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New feature: Flexible Custom Properties

Smarter auto-detection. Manual control.

People Analytics launched just a few weeks ago as the best way to bring all your user-level data together in one place, making it instantly searchable and query-able for everyone on your team.

People Analytics will track any type of user-level information for each of your users as custom properties. These custom properties can then be used to search, filter and sort your users to help you answer key questions about them, such as “which users upload the most photos?” or “who are our most valuable users renewing their subscription this week?”.

In order to handle this data correctly, People Analytics needs to know about what kind of data each custom property contains – whether the property is text, a number, or a date etc. Therefore, when you track a custom property, it is automatically assigned a “type” based on the value you send. People Analytics can then make sure the data is searched, sorted and filtered in the correct way for that data. Possible types are Text, Number, Date, Boolean and Null.

What’s new?

Guided by your feedback, we’re happy to launch some improvements to make custom properties more flexible and easier to use.

People Analytics settings

If you go to your Site Settings, you’ll find a new pane for People Analytics.

This pane lists all of the custom properties you’ve tracked, along with their chosen types. It will tell you whether the type is auto-detected or manually set, and allows you to change the type for any property.

People Analytics Site Settings

Manual type selection

Sometimes, you need to change a custom property’s type. This can happen if you accidentally tracked the wrong value for a property, or you changed what kind of data the custom property stores.

Changing the type is easy. Navigate to the new “People Analytics” pane in Site Settings. Then, click “Edit” on the property in Site Settings and choose its new type. People Analytics will then instantly start treating the custom property as the newly selected type.

People Analytics Site Settings

Improved automatic type detection

People Analytics is now smarter at auto-detecting custom property types. It works out whether the value looks like a Date, Number or Text, with added support for Boolean and Null values as well.

For example, if you send a subscription_created property with a value like 2015-03-03T15:00:00+00:00, it will be assigned the date type. Alternatively, if you send a subscription_value property with a value like 49.99, it will be assigned the number type.

People Analytics will always try its best to figure out the most appropriate type for your custom properties. Sometimes it’s not always possible to get it exactly right, such as if you send a numeric Unix timestamp and want it treated as a date. In those cases, you can manually correct the property type in Site Settings.

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