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Why context matters in event tracking

· 3 min read
Creator of walkerOS

How context can help to better segment users

It's commonly known that user journeys differ from each other and lead to different user actions and goals, depending on different types of traffic, the marketing campaigns we run etc. Based on common analytics software we're also used to segment traffic maybe by its marketing source or demographic differences of the users etc.

In short, we use context to better understand user behavior.

One page view event may seem like the other but they can differ significantly from each other once you look at the page path.

  • Captain Obvious

How about we go one step further and specify even more context to our events. Are there differences between users with different language settings? It is likely that someone who already has a product in their cart adds another complimentary product as well. Is there a relation between the type of a page and an overlay's performance?

Context is the foundation of actionable analytics data.

In most cases, the specifying information is somewhere visible to the user. Whether it's a small badge number next to the cart icon or the used template file. Then why don't we use the given context in analytics? What is obvious to a user is completely missing in the database to be considered in the analysis later. Getting this relevant information later is hard, it's much easier to be measured right from the start. We can guess or train models to predict relations and context. But why should we, when there is an easier way? Let's give the context right at the beginning, which is right where the data is being captured.

Launching elbglobals

We just released a new elb-attribute type, the data-elbglobals. Before the first event gets triggered the walker collects all global properties that have been defined with data-elbglobals. These properties will be added to all following events available under the globals property of each event. If you want to segment events by the login state of a user set data-elbglobals="user:loggedin".

"event": "product add",
"globals": {
"user": "loggedin",
"pagetype": "product_detail"

Another great information would be to specify the pagetype with data-elbglobals="pagetype:content" or data-elbglobals="pagetype:product_detail" to e.g. separate transactional shop traffic from visitors who only want to get inspired. Or to understand their relations. The possibilities are almost endless. Global attributes are different from properties because as the name already says they apply to all events that are being measured and they enrich all events regardless of the scope with actionable context.