What is Google Firebase: Getting Started with Mobile Application Analytics Tool

August 4, 2020

In the highly competitive everyday evolving environment, brands aim to improve their customer acquisition and customer retention strategies to generate better business outcomes. They strive to personalize their marketing efforts to obtain users’ attention, convert them into customers, and, later, lifetime clients.

So, what is essential for consumers and how can brands earn their attention? The first thing is a user-friendly website that drives positive customer experiences. Consumers want to access the website from different devices, including tablets and smartphones. 

Building different versions of the website challenges brands to invest additional resources into app development platforms and analytics tools. Luckily Google has a powerful solution that comprises all the above in a single place called Google Firebase. 

Google’s solution simplifies all of the work, starting from app development. It has all the necessary tools in a single place, including app hosting, database, and mobile app analytics. It also provides even more advanced features that can take your mobile app management to the next level.

What is Google Firebase?

Google Firebase is a Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) app building platform software that helps develop the best cross-platform applications. It is a non-relational (NoSQL) cloud database, enabling application authors to store and synchronize data between multiple clients.

Mobile app platform Firebase integrates with applications for Android and iOS, an API (application programming interface) for Java, Node.js, and Objective-C applications and JavaScript. You can also work with a database like REST from several JavaScript frameworks, including angular, react, vue.js, amber, and others, and as well as data encryption API.

Firebase platformis a serverdatabasehosting platform, and authentication tool in a single solution. Let’s dig into the details.

Firebase Realtime Database

Firebase Realtime Database provides developers with an API that synchronizes app data between clients and stores them in the cloud. The app connects to the database via WebSocket, which is responsible for synchronizing data throughout the session.

Firebase Cloud Storage

Firebase also acts as a file repository. Firebase Cloud Storage provides reliable file upload and downloads for the application. Google Cloud Storage supports cloud-based storage of video, audio, or any other type of file. Its security system reliably protects the content of cloud storage.

Google Firebase Authentication System

Developing an authentication system every time from scratch is cost-inefficient. Instead, Google Firebase Auth authentication system works with passwords and emails. It maintains the OAuth 2.0 public authentication protocol used by Google, Twitter, and Facebook. Google Firebase authentication system integrates directly into the database.

Firebase Hosting

Firebase Hosting accepts static application files that supportJavaScript, HTML, CSS, and other records. Cloud Functions affords dynamic support for Node.js. File transfer completes through the content delivery network with secure SSL and HTTPS protocols.

Firebase Messaging

Firebase Messaging is a cross-platform solution that allows you to send messages to the user’s devices from the app.

You can send notifications to any device, including personal computers (PCs). It can be specific users, groups of users, or all devices with the installed app. Furthermore, you can divide notifications into particular topics.

The Firebase Messaging option is easily scalable and enables you to send a massive number of notifications quickly. You can also customize the messaging, even taking into account the recipient’s time zone.

Mobile App Analytics Firebase Analytics

Mobile app analytics tool Firebase Analytics serves as a foundation of app measurement and mobile analytics. At DELVE, we use the mobile application analytics tool to facilitate the growth of both the app and the business. 

We use mobile analytics platformFirebase Analytics to help our clients to answer the following business question like:

Mobile analytics platform Firebase Analytics also enables me to build a data collection structure, run standard, and custom reports leveraging data collected through Firebase.

When leveraging mobile apps, businesses tend to start optimization with identity and audience resolution. However, in reality, the initial step towards understanding the audience is its data collection.

Only by knowing the users’ interests, behavior, and demographics businesses can streamline their marketing campaigns efficiently to generate better revenue.

This is the first article in our series on Google Firebase. Stay tuned for detailed insights about audiences, events, attribution models, funnels, and other Firebase tips and chips in future blog posts.

A Few More Important Features of Google Firebase

ML Kit (Machine Learning Kit)

In simple words, this is a machine learning (ML) service that developers use to recognize text in applications, faces, images, scanning barcodes, and other possible things with ML.

Firebase Crash Reporting

After your app is ready to go live, what comes next? Any developer will tell you that you can’t roll out the first version of the app immediately to the app store.

First of all, it is necessary to conduct a series of functionality tests. Check how the app and its code interact with various mobile devices or how the code is optimized. Firebase Crashlytics is precisely the option within Google Firebasethat can help.

Firebase Dynamic Links

Inevitably you came across a need for having smarter hyperlinking. With Firebase dynamic links or deep links, users can be redirected to a specific screen in the app, even if they don’t have it installed.

When you have dynamic links in place, your users, when clicking the link, will be initially transferred to the App Store or Google Play Market to install the app. Once installed, users will navigate to the specific app screen they were supposed to land on initially.

Firebase Test Labs

Developers undoubtedly appreciate the Firebase Test Labs feature, which saves their time and resources. It is a test service for apps on Android and iOS that can be performed directly in the cloud with no scripting.

All scripts are already embedded into the tool’s shell, ready to provide you with a complete test report that includes screenshots, logs, and even videos.

Firebase DebugView

DebugView is part of the analytics module in Firebase. This feature is truly worth being highlighted in a separate section.

Google Analytics users are familiar with a case when it’s necessary to highlight individual views or properties when for implementation needs. Besides, GTM users also need to create new containers, make a copy of the entire actual implementation to it, and then carry out safety tests that will not affect your data—complicated, right?

With Firebase DebugView, analysts can run all testings in the DebugMode while not affecting any analytics reporting and BigQuery raw data.

Analysts or developers can leverage this feature to ensure all the settings configured to send to events and parameters are ultimately in your Firebase project in real-time. I will talk about it in further blog posts series. 

It is critical to fix all the tracking issues before data starts streaming into the production environment. It ensures data accuracy that will enable marketers to use data-driven insights to drive better business results.

Bottom Line

Google Firebase is a powerful tool with plenty of possibilities, including one of the most critical aspects for marketers: mobile app analytics.

Businesses can develop their mobile apps in Firebase, use it for hosting, cloud storage, and an independent mobile analytics platform.

In the next articles in our series, we’ll cover the audience, funnels, events, parameters, and other valuable topics that will help you get the most out of your mobile application analytics tool. 

We’ll go through the Firebase analytics best practices, to help you build a strong Event Taxonomy structure that is easy to understand.  Our upcoming blogs will also help marketers dive into mobile app customer journey analysis, reveal the most profitable advertising channels, and reinvest their marketing budget to generate higher ROI.

Stay tuned to our Google Firebase track!

Ready to take your ads, and your business, to the next level?

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