SKAN dashboard by AppsFlyer

At a glance: The SKAdNetwork (SKAN) dashboard provides iOS campaign attribution metrics reported by Apple SKAN and additional data points. Metrics reflect user activity during an activity window (default 24 hours), beginning on the first app open.

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Related reading: Quickstart guide to iOS 14, ATT, and SKAN

The dashboard contains user acquisition campaign performance data reported in SKAN postbacks.

  • This data is further enriched with additional data points like clicks and cost.
  • Conversion value measurement settings are used to calculate metrics.
  • Data freshness: 
    • Daily.
    • Postbacks received on a given day are processed at the end of the day UTC. Data is available by 08:00 UTC of the following day. Meaning Monday's postbacks are available on Tuesday morning.
    • The install date is derived from the postback arrival time as follows: Postback arrival time-24 hours-activity window. The activity window default is 24 hours. Example: A postback arrives on Wednesday. The derived install date is 2 days before (2 X 24 hours), meaning Monday. 
    • Due to SKAN timers, the average delay is 32-104 hours. Average 68 hours. (~ 3 days). 

kb Related reading

SKAN dashboard view options

The dashboard offers different view options, as follows:

  • Actual SKAN data collected, translated, and aggregated by AppsFlyer but attributed by Apple.
  • SKAN simulation uses data attributed by AppsFlyer.

To select the view: In AppsFlyer, go to Dashboard > SKAN Overview, and select a view type: SKAN simulation or Actual SKAN data.

Actual SKAN data view

  • The actual SKAN data view contains the data collected, translated, and aggregated by AppsFlyer, provided in the postback from the user iOS device.
  • The conversion value is set by the AppsFlyer SDK and reported by postback by the iOS device.
  •  Agency-driven traffic is treated as coming from a transparent agency.
  • In some cases, Apple, due to a privacy threshold mechanism, doesn't provide the conversion value. 

SKAN simulation view

The purpose of the simulator is to provide you with a sense of the value that you will get from SKAN, before actual iOS 14 data is available, based on your current data.

Use the dashboard as a guide to:

  • Understand what your app SKAN data is going to look like.
  • Uncover what you would like to measure using the conversion value.
  • Optimize your measurement and get ready to attribute within iOS 14.

The simulator uses existing app data in the AppsFlyer platform to mimic SKAN postbacks and displays the output in the dashboard. 

SKAN simulation is available to all your iOS apps in AppsFlyer.

Simulation data

  • The default SKAN simulation setting is revenue measurement of up to $63 per user during the activity window. 
  • Experiment with different measurement configurations to find the configurations that provide the most actionable metrics for you.
  • You can make configuration changes easily and frequently and see their effect on your SKAN dashboard. Note! Configuration changes reflect in the dashboard as follows:
    • SKAN simulation: 24-48 hours
    • Actual SKAN data: 48-72 hours
  • Agency traffic rules:
    • General: The media source reflects the agency name and not the actual media source name. This is the case for both transparent and non-transparent agencies. However, this is not the case in the actual data view, where all agency-driven traffic is regarded as transparent. 
    • Exception: In the case of Facebook and Twitter, the actual media source name displays and not that of the agency. 

Simulation data is based on your existing attribution data by anticipating the installs and events that will be attributed in SKAN using the following criteria:

  • Installs:
    • Install type: app-to-app attribution, direct click to install. 
    • Attributed touch type: click
    • Excluded installs (outside of the SKAN scope): Mobile web, view-through, deferred, owned media.
    • At present [February 13, 2021], installs brought by Apple Search Ads (ASA) are included in the simulation dashboard. However, in the live dashboard, they won't display at all. Instead, ASA installs are reported in the LTV Overview dashboard. ASA changes starting February 15, 2021
  • Events:
    • Taking place during the SKAN activity window. 
    • Mapped according to the active SKAN measurement configuration:
      • Conversion: Up to 6 in-app events as listed in the configuration
      • Revenue: The maximum revenue amount recorded depends on the conversion value to the USD translation rate.
      • Engagement: Count the number of occurrences of a selected event.

Using the dashboard

Dashboard settings

Dashboard settings are available when the measurement mode is conversion measurement. The selected event is used to calculate the converted users metric. 

To select the conversion event

  1. In the upper-right side of the dashboard, click Dashboard settings.
  2. Select a conversion event.
  3. Click apply.
    Conversion metrics are calculated using this event.

Filter options

Use filters to refine the information displayed.

Filter

Remarks

Install date range
  • The attributed install date. This date is derived using the postback arrival time.
  • If there are large numbers of installs, the inaccuracy due to timing issues is insignificant. 
  • Installs include redownloads.
  • The date range is limited to 90 days.

Media source

  • The ad network attributed with the install
  • Agency-driven traffic: The actual media source displays irrespective of the agency transparency status. Consequently, you may see media sources that you aren't familiar with. 

Campaign

  • Campaign name and ID as set by the ad network. 
  • AppsFlyer translates the postback campaign ID to that of the ad network.
  • If a given campaign ID has multiple campaign names associated with it, then all names display in the dashboard. Note! The ad network provides the campaign ID and name per postback. Both campaign ID and campaign name are available in raw data and aggregated SKAN reports. 

Site ID

  • Source app displaying your ad.
  • Use to analyze the apps most beneficial to you.

Geo

  • Territory or country
  • The Geo is derived using data supplied by the ad network or using the device IP address.
  • Starting iOS 14.6 the device IP address is masked by an Apple proxy server. Meaning that the geolocation of the Apple server is reflected and not the device itself.

Install type

  • Installs
  • Redownloads reported by the app store
Filters available

Headline metrics

Metric Remarks

Installs

SKAN does not report installs if the user did not engage with an ad prior to the install. AppsFlyer calculates the organic metrics using AppsFlyer attributed installs (LTV dashboard.) 

  • Non-organic: Installs attributed to a media source in the context of a paid app-to-app campaign and reported by SKAN.
  • Organic calculated by AppsFlyer includes the following: 
    • Installs not attributed by SKAN or for which no postback was received from an ad network.
    • App Clips
    • Apple Search Ads.

Touchpoints (1) 

Impressions and clicks reported by the ad network by click or API.

Revenue

  • Available when revenue mode is active.
  • Divided between organic and non-organic revenue.
  • Organic revenue is calculated as the revenue of all sources less non-organic revenue.
  • To enable a like-to-like comparison, the duration of the post-install activity window of organic and non-organic installs is the same.

Cost (1)

Cost reported by the ad network. Cost displays in USD irrespective of the app currency. 

If the campaign name changes, cost displays under the most recent campaign name used. (If there are multiple campaign names)

Click-to-install rate

Click-to-install rate.

Adjacent period trend

Trend values in % indicate the change of the current metric relative to the metric of the previous equivalent period. For example, if the current period is May 1-10, the previous period is April 21-30.

(1) Currently, the metric includes all cost and touchpoint data relating to all campaigns, including SKAN campaigns. Data is reported to AppsFlyer using Xpend/Cost API.

Charts

The charts available depend on the selected measurement type.

Chart metric Remarks

User acquisition by date

Dimensions available:

  • Organic
  • Non-organic

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Touch to conversion 

Views available:

  • Touchpoint dimensions:
    • Impressions
    • Clicks
  • Click-to-install rate

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Installs by:

  • Media source
  • Campaign
  • Site ID
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Metric breakdown

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Top events

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The top events relate to both organic and non-organic users. Use the media source filter at the top of the page to distinguish between organic and non-organic users or per selected media sources. 

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Metrics

  • Select metrics from those available.
  • Set the primary and secondary group by dimensions to drill down into performance metrics.

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About the metrics table:

  • Use the table to compare the performance of campaigns and media sources.
  • Initially, the top 20 media sources display, sorted by the number of installs in descending order. 
  • To sort the table, click on a column header. Click again to reverse the sort order.
Metric Revenue measurement Conversion measurement Engagement measurement Formula/remarks

Installs

Y Y Y  

Impressions

Y Y Y

 

Clicks

Y Y Y  

Click-to-install rate

Y Y Y Installs/Clicks * 100

Converted users

Y Y Y Unique users performing the event
Converted users/Installs Y Y Y  

Revenue

Y      

Cost

Y

Y

Y

  • Cost reported by the ad network 
  • If the campaign name changes, cost displays under the most recent campaign name used. (If there are multiple campaign names)
ROI

Y

   

 

ROAS Y      
eCPI Y Y Y  
In-app event metrics
In-app event name af_skad_revenue Set in SKAN Conversion Studio.  Set in SKAN Conversion Studio.  
eCPA Y (up to 6 events)  
Event occurrences 

 

Has the same value as converted usersThe metric represents the number of unique users making a purchase.

The conversion event counts the number of unique users. It has the same value as converted users. The metric represents the number of unique users performing a given event.

 

The metric represents the number of times the event was performed by all users together. 

 
Table metrics available

AppsFlyer attribution vs. SKAN attribution

SKAN metrics differ from those available using the AppsFlyer attribution model. The table that follows enumerates the main causes. 

Definitions:

Concept SKAN

AppsFlyer

Attribution methodology supported

Apple SKAN for click- and view-through attribution. Contains traffic of app-to-app campaigns of ad networks and SRNs supporting SKAN.

 

AppsFlyer attribution model supports multiple attribution methods and scenarios: 

  • Mobile web
  • View-through
  • Click-through
  • App Clips
  • Web attribution 
  • Apple Search Ads
  • Owned media
  • SRN traffic (consenting users)
  • And more
Primary data source
  • SKAN postbacks
  • SDK

SDK and associated solutions. Example: Server-to-Server events.

Data freshness

SKAN data freshness. Updated 32-104 hours after install.

Real-time when the user launches and uses the app.
Time zone UTC  App-specific time zone.
Install time Derived from the iOS postback arrival time.

Reported by SDK.

Activity window

User activity during a fixed activity window [default 24 hours], starting with the app open.

Contains LTV data from the install date until the present.

Use Cohort to view data limited to cohort day 0 or cohort day 1, or both together to view a comparable measurement period.

Consider, cohort day 0 consists of less than 24 hours of activity. For example, a user installing at 18:00 on a given day has 6 hours of activity on cohort day 0.

Installs reported by
  • SKAN: Limited to non-organic installs and non-organic redownloads.
  • SDK: All installs are reported. Only first-time installs are counted for metric purposes. Meaning reattributions are disregarded. 

SDK reports all installs categorized using Rules into first-time installs and retargeting reinstalls (re-attributions). 

Advertising granularity level Campaign 

Full hierarchy: Campaign, campaign ID, adset, additional parameters like channel and partner. 

Redownloads vs. reinstalls

Redownloads relate to the actions of a given Apple ID user. They are not parallel to re-attributions.

Retargeting (re-engagements re-attributions) reflect in the Retargeting dashboard. They are not parallel to redownloads.

Attribution framework differences
Metric SKAN Traditional attribution
Non-organic installs 

Count of valid iOS postbacks received by AppsFlyer.

Consider, AppsFlyer doesn't get the postbacks of ad networks that haven't completed SKAN integration with AppsFlyer.

This can lead to undercounting of non-organic installs and increased organic installs.

  • Reported by SDK.
  • Attributed to a media source.
  • Counted using Rules. 
Organic installs

SDK installs minus SKAN installs.

  • Reported by SDK.
  • Not attributed to any media source.
  • Counted using Rules.
Revenue

Non-organic: Revenue reported by SKAN postbacks.

Organic: Revenue reported by SDK in-app events minus non-organic revenue. 

  • Reported by SDK and server-to-server API.
Ad revenue

Available

User-level ad revenue is attributed based on IDFV
ROI/ROAS

Revenue during the activity window.

  • LTV
  • Metrics of UA and retargeting campaigns.
Metric differences

FAQ—SKAN discrepancies

Reason  Discrepancies—Q&A

A

Q: Why do the conversion numbers in the AppsFlyer dashboard differ to that of the ad network dashboard?

A: Reasons for discrepancies

  • Install date differences:
    • AppsFlyer: The install date is derived using the iOS postback arrival time using the following formula: Install time = Postback arrival time - 24 hours - activity window (default 24 hours). So the default difference is 48 hours. For example, if the activity window is 72 hours, install time = postback arrival time - 24 hours -72 hours. 
    • Ad network: Typically use the iOS postback arrival time as the install date without adjustment.
  • Postback validation: AppsFlyer validates the iOS postbacks received and ensures that the Apple signature is valid. The ad network may send invalid postbacks disregarded by AppsFlyer. 
  • Missing postbacks: iOS Postbacks must be sent by the ad network to AppsFlyer. AppsFlyer doesn't get the postback directly from the device. If postbacks are missing, AppsFlyer has no way of knowing this.

B

Q: Differences between the SKAN performance API and dashboard versus the SKAN aggregate postback API?

A: The postback API date range relates to the date on which AppsFlyer received the postback. The performance API date range relates to the install date derived as described in reason A. 

C

Q: Do all ad networks report the Geo? 

A: No. 

D

Q: Why are there differences between the Overview dashboard and the SKAN dashboard.

A: See the preceding section for an overview as to reasons for discrepancies. 

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