Monday, September 1, 2014

Tracking Week Over Week Active User Growth

One of the most frequently tracked metrics for consumer sites and apps is week-over-week growth in active users.  Just the Facts makes it easy to directly track and monitor this metric.

We begin with Google Analytics and its "Users" metric on the Audience Overview screen.  Since we want to track the number of user over an entire week, select the date dropdown in the upper right corner and choose a date range of "Last 7 days":

Google Analytics Date Picker
Then activate the Just the Facts extension () in the browser toolbar, select the Users metric:

Subscribe to Google Analytics
and provide permissions so that Just the Facts can invoke the Google Analytics API:

Permissions Dialog
At this point, there are two possible monitoring approaches  The most basic approach is to monitor this fact's change at the beginning of every week.  Modify the subscription frequency from its default value of daily by clicking the settings icon next to the newly created fact:

Edit Fact Settings
then select the Refresh Frequency dropdown in the resulting dialog:

Edit Fact Settings Dialog
Just the Facts sends out a daily metric report by default.  Now, every Monday that report will include a Users metric that instantly shows us how the absolute and percentage change in the value from the previous week:

Week Over Week Change in Active Users
Now, it would be even more useful to be able to set targets for this metric and to be alerted to problems like when it decreases.  We'll accomplish this using a Combined Fact on which we can direct set targets and alerts.

First, go back to the "Users" fact and set the Refresh Frequency back to daily in the "Edit Settings" dialog.  Next, select the "Users" fact on the dashboard  by clicking its check box, then click the "Combine Into New Fact" icon:
Combine Icon
In the resulting dialog, choose the "Week over week growth" radio button, name the new fact "Active User Weekly Growth", and click "Save":
Weekly Growth Combined Fact
Finally, once the Fact is created, select it once again and click the "Set Warnings" icon:

Set Warnings
From this screen you can both set a target of 10% week-over-week growth and set a warning if the value decreases rather than increases:
Set Target and Warning
Depending on how often you want to track this value, you can also click over to the 'Details" tab and adjust the Refresh Frequency just as you did with the base fact.

A week later, when you view your dashboard you will see the first calculated value for active user weekly growth, as well as whether it is meeting the target:

Growth Is On Target