The difficulty in translating analytics data into actionable insights is among the most talked-about aspects of data-driven decision making. This difficulty is what puts a spoke in the wheel of data collection, limiting our capacity to make use of every signal received by our analytics suite.
But what happens when the engine that fuels the transformation of data into insights is not an overworked analyst, but a sophisticated AI programmed to be laser-focused on specific insight types? If you ask Google, you might get pointed towards the new “Google Analytics for Firebase” (GA4F) – a new attempt to leverage two related parts of the broader Google Apps ecosystem.
Better Data, Better Results
GA4F is an SDK designed to measure user behavior inside the app. But it does much more than providing you with data – feeding information directly into Google App Campaigns. The purpose of this connection is to supercharge the App Campaigns AI and enable new features that rely on in-app data. GA4F is not the only analytics SDK that can analyze in-app data obviously, but Google built it specifically for interaction with App Campaigns.
Even if you don’t use any of the new features which are being built on top of this SDK, Google App Campaigns can use GA4F to address the ramp-up time and increase campaign performance, by relying on known patterns and standardized data. And then, there are the features: multiple new capabilities being designed for the pairing of GA4F and App Campaigns. These include, for example, automated similar audiences – currently in Beta. By using GA4F, App Campaigns can automatically build audience lists via tracked events, finding users similar to your most valuable ones.
Another feature which will rely on GA4F is tROAS bidding, also in Beta right now. Its purpose is to optimize your campaign by helping you acquire new users likely to have an average target ROAS within your conversion window. In the future, GA4F could also enable things like negative targeting (exclusion of specific audiences), with dynamic audience evaluation and precise rules for exclusion. Of course, it’s not just the negative targeting that’s being made available – re-engagement campaigns on App Campaigns will require GA4F as well.
All of this comes at a minimal cost. The size of the core GA4F SDK is only 200kb on Android and 1MB on iOS, with an estimated one dev hour integration time for apps which already have previous analytics SDKs.
Whether Google Analytics for Firebase will achieve its purpose or not, it already illustrates one of the more interesting aspects of the switch from manual to AI-based ad campaigns: the transformation of what it means to exert control over a campaign. In theory, AI means less control and more automation, but when the AI gets enough data, it can provide you with choices you’ve never had before. It also exemplifies the growth of platform-specific solutions. Other in-app analytics already could provide Google with data, but the company trusts only its own solution to provide metrics robust and accurate enough for its algorithms. How will the market react? Only time will tell.