SKAN modeled data

At a glance: AppsFlyer models aggregate data that basic SKAdNetwork reporting is unable to provide.

Related reading: SKAN solution | Single Source of Truth guide for iOS attribution

Overview

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:

  • AppsFlyer uses machine learning, Bayesian statistics, AppsFlyer-reported data, and SKAN data to model hidden data points.
  • Advertisers get a more complete picture regarding app and campaign LTV performance.

Modeled data types and availability

Data type Availability Remarks
Null conversion values
  • Overview dashboard Single Source of Truth view
  • SKAN dashboard
  • SKAN aggregated performance report API
  • SKAN aggregated postback arrival date API
 
Revenue LTV Overview dashboard Single Source of Truth view Revenue LTV modeling is currently limited to 7 days

Null conversion values

Sometimes the conversion value (CV) has a null value because Apple withholds the actual CV to preserve user privacy. In AppsFlyer, a null CV is counted as an install. Consider:

  • Null and zero have different meanings:
    • Zero: The user installed the app but didn't perform any measurable action during the activity window. Consequently, the metric is accurate and isn't modeled. 
    • Null: We don't know what the user did; Apple withheld the CV. 
  • Null CVs can distort your performance metrics. To overcome the distortion and provide a truer measure of app performance, null conversion values are modeled to conversion values between 0-63.

Modeled conversion values:

  • Use the distribution of SKAN installs with conversion values to model null installs. For example:
    • There are 100 installs, 60 null, 10 with CV=1, 5 with CV=3, and 25 with CV=5.
    • This means that of the 40 installs with conversion values, 25% have CV=1, 12.5% have CV=3, and 62.5% have CV=5.
    • The 60 null installs get the same modeled distribution: 15 get CV=1, 7 get CV=3, and 38 get CV=5.
  • Are marked modeled in the SKAN dashboard and APIs and are available alongside the original metrics which are never altered.
  • Use data from the following granularity levels: App, media source, campaign, and adset. If modeled data using those levels isn’t available, the value N/A displays.

Modeled metrics available based on the conversion value:

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

Revenue LTV

modeled_d7.png

SKAN reporting on its own can only provide revenue based on the SKAN measurement window and CV configuration for revenue in Conversion Studio. SKAN modeling is able to model the revenue up to 7 days (168 hours) post-install.

Benefits:

For SKAN version 3 and earlier, the modeled data extends beyond the timeframe of the activity window.

For SKAN version 4+:

  • Data freshness: Revenue LTV becomes available before the second SKAN postback arrives (the postback delay is between 24-144 hours).
  • Measure more: You can use the coarse value configuration of the second and third postbacks for other metrics, like events and retention, and still get revenue LTV data by modeling.
  • Data enrichment: If you use the second postback to measure revenue, data from the postback is used to improve the modeled revenue LTV data and provide revenue data at a more granular level than the 3 levels provided by the postback.

Considerations:

  • Revenue LTV metrics display for apps with the overall revenue configuration in SKAN Conversion Studio, for revenue that comes from in-app purchases.
  • Revenue LTV requires at least 14 days of revenue data. Meaning, if you configure Overall revenue on November 1, 2022, the first install date for which modeled data is available is November 14, 2022. The data displays 8 days after that (November 22, 2022).
  • Revenue LTV (currently limited to 7 days) and other derived metrics are available in the SSOT dashboard (in the widgets, charts, and table) on day 8 post-install as follows:
    • Revenue D7
    • ARPU D7
    • Gross profit D7
    • ROI D7
    • ROAS D7