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 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.
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 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).
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.
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:
Here are a few good use cases to consider for Account & Contact property follows:
In addition, here are a few examples of how you can use property follows with Events:
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.)
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.
This is covered heavily in our Milestones docs, but any Milestone you create will create Milestone properties on the Account or Contact that tracks it's progress as a percent.
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.
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:
The following traits will appear at the top of your Contact page, above any other traits:
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:
The following traits will appear at the top of your Account page, above any other traits: