In our first blog in this series, we showed you how Heap’s Autocaptured data can be leveraged to create events. In this blog post, we’ll expand upon the power of Autocapture, showcasing properties, which are information associated with an event, session, or a user.
Since the moment you install Heap, you start capturing a lot of properties for events, sessions, and users. Check this documentation to see a full list of all the Autocaptured properties. Be sure to look at the properties specific to your platform installation (e.g. web vs. mobile) as there are differences across platforms.
In this blog, we will walk you through the advantages of having Autocaptured properties and we’ll also show you an example of how you can use these properties to create custom properties.
Let’s say you need to identify which is the most and least popular page on your website. This is easy with Heap as you can use the Title or Path properties. Both of these properties are automatically captured by Heap for all pageviews, without you having to manually create them.
For example, on our website we have an ‘Industries’ page. It would be very insightful for us to understand which of these industries is driving readership. Answering this question is as simple as just defining the event and creating a report grouped by Title.
And just like that we have exactly what we needed to answer our question!
The previous example was very simple, because we were able to answer our question using only Heap Autocaptured properties. However, there might be other scenarios where you will have to modify the properties to get exactly the data that you need. The good news is that Heap has a lot of different features that allow you to create custom properties from the data that is already captured. Let’s take a look at an example.
In the following example, we want to find our most popular blog post. Because of how our website is designed, we have the name of the blog in the path, so we can use the Path property to answer our question.
This is how our report looks like if we use the Path property:
It looks kind of messy, right? That’s because Path also has some information that is not relevant to our report. We can solve this by creating a new property that extracts only the name of the blog from Path. Let’s see how to do it.
To create a new property, go to Definitions on the left panel and then New Definition in the top right corner.
From here, we can create an event or a user property by clicking in the ‘Property Type’ menu. We can also choose the method we want to use, we can select between Conditional or Formula in the ‘Define Using’ menu. The Conditional method is ideal if we want to create a Marketing Channel property based on the UTM parameters. With the Formula method we have many options, from text to numeric functions.
One of my favorite functions is Extract Using Regular Expression, which gives us a lot of flexibility to extract exactly what we need from an existing text property. For example, we can use it to extract a specific portion of the Path.
So, to extract only the name of the blog, we created a new property using this regular expression:
Using this new property our report looks much better! Perfectly clean and only with the relevant information:
Just like we created this custom property, you can create new properties to answer your own specific questions!
In the previous segment, Galen Kashtock shows us how to capture data from the past using Heap. Check it out!