No-Code February 4, 2020

How do you track analytics on a no-code stack?

Tzeying Cheng @tzeying

So, I really want to build my product on a no-code stack, but what holds me back is really the lack of analytics. I can't seem to find any real solutions / replacement of good site analytics -- esp. down to the details of events, clicks, context etc. without needing code. Am I just approaching this wrongly? Has anyone had any experience with this?

Thanks for all the responses! Just a follow-up:

Would I be wrong to say that over-arching verdict is that - analytics for no-code stacks are pretty dependent on what was chosen as the built-in / integrated analytics tool?

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    Hey @tzeying - I would guess analytics would happen one of two ways:

    1. The chosen integration, as you suggest. I suspect that the vast majority of the time this is Google Analytics just due to its wide reach.
    2. A code drop-in, as you mention in the thread. This opens you up to any tool of your choice but isn't without hassle, as it appears you've noticed. To be honest, I'm surprised you've had trouble here. But given that you're looking for events/clicks/etc. without needing to go to the trouble of implementation, the Heap suggestion elsewhere in this thread is a pretty good one.
      3 (bonus one!) Occasionally, in larger ecosystems you'll find that someone has built a good one for you. For example, the WooCommerce ecosystem has some plugins that send more granular e-commerce events to Google Analytics.

    PS I'm writing a book on analytics and am interested in helping the no-code set. Let's chat?

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      (2) Heap seems to be the pre-dominant solution here - and I guess it does make a lot of sense. I'll have to test it out and see if it works in my use case.

      Also, most definitely - would love to chat. Drop me a DM on twitter (@tzeyingcheng) and we can go from there. I'm doing a couple of projects that range from pure no-code to hybrid models - and each of them have had their own unique set of challenges, esp. when it comes to analytics, so definitely interested to explore and understand more.

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    I'd look at Heap. They are different from Mixpanel and Amplitude in that you can add the snippet and retroactively track events without needing an engineer or code to do the instrumentation.

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      Definitely going to check it out this week! Will report back.

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    What sort of site are you building?

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      I'm basically trying to create a simple database app with a couple of other input functions (i.e. forms, edits, etc.) I want to put together a prototype that I can use to test user need and validate its proposition. But, I also really don't want to be limited to the functionalities of google analytics.

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    Hi! I'm actually in the middle of launching a "simple" product Analytics service where no code is required! It's actually inspired by heap analytics, which by the way might help you right now.

    It works by collecting all events, and you simply build you reports by defining the pre-collected events in our UI....if you're interested in trying out mine closer to beta launch let me know. But for now, heap should do the trick

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      Oh cool! I've actually used Heap extensively for enterprise work. Your product sounds really interesting. Would love to connect and learn more about it.

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        Ah nice. Thanks will give you a heads up. Question though. Since you've used heap before, why did you not consider it? 🤔

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          Oh, that's a good question. Because I used it extensively at work, we have ran into a lot of limitations of the platform. There are a lot of misfiring of events, data inaccuracy and ambiguity. Plus we are also not able to associated personas at a granular level which was a very important aspect for what we are doing.

          And, I think more importantly, the pricing structure. This is absolutely a personal preference, but I get a little iffed out when I can't estimate how much the costs will be without "speaking to a rep". For some reason, it just implies it's probably quite unaffordable. The free tier on it is also deletes data after 3 months.

          Given all that, I've tended away from it. But, honestly, I think it was a personal bias! It's great that so many of you have reminded me of it. Will most definitely try it out now and report back!

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            This is great to hear. Means there's a nice space in the market. For me my biggest pain with it (although this might be very personal too) was that the were no default reports straight off the bat like unique visitors etc. . and some nice dashboard building. It's a no brainer!

            Can you explain more about the personas and granular reporting? 🤔 Thanks!

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              Oh unique visitor is a pain. The lack of data labelling tools within Heap gets completely monstrous once you have a huge amount of data streaming in. We ended up having to track stuff outside of it with excel, airtable, hacking together a bunch of stuff to actually make sense of data.

              So, what I mean by personas is really what Segment is doing: https://segment.com/product/personas/

              Which is really interesting because it provides you with toolchain to actually accurately identify which segments / persona are most likely to convert, retain and potentially upsell. For me, that's a really important feature to have. It also really helps in improving the UX of the site, to know which personas specifically are having trouble with specific flows.

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    @bentossell or @anthilemoon may help you with this.

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      Glideapps just released google analytics capability to track your apps.

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        Yeah, I think part of the problem is that Google Analytics isn't as granular or flexible as mixpanel, kissmetrics, etc. which are able to associate sessions and trace events.

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      AFAIK most no-code platforms let you integrate with Google Analytics, for example Webflow makes it easy. Not sure about more privacy-focused solutions such as Simple Analytics and Fathom Analytics though.

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        I've used webflow quite a bit. It does allow you to pop in whatever analytics library you need but, adding code within webflow is pretty problematic and not without hassle.

        Have you used it? What has your experience been?

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      ooh thanks for the refer. Hopefully @bentossell or @anthilemoon will reply, or I'll try and DM them.

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