Welcome to Step One of our Getting Started with Amplitude Series. This series is intended to help you set up Amplitude in the quickest, most optimal way possible, by walking you through the Amplitude data structure and helping you identify the data your product should be sending to Amplitude. Specifically, we'll cover:
- Introduction & getting started
- Instrumentation pre-work: Things to consider before deciding what data to send
- Identifying your users: Requirements for properly tracking your product's unique users
- Event data: How to identify the events or user actions you should track
- User properties & event properties: The attributes you should send to upscale your analytics
- Cross platform instrumentation vs. separate platform instrumentation: The differences between them, and when you should choose one over the other
- Using the Amplitude platform: General tips and helpful definitions
(If you're a developer or product manager who will be responsible for instrumenting Amplitude, you should also read our getting started guide for developers.)
Prior to jumping into the instrumentation process, there are a few things you'll need to do:
Before instrumentation begins
So much of your overall Amplitude experience will be determined by the decisions you make during the instrumentation process. Before you jump right into it, let's take a few minutes to lay the foundation for a successful instrumentation:
Define your business goals
This is critical to getting the most out of Amplitude. The more you know about your business goals—and the better you are able to articulate them—the more Amplitude will be able to help you achieve them.
So start by identifying—as specifically as possible—your business goals. What aspects of your product do you want to better understand or improve? For example, your goals for this quarter might be improving user acquisition, user retention, and paying user conversion. Once you've identified your goals, think about what data or events you'll need to reach them.
Understand how users are identified and tracked in Amplitude
If you're not properly tracking your users, you will not get what you need from Amplitude. It's as simple as that. So be sure to read and understand our Help Center article on how Amplitude identifies and tracks unique users before you get started with instrumentation.
Organize events and related properties
Consider making a spreadsheet listing each event and its associated properties. It might look something like this:
Event names should be clear and intuitive. If your organization doesn't have a standard naming scheme, we recommend naming your events using the following syntax:
verb + noun (
clicked signup ) or noun + verb (
signup clicked ).
Check out our Data Taxonomy Playbook for best practices regarding your event taxonomy. Download the above template as an Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet.
Resist the urge to track everything immediately
It's common for new Amplitude users to assume that by tracking as much data as possible, they'll generate more insights more quickly. However, the opposite is often true: too much data can obscure the answers you're looking for just as easily as too little data.
Instead, track only the events that are essential to answering the business goals defined in the previous section. Your team will have an easier time understanding and using the data Amplitude sends you. Customers often tell us that the most difficult thing to teach new hires is not the Amplitude platform itself, but is instead what the event data means and how it's generated.
We recommend that each event have no more than 20 properties. (This also applies to user properties.) If you eventually find it necessary, you can always add more events and properties later on.
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.
How does data get to Amplitude?
Find specific information on how to send data to Amplitude here:
- Amplitude SDKs: Find the list here.
- Amplitude HTTP API: Use Amplitude's 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.
When you're ready to move on, just click this link to go to the next step: Assign user IDs and identify your users.