Link Fabric events to Firebase: do more with your data

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By Shobhit Chugh, Product Manager

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Most app teams collect data about their users to better serve them. But having data alone doesn’t automatically lead to insight. To be valuable, it needs to be processed, analyzed, and distilled into information that informs strategy and decision-making.

Answers, the analytics engine that powers Fabric, helps you understand your users by tracking events. Events are in-app actions (like login, social share, or purchase) that reveal how people interact with your app. This information is vital to learning how engaged users are, what actions they take most (and least), and how their behavior changes over time.

Today, we’re excited to give you more freedom to explore and examine your event data through a new Fabric events + Firebase integration. Now, all Fabric customers can unlock highly-requested analytics features in Firebase by creating and linking their Firebase account.
 

Fabric & Firebase are stronger together

Firebase is Google’s mobile platform that helps you build and grow high-quality apps without managing infrastructure. As we stated at Google I/O 2017, Fabric joined forces with Firebase because our two platforms are stronger together and offer complementary tools.

For instance, Fabric has always adhered to an opinionated philosophy and presented critical app data in a digestible way. However, we’ve heard from many of you that you want more flexibility. By teaming up with Firebase, we can build on the freedom and power that Firebase gives developers to do deeper analysis without compromising our opinionated approach.

This new Fabric events + Firebase integration allows you to use existing Fabric events with Firebase’s advanced marketing and analytics features to get more flexibility to organize, interpret, and act on your event data.
 

Build custom audiences to get deeper user insight

Although Fabric automatically groups your users into activity segments based on sessions, it’s interesting to group users by their behaviors too. With the Fabric events + Firebase integration, you can create custom audiences (a.k.a. user segments) in Firebase using your Fabric events and event attributes.

For example, you could create a “power users” audience to group people who have completed a key in-app action many times. For gaming apps, this group could consist of users who have who have completed at least 10 levels and made an in-app purchase.

With custom audiences, you can slice and dice your user data by in-app behavior to better understand engagement.


View historical data to unearth long-term trends

Fabric focuses on realtime events for the past 30 days, while Firebase gives you long-term visibility. Once you integrate Fabric events with Firebase, all event data that is collected from that point on will be accessible in Firebase. This extended view into your user behavior will help you uncover persisting trends.


Combine different data sources into one view with custom analysis

The Fabric events + Firebase integration also gives you access to your raw data (something you’ve wanted for a long time!) so you can perform more sophisticated and targeted analysis. Specifically, when you complete the integration and link your Firebase project to BigQuery, your Fabric events will flow into a BigQuery dataset. BigQuery is a petabyte-scale analytics data warehouse that you can use to run SQL-like queries over vast amounts of data.

For example, if you track user events in multiple places (such as Fabric, Google Analytics 360, custom analytics collected by a mobile backend service), you can import and aggregate them from all of these sources in BigQuery to see a complete picture. From there, you can also use data visualization tools, like Data Studio, to turn this aggregated, raw data into informative reports that are easy to read, share, and customize.

In addition, this Fabric events + Firebase integration gives you the ability to manage permissions on projects and datasets so you have control over who is able to share, view, and retrieve your data.

BigQuery


Turning data into action

The Fabric events + Firebase integration gives you enhanced flexibility and control over your data. But what do you do after you’ve dissected, analyzed, and extracted meaning from it? How can you turn these insights into action?

By using these insights to trigger smart marketing campaigns.

Firebase provides tools like Cloud Messaging and Remote Config that can send messages and alter your app in response to Fabric events. For example, ecommerce apps can send a push notification with a discount code to all users who have made an in-app purchase to encourage them to buy something else. Or, ecommerce apps can enable “one-click checkout” for this group.


Tap into the power of Firebase in 3 steps

You can start the integration process right from your dashboard. Simply click the Firebase icon in your Fabric dashboard in the left navigation bar.

Firebase in Fabric nav

The integration only takes a few minutes and can be done by a developer in three simple steps:

  1. Link apps*
    *If you don’t have an existing Firebase account, don’t worry. We’ll walk you through setting one up.
  2. Upgrade the SDKs
  3. Ship your app

For more details on how to implement this, check out our technical docs for iOS and Android. This integration can be enabled with minimal code changes and you won’t need to re-instrument your events.

Once you have completed the set up, your Fabric events (from that point on) will automatically flow to Firebase so you can build audiences, view historical trends, run custom analysis, and trigger personalized marketing campaigns. You’ll also continue to have access to this data in Fabric.

We’re pumped to unveil this integration, as it represents a big step towards our goal of bringing the best of Fabric and Firebase together so you have one place to build, understand, and grow your app. We can’t wait to hear what you think!