The Kissmetrics data model is comprised of four components: people, traits, events, and properties. Understanding these concepts is vital to being able to analyze the data you are collecting. A person is our representation of a user visiting your site. A person has traits that describe them, and they can also perform events. Similar to how people are described by traits, events are described by properties.
People are the visitors on your sites. A person in Kissmetrics represents the physical person behind the computer that came to view your blog, website or app.
To understand how people are identified within Kissmetrics, take a look at Identities section.
Traits are additional bits of information describing your users. By using traits you are able to segment reports and dive deeper into your data.
Traits are passed as key-value pairs.
The customer's unique identifier
When a link directing to your site is using UTM parameters
The URl that the visitor came from
KM Landing Page
The first page a user visited at the start of a session
Whether the user is new or returning
KM Device Type
This is the device being used by the user
Computer vs Smartphone vs Tablet
KM Device Category
The type of device the user is operating
Computer vs Mobile
KM Screen Resolution
The size of the user's screen
KM Operating System
The operating system of the above device
Mac OS X
KM Operating System Version
The version of the above operating system
Mac OS X 10.11.6
This is the browser that is being used by the user
KM Browser Version
The browser and version the user is running
The city from where the user is visiting your site
The state or region from where the user is visiting your site
The country from where the user is visiting your site
This is the Continent from where the user is visiting your site
Events are the actions that your users are taking on your site or within your app.
The event will be triggered upon each visit to the site (with up to a 30-minute window of inactivity accounted for before re-firing another Visited Site event)
Search Engine Hit
The event will be triggered upon arriving to the site from a search engine
Ad Campaign Hit
The event will be triggered from any ad campaign tagged with UTM parameters, or any Adwords campaign.
These automatically tracked events are a great start but you will also want to track many events on your own. In Kissmetrics, we refer to these as "Custom Events". Some examples include:
This event will be triggered when a visitor completes the sign-up
The event will be triggered any time a visitor logs into your site or application
Completed check out
This event will be triggered when a visitor completes the checkout process
Subscribed to newsletter
This event will be triggered when a visitor subscribes to your newsletter
Properties are additional bits of information describing your user events. By using properties you are able to segment reports and dive deeper into your data. We highly recommend using properties on your events liberally.
Properties are passed as key-value pairs. Some of our traits, such as Campaign Name and Campaign Source, double as properties for the purpose of analyzing the built-in events mentioned above.
These starter properties are helpful, but you will also want to track your own. Some examples include:
The name of the product the user viewed
The promo code that was used during checkout
The name of the video that was watched by the user
It's worth noting that, for now, some of our older reports treat Properties as if they are Traits - but going forward, reports will be updated to support this new data model.
Now that you understand these concepts separately, let’s see how they all work together.
Janet is a first-time visitor to your e-commerce site. She originally arrived at the site from a post she saw on a fashion blog. While she was on your site, she viewed 2 dresses, added 1 to her shopping cart, created an account and ultimately left without buying anything.
Record Visited Site
Set KM Returning:No
Record Viewed Product Product:Red Dress
Record Viewed Product Product:White+Gold Dress
Record Add to Cart Product:White+Gold Dress
Record Account Created Referral Code:AZCO-B4-N
Set Account status:Active
This example is hiding an important distinction between Properties and Traits, beyond "one gets recorded with events and one doesn't:" if you segment by Viewed Product's "Product" property, you may see "Red Dress" or "White+Gold Dress" (or both) depending on the way you choose to segment (First value will always show Red, for instance, while segmenting for the most recent value will return White+Gold). On the other hand, if you segment by Add to Cart's "Product" property, it will only ever return White+Gold Dress no matter how you slice it - this is because of the way Properties are tied to events. As far as our newer reports are concerned, the "Product" from "Add to Cart" and the one from "Viewed Product" are completely different.