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What Are Properties?

By and large, properties are just a way to describe the metadata attached to an Account, Contact, or Events. With that said, there are some slight distinctions between what kinds of properties typically exist on Accounts and Contacts and the stuff that comes with Events. So let's take each one individually.

Account & Contact Properties

Account and Contact properties are typically the additional information you would store in your CRM about that company or person. For an Account it could be the company's revenue, or location, or website URL. For a Contact it could be the person's phone number, title, or LinkedIn profile URL. Whatever you want to store as a property on an Account or Contact can be stored as a property on an account or contact.

Properties can be found on each Account and Contact

It's also not unusual to enrich Accounts and Contacts through services like Clearbit. If that's something you do, the additional data that service layers on top will also come through as properties on the Account or Contact.

Event Properties

Event properties are roughly the same idea (additional data that is attached to events), but they work slightly differently. When you send an event from your website or product, you may include some additional information as properties. Take a `Signed Up` event, for instance. When your product pushes that to Variance, you also might include the company name, plan type, or referrer if it was provided. All that information can be viewed in Variance and toggled on and off (see below).

Properties let you include additional information with an event

Toggling On/Off Event Properties

Many of the events you pass to Variance will have properties attached. Some of these properties are really important to understanding what happened when the user interacted. For instance, if you had an event with `Selected Pricing Option` you also want to know the value of the property `Tier` which would indicate whether the user choose and individual or a team plan. Since we know how important is it to see some properties every time the event comes through we allow you to toggle on and off properties for any event. When you do that the property will show up for all instances of that event, both on Variance and in Slack.

Adding properties to events is just a few clicks away

Property Follows

In addition to being able to see properties on Account and Contacts and toggle them on and off for Events, you can actually follow properties. If you're familiar with SQL, this is the equivalent to adding a `where` clause. All Account, Contact, and Event Type properties can be followed, just like everything else in the system. Here's how it works:

  1. Go to the Accounts, Properties, or Event Types section.
  2. Click the Properties tab.
  3. Click Follow
  4. Choose which Stream to follow that property in
  5. Define the match you want on that property (is equal to, contains, does not contain, does not exist, exists, is greater than, is less than, is not equal to)

Here are a few good use cases to consider for Account & Contact property follows:

  • Geographic Territories: You can follow all accounts where `State is equal to CA`
  • Owned Territories: You can follow all accounts where `Owner is equal to Noah Brier`
  • Title Streams: You can follow all contacts where `title contains marketing`

In addition, here are a few examples of how you can use property follows with Events:

  • Docs: As shown in the example above, you might want to see all visits to Docs pages by following `url contains /docs`
  • Pricing: If you have a number of different pricing events and modals, you might want to just use property follows with `name contains pricing` (you can also follow it a second time in the same Stream with `name includes price` if necessary).

Property Types

When you're looking at properties you'll notice we explicitly show you the detected type for the property. This could be a string, date, boolean, number, etc. This value determines how we handle the property in filters, such as whether we show greater than or less than or within the last n days.

Syncing Event Properties to Account & Contact Properties [Admins]

Often events come in with valuable information that you wish you could access as part of the account for use in views and streams. Say, for instance, you have an onboarding survey as part of account creation:

It would probably be really useful to be able to access those answers as part of an Account or Contact's properties so you can see a view of just accounts that are 50-100. With Variance you can easily do that by going to the event type page and adding properties to be synced to the account.

Now those properties will also be properties for the account. They're namespaced to the event name and can be used in views, streams, tags, and synced to other platforms.

One other important thing to know about this feature is that the value will be overwritten if a new instance of that event + property comes through for a user on that account (if it's blank it won't be overwritten).

Property Change Events [Admins]

As customers increasingly bring in data from their warehouse, we were looking for ways to add value to that data. To do that we actually listen for the changes and generate a Property Updated event that includes the old data, new data, and delta amount + percentage if it’s a number field. This becomes super powerful for lots of use cases:

  • Want to track revenue changes over time and be alerted when revenue grows or shrinks by more than 5%? No problem, use Property Update events.
  • Want to include total volume in growth metrics in your Milestones? No problem, set up a Property Updated event on your volume field and include the event in your Milestone (set to only be counted if it grows by over x%).
  • Use Hubspot and want to generate events when emails are opened? No problem, add a Property Updated event on the `hs_sales_email_last_opened` property.

Here’s what the event looks like:

Deltas and percentages!

Hiding Properties [Admins]

We know it's impossible to ensure that all your event data is clean and consistent. To help deal with that, and make it easier for the team, we have added the ability to hide properties. If, for instance, you have some properties that are no longer in use or don't display data in an expected way you can simply hide them from users so they won't be confused. Simply click the overflow menu and you'll be able to hide the property. This won't delete anything or change data in any other system. (You need to be an Admin to see this functionality.)

Hiding properties helps keep things simple

Variance Properties

We add a bunch of properties to your Accounts and Contacts as part of using the system. This is all accessible using the same functionality as any other properties, but they have some special purposes.


Customers have many different data sources feeding into Variance. Sometimes, they want to trigger alerts or milestones when activity comes through on a specific connection. That’s now easy to do. Each Event Type now has a connection property that you can use in Streams and Milestone to filter. Here’s how it looks in Milestones:

And if you want to filter events for a stream by connection, you can go to any event type, then click properties, and you’ll see a connection property you can work with.

Milestone Properties

This is covered heavily in our Milestones docs, but any Milestone you create will create Milestone properties on the Account or Contact that tracks its progress as a percent.

Last Seen

We monitor when new data comes in from Accounts and Contacts and use it to update the Last Seen property. You can do some neat stuff with Last Seen including using the `Within the Last` and `Not Within the Last` filter to create active user views.

Using last seen in views and tags is easy

Slack Channel Property

On each account you'll see a special property called Slack channel. That property allows you to associate a Slack Connect channel with an account. To update the Slack channel simply click the 3-dot overflow menu and Edit. (You must have Slack connected to Variance for this functionality to work.)

Adding a Slack channel to an account is easy

Reserved Properties

Segment has a concept of "reserved" properties and traits that we follow (regardless of which CDP provider you use). Basically what this means is that if you use one of these special traits on an `identify` or `group` call, we will treat it in a special way (such as using it as the name of a contact or displaying it at the top of the page). Here's the list of reserved traits:


There are a few traits that are core to our system:

  • `name`: The name of the contact in Variance
  • `email`: The email of the contact in Variance

The following traits will appear at the top of your Contact page, above any other traits:

  • `address`: Street address of a user optionally containing
  • `age`: Age of a user
  • avatar: URL to an avatar image for the user
  • `birthday`: User’s birthday
  • `company`: Company the user represents, optionally containing: `name`, `id`, `industry`, `employee_count`, or `plan` (these can be configured as part of account matching)
  • `createdAt`: Date the user’s account was first created. Segment recommends using ISO-8601 date strings.
  • `description`: Description of the user
  • `firstName`: First name of the user
  • `gender`: Gender of a user
  • `id`: Unique ID in your database for a user (different than `userId` which is how we tie together user events)
  • `lastName`: Last name of a user
  • `phone`: Phone number of a user
  • `title`: Title of a user, usually related to their position at a specific company. Example: “VP of Engineering”
  • `username`: User’s username. This should be unique to each user, like the usernames of Twitter or GitHub.
  • `website`: Website of a user


Whether you use Group to identify accounts or you are just enriching data from your CRM, there are also a number of Account traits we treat in a special way.

These traits are core to the way we display and associate accounts:

  • `name`: The name of the account in Variance
  • `website`: If set, this will be the associated domain for the account in Variance (if you don't set a domain, we will infer it from the email addresses of the contacts associated with the account)

The following traits will appear at the top of your Account page, above any other traits:

  • `address`: Street address of a group
  • `avatar`: URL to an avatar image for the group
  • `createdAt`: Date the group’s account was first created We recommend ISO-8601 date strings.
  • `description`: Description of the group, like their personal bio
  • `email`: Email address of group
  • `employees`: Number of employees of a group, typically used for companies
  • `id`: Unique ID in your database for a group
  • `industry`: Industry a user works in, or a group is part of
  • `phone`: Phone number of a group
  • `plan`: Plan that a group is in
Last Updated: 
May 23, 2022