Top 5 Metrics — Measure Effectiveness of Employee Mobile App

Metrics are important. They don’t tell the full story; however, they tell a very important part. The performance of traditional communication channels has often been difficult to measure. Gathering usage metrics for digital communications tools is comparatively easy. These modern tools have analytic suites built into their offering as standard. The difficulty then becomes, what should you be measuring and what should you be aiming for?

Often companies will mention adoption statistics of 90–100%, this may only mean that 90–100% of employees downloaded and registered in the app, once. It doesn’t mean that they are actively using the app.

In order to establish the health of your network, you need to dig a little deeper. Below are the 5 key metrics I analyse to establish the health of an employee app network.

1. Active users — you should analyse this metric on a regular basis. Choose the period of time to analyse, be it a day, week, month or a particular date rage and see how many employees logged into the app during that time. I would recommend analysing daily active users (DAU), weekly active users (WAU) and monthly active users (MAU).

What the metrics can tell you: For example, if you have a user group of 500 employees and you see that 380 are using it on a daily basis, 420 on a weekly and 500 on a monthly then you can deduce the following. You have a dedicated employee user group of 380 who access the app each day, another 40 who access it weekly and a group of 80 who will access it only on a monthly basis.

2. Sessions per user — a session is defined as each time a user goes into the app. An employee can have multiple sessions per day, maybe one in the morning, one at lunch and one in the evening. Think about how you use your favourite apps, you’re likely to use them multiple times a day.

What the metrics can tell you: The higher the number of sessions per employee the more ‘sticky’ your app is. The more employees are using the app, the more reasonable it would be to assume it is adding value for them. A session per user target to aim for would be, employees using the app at least once per day. So over a monthly period you would expect to see approximately 20 sessions per employee. This is calculated by taking the number of working days per month, i.e. removing weekends.

3. Session duration — this metric will tell you how long your employees spend in the app; each time they go into it. By multiplying the session per user figure by the session duration you can calculate the time an average employee spends in the app on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

What the metrics can tell you: The duration is going to depend heavily on the content in the app. You are likely to notice that at launch the number of sessions and session duration figures are high, as employees explore the app and the content. If, post launch, the content starts to dwindle, then so will your usage metrics. Ensuring you’re regularly posting new content for your employees is absolutely crucial. If you have enabled user generated content (UGC), this will help but don’t rely on that happening for the first few months, post-launch. It will take employee some time to get used to the app and to find the courage to post their opinions, especially if they have never been given the opportunity before.

4. Screens per session — shows how many screens employees are looking at during each session. For example, employees could be going into the app, spending 5 minutes in there each session. This figure doesn’t mean much if we don’t know what they’re looking at, ideally you can also see details of what the top content is.

What the metrics can tell you: If employees are viewing 8 screens in a minute or less (session duration) then they’re probably skim reading the content. If they’re viewing 5 screens over a period of 3 minutes or more then they’re likely to be reading a few posts or articles.

Being able to see what users are viewing and engaging with is really important. Knowing what they engage with most will inform better content decisions. It will also help you know where to post the important announcements and communications.

5. Push opens — push notifications are an important engagement feature for mobile apps. They allow you, as an administrator, to send out quick messages to your users. You have the option to link the notification to content in the app or send it as a standalone message. When users receive the push it displays on their phone home screen, they tap on the message and it opens the app.

What the metrics can tell you: Being able to see metrics on how many employees opened it vs. how many people dismissed it, will help you know if it’s a useful engagement feature. You should also check, on the days that you send out a push, if there is an uplift in active users and any of the other metrics.

It’s important to know that employees can switch off notifications, every app gives users that option, you can’t override it. Some push notification services will be able to capture how many employees have enabled them and therefore disabled them.

There are many more metrics, which are useful for assessing the health of an employee app network. Which others do you use and are there any metrics you wish you could measure but currently can’t?