Weekend Coder: Analyzing BlackBerry World Reports

By Brian Scheirer on 27 Apr 2014 09:56 pm EDT

Today is my one year anniversary of writing Weekend Coder posts here on CrackBerry. Much the same as companies report end of year data (sales numbers, market share, etc), I thought it would be fun to do the same with app data. So I am going to do exactly that using the data that BlackBerry provides in the “Download Reports” section of the BlackBerry World Vendor Portal.

Inside the Download Reports section of the Vendor Portal, developers can request .csv files of raw data about downloads and purchases of their apps. However the problem is that it is very raw data. To make it useful you need to apply some logic to it. Drawing from my personal career knowledge (where I was a project manager for many years and now a director of department), I have come up with a fancy Excel spreadsheet that will create graphs and charts for you. The download link is at the bottom of this article.

Using my spreadsheet you can get totals/percentages of various breakdowns such as by device, by OS version, by country, etc simply by pasting in the raw data from the Vendor Portal into either the Purchase_Data or Download_Data tabs and refreshing the Purchase_Pivots and Download_Pivots tables. This will update the tables on the two pages with your data as well as update the graphs on Purchase_Dashboard and Download_Dashboard.

I have purposely picked what I think are key metrics to help myself and any other developer to analyze their user base. For instance, analyzing the device breakdown graph lets you know how well you are doing in hardware keyboard versus all touch. Perhaps a large proportion of Q10/Q5 users means those are the users you should target or conversely perhaps it is an indication that the full touch version of your app needs improvement.

Another interesting metric is OS breakdown by month. I will admit I took this graph type from a developer friend of mine (Ebscer, creator of Pixelated, Xploding Boxes, and more) which I believe helps you see where the market is in terms of OS updates. If a large percentage of your user base is using OS 10.2.1 perhaps you can discontinue support of OS 10.1 (and lower) to make use of newer API and not worry about alienating the majority of your users.

A few final notes, first in column O on my Purchase_Data tab, you will need to come up with that value manually. If you are good at Excel you can populate the field relatively quickly using vlookup. Another thing, once you have your raw data in, you can apply various filters in the graphs such as looking at only BBOS or only BB10 OS in the “OS Breakdown by Month” graph.

So I encourage you to download my spreadsheet to help you analyze the raw data BlackBerry provides from the Vendor Portal.

I thought some of you may be curious about my apps data,so I have run the past 16 months (Jan2013-Apr2014) of data through my Dashboard. My data during that time period consists of 211,081 Downloads and 9,256 Purchases (mix of paid apps and in app purchases) of my 22 apps.


(OS Breakdown by Month is BB10 only)


(OS Breakdown by Month is BB10 only)

Reader comments

Weekend Coder: Analyzing BlackBerry World Reports


Hehe..blackberry world is blocked Iranians... I live in iran and we use vpn and usa server to access BlackBerry World. So it counted us as usa costumer:))
(Near 50000 blackberry 10 user live in iran)

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Congratulations on your first year. All the best to you and hope you will have great app coming

 Slicing using my 

I am using a website called something like "App World Report" for quite a while now. It works fine for me.

Thanks a lot for the xls sheet, I will definitely check that one out. :)

Love pixilated! Thanks for building it! Looking forward to new creations from you too!

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On the 'OS breakdown' graph, am I reading it correctly in that most everyone started out with 10.0.9, then a huge percentage downgraded to 10.0.1? Just seems odd.. Haha

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No, they started on 10.0.09 and then upgraded to 10.0.10. Its just that spreadsheets tend to round off those numbers so they look confusing.

Congratulations on one year! I'm not a developer but I like to read your posts. Enjoying the insight from behind the scenes!

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Very interesting work. This would also be useful got market analysis of BlackBerry users, their interests and needs. Hope BlackBerry looks carefully.

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I also find it interesting how there are far more 10.1 users than 10.2 (or 10.0) users, while the vast majority are on 10.2.1. I think what we're seeing here is that the majority of current BB10 devices were sold with 10.1, combined with a population of users who never install any updates. That's just my guess, of course, since we never hear about non-US carriers who drag their feet on updates.

Is it possible to have a Google Drive or Numbers version ?
Numbers doesn't like pivot table on this version... :/

Distimo doesn't like in app purchases and for whatever reason doesn't grab data for all of my apps. While this isn't automatic, it is just a few steps.

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I use Distimo as well, and I seen to recall it displaying data correctly for in-app purchases. I'm curious what you mean when you say it doesn't work, maybe I'm missing some important data?

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Very nice and wishes.
If your data is correct, then on monetary terms, UK leads where 18% downloads resulting in to 36% purchases. May be this trend true for BB10 adoption also.
LOL 3% Indian downloads turn in to 0% purchases.

I'm wondering how to see how many apps were purchased by Z10 owners. I assume "Qualcomm GPU" are the Z10 STL100-2/3/4 ? What is the STL100-1? Imagination GPU?

Also, why is the Z10 the only device not referred to by name? I would have liked to at least see "Z10 - Qualcomm GPU".

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