The Instrumentation framework will help you decide what data must be sent to Amplitude to help you achieve your business and analytics goals. We provide 4 main recommendations: define your business goals, do not track everything immediately, understand how users are identified and tracked in Amplitude, organize events and related properties in a document and keep the names simple. We'll dive deep into these recommendations and other tips below.
Table of Contents
This is part of our Getting Started with Amplitude Series! You are currently on Step 2 of 7 in the series: Instrumentation Pre-Work. We are invested in your success and wrote this guide to help you set up Amplitude in the quickest and most optimal manner. This Quick Start Guide will walk through the data structure and what data you should send to Amplitude. Specifically, it will cover:
- Introduction & Getting Started
- Instrumentation Pre-Work: what you should think about before deciding what data to send
- Identifying Users: what is required to properly track unique users for your product
- Event Data: what events or user actions you should track
- User Properties & Event Properties: what attributes you should send to upscale your analytics
- Cross Platform Instrumentation vs. Separate Platform Instrumentation: when you should do either way of instrumentation
- Using the Amplitude Platform: helpful definitions
If you are a developer or product manager who will be responsible for instrumenting Amplitude, then you should also read our Getting Started Guide for Developers as well.
The following framework will help you decide what data must be sent to Amplitude to help you achieve your business and analytics goals.
- Define business goals:
What are your business goals? What about your product do you want to better understand or improve? For example, your goals for this quarter might be improving the product's user acquisition, user retention, and paying user conversion. Once you've decided on your business goals, think about what data or events you require to help achieve those goals.
- Do not track everything immediately:
Track the events that are essential to answering the business goals defined in the previous section. With just your key or high priority events to start, your team will have an easier time understanding and utilizing the data in different ways in Amplitude. A majority of our customers tell us that the most difficult thing to teach new users of an organization is not the Amplitude platform and is instead what the event data means and where in the product it is triggered. If necessary, you can always at any point add more events later.
- Understand how users are identified and tracked in Amplitude:
Before you begin instrumenting your events, it is important that you are properly tracking your users. Read more about the forms of identification in Amplitude and how we determine unique users here.
- Organize events and related properties in a document and keep the names simple:
We recommend having a spreadsheet that lists each event and its associated properties, which might look something like this:
We strongly recommend making event names clear and intuitive. If your team or company does not have a standard naming scheme, then we recommend naming events with the following syntax: verb + noun (e.g. 'clicked signup') or noun + verb (e.g. 'signup clicked'). Check out our Data Taxonomy Playbook for best practices on coming up with your event taxonomy. You can download the above template here:
- Keep test and production data separate:
Make separate Test and Production data projects on Amplitude. Test everything out fully before moving to production.
- Consider instrumenting a cross-platform project:
We recommend combining web and mobile data into the same project if your product is similar across all platforms and the taxonomy is consistent. This will allow you to analyze how users move between different platforms. Different products with distinct taxonomies should be instrumented in separate projects. Evaluate here the pros and cons of combining Android and iOS data or multiple apps to the same Amplitude project.
- Limit event properties and user properties:
There is such a thing as too much information. We recommend that any event should not have more than 20 properties. The same applies for user properties as well. Beyond 20 properties, you are adding properties that you may never measure.
Sending Data to Amplitude
Find specific information on how to send data to Amplitude here:
- Amplitude SDKs: Find our list of SDKs here.
- Amplitude HTTP API: Use our HTTP API to send server-side event data.
- Segment.io: See Segment / Amplitude Integration for more information.
- mParticle: See mParticle / Amplitude Integration for more information.