Beacon Insights Dashboard
Let me pose a variation on an old, but useful philosophical question. If a beacon transmits its signal into the surrounding space, but there is nothing around to hear it, does the beacon really exist at all?
This may be contrived but actually highlights both a real world challenge in managing a beacon deployment and at the same time presents a great opportunity to gather decisive insights about when a smartphone enters specific locations that you care about.
What are beacon visits and insights?
Beacons are one-way transmitting devices, unaware of their surroundings. However when you pair them with a smart device you now have the opportunity to both monitor the state of your beacons (proving that they do in fact exist!) and at the same time use your knowledge of a beacon’s installed location (configured with rich meta-data in the BlueCats platform) to determine which devices have visited a location and when. With your BlueCats beacons and a mobile app running the SDK for iOS or Android you have both of these scenarios covered.
So what do I get?
First up its is important to provide some definitions. If you have used the Insight reporting in the past you may notice that ‘Visit’ counts are absent from the default reports. This has been simplified to a consistent count of unique ‘Visitors’ to a location (site or beacon) during a specified time period. While you can always drill down to the detail with the raw data available via API, the insights reports show a clear timeline of the number of unique devices (people) in a specific location. So to summarise:
- Visitor – a single, unique mobile device that detected a beacon during the specified time period
- Unique Beacons – a total count of the beacons visited by any device during the specified time period
The Network Dashboard
The web dashboard is the control centre of your beacon network. The Insights report shows a snapshot view of visitors across all your apps for the last day, week or month. You also get an overview of the health of your beacons – both battery level and when they were last reported, with deep links to see the specific beacons for each state.
The beacon insights section of the platform provides additional control to narrow in on a specific time period, or specific app, site or beacon.
These are the big ticket numbers – the total unique devices or beacons for the selected time period and filters. If the period selected is a week or less you will also see a comparison to the previous period (previous week for the week or three day views, or previous day for a period of 24 hours or less).
Top Apps, Sites and Beacons
Before drilling down to specific sites or beacons you might first need to see which are your top performers. These reports provide a quick view on the most reported app users and most popular sites and beacons.
After selecting your filter by app and site or beacon, the visitor timeline shows the number of unique devices entering the selected beacons during each time period. This provides a visual representation of how activity changes throughout the day or over a longer time period.
So how do I get started?
- Power up your beacons (put the batteries in!). You can change the configuration of your beacons with the BC Reveal mobile admin app for iOS or Android, but BlueCats Insights are supported for all advertisement modes. That means you can choose iBeacon, Eddystone or BlueCats Secure.
- Integrate the relevant SDK into your app. Analytics are enabled by default or other can you turned on or off with ‘BCOptionTrackBeaconVisits’ SDK option. Alternatively the BC Reveal app will already start reporting beacon health back to your dashboard.
- View beacon health on the web dashboard or explore further in the insights reports