10 Things I Wish We Knew Before Implementing Kissmetrics

We've been using Kissmetrics at Canvas as one of our main reporting engines (tying ad campaigns and web behavior to product behavior...and all of these to revenue, etc.) since January 2014.

We've learned a ton in the process of tracking millions of events and page views to get to important SaaS analytics. Here are 10 things I'd recommend you really drill down into and focus on if you're considering Kissmetrics or using it today.

1) Put in a formal process for adding to the initial sets of events you'll be tracking. For example, if you release a new product feature, ensure its usage will be tracked from the beginning.
2) Spend even more time understanding power reports. Power reports are the best part of Kissmetrics, when used properly. However, there are a ton of nuances that can dramatically affect reporting.
3) Decide what you will use for tracking key event metrics - raw counts or unique users who performed the event or something else - and stick with it to be consistent.
4) Don't screw up identifying and aliasing users
5) DON'T SCREW UP identifying and aliasing users (yes, we did do this and it took a ton of data scrubbing, exporting, json, python, pain-a-thons, and re-importing to get things right).
6) Pay close attention to mobile tracking set up.
7) Consider scenarios where more than one user may log into the same mobile device
8) Pay a ton of attention to the cohort and funnel reports - they may look flashy but there are a lot of nuances to think about in order to get the most value out of them.
9) There's a limit of 1000 events/properties per individual being tracked. Just FYI. Might not be a big deal..or might be, depending on what you're looking to do/report on.
10) Put a ton of thought into how often you want specific metrics and drill into how, exactly, you'll get them with Kissmetrics. Know that some of what you'll want to report on involves manually running a Kissmetrics power report, exporting the data, manipulating it in Excel and then creating the beautiful charts you want.

We love Kissmetrics. I think I could easily come up with 10 more things to share, but these are the ones that bubbled up tonight.

Just wanted to share these thoughts in case it's helpful to others who are currently using or thinking about using this powerful tool.

Are you using Kissmetrics? Would love to hear your thoughts/experience...