Selecting the right data delivery tool/API

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You can get attribution data by using data delivery tools. The tools include APIs, downloadable CSV files, and deposit to a Data Locker. You chose the data delivery tool depending on how and when you need the data. This article describes the differences between the delivery tools. 

Consider how and when you need the data in selecting the right tool. Do you need:

  • conversion data in real-time to influence the user journey?
  • raw installs and in-app events data, or is aggregate data sufficient?
  • clicks and impressions of raw data?
  • to store that data in your systems? 

Data delivery tools

Pull API

Raw and aggregate data on demand, using a URL containing the query parameters. The URL can be embedded in scripts for automated processing or used in the browser. 
Push API
Raw data messages about conversions are sent in real-time using an HTTP request. This includes organic and non-organic conversions. 
Data Locker
Exports raw data to a dedicated data repository in Amazon. The data is deposited during the course of the day with a six-hour lag from event time to deposit. You retrieve the data from the repository as needed. The data retention in Data Locker is one month. 
SDK conversion data
Attribution data is accessible in real-time directly from the SDK. 
Master API
Get aggregate data and select the necessary KPIs and grouping enabling you to create your own custom reports.
Export CSV files

On demand downloadable CSV files have the same capabilities and limitations as Pull APIThe Export CSV files are not described here.

See the article on merging Pull and Push API to learn about the benefits of using both.

The tables below describes the compatibility of the delivery tools with different requirements. 

Features

  Pull API: Aggregate Pull API: Raw Push API Data Locker SDK
Conversion data
Pivot/Master API
Data type Aggregate  Raw Raw Raw Raw Aggregate
Multiple apps(1) No No No Yes No Yes
Real-time Yes (upon query) Yes (upon query) Yes Intraday (lag of six hours)  Yes(2) No. Click here to learn more.
Data limit(3) 200K lines 
24 calls per day per application and up to 120 calls per day per account
200K lines |
10-100 calls per day
Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited file size and unlimited calls per day
Customizable data No Yes (details) Yes Can Select Apps & Fields No Yes
Data backup & access Lifetime 90 Days N/A 30 days Lifetime (available in the SDK) Lifetime
Availability Free Premium Premium Premium Free Premium
  1. Multiple apps feature means the ability to query data for more than one app at a time.
  2. The SDK conversion data method retrieves user attribution data in less than 5 seconds from first app launch, and therefore is the least accurate method. The reason being is that in some cases it takes longer than 5 seconds for AppsFlyer to get responses from ad networks, and so the fast SDK data decision may be different from the final attribution.
  3. The upper limit may depend on the account package.

Technical integration

  Pull API Push API Data Locker SDK
Conversion Data
Pivot / Master API
Server Side Development Optional Yes Optional Optional Optional
Requires Data Processing? Optional Yes Optional Optional Optional
Risk of Data Loss No Yes, if receiving servers are down No Small, if there are delays in ad networks response No
Client-server Processing Costs None High Low None (unless sending the data to the servers) None
Client-server Maintenance None High Low None (unless sending the data to the servers) None

Available data

The tables that follow, describe different types of information, which are available for each of the APIs describe here. Bear in mind, that some of the data is available to certain account tiers only, e.g. raw organic data.

Raw non-organic data

  Pull API Push API Data Locker SDK
Conversion Data
Pivot / Master API
Impressions No No Yes No No
Clicks No No Yes No No
Installs Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Sessions No No Yes No No
Assisted (Contributed) Installs Yes No Yes No No
In-app Events Yes Yes Yes No No
Uninstall Measurement Yes No Yes No No

Limitations:

  • Clicks and impressions data for app installs is available as part of attribution data.
  • Clicks and impressions data is available only via Data Locker provided that the information is made available to AppsFlyer. In general, SRNs do not provide raw data of clicks and impressions. 

Raw organic data

  Pull API Push API Data Locker SDK
Conversion Data
Pivot / Master API
Installs Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Sessions No No Yes No No
In-App Events Yes Yes Yes No No
Uninstall Measurement Yes No Yes No No

Retargeting raw data

  Pull API Push API Data Locker SDK
Conversion Data
Pivot / Master API
Clicks No No Yes No No
Re-Attributions Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Re-engagements Yes Yes Yes No No
In-App Events Yes Yes Yes No No
  • Retargeting clicks data is available as part of the raw retargeting data for re-attributed users. The full retargeting clicks data is available only via Data Locker. Typically clicks raw data is not available from SRNs.
  • Impressions are currently not used for retargeting attribution purposes.

Aggregated performance data

  Pull API Push API Data Locker SDK Conversion Data Pivot / Master API
Aggregated Clicks, impressions, installs & events data  Yes No No No Yes
Group by media source, Geo, Install day or site ID Yes No No No Yes
Group by app ID, ad set, ad, channel, engagement touch type or keywords No No No No Yes
Filtering by media source Yes No No No Yes
Filtering by country, campaign, agency, channel or site ID  No No No No Yes

The bottom line

It is highly likely that your data requirements entail using multiple data APIs.

You can consult with your CSM to determine the APIs combination that best suits your needs. If you don't have a dedicated CSM, and need some help, send an email to hello@appsflyer.com .

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