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.