The two biggest buzzword in today’s business landscape are “Big Data” and “Mobile” and for good reason. Mobile consumption rates continue to exponentially grow around the world creating massive amounts of data for all kinds of businesses. This isn’t just general data either. Mobile applications are able to collect more and more personal data from each mobile user, like travel patterns, consumption behavior, personal preferences, and more. While some of this data was collected from desktop consumption of the web, the shift to mobile consumption has opened the floodgates to more breadth and depth to data available to companies of all shapes and sizes.
Where the Data Is Coming From
Most of us are aware that our apps are collecting data about us but just how far do they go and what does this mean for businesses? App developers use unique ID numbers for each phone to associate to a data set to a person. As an app runs in the background on a phone it is collecting data about patterns and behavior, as well as how they interact with the app itself. These apps can transmit this data to the app owner as well as third partner data companies who may partner with multiple app companies to aggregate big data on customers.
How App Developers Focus on Data
App developers have a number of different monetization strategies once their app is live in the marketplace. The two most straightforward means of generating revenue are users paying to download the app and advertising once there’s a significant user base. Beyond this, app developers can collect and sell user data to data brokers who aggregate and resell that data to companies. Data aggregators may know 50-70 data points on desktop users they know closer to 100 from mobile users. This type of personalized data is increasingly valuable to brands and advertisers alike.
How the Data Is Being Used
App developers can also use the data collected from users to better enhance features and functionality of the app itself. A truly awesome insight to have is the real time data showing how users interact with your product. Their likes, dislikes, any usability problems they face, etc. App developers can use this data flow to make upgrades to their experience so users keep it on the phones and tell their friends. A great example of real-time data being gleaned from mobile apps can be found in live mobile gaming apps. Users can enter these rooms from their phone and interact with other users in real time while developers can take advantage of identifying any snags in their code and understand how users interact with the app for better features and functionality.
While mobile devices continue to proliferate the marketplace across the globe so will the sophistication level of data collection and analysis by companies who seek to offer a more personalized experience to the customers and target markets.