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Why Google Is Hiding Some Useful Data On Its Play Store Dashboard?

Why Google Is Hiding Some Useful Data On Its Play Store Dashboard?

Apple has recently unveiled App Analytics in beta offering insights into app engagement & retention data. It does not require developers to update their app. This is a great value add for all data hungry app developers.

This forced me to have a re-look at the Play Store Developer Dashboard and left me wondered how Google has missed out on some really helpful analytics data despite data being available to them by virtue of being a gatekeeper. While Google allows integrating Google Analytics with Play Store, there are several data points which are still missing.

Here is my wish list of features which I would like to see on Google Play Dashboard:

  1. Search Keywords to Install: If Google can list down the popular keywords with conversion ratio, it can help App developers to target their audience better, create better Adwords campaigns and optimize the app description. Transparency here will help Google to cut down on keywords hacks deployed by rogue developers to attract downloads.
  2. Uninstall Cohorts: This will be the most sought after data in my opinion. While the current dashboard shows Uninstall data, it is not possible to find the uninstall numbers of apps installed during a particular period. The dashboard shows cumulative uninstalls on a particular day, but we can never safely find which particular day’s installs converted to uninstall. This data will help in optimizing the app install sources further. Filters like OS version, connectivity, device & location would give great insights on the reasons for such uninstalls.
  3. Rank Trend: Data around my current rank in each territory & category and trend around ranking is a big missing piece. One has to rely on 3rd party data providers for this most basic data.
  4. Traffic Sources without tagging: Google tracks each upcoming link to the app store, but still does not show the traffic sources unless the incoming links has UTM parameters. This way there is no way to find out the incoming organic links & various sources sending organic traffic to the App page. Even in GA, we get to see Page views on the App Store page from tagged sources. That gives misleading conversion as downloads are shown from all sources.
  5. Installs from Desktop: Publishers with desktop site promote their Apps which lead to Play Store on desktop. If you are signed in with the same Google ID, you can install it from the desktop and App appears on your phone. There is no way to find out the conversions/installs from such instances.
  6. Reinstalls: There is an increasing trend, especially with users with less disk space to install & reinstall the App on demand. This data could help developers identify the triggers for reinstalls/uninstalls and improve the app further.
  7. Importing more data from Google Analytics: Currently one can only see active users, new users and screens per session, but lots of other important data can be imported to avoid switching between two panels. Data which I would like to see in Play Store directly includes Cohort Analysis, Referral Flow and Real Time data.
  8. Own App: Lastly, It’s high time Google launches an App to track statistics on the go.

Also, it is believed that Google is about to announce the following in their upcoming I/O event on May 28:

  1. A/B Testing: Allowing developers to upload different icons, description & title for the A/B testing purpose
  2. A la carte permissions: Currently users have no option to stop a particular permission while installing the app. It’s “take it all” or “don’t install”. This may change and would force developers to justify all the permissions they need.

I will continue to add to this list and strike off points which gets implemented.

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.


Deepak Abbot


Deepak Abbot heads Mobile Growth at Times Internet. He has previously worked with companies like Paytm, Reliance Entertainment Digital, Zapak & Satyam computers. He writes about Mobile Marketing, Product & Data Analytics
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