Understanding People, Events, and Properties within Kissmetrics

The Kissmetrics data model is comprised of three components: people, events, and properties. Understanding these concepts is vital to being able to analyze the data you are collecting. A person is our representation of a user visiting your site. A person can perform events. And properties help describe both events and people.

What are people?

People are the visitors on your sites. A person in Kissmetrics represents the physical person behind the computer that came to view your blog, website or app.


To understand how people are identified within Kissmetrics, take a look at here.

What are events?

Events are the actions that your users are taking on your site or within your app.


If you are using JavaScript to track on your site, you will automatically track some events, including:

Event NameDescription
Visited SiteThe event will be triggered upon each visit to the site (with up to a 30-minute window of inactivity accounted for before re-firing another Visited Site event)
Search Engine HitThe event will be triggered upon arriving to the site from a search engine
Ad Campaign HitThe event will be triggered from any ad campaign tagged with UTM parameters, or any Adwords campaign.

The automatically tracked events are a great start but you will also want to track your own. Some examples are:

Event NameDescription
Signed UpThis event will be triggered when a visitor completes the sign-up
Logged inThe event will be triggered any time a visitor logs into your site or application
Completed check outThis event will be triggered when a visitor completes the checkout process
Subscribed to newsletterThis event will be triggered when a visitor subscribes to your newsletter

What are properties?

Properties are additional bits of information describing your users and their actions. By using properties you are able to segment reports and dive deeper into your data.


Properties are passed as key-value pairs.

If you are using JavaScript to track on your site, you will automatically track some properties, including:

Property NameDescriptionProperty Value Example
Customer IDthe customer's unique identifierabc123=
Campaign Source/medium/nameWhen a link directing to your site is using UTM parametersLinkedin
ReferrerThe URL that the visitor came fromwww.example.com/blog/post1
KM Landing PageThe first page a user visited at the start of a sessionwww.kissmetricshq.com
KM ReturningWhether the user is new or returningReturning
KM Device TypeThis is the device being used by the userComputer vs Smartphone vs Tablet
KM Device CategoryThe type of device the user is operatingComputer vs Mobile
KM Screen ResolutionThe size of the user's screen1280x800
KM Operating SystemThe operating system of the above deviceMac OS X
KM Operating System VersionThe version of the above operating systemMac OS X 10.11.6
KM BrowserThis is the browser that is being used by the userSafari
KM Browser VersionThe browser and version the user is runningSafari 8.1
KM CityThe city from where the user is visiting your siteSan Francisco
KM RegionThe state or region from where the user is visiting your siteCalifornia
KM CountryThe country from where the user is visiting your siteUnited States
KM ContinentThis is the Continent from where the user is visiting your siteNorth America

These starter properties are helpful, but you will also want to track your own. Some examples are:

Property NameDescriptionProperty Value Example
Product Viewed NameThe name of the product the user viewedLeather Notebook
Promo Code UsedThe promo code that was used during checkoutSUMMERSALE
Video Played NameThe name of the video that was watched by the userBeginners Guide


Now that you understand these concepts separately, let’s see how they all work together.

Janet is a first-time visitor to your e-commerce site. She originally arrived at the site from a post she saw on a fashion blog. While she was on your site, she viewed 2 dresses, added 1 to her shopping cart, created an account and ultimately left without buying anything.

In this scenario, who is the person? What are the events? And what properties should be passed?

JanetVisited SiteKM Returning: No
Viewed ProductProduct: Red Dress
Viewed ProductProduct: White+Gold Dress
Added to CartProduct: White+Gold Dress
Signed UpName: Janet
Email: [email protected]

Next Steps

Once you understand these concepts and which events you will want to track, you will need to set them up. There are a few different methods to do so, you can get started with the Event Manager or the JavaScript Library.