Tracking Plans began to emerge following the influx of event-driven products in the market. Tools like Mixpanel, Amplitude and many others, used events to build products based on user behaviour. In other words, actions a user took on a website or mobile app, e.g. tracking an event called "Account Created" when a user signed up.
Today, thousands of analytics and marketing automation products use event-based data to power all kinds of functionality to help startups and companies become more data-driven. As a result, this has increased the need for teams to track events, and the number of events needed to power all the tools that require them.
Some key use-cases for events are triggering email campaigns based on specific actions a user took, or building funnel reports to see where in the onboarding process users are dropping off.
What is a Tracking Plan?
A tracking plan is a blueprint of all the events and properties to be tracked across all sources (e.g. website), and why. Typically this will include additional meta-data that further describes things like a property's data type, the sources that are tracking the events, and the business objectives behind it.
If maintained, this tracking plan can serve as a single source of truth across teams working with events and tracking code. Above all, it should provide clarity on naming conventions and the expected data, so that teams implementing the tracking code know exactly what the marketing or data teams expect, and that those teams can rely on the tracking plan to build campaigns and run analysis.
Traditional Tracking Plans
Traditionally, Tracking Plans have been created using spreadsheets, with each product in the market providing varying templates and opinions on how a tracking plan should be structured.
Essentially, you created a spreadsheet and listed all the events you were tracking and the properties of those events. It could be as simple or complex as needed, with every company designing their own version.
This worked well when companies tracked fewer events, used less tools, and requirements weren't as complex. The result in many cases were spreadsheets that became difficult to maintain. They were simply too static.
A Modern Approach
The challenges we faced with traditional tracking plans is what led us to build TrackPlan. We wanted an opinionated solution that would introduce a standardised approach to tracking plans, with all the tooling to increase collaboration and reduce friction.
We believe tracking plans will become a key part of every project in the future, coupled closely with the development cycle, involving many teams in the company. As such, a scalable solution is required for the modern analytics project, and this is our mission.
Interested in building a modern Tracking Plan? Create your first tracking plan for free!