How to Create a Customer Data Tracking Plan?

Digital Analytics
Mariona Martí
How to Create a Customer Data Tracking Plan?

Understanding the functionality of your analytics is crucial for your data collection and customer data analytics teams. When tracking errors appear and tags fail, you're collecting inaccurate data that leads to reporting problems and bad user experiences, critical business decisions are made on inaccurate data. Here’s where the importance of having a tracking plan comes in.

Customer data collection occurs on your frontends, where you cannot detect activity between your customers and your analytics solutions. Trackingplan, a no-Code SaaS solution that eliminates this issue by offering you full interface observability and a seamless tracking and event QA process that notifies your product, analytics, and development teams when anything goes wrong.

Trackingplan will automatically detect any modifications to your analytics implementation and alert you of anomalies such as hit drops, missing properties, and events. Trackingplan automatically discovers and documents path definition and analytics code. It lives in your web and mobile apps, automating the detection of changes, errors, and event schemas in your analytics as soon as any customer uses them.

Table of Contents

What is Data Tracking? 

Selecting metrics and events of interest, followed by data collection, organization, and analysis is known as "data tracking." After analyzing the data, you use your results to improve business performance, customer experience, and other areas. 

The purpose of data analytics is to offer companies a better comprehension of the users' behavior. In addition, it delivers organizations information into client activity on their websites, mobile apps, landing pages, and blog articles, allowing them to deliver targeted, tailored, and enjoyable experiences. Tracking processes enables business leaders to determine which methods are effective and which are not. This data science permits the reduction of unprofitable business procedures and the enhancement of existing business strategies.

There is no need to rely on simplistic attribution models such as first or last click when you are tracking every client touchpoint. Instead, you can assign a unique value to each significant touchpoint along the route to purchase, enabling you to gain a more profound knowledge of their influence on conversions.

Accurate attribution provides crucial performance data that can assist you in making more intelligent decisions to enhance your marketing spending.

What is a tracking plan?

Each user's action in your frontends fires an event, and each event has a name and attributes, such as User Registered. For instance, a User Registered event could have characteristics like plan and account type

A good tracking strategy captures an analytics database's most fundamental data element. It represents actions  completed by your users and customers on your website or app, with contextual information such as when, where, and (sometimes) how it was nestled as properties. With an aggregation of these facts, it is possible to comprehend general product consumption, sales funnels, and user trends.

Tracking allows you to associate users' actions with their characteristics. 

Why Tracking plan is important and how to build one?

Building and launching a tracking plan requires continuous effort; it is not a one-time event.  As a data strategy evolves, tracking plans help maintain a fundamental source of truth by specifying where important data originates (sources) and is sent  (destinations). Frequently, new tasks will need to be iterated upon.

Tracking plans should be considered fundamental – a reference point for the entire tracking procedure. Therefore, data not included in the tracking plan should not be tracked.

It also serves as a data guide to provide teams with the direction to use customer data to develop products such as recommendation engines, remarketing, segmented notifications or emails, and targeted advertisements.

A product team analyzing the sales funnel using customer data is one example. Tracked events will be used to create and modify sales funnels, but the email marketing team may use the same data, which uses segmentation based on the same events and users that the product team has already tracked.

Creating a tracking plan for your business 

Before getting started

Before creating the tracking plan, you must establish your primary business objectives. This will assist you in choosing why you should track each event in the future. It is not about what you can measure but what you should measure; you must ask the essential questions that will offer you the insight to skyrocket your business.

Include your data and analytics objectives as a cover page for the tracking strategy. This step will assist you in keeping your goals in mind as you implement the tracking plan.

Establishing the plan

There are several tools you can use to set up your tracking plan. Excel/Sheets is a quick and easy alternative, but it will take more effort to keep it up to date and clean. Airtable, which will take a little more work to fill out, allows you to use relationships between different elements (e.g., ensuring consistent naming for properties).

Data and Analytics objectives in a spreadsheet

The best practice for establishing a monitoring plan is to divide it by objective, such as learning who your users are or what they're doing. Then, a 'call' type for each purpose will assist you in answering these questions. 

There are two important 'calls' to include: tracking and identification. The identification 'calls' are used to answer the question "who is the customer?" whereas the tracking calls answer the question "what are they doing?" However, there are more commonly used 'call' types that you can add to your tracking plan, which we shall discuss at the conclusion.

What actions do your consumers take?

Call tracking records the activities performed by your users and captures key event attributes. Examples of events include user registration, invitation sending, supplier viewing, and product clicking. A crucial guideline to remember when creating events is limiting the number of events as feasible and instead enriching them with attributes.

We suggest separating event tracking into client-side and server-side events. A client is a device (web browser or mobile device) used to browse the Internet, whereas a server is a computer that provides the page that the user is viewing. Adblockers do not affect server-side events, which can only track recognized users. 

Event tracking into client-side and server-side events

These are important events required for reporting or email flows. Client-side events can track anonymous users; however, ad blockers inhibit this capability. Most marketing platforms and conversions tracking systems identify users based on client-side events. Even if they offer a server-side API (like Facebook) for conversion tracking, a lower proportion of your visitors will be captured. 

Since what and how you track your customers will vary depending on client-side or server-side, separating these in the tracking plan is advantageous.

Customer Identification - Who are your clients?

The identification calls to link the actions on your website to individual customers. The premise for these calls is a unique user id, followed by various attributes or characteristics of these users.

The user identification template plan follows the same format as the event templates. The primary advantage of separating them is that they serve different purposes; event tracking focuses on activities, whereas identification focuses on characteristics. ‍

Identifying users

Other valuable calls

In addition to calls for identification and monitoring of events, other top-level calls may be helpful.

Page calls are used to determine which page your clients are on, whereas screen calls are used to determine which program is being used to view it (e.g. mobile or web). Group calls capture a more significant proportion of your customers' accounts and organizations. Alias calls are used to determine if the user has any previous identities, as not all systems allow for modifying a previously specified user-id.

Get started with tracking

Setting up your tracking plan may need some effort, but it will push you to consider your data and ask vital questions about your business and customers, yielding substantial short- and long-term benefits. You can take your tracking efforts further using Trackingplan

Book a demo today and ensure the data you add to your data warehouse is always clean and follows the expected specs.

Getting started is simple

In our easy onboarding process, install Trackingplan on your websites and apps, and sit back while we automatically create your dashboard

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