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Social Gaming Metrics


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Introduction to social gaming analytics - what to measure, how it\'s measure, and some thoughts on how to iteratively improve. Talk given to Girl Geek Dinners - Philadelphia in July 2012.

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Social Gaming Metrics

  1. 1. Social Games – Metrics that Matter Girl Geek Dinner #ggdphl 23 July 2012
  2. 2. Today’s Topics2  Why is this topic important?  Which metrics & how to measure them (calculations & tools)  How do you know what’s good?  The two sides of metrics and reporting: for your investors, and for you  How to iteratively improve them  The importance of prioritization (c) 2012 Sepiida - Proprietary & Confidential
  3. 3. A bit about me3  15 years in Internet/E-commerce/Technology Product Management – most of it in San Francisco  Led product for several startups  One funded by Benchmark, sold to AT&T/  Another spun out of Microsoft Ventures in social networking  Most recently VP, E-commerce Nutrisystem ($750mil+ in revenue, most of it online)  Search and advertising, B-to-B and B-to-C platforms, telephony, social networks, gaming, online marketing  Currently Founder & CEO of Sepiida  Clients include Zynga, Haymarket Media, Coveroo, JumpRamp Games, Ryzing  BA Politics (NYU), MS Computer Science (Stanford) (c) 2012 Sepiida - Proprietary & Confidential
  4. 4. Why is this topic important?4  People think of gaming as creative - it is!  Just like with any interface-enabled product or technology, there is a business behind it  “Nowadays” business is measured through data and metrics  Big social gaming studios like Zynga think of themselves as analytics companies:  Great designers have a strong sense of, and respect for, data and analytics  Investors care about the metrics (c) 2012 Sepiida - Proprietary & Confidential
  5. 5. So, what are these metrics?5  Game-agnostic Metrics  DAU, WAU, MAU  D1, D7, D30 Retention (and so on…)  DAU/MAU  Installs/DAU  K-factor  ARP/DAU  Game-specific Metrics (c) 2012 Sepiida - Proprietary & Confidential
  6. 6. Metrics: DAU, WAU, MAU6  DAU = Daily Active User  WAU = Weekly Active User  MAU = Monthly Active User  Active User – someone with a session in a given time period  Many game-hosting platforms (Yahoo, Facebook, Google, etc.) provide this data  publicly!  You should reconcile against your own DB  How valuable is a “session”? Does this metric matter? (c) 2012 Sepiida - Proprietary & Confidential
  7. 7. Metrics: D1, D7, D30 Retention7  “D” = Day  D0 is the day the user first installs the app  D1 is the next day, D7 the 7th day after, and so on  Two ways to compute:  On the day (industry standard)  Within the period (more helpful for running your biz)  Need to compute this from your DB  Use this for cohort analysis as you change features (c) 2012 Sepiida - Proprietary & Confidential
  8. 8. Metrics: DAU/MAU8  DAU divided by MAU  If this value is 1, then all of the people who logged in over the course of the past 30 days also came every day within that 30 day period  highly retentive game  If this value is close to 0, people are not using this anywhere near daily (c) 2012 Sepiida - Proprietary & Confidential
  9. 9. Metrics: Installs/DAU9  An Install is a new user to your game  # of Installs on that day divided by the DAU for that day  This is a measurement of how many new users you are getting  But you don’t want this to be close to 1 (especially well after launch)  Thismeans that people aren’t coming back  Unless you can explain it with big acquisition marketing efforts (c) 2012 Sepiida - Proprietary & Confidential
  10. 10. Metrics: K-factor10  Measures the virality of your social game  Viral channels are: emails, social network communication channels, other user-shared links/entry points  One standard way to measure: Viral Installs / Total Installs  Metric is beholden to the tempers of the platform you are running on (c) 2012 Sepiida - Proprietary & Confidential
  11. 11. Metrics: ARP/DAU11  Average Revenue Per DAU  Revenue generated per day / DAU for that day  In the end, you have to make money! (c) 2012 Sepiida - Proprietary & Confidential
  12. 12. Metrics: Game-specific KPIs12  After all the standard ones, you should have a list of metrics you are monitoring within your specific game  What makes sense for one game doesn’t for another  Ifyou have a social building feature, there are metrics relevant to that  A decorating game would have others  Track a lot, but deeply monitor a few (c) 2012 Sepiida - Proprietary & Confidential
  13. 13. Metrics: Tools for tracking13  Need to capture the data in your DB  Better to do this from the beginning, as you build each new feature. THINK DATA.  Simple DB queries can help, but that gets old soon.  Tools like Kontagent are big-ticket resources for social gaming analytics. We also like RJ Metrics for this.  It’s all about database analytics that contain behavioral and transactional data. (c) 2012 Sepiida - Proprietary & Confidential
  14. 14. What’s a good value for a metric?14  It depends   On the state of the social network platform you’re running on  On the nature of your particular game  On where you are in your evolution  On what you need to succeed as a business  On the state of the industry (c) 2012 Sepiida - Proprietary & Confidential
  15. 15. Good values for metrics (cont’d)15  Need to look at your own business deeply – connecting one metric with another to draw conclusions  For example, let’s say MAU is growing really nicely. DAU is flattish.  What does that mean?  It means you have a lot of churn.  Is that bad or good?  The answer to that is in the eye of the beholder! (c) 2012 Sepiida - Proprietary & Confidential
  16. 16. Good values for metrics (cont’d)16  Beware of researching benchmarks  You’ll get every possible answer if you read online  Older news is old news  Talking to people – they usually inflate  Figure out WHAT YOU NEED (c) 2012 Sepiida - Proprietary & Confidential
  17. 17. Investors!17  They want data  They are talking to their friends who have data  But what data?  Typically, what you need to be looking at to actively manage your business is pretty different than what the investors want to look at  For example, what are you supposed to do with the DAU metric when it’s flat??  Takes much deeper set of analytics to fix it  But the investor just wants to see DAU growing  Have an investor dashboard and then have an internal set of analytics/reports  Keep them separate! (c) 2012 Sepiida - Proprietary & Confidential
  18. 18. Improving your metrics by using18 data  It starts with capturing the data  Go for breadth, go for depth  Part of every feature design needs to be data  Don’t debate too much – A/B test lots of things  If you’re sophisticated enough, tools like Bees & Pollen can be interesting for going beyond A/B  When you find a top-line metric under-performing, understand its component parts  Go deep on data  Beware of looking at how other games do a particular mechanic or feature  Be ready to kill features and/or abandon optimization  Beware of “killer features”   Most big metrics improvements we’ve achieved have occurred through low- cost optimizations rather than high-cost feature development (c) 2012 Sepiida - Proprietary & Confidential
  19. 19. Prioritization19  With all this data, you can drown  Key is PRIORITIZATION!  If you’re having trouble with D1 retention, don’t worry about features that are used by more advanced users  Determine which features are used by whom by looking at data – not based on your opinion  You’re not going to make a dent in ARP/DAU if you can’t get people to come back for a second day! (c) 2012 Sepiida - Proprietary & Confidential
  20. 20. Questions?20 (c) 2012 Sepiida - Proprietary & Confidential
  21. 21. Contact Info21 Anita Garimella Andrews Founder & CEO – Sepiida @agarimella 215.600.4987 @websepiida (c) 2012 Sepiida - Proprietary & Confidential