana­lyt­ics 360 Suite of products.

Fire­base Ana­lyt­ics is intend­ed to be the mobile ana­lyt­ics replace­ment (in most cas­es) for Google Ana­lyt­ics, but there is so much more includ­ed with the prod­uct. Fire­base Ana­lyt­ics is one piece to the Fire­base puz­zle, which includes mobile mes­sag­ing, Android device test­ing, user acqui­si­tion, and a dozen addi­tion­al features. 
Firebase Analytics
We at Search Dis­cov­ery have known for years that at the heart of any effec­tive busi­ness is ana­lyt­ics and Fire­base makes that true for the mobile business.

In chat­ting with my com­pa­tri­ots in the indus­try their imme­di­ate ques­tion was “Why? Google Ana­lyt­ics already works for mobile apps.”

They are cor­rect in ques­tion­ing why we need anoth­er solu­tion, but often peo­ple for­get that it isn’t always about adapt­ing a cur­rent prod­uct to a new mar­ket – some­times you just need to start from scratch. Fire­base is exact­ly that for the Google Ana­lyt­ics 360 team.

Fire­base is an event dri­ven, extreme­ly fast, mobile-first prod­uct. Some­thing that the Google Ana­lyt­ics that we know and love today just isn’t, even with Uni­ver­sal Ana­lyt­ics. While you can get your Google Ana­lyt­ics data out using 3rd par­ty tools, or if you are a Google Ana­lyt­ics Pre­mi­um cus­tomer it can be export­ed to Big Query, Fire­base allows you to export to Big Query and oth­er des­ti­na­tions – includ­ing Ama­zon Web Ser­vices S3! For you Red­Shift fans out there this is awe­some news.

In addi­tion to event based ana­lyt­ics, Fire­base also provides:

  • Auto­mat­ic mea­sure­ment / track­ing for spe­cif­ic con­ver­sion actions
  • Attrib­ut­es to help enrich events
  • User prop­er­ties, include a cou­ple auto­mat­i­cal­ly generated 
  • Audi­ence-lev­el reporting
  • Attri­bu­tion for 1st and 3rd par­ty net­works (dedu­pli­cat­ed)
  • Con­ver­sion post­backs to out­side networks
  • Native AdWords con­ver­sion tracking
  • LTV report­ing
  • Cohort analy­sis
  • Event-based fun­nels (any which way you would like)
  • Raw data export
  • And, of course, tight­ly inte­grat­ed with all the oth­er Fire­base features

Fire­base is now Google’s most com­pre­hen­sive app ana­lyt­ics solu­tion, so app-only com­pa­nies should use the Fire­base plat­form and Fire­base Ana­lyt­ics. But, if you’re a com­pa­ny with both web­sites and apps, you should use both Google Ana­lyt­ics / Ana­lyt­ics 360 and Fire­base Ana­lyt­ics togeth­er. You can absolute­ly mix and match Google ana­lyt­ics prod­uct based on the unique needs of your business.

If you are an app-first/on­ly com­pa­ny, hav­ing one place to under­stand user behav­ior, cre­ate seg­ments, under­stand where your mon­ey is being best spent, and being able to com­mu­ni­cate and engage with your users is vital to your business. 

As the appi­fi­ca­tion of the Inter­net con­tin­ues, I per­son­al­ly wouldn’t be sur­prised to see Google migrate the cur­rent Google Ana­lyt­ics prod­uct to adopt the heart of Fire­base. The sim­ple fact is, “pages” as they once exist­ed are going away, busi­ness­es are mov­ing to event based ana­lyt­ics, and the under­ly­ing tech­nol­o­gy in Fire­base is cer­tain­ly more per­for­mant than Google Ana­lyt­ics after years of incre­men­tal improvements.

Fire­base is still brand new and there are just a hand­ful of reports from com­pa­nies lucky enough to use Fire­base Ana­lyt­ics ear­ly, and there cer­tain­ly are not any con­clu­sive com­par­isons between it and ven­dors such as Adobe Mobile Ser­vices, Mix­pan­el, Loc­a­lyt­ics, or oth­er mobile spe­cif­ic ven­dors read­i­ly avail­able. At the sur­face though Google looks to have all the box­es checked for what I’ve seen com­pa­nies look­ing for, and cer­tain­ly at an attrac­tive start­ing price – free!

As the say­ing goes; fast, good, and cheap – pick two. Google seems to have giv­en you all three options for mobile marketing.

We look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing our rela­tion­ship with Google and work­ing with our clients to take advan­tage of the Google Ana­lyt­ics 360 Suite. We are excit­ed to see how Fire­base Ana­lyt­ics and the oth­er prod­ucts in the suite con­tin­ue to grow.