Complete Onboarding Guide for Attribution and Analytics

 

Prerequisites You've signed up for Singular and have access to the Singular app.

Understand your Usage Needs

1

Plan your setup and use relevant sections from this guide

This guide has seven sections:

  1. Understand your Usage Needs: This section helps you understand how to leverage the system for your analytics and attribution needs.
  2. Set up Singular for your Business: The minimum integration requirements to get started. Every customer needs this section.
  3. Create Tracking Links for your Campaigns: Use this section to integrate with other ad partners, track self-managed channels, and use deep linking. Skip this section if you only use Facebook and Google Adwords as your ad partners.
  4. Run Campaigns with iOS 14+ and SKAdNetwork: Use this section to set up a solution for Apple's SKAdNetwork. Skip this section if you do not target customers using iOS 14 or above, or if you exclusively run campaigns using probabilistic determination.
  5. Set up other Singular features: Set up Singular to track fraud prevention, ad monetization, and [[more]]. Skip this section if you don't use these features.
  6. Run Reports: Learn how to use Singular's various analytics offerings. This section is crucial to your use of the platform.
  7. See your Data in your BI Platforms: Learn how to set up automatic notifications and data exports from Singular to your Business Intelligence platforms. Skip this section if you plan to use Singular's app exclusively.
2

Understand Singular's analytics offerings

Singular gives advertisers a unified view of all their marketing data in one place to empower them to make better decisions.

What Singular does:

  1. Automatically pulls marketing performance data from all of the advertiser’s ad networks, agencies, and other sources into one database
  2. Combines this data with attribution stats pulled from Singular’s native attribution solution or a third-party attribution tracker used by the advertiser
  3. Presents the combined data in dashboards and reports that provide customised performance and ROI insights. The data is presented in a high level of granularity, with breakdowns by app, campaign, targeted country, publisher app, OS, creative, and more.

In order to pull data from all the sources as described above, Singular is integrated with over 1000 companies, including ad networks, agencies, self-attributing networks, BI services, and more. You can browse the full list of partners to get an idea of who we work with.

3

Understand attribution

Mobile app attribution is the process of connecting the install of a mobile app and the user's activities inside the app to the marketing campaign that led to the installation. 

Singular makes these connections by matching an ad view or ad click that happens on a mobile device to the install (or, more precisely, the first session) of a mobile app on that same device. Attribution may also be done by self-attributing networks such as Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Google, and Apple’s SKAdNetwork.

To see how we do this, see Understanding Singular Mobile App Attribution.

4

Decide which events you need to track

There are three types of events that Singular helps you track:

  • Custom Events: If you'd like to track business events in Singular, you will need to define them in your SDK integration as well as within the Singular app. You can define up to 12 events that are global to all your apps or for a specific app.
  • Conversion Events: Conversion events are any user actions inside your product (typically, a website) that you want Singular to measure in aggregate.
  • SKAN Events: SKAN events are automatically created based on the conversion model you create. These events cannot be edited. You'll create a conversion model in the SKAN section of this guide.

Below are some common events you may want to consider for your business needs:

  • Authentication events, such as "Sign Up", "First Login", and "Registration Complete".
  • Engagement events, such as "onboarding complete", "search" and "view item". For gaming businesses, consider "level up" and "milestone".
  • Intent events, such as "Add to cart", "Add to wishlist", and "Trial start".
  • Conversion events, such as "purchase", "subscription", and "cancellation".

Set up Singular for your Business

1

Integrate the SDK/S2S

Singular has SDK versions for iOS, Android, Unity, and React, as well as for websites, and a server-to-server integration option. Use the developers' documentation at Getting Started with the Singular SDK/S2S to get:

  • A step-by-step integration guide for your chosen version, including iOS 14+ and SKAdNetwork
  • Instructions for testing your integration after each step of development
  • Sample apps for Unity, iOS, and Android made with best practices.

To test your integration, you will run your app on a test device and trigger user events. Use the SDK Console within the Singular web app to ensure the SDK is reporting events to Singular servers properly. See Using the SDK Console for step-by-step instructions.

Important: During your SDK setup, you should be defining the business events you want to track.

2

Add your app in Singular

  1. In the Singular web app, go to Settings > Apps.
  2. If you've integrated the SDK and are sending events to Singular, your app is added automatically. Find your app and confirm the Name and Store URL.
  3. If your app was not added automatically, click Add New App.
  4. Under the newly created app, enter the app name spelled exactly as in your ad networks.
  5. Select the platform on which your app is or will be published.
  6. If your app is already live, paste the URL of the relevant app store in the Store URL field and click Save.
  7. If your app isn't live, select the Bundle ID option and paste your app's ID in the Bundle ID field and click Save.
  8. If your app is available on another platform, click the Add Site button and repeat steps 5 to 7.
3

Set up attribution partners

Configure attribution settings for the partner for each app. This is done on the Attribution > Partner Configuration page.

Set up Facebook
  1. Confirm you have signed the Facebook Advanced Mobile Measurement agreement. Without this, Singular cannot share click-level stats in your export logs/data destination.
  2. Get your Facebook App ID from your Facebook App Dashboard and enter it in Singular's Attribution > Partner Configuration > Facebook.
  3. Configure your attribution settings. You can enable/disable view-through tracking and change the attribution windows.
    Keep in mind: changing the default settings may cause discrepancies between install numbers you see in Singular and the ones in the Facebook dashboard.
  4. Enable sending event postbacks to Facebook. This is ideal for optimizing your campaigns to a specific event (learn more).
  5. If you want to run SKAdNetwork campaigns with Facebook, see the Facebook SKAdNetwork Integration guide.
Set up Google Adwords
  1. Enter Link ID: In your Google Ads account, generate a Link ID (see Google’s instructions). In Singular, go to Attribution > Partner Configuration > Google Adwords and enter the Link ID you have generated.
  2. Configure your attribution settings.
  3. Import events: to begin tracking conversions and events, go to your Google Ads account to set up your conversion actions. See Google Ads Attribution Integration: How to Import Events.
    You will not see Singular’s events right away. The events show up in Google Ads only after at least one conversion event occurs since setting up the configuration in Singular.
  4. Send Events: To improve campaign optimization, allow Singular to send Google Ads postbacks about in-app events. Map your events to the equivalent Google event, or leave the event as "custom".
Set up Other Partners
  1. Go to Attribution > Partner Configuration and locate the network partner.
  2. Click Add site.
  3. In the popup, select your app name in the App dropdown and your platform in the Site dropdown. Repeat for each app and site you've set up.
4

Set up data connectors

Data connectors are how Singular pulls cost and other campaign data from your networks. Once you set up your data connectors, you’ll be able to start running reports containing cost, creatives, clicks, etc.

If you set up Facebook and Google Adwords in Partner Configuration above, setting up their data connectors will complete their setup.

Set up a data connector for each of your network partners:

  1. Go to Settings > Data Connectors.
  2. Click New Data Connector and in the search box that appears, find your network partner.
  3. In the partner configuration panel that pops up, provide the details required (usually an API key and a username). The panel will guide you on where to find the relevant details in your partner dashboard.
  4. For Facebook and Google Adwords, you may need to log in using a Facebook/Google account with relevant access.

Create Tracking Links for your Campaigns

1

Create tracking links for Singular-compatible partners

Tracking links let Singular know when a user clicks on one of your ads (or views an ad, if it’s an impression-based campaign). Links can include additional parameters - such as the user’s device platform or the ad creative asset - which can be leveraged in your reporting.

Remember: You don't need to do this for self-tracking networks such as Facebook, Google Adwords, or Apple Search Ads, among others.

  1. Go to Attribution > Manage Links.
  2. Click on Manage Link Domains and create a new subdomain for yourself. Use something simple that represents your brand well, e.g. "gamesco.sng.link" where GamesCo is the name of your company. You can reuse subdomains you've created.
  3. From the management screen, click on the app for which you want to create a tracking link and click Create Link.
  4. Under Link Type, select "Partner".
  5. Choose your network partner under Source Name and give your link a name under Tracking Link Name.
  6. In the Link Settings and Redirects section, select your subdomain under Link Sub-Domain.
  7. If your network partner supports Android and iOS tracking, you can enable them. Choose the appropriate site for your app and provide a link to where you want to direct your viewer (usually the store URL).
  8. Under For other platforms go to, provide a backup destination URL and create your tracking link by clicking the Generate button.

For more details on advanced setup, see Singular Links FAQ.

2

Create custom links for self-managed channels 

Singular allows you to track this activity by setting up tracking links for custom sources, which are any channels that aren't a preconfigured network partner. You can use these to track email and text message campaigns, as well as cross-promotional or influencer marketing campaigns.

Use the same steps as above by going to Attribution > Manage Links > Create Link. Under Link Type, instead of "Partner" select "Custom Source". Under Source Name, choose from "Crosspromo", "Email", "SMS", "Social", or "Custom".

3

Test your tracking links

After you create a tracking link, you can test it. See How to Test a Tracking Link.

4

Set up deep linking

If you want to direct existing users to specific parts of your app, you can configure a tracking link to be a deep link. With a deep link, if a user clicks the ad and they already have your app installed, not only will the app open - but it will show specific app content of your choice, not just the app's default screen.

See How to Create Deep Links: Guide for Marketing/Business Teams.

Run Campaigns with iOS 14+ and SKAdNetwork

1

Understand SKAdNetwork (SKAN)

SKAdNetwork is an iOS framework where Apple itself provides an attribution solution that aims to preserve its users' privacy. Any data that can be used to uniquely identify a device or user is not available through SKAN.

Starting with iOS 14, Apple discouraged the use of probabilistic attribution and released an update to SKAN, which is now the preferred method of attribution. With the new update, SKAN introduced conversation values, a 6-bit value, to track post-install events and measure how valuable a user is. See Introduction to Singular's SKAdNetwork Solution.

Our SDK integration guides already address how to set up for SKAN. However, you may want to see if our SKAdNetwork Integrated Partners have special limitations.

2

Set up a SKAN Conversion Model

The conversion value being a 6-bit value is simply a number between 0 and 63. By itself, the number is meaningless. However, we can add meaning to that number by creating a conversion model. A conversion model is a way to encode as much information as possible about the user and their post-install activity into the limited space of the conversion value. For a more detailed explanation, see Understanding Singular's Conversion Value Management.

If you've already understood and planned a model, you can configure it in the Singular app. To configure a new conversion model:

  1. In your Singular account, go to SKAdNetwork > Model Configuration.
  2. Select an app from the list on the left.
  3. Click Add Conversion Model.
  4. Select the Measurement Period (see What is the "measurement period"? What should I set it to?).
  5. Select the model type (see What types of conversion models does Singular offer?).
  6. Enter a name for the model and configure the additional settings. These settings depend on the model type you selected.
  7. You can expand the Analyze Model section to see a simulated report of how the model with the current configured settings would perform with your data. For more information, see What is "Analyze Model"? How do I use it to help me pick a conversion model?
  8. Click Save. The new conversion model is added to the list.
  9. To start using the model, toggle it on.

For more help, see SKAdNetwork Model Configuration FAQ.

3

About Probabilistic Attribution

In probabilistic attribution, Singular's tracking URL is used to collect basic information about the device, such as IP address and model. However, starting with iOS 14.5, Apple prohibits probabilistic attribution methods without user consent for privacy concerns.

To protect advertisers and partners, Singular has disabled probabilistic matching by default for iOS 14 and above. As a technology provider, Singular is committed to helping our advertisers and partners stay compliant with Apple policies. See our FAQ on Working with iOS 14+.

4

Run SKAN Reports

Once you've set up SKAdNetwork in your app, configured a conversion model, and allowed some time for data to start coming in, you can start to analyze your results. Singular offers two reports for SKAdNetwork:

  1. SKAdNetwork Raw Data: Analyze the raw SKAdNetwork install data as received in SKAdNetwork postbacks before it’s decoded. Go to SKAdNetwork > Raw Data. See SKAdNetwork Raw Data FAQ.
  2. SKAdNetwork Reports: See SKAdNetwork data combined with ad network cost and impressions stats and CPI calculation. Go to SKAdNetwork > Reports. See SKAdNetwork Reports FAQ and Troubleshooting.

Notes:

  • It takes Apple 24-72 hours to start sending SKAdNetwork data for Singular to show.
  • Apple Search Ads does not use SKAdNetwork. The data for ASA campaigns is available in your regular reports (Analytics > Reports), even for iOS 14.5+ devices.
  • Twitter and Google share SKAdNetwork data with Singular through special APIs, and not by forwarding the actual postback. Therefore, you can't download postback-level SKAdNetwork data for these networks in Export Logs.
  • The SKAdNetwork framework doesn’t support web-to-app installs or installs based on probabilistic attribution (such as cross-promo).

Set up Other Singular Features

1

Set up fraud prevention

Singular’s Fraud Prevention Engine protects your marketing efforts using a mixture of out-of-the-box detection methods and custom user-defined rules to prevent attribution fraud. The Engine evaluates installs before finalizing the attribution or reporting it to the partner, thus preventing excessive billing for CPI/CPA campaigns.

For an introduction to Singular's fraud prevention mechanism, see Singular Fraud Prevention. To configure your fraud prevention settings, see Configuring Fraud Settings and Configuring User-Defined Fraud Rules.

2

Set up ad monetization tracking

Singular's ad monetization reporting lets you track all your aggregated ad revenue from different networks and mediation platforms on one page.

Ad monetization tracking is an Enterprise feature. If you have it enabled for your account:

  1. If you've already added apps for campaign performance reports, you do not need to modify anything. However, if you're monetizing different apps than the ones you're marketing, add those apps in Settings > Apps.
  2. Go to Settings > Data Connectors and add an ad monetization data connector for each ad network through which you are monetizing apps. These data connectors have "(Ad Monetization)" in the name.
  3. Allow 24 hours for Singular to pull data. See your Ad monetization reports in Analytics > Ad Monetization

For more help, see Ad Monetization Analytics FAQ.

3

[[what else? Dashboards here or below?]]

Run Reports

1

Run your first report

Once your campaigns are up and running, you can start running reports in Singular to analyze your ROI and measure campaign KPIs.

  1. In the Singular app, go to Analytics > Reports.
  2. At the top of the reports tab, use the date picker to select your desired date range.
  3. Under Dimensions, select the values you want to see in your report. For example, select "App", "Source", and "OS".
  4. Under Metrics, select the metrics you want to see in your report. For example, select "Impressions", "Clicks", "Installs", and "Cost".
  5. Under Cohort Metrics, select the metrics you want to see. For example, select "Revenue" and "ROI".
  6. Select other values and filters to refine your report. For example, select "7d" under Cohort Periods, and "All Time" under Time Breakdown.
  7. Click the Run Report button to generate your report.

You can also try these sample reports:

For more details, see our Reports FAQ. To understand how often Singular pulls data from your partners, see Data Freshness and Update Times.

2

Run a creative report

If your ad network supports creative data, you can set up Singular to report on the performance of individual creative assets and their performance. You can also set up tag groups to run aggregated reports. This will help you understand and optimize your campaigns.

For a full guide, see How to Set Up and Run Creative Reports. Also see Creative Reports: FAQ and Troubleshooting.

3

Use Export Logs to view device-level data

The Attribution > Export Logs page in the Singular web app lets you manually download user-level data for clicks, installs, re-engagements, in-app events, postbacks, and fraud-related data. The page generates a CSV file.

You can export user-level logs for up to 90 days back from the current date. We recommend keeping the date range as narrow as possible to avoid going over the record limit per download.

  1. Go to Attribution > Export Logs.
  2. Choose the relevant date range.
  3. Select the app, the app site, and the type of log you want to export (clicks, installs, events, or postbacks).
  4. Select the fields you want to include by dragging them into the Selected Fields box.

  5. Optionally, you can filter the log by Attributed Partners, Countries, Device ID, and Device Type. For event logs you can also filter by specific events, and for conversion logs you can filter by conversion type. We recommend filtering the log as much as possible to avoid going over the record limit.
  6. Click the Export Log button.

For more, see Export Logs and User-Level Data FAQ.

4

Set up events for detailed reports within Singular

Events are any user activities within your app (post-install) or your website that you want Singular to track in order to help measure the success of your campaigns. 

The nature of the events you choose to track depends on your KPIs. Some commonly tracked events are purchases, level-ups, and registrations.

You would've already defined events when you integrated the Singular SDK. Now, you'll define them within the Singular app so that you can see them in reports. To define events:

  1. Go to Settings > Events.
  2. If you plan to use your event across multiple apps, select Global Events. Otherwise, select App Specific Events and choose your app from the dropdown.
  3. Click the New Event button.
  4. Give your event an indicative name and choose what event it maps to in your advertising platform.
  5. If you also would also like to see the cost per event calculation in your reports, select the Cost Per Event (CPE) checkbox.
  6. Click Save.

To plan your events, see Defining In-App Events. For other help, see Events FAQ.

See your Data in your BI Platforms

1

Use Data Destinations to auto-export your data

Singular can feed data directly into your data warehouse, storage service, or BI platform, where you can use your own BI and visualization tools to process and analyze the data. See Supported Platforms.

Data Destinations are an Enterprise feature. If Data Destinations are enabled for your account:

  1. Set up a destination for your service of choice. Step-by-step instructions for each service are available in our Data Destinations section.
  2. Log into your Singular account and go to Settings > Data Destinations.
  3. Click Add a New Destination to display a list of the supported destinations for your account.

The destinations marked "User-Level" are used to export user-level data. The others are used to export aggregated data.

Ensure Singular IP addresses are whitelisted. See Singular Data Destinations (ETL) FAQ and Troubleshooting for specifics and more help.

2

Configure internal postbacks

When you configured your partners, you configured what postbacks (automatic notifications) you want Singular to send to them about attribution decisions and other events. But you can also have Singular send automatic postbacks to your own internal BI system, for tracking purposes.

  1. Log into your Singular account, go to Attribution > Partner Configuration, and select the Internal BI partner.
  2. In the configuration window, provide a postback URL (e.g., https://my_company_name.com/bi/event_endpoint?app=12). This is where Singular will send the postback through a POST request.
  3. Configure the other postback settings the same way you would for a partner postback (see How to Configure an Attribution Partner).

For more, see Internal BI Postbacks: FAQ and Troubleshooting.

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