Here’s the next installment from our latest ebook “Behavior Analytics: Understand What’s in Your Event Data, and You Can Read Customers Like They’re an Open Book.” The ebook goes in-depth into the importance of understanding your users’ actions, not just what they say, to build the best product or service. In this section, you’ll get a review for what is event data and learn how different business teams use key behavioral components like cohorts, metrics, sessions, and funnels to understand engagement, conversion, retention, and more. You can download the free eBook here. Enjoy!


Understand what’s in your event data, and you can read customers like they’re an open book

An event represents any action or interaction that happened in a discrete moment in time. Event data is a continuous stream of actions that reveals the patterns of events that people, products, and machines make over time. Event data is commonly stored as clickstreams, logs, sensor data, call detail records, and more. It’s easy to identify event data: it has a timestamp, an entity performing an action, and attributes of that action. Every piece of event data has context and, reviewed over time, tells a story.

For example, every transaction on an e-commerce site may include a supplier, a vendor, a shopper, and a third-party payer (credit card company, PayPal)—each with its own attributes—any of whom may participate in a given event during the transaction.

Each piece of event data can have hundreds of attributes that describe each action and entity, and can encompass multiple entities. Attributes associated with event data contribute to the richness of the data and contain vital information businesses seek to comprehensively understand their users and their business. The timestamp and entity columns answer questions about when things happened and by whom. By analyzing events over time, you can identify the patterns and trends that reveal behavior and usage. These data points are the building blocks of an important type of analysis called behavioral analytics.

For example, product and growth teams use this information to learn about their customers, which informs them of ways to better attract and communicate to customers. Specifically, product managers rely on event data to see how products and services are used, where there are shortfalls and identify areas for improvement.

In today’s digital economy, event data is the fastest growing and most important data for businesses. Imagine a wearables company with hundreds of thousands of devices in the market, each generating thousands of rows of event data daily. The company probably needs to analyze event data from other sources too: maybe from GPS systems, social media sites, or website interaction records, to name just a few other potential sources of event data. You can see how all this can quickly add up to trillions of rows of events in just a short amount of time.

Event data is the foundation of behavioral analytics and accurately reveals what users truly want, need, or don’t like.


If you would like to continue reading the free ebook, download it here. If you would like to learn more about event data, I recently wrote a blog post explains it more.