A few months ago, Splunk acquired a tiny, fast growing company, Bugsense and its talented team including the founders Panos and Jon. Over the last few months, this team has been acclimatizing to the San Francisco weather, our crazy obsession with ponies, ninjas and such..
So What Is Bugsense?
If you don’t know what Bugsense does – here’s a quick primer. You have a mobile app or many mobile apps. You want to know when your users are experiencing crashes. You want to know what’s causing those crashes. You want to know about handled and unhandled exceptions. You want to know this by app version, device version, OS version so you can see if your fixes worked.
Why? Because without this visibility, you are floating in a sea of chaos – you get hard- to- diagnose reviews like “your app keeps crashing”, you get poor ratings on app stores, and the worst of all…no one uses your mobile app anymore.
To fix all this, you go to the Bugsense website – you pick the right SDK for your platform ( Android, IOS, HTML5, Windows, Xamarin are supported), you drop in the single line of code necessary for data collection and then you are off to the races!
The Bugsense service gives you all types of analytics: not just how many users by which version of your app are having problems, but also –which specific OS or device type are experiencing more problems and what effect is this having on customer retention.
The really cool features of course have to do with more fuzzy measurements. Bugsense has a quality score for your apps – called MOBDEX. MOBDEX takes into account sessions, errors, users, crashes, retention and assigns a qualitative score to how good your app is. This is particularly useful when you need a high level glance at “Did my new version improve things for my users or not?”
Another cool thing you can do is perform custom events tracking with BugSense. This is particularly useful in scenarios when you wish to establish how often users perform an action(like say “click on a button”). Sometimes in scenarios where there are many calls to action, or many possible routes for users to interact with the content, it is extremely useful to log which thing the user picked the most often. Knowing what they didn’t choose to do at all allows you to eliminate clutter and make for a cleaner, easier to use app! To have the event logged within BugSense, all you have to do is create a custom event hook.
We are recently previewing a new feature in Bugsense called “Advanced Events” – for paid users only.
What does this feature do? Here’s an example:
You want to track “User clicked ok”. You add the event in your AppVersion 1.1, you go to your dashboard and you see cool real-time analytics and graphs on the Bugsense “Insights ” page. But then you release a new version of your app (1.2) and you have optimized the flow or made some changes. And now you don’t know which events came from version 1.1 and which came from 1.2.
One way is to create a new event “User clicked ok but this is another version”. With the new “Advanced events” , you can skip this step!
Now, you can filter events by AppVersion, see the trend of a specific app and compare how this is event is during across all your releases in a slick, real-time and responsive UI.
We also provide you a bar with top weekly events, most trending events and other neat information in order to always be on top of your game.
If you see a change in top events from one app version to another, you know you’re doing getting instant visibility into what customers like or where they are getting tripped up!
So what does this have to do with Splunk?
Well, imagine what you could do with all this data about your mobile apps in Splunk!
You could perform all types of analytics – not just which events caused crashes but maybe a path of events. The most frequent, least frequent flows through your apps leading to successful outcomes for the customer. You could also compare mobile app response times to different levels of infrastructure capacity. Or track how different response times from third party APIs or your own back-end application components impact users.
Last, but not the least, imagine the insights you could get with comparing how mobile users use your apps vs how they behave on your website or while physically interacting with your business. Sound cool? If it does and you would like to be in the loop on follow-on plans.Follow us on twitter @bugsense and @splunk.