SKAdNetwork (SKAN) overview dashboard by AppsFlyer

At a glance: The SKAdNetwork (SKAN) dashboard displays campaign metrics reported via iOS SKAN postbacks and additional data points during an initial user activity window (default 24 hours). Modeled metrics which consider null conversions are also available. Data displays using the install or postback arrival date. 

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Dashboard principles

The dashboard contains SKAN campaign performance data and adheres to the following principles:

  • Consider that Apple, due to a privacy threshold mechanism, doesn't always populate the conversion value (CV). These are referred to as null CVs. In the case of null CVs, only an install is recorded.
  • Metrics are calculated as follows:
    • Non-organic metrics in the dashboard are calculated using SKAN postback data received by AppsFlyer. Some metrics like redownloads, source app ID, and fidelity type metrics require that you configure your app to send postback copies directly to AppsFlyer
    • Organic metrics are calculated as AppsFlyer attribution data minus SKAN non-organic attribution data. Note: Organic metrics aren't always available. Learn more.
    • Some metrics, like revenue and ROAS, have both the original value derived from postbacks and a modeled value that considers the null CV rate.
  • Agency-driven traffic is treated as coming from a transparent agency.
  • 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 postbacks received on Monday are available in the dashboard on Tuesday morning.
    • See expected dashboard update time.

Related reading

SKAN dashboard view options

Display data using either the install date or postback arrival date.

To select a date display option, in AppsFlyer, go to Dashboard > SKAN Overview. In the filter bar, select a Display by date option.

Additional filters and display options are described in the sections that follow. 

Dashboard use

Dashboard settings

Dashboard settings are available when your app uses legacy fixed-mode conversion measurement to select the conversion event. 

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.
    Note! This setting relates to the display in the dashboard and doesn't affect the CV setting in the app. 

Filter options

Use filters to refine the information displayed.

Filter

Remarks

Display by

  • Install date
    • The install date is derived from the postback arrival time as follows: Postback arrival time-36 hours-[average last-active range]. The default [average last-active range] is 12 hours. However, if the conversion value is 0, then the average last-active range is set to 0.
  • Postback arrival date:
    • The date the postback was received by AppsFlyer
    • When you compare metrics in the AppsFlyer SKAN dashboard to those provided by ad networks, consider that ad networks typically make data available using the postback arrival date.
    • Organic metrics aren't available when selecting this option.
    • In the case of Google Ads, the arrival and install dates don't differ

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

Adset 

Available if the ad network provides this data point

Ad 

Available if the ad network provides this data point
Filter bar

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 

Ad networks report impressions and clicks 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 minus 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.

Note: Organic metrics aren't always available. Learn more.

Cost

  • Cost reported by the ad network. Cost data is reported to AppsFlyer using Xpend/Cost API. 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)
  • Cost metrics are only available for the filter Install type=All that includes both installs and redownloads.

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.

Charts

The charts available depend on the selected measurement type.

Chart metric Remarks

User acquisition trend

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 per day grouped by advertising hierarchy element

Elements available: Media source, Campaign, Site ID, Adset, Ad

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Metric breakdown by advertising hierarchy elements 

Elements available: Media source, Campaign, Site ID, Adset, Ad

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Top events

Top events contain 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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Top countries

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Note: This chart is available to agencies and not to advertisers

Postback copy

This chart is available after you configure the app to send iOS 15+ postback copies to AppsFlyer. If no chart displays, consider that: 

  • We aren't receiving the postbacks from the app or aren't yet receiving them. Verify with your app developer, that the AppsFlyer endpoint has been set in the app and the updated app version is in the App Store.
  • No postbacks were received (meaning there are no SKAN installs) for the selected date or you selected a date earlier than January 1, 2022. 

Notes:

  • All other metrics in the dashboard are calculated using iOS postbacks forwarded by ad networks to AppsFlyer or from data provided directly by SRNs. Expect discrepancies between postback copy metrics and the other metrics. 
  • The postback copy chart isn't available to agencies.

PostbackCopy.png

Dimension Remarks
Media source

The media source attributed to the install. 

  • Metrics:
    • Redownload rate: Metrics relate to postbacks using SKAdNetwork V2.0+. 
    • Attributed touch-type rate: The engagement, view, or click, leading to the install. Metrics relate to postbacks using SKAdNetwork V2.2+
  • Note: If the media source ID displays, we currently don't have a name associated with that ID. Ask the media source to update their SKAdNetwork ID in AppsFlyer.
Source app

The ad publisher name, in other words, the app name in which the user engaged with your ad.

  • Metric: 
    • Install count: The number of installs brought by the publisher app. 
  • Notes:
    • If Apple withholds the source app ID, due to privacy thresholds, the source app displays as unknown.
    • If the app name can't be found, the app ID displays
Source app ID

The ad publisher id, in other words, the app ID in which the user engaged with your ad.

  • Metric: 
    • Install count: The number of installs brought by the publisher app ID. 

Metrics

  • Select metrics from those available. Modeled metrics consider the null CV rate. 
  • Set the primary and secondary groups 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.
  • Cost-related metrics (cost, impressions, and clicks) are available if at least 1 install is associated with a given campaign. Note:
    • Campaigns with 0 installs don't display at all. 
    • Some ad networks, report cost-related metrics at the adset and ad level, but report the install at the campaign level. In this case, the adset and ad cost-related metrics display with an install metric of 0. 
  • Attributed touch-type dimension limitation: Cost-related metrics can't be broken down and display as Unknown
Metric Formula/remarks

Installs

  • Total installs
  • Click-throughs
    • Users brought via click-through attribution

    • Available for installs recorded starting December 22, 2021

  • View-throughs
    • Available for installs recorded starting December 22, 2021
    • Applies to ad networks implementing SKAdNetwork V2.2+
    • Installs brought by Facebook always display are included in the click-through metric

This data is derived from the fidelity_type field in the postback

Null conversion value rate

Postbacks having a null conversion value/Installs * 100 

Impressions

 

Clicks

 

Click-to-install rate

Installs/Clicks * 100

Converted users

Count of unique users performing a designated measurement event.

  • Custom mode: Always af_skad_revenue (if anything else is selected, converted users remains empty)
  • Revenue mode: Always af_skad_revenue
  • Conversion mode: In-app event selected in the dashboard settings
  • Engagement mode: In-app event as set in Conversion Studio
Converted users/Installs  

Revenue*

 

Cost

  • 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)
ARPU*

 

ROI*

 

ROAS*  
eCPI  
In-app event metrics
In-app event name  
eCPA*  
Event occurrences   
* Original and modeled metric available
Table metrics available

Modeled metrics and null CV

SKAdNetwork (SKAN) reporting can be limited because:

  • SKAN relies on conversion values (CVs) that are limited to 6 bits, resulting in 64 possible values (0-63).
  • Apple sometimes withholds the actual CV (and returns data as "null") to preserve user privacy.
  • Data is only available from within an activity window of between 12-72 hours and full lifetime value (LTV) isn't known.

SKAN modeled data solves these issues, providing:

  • Modeled conversion values instead of null values.
  • Modeled revenue and event occurrences.
  • A more complete picture regarding app and campaign LTV performance.

Modeled metrics available include:

  • Revenue
  • Event occurrences
  • eCPA
  • ARPU
  • ROI
  • ROAS

Learn more about modeled SKAN data

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, adset, adset ID, ad, and ad ID. 

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. Note: Organic metrics aren't always available. Learn more.

  • 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 vs. postback arrival date:
    • AppsFlyer: The install date is derived using the iOS postback arrival time using the following formula: Install time = Postback arrival time - average (24 hours + activity window. So the default difference is 36 hours.
    • Ad network: Typically use the iOS postback arrival time as the install date without adjustment.
    • Use the display by postback arrival date option in the dashboard to eliminate this difference. 
  • 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. 

Traits and limitations

Traits and limitations
Trait Remarks
Modeled event occurrences 
  • Modeled events are based on the formula described in modeled metrics and null CV
  • The formula is applied per row of data. This may cause discrepancies between the modeled event count for a given media source and the sum of the modeled event count of its campaigns. 
Postback arrival date The final date in a date range is limited to the day when the last install was recorded.
Organic data
  • For custom mode, organic data is available for installs, not in-app events.
  • For fixed modes, organic data is available for both installs and in-app events.
  • Consider using SSOT to view organic data, as SSOT deduplicates SKAN-attributed and AppsFlyer model-attributed events.
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