Instrumentation pre-work

This article helps you:

  • Determine how best to instrument Amplitude based off of your business goals

Much of your Amplitude experience depends on the decisions you make during the instrumentation process. To lay the foundation for a successful instrumentation, there are a few things you must do first.

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 can help you achieve them.

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 the data or events you need to reach them.

Understand how Amplitude identifies and tracks users

If you're not properly tracking your users, you can't get what you need from Amplitude. It's as simple as that. Be sure to read and understand this article on how Amplitude identifies and tracks unique users before you get started with instrumentation.

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, consider naming your events using the following syntax:

verb + noun (clicked signup ) or noun + verb (signup clicked ).

Check out the Data Taxonomy Playbook for best practices around 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 tracking as much data as possible leads to more insights generated more quickly. 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 mention that the most difficult thing to teach new hires isn't the Amplitude platform itself, but is instead what the event data means and how it's generated.

Each event you track should 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

If your product is similar across all platforms and the taxonomy is consistent, you should combine web and mobile data into the same project. This allows 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

Next steps

If you still have questions, read this article on instrumentation FAQs and get data into Amplitude.

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May 24th, 2024

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