Just like Google's popular Analytics program, it appears that the statistics for publishers in the Android Market are fuzzed as well. After about 8 hours of having my app in the marketplace, and having 5 independently confirmed users install and run the application, including myself, the statistics shown in the store are as follows:
It reports 3 total installs, and 4 net installs. This doesn't make any sense. These statistics mean that 3 people have ever installed my application, but 4 installs remain in production?
Looking depeer into the devices and versions of the users as reported by the control panel also shows some strange data. First of all, none of my devices shown up in the devices list. This is odd, because I was one of the first to download it. Second of all, despite having 4 equal chunks in the pie charts, the numeric breakdowns don't show 50% of my traffic.
These types of errors are common for Google, which processes trillions of petabytes per day. The only thing developers can do is hope that the data is correct and complete, with no additional information or assurances from Google. Google did a great job of Real Time search for Google Analytics. This offering provides up-to-the-second updates regarding visitors to the site. This leads me to trust their data. Google could do several things to improve the reliability of their data.
- Show real time data for statistics
- State assumptions, such as time updated
- State when you are excluding data, such as installs by the owner