Donnie Berkholz's Story of Data

Metrics are a developer’s best friend. Differentiating the Windows Store

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I just came across the Windows Store for developers blog, which has a nice series of posts on what developers can do with Microsoft’s app store for Windows 8. One set of features that particularly stood out to me were the metrics available to anyone publishing apps there. These metrics go beyond just adoption and finance to all-out telemetry on things like crashes and hangs.

Here’s one example of adoption metrics, and Microsoft really nailed an important concept by showing downloads of your app alongside those of your best-performing peers (top 5 in your subcategory).

Download metrics

Another particularly useful graph based on telemetry is average app usage per day in minutes. What makes it really powerful is that it’s shown over time, so you can see whether your app is getting users more deeply involved. They’ve also got all the usual metrics like conversion rate, in-app purchases, ratings, etc.

More on the telemetry side, here’s an example of their crash data, which is shown over time on versions of your app:

App crashes

You can see the most common crashes along the side and even download the crash dump to open in a local debugger, which is pretty awesome if you ask me. One thing that surprised me, however, is that this isn’t shown relative to your app’s peers, along the lines of the performance metrics in New Relic’s App Speed Index.

This kind of information could additionally prove incredibly valuable in the aggregate both as an indicator of the value of being on the Windows Store and also directly to developers in the form of public dashboards or infographics, because everyone loves a good story with data.

Disclosure: Microsoft and New Relic are both clients.


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