Leveraging Your App Data Using PubNub Insights

6 min read Chandler Mayo on Jun 6, 2023

PubNub Insights is a valuable tool for understanding user interactions, identifying popular features, and pinpointing areas for improvement within your application. With user-friendly dashboards, the tool shows you user location and app usage, enabling evidence-based decision-making to enhance your app's evolution.

The setup process for PubNub Insights requires zero code, allowing you to gain a deep contextual understanding of your users' app experience without delving into low-level details or API calls.

The information presented in this blog applies equally to both 'Standard' and 'Premium' dashboards. However, it's essential to consider that Premium dashboards offer enhanced data granularity, enabling you to derive insights over an extended period, providing you with a more comprehensive understanding of user behavior. This helps you confidently make informed decisions that align with your long-term goals.

Monitor Trends

Monitoring trends is a crucial aspect of any product, as it enables organizations to gain an understanding of usage patterns of their applications and compare data across various time periods and geographical areas. With Insights, businesses can effectively track and analyze how their application is utilized, allowing them to understand user behavior, identify popular features, and make informed decisions for future enhancements. Furthermore, the geographical data comparison provided by Insights enables organizations to evaluate performance, engagement, and adoption rates across different regions, thereby facilitating targeted strategies and localized optimizations.

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By going to the Snapshot tab in PubNub Insights, you can view location metrics to compare data in different geographical areas across various time periods. Not only will you see message activity by location, but by scrolling down, you will also see unique users by city and country. This allows you to compare users to message activity by location. E.g. do you have a high number of users and low number of messages in one city? With location metrics, “Country Managers” can see how users and messages are spread out, allowing them to plan for the next event, target specific geographical areas for marketing campaigns or plan workforce staffing. Don’t forget to select a single hour or day from the section date filter to see the accurate count of unique users. 

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By going to the Messages tab and scrolling down to locate the section labeled as the "Location with the Highest Message Activity," product and analyst teams are empowered to effortlessly compare and contrast adoption rates across diverse geographical areas, providing them with crucial information to make data-driven decisions and formulate targeted strategies tailored to specific regions.

This section is also handy for PubNub customers building live event applications, where analyzing large amounts of data after an event is a common challenge. Administrators can gauge the audience's level of interaction and engagement levels by comparing when the count of messages are high or low by time period to what’s happening during the event. And then combining it with the “Location with the Highest Message Activity” metrics to see where engagement is coming from. This gives administrators insights into the effectiveness of their event strategies, identify trends, and make informed decisions for future live streams. By leveraging historical averages, administrators can proactively plan for upcoming events and accurately anticipate and prepare for potential spikes in data and traffic. This ensures a seamless and successful event experience for both organizers and attendees. 

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If you look above this section, you’ll see the Top 10 Message Types – and depending on your implementation, these message types could be activities, actions or features. This helps you track the changes in the most popular or most used feature across timeframes. Is a specific feature more popular on Wednesdays or do you get a significantly higher use over the weekend? Or maybe a feature is trending down or up over the past 30 days. 

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By referring to the Users tab, you can select a day and view the top 20 unique users for that day based on one of the categories, such as the count of messages and the count of subscribed channels. If you want to connect with your users, this information can provide valuable insights into the identity of your most active users. It can help you make informed decisions regarding planning strategies and identifying potential marketing or sales opportunities.

Detect Anomalies

By actively staying informed through PubNub Insights, technical and product teams can ensure that all operations proceed seamlessly. With the Channels Dashboard, technical and product teams can delve deeper into their channel activities and attain enhanced visibility into the ongoing dynamics, enabling them to promptly identify and address any irregularities or anomalies that may arise, thereby maintaining optimal performance and user satisfaction. 

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The Channels tab compares the number of active unique channels (Subscribed to) and the unique channels with messages (Published to). If many channels are currently active, but messages are not published, this could result from an anomaly depending on the usage of your product. 

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In addition to that, the Channel tab has a Top 20 Channels section, which enables you to discern the predominant utilization of specific features. Look at what day the anomaly occurred in the combination chart above, then select that day for the Top 20 to see which channel it's happening for. If the Top 20 is too short a list, then you can download the Top 1000 by going to the Expanded Data Download feature. This valuable feature empowers you to swiftly identify any unexpected activity and thoroughly assess the functionality of the employed features to ensure their proper operation. 

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Use the Snapshot tab to see where your messages are being sent from. Suppose all messages are being published from a single central location rather than originating from various client-side sources. In that case, it signifies that the messages are being sent from the server side. This will result in skewed data. To ensure the accuracy of the data in PubNub Insights, it becomes imperative to reevaluate and revise the underlying architecture. Altering the architecture will give you a more representative and reliable dataset for analysis and decision-making.

Reduce Operations and Cost

By navigating to the channels tab, businesses can gain valuable visibility into the activity levels of their channels. This feature empowers companies to identify and prioritize the most active channels, enabling them to make informed decisions regarding managing and optimizing their channel ecosystem. Moreover, this comprehensive understanding of channel activity facilitates the identification of less active channels. This presents an opportunity for businesses to consider retiring those channels that no longer contribute significantly to their overall objectives. 

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By streamlining their channel portfolio and reallocating resources to more active channels, companies can enhance operational efficiency, optimize resource allocation, and ensure a more focused and impactful engagement with their target audience. This data-driven approach empowers companies to adapt and evolve their channel strategy in alignment with their changing goals. Use this information to see if the transactions match up to the current architecture that you have and make changes accordingly. To better understand transaction costs, our pricing page has a dedicated help section.

Leveraging Data Using PubNub Insights Summary

PubNub Insights is an invaluable tool to monitor trends, detect anomalies, and reduce costs within your application. By harnessing the power of its user-friendly dashboards, you can gain a profound understanding of user interactions, identify popular features, and pinpoint areas for improvement. This empowers you to make evidence-based decisions that drive the evolution of your app, enhancing the overall user experience and growing your business.

With Insights, you can effectively monitor trends by leveraging its robust analytics capabilities. The tool provides insights into user location, app usage, and other relevant metrics across time, allowing you to stay updated on user preferences and behaviors. By closely monitoring these trends, you can proactively adapt your app to meet changing demands and seize growth opportunities.

Detecting anomalies is another critical aspect of app management, and PubNub Insights equips you with the necessary tools to accomplish this effectively. You can quickly identify any unexpected or irregular activity by analyzing user data and comparing it against established patterns. This detection enables you to take prompt action, ensuring the smooth operation of your app and preventing potential issues from escalating.

Furthermore, PubNub Insights enables you to reduce costs by providing metrics that inform cost optimization strategies. By understanding which features are most commonly used and identifying areas of inefficiency, you can streamline your app's functionality and allocate resources more effectively. This not only helps to optimize your operational expenses but also improves overall performance and user satisfaction.

Whether you're a developer, product manager, or business owner, PubNub Insights empowers you to optimize your app's performance, enhance user satisfaction, and achieve long-term success in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.