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What's the difference between Basic Events, Advanced Events, and Custom Event tracking?

Solution

Feature and Event tracking is useful to track whenever specific events occur within your application, which features are accessed by users, which buttons are clicked, what users do on a page or form, how long they spend in a configuration wizard, etc. This will help you understand how different user groups engage with your software and interact with the UI.

This type of tracking functionality is reported under the Runtime Intelligence > Feature and Events Tracking reports. Before you start using these reports you will need to decide what features/events you want to track in your software and add 1 line of code in the event handler to notify the Revulytics Usage Intelligence SDK whenever that event occurs. The Event Tracking API is described here:

Using the Event Whitelist

Once you have used the API to track a Feature or Event inside your software, Usage Intelligence provides you with the facility to decide which of these known features or events should be tracked and which of them should be ignored from the Revulytics Usage Intelligence Dashboard without having to modify your code. This is done by navigating to the Administration page and under Product Settings click on Tracked Events Whitelist Management.

When recording events in the SDK, you can also split features and events into categories for easier reporting. Please refer to the documentation links above for more information on using the API.

When Does an Event Show Up in the Event Whitelist?

The Feature whitelist is negotiated between the client and the server during a sync. A sync occurs at least every time tbStop() is called, as well as at some other points in time as required by the client. Therefore, if your tracked feature does not show up in the whitelist, it probably means your software client has not yet synced with the server. The easiest method to force a sync is by running and closing the application at least once, thus calling tbStop() and syncing in the process.

Difference Between Basic and Advanced Event Tracking

When selecting which features are tracked in the Event Whitelist, you are given the ability to choose whether an Event should be tracked in Basic mode or Advanced/Filtered mode. Basic Events are usually much cheaper (i.e. in a standard plan you will get a larger quota) so they are ideal for tracking events where you are only interested in knowing the generic usage statistics.

Advanced/Filtered events on the other hand give you the ability to filter event usage by version, edition, build, language, OS, license type or even your own custom properties. This means you could segment event tracking data to identify specific usage trends and investigate how different user groups engage with different product versions. This is extremely useful for conducting A/B testing and UI experiments and gauge how people react to changes in your software.

Please note that at any point in time you can switch an event from Basic tracking to Advanced tracking and vice-versa by simply changing its setting in the Tracked Events Whitelist Management page, without having to do any code changes in your application.

Collecting Metrics with Events

You can track more than simply the number of times an event occurs. For every event that occurs you can collect custom (numeric) values such as the duration of time a user spends inside a wizard or form, file sizes processed by your function, or any other metric which you deem valid for your particular use-case. In this case you should use the API call tbEventTrackNum(). When collecting custom numeric values via tbEventTrackNum(), apart from getting event counts and statistics showing up in basic Event Tracking reports, you will also get totals and averages related to the collected custom values. These are visible on the right hand part of the table showing Basic Event Tracking statistics.

Collecting String Data with Custom Events

Should you wish to collect custom string data with each event and get access to a downloadable daily/monthly archive of all the raw event data that was collected from your clients, then you should make use of Custom Events. In this case you should use the API call tbEventTrackTxt(). When collecting custom events via tbEventTrackTxt() you will still be able to get event counts and statistics showing up in Event Tracking reports, however you will also get the ability to download a CSV archive with every event collected, as well as the profile of the installation on which that event occured. Please note that custom event data is collected in string format for offline processing purposes, and thus Usage Intelligence does not perform any analytics on the actual string content collected. This enhancement is under investigation for future versions, so contact support for more details.

Notice to Freeware Users

Event and Feature tracking is not available with a free plan, however you can still evaluate it for free by clicking the Start Full Feature Trial button on the Revulytics Usage Intelligence Dashboard Home page. Once the trial expires you will be switched back to freeware mode unless you upgrade to a premium subscription.

Blogs and Tutorials

For more info please check out this Event Tracking tutorial blog post.

 
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Article details
Article ID: 29
Category: SDK integration and Technical queries
Date added: 2013-01-18 21:27:47
Views: 966
Rating (Votes): Article rated 3.4/5.0 (5)

 
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