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New tools for understanding user behavior with Application Insights

Application Insights has new tools to empower your development team to better understand how customers use your web apps. These tools are available as a preview today in Application Insights in the…

Application Insights has new tools to empower your development team to better understand how customers use your web apps. These tools are available as a preview today in Application Insights in the Azure Portal.

In addition to monitoring the performance, availability, and reliability of your apps, Application Insights can now help your team:

  • Track business metrics related to your application, like retention and your number of active users.
  • Investigate increases or decreases in usage from new versions of your app, certain browsers, or certain countries.
  • Better design new pages and features with insights into current user behavior.
  • Identify pages and features in legacy systems that are rarely used, which might be safely removed.
  • Demonstrate the business value of your app within your organization by showing its impact on customers or other users.

Measure adoption and engagement



The new Users, Sessions, and Events tools make it easy to answer questions like:


  • How many daily active users does your app typically have for some set of events that your team considers “active usage”?
  • How many users tried a new feature of your app?
  • What countries, browsers, and operating systems bring the most traffic to each page of your site?
  • How many sessions does the average user spend interacting with certain features?
  • How many times has a certain page of your app been viewed, split by different A/B experiment groups your team has set up?

Once you find an interesting insight about your users, you can save it as a report so you can share it with the rest of your team. Anyone with access to the same Application Insights resource will see it in the Saved Reports section of the tool.

During usage investigations, you’ll discover groups of users with common characteristics that you’ll want to analyze frequently. The new User Groups tool makes it easy to create, name, and save these groups in a few clicks. Then, you can use these user groups from the Users, Sessions, and Events tools to ask more sophisticated questions, like “How do users who’ve purchased an item for more than $20 interact with a certain feature of my app, and how does their behavior compare to all users of my app?”

With these new tools, the existing Usage blade in Application Insights is being deprecated. For all the same information, check out the Overview report that comes saved by default in the Users tool.

Learn more about the Users, Sessions, and Events tools.

Track customer retention


Often, the fastest way to increase the usage of your app is to better retain your existing customers, rather than acquiring new customers. With a single click, the new Retention tool shows how many people that used a feature on a certain day or week came back to use a feature in subsequent days or weeks.

This is especially useful to understand the effectiveness of new features, content, or marketing in increasing retention. By comparing cohorts of users on days before and after new efforts are made, your team can learn what works and what doesn’t, then iterate to make progress.

Learn more about the Retention tool.

Get started

The Users, Sessions, Events, Retention, and User Groups tools are available in the resource menu of each Application Insights resource in the Azure Portal.

These tools rely on your app sending Application Insights page views or custom events. If your app doesn’t send either of these types of telemetry, yet, the quickest way to get started is to add the Application Insights JavaScript SDK to your app. This will automatically collect page views, and makes it easy to collect custom events to monitor parts of your app in more detail, like individual buttons and interactions.

Learn more about the Application Insights JavaScript SDK.

Learn more