The journey of Custom Metrics at Clarisights

The journey of Custom Metrics at Clarisights
Photo by Patrick Fore / Unsplash

This article is about how a simple feature spanned its journey to become one of the most used and also complex features of Clarisights. Custom metrics, as the name implies, allows marketers to create their own metrics on Clarisights. For example, to compute the average cost of acquiring a customer, the formula is:

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) = Cost / Acquisitions

Basically, the CAC can be calculated by simply dividing all the costs spent on acquiring more customers (marketing expenses) by the number of customers acquired in the period the money was spent. For example, if a company spent $100 on marketing in a year and acquired 20 customers in the same year, their CAC is $5.00. Looks simple, right? Maybe not!

When the first version of custom metrics was built, in Jan 2018, it could do the above example. But, with a diverse set of customers coming in, we encountered a diverse set of use cases that they brought along:

Checkpoint 1: Custom metric from multiple data sources
Clarisights provides integration with every major advertising and analytics channels (data sources) and marketers can build a single dashboard of all these data sources. The ability to build custom metrics from multiple data sources is no brainer. One of the most popular cross-channel custom metric is RoAS i.e. Return on Ad Spend (a.k.a ROI) which equals Revenue/Costs. The Revenue is obtained from Google Analytics, CRMs or App Analytics and the Costs from Advertising channels like Facebook, Google Ads etc.

Return on Ad Spend = Revenue(App)+ Revenue(Web)÷ Total Costs

Checkpoint reached — March 2018

Checkpoint 2: Nested Custom metrics
For a very long time, we didn’t support nested metrics, i.e. being able to use a custom metric into another custom metric. There was a workaround for this. Say, you want to create a custom metric using RoAS (the custom metric from checkpoint 1). Instead of using RoAS in the formula, you can write it as Revenue/Costs. But soon, the number of nesting started increasing from 2custom metric -> custom metric

to up to more than 5custom metric -> custom metric -> custom metric -> custom metric....

and obviously, the workaround couldn’t work. Fast forward to today, we support any kind of nesting of custom metrics in Clarisights.

Checkpoint reached — May 2018

Checkpoint 3: Conditional custom metrics
Almost every consumer-facing company (e-commerce, takeaway, edtech, etc) operates both an app and a website. The marketing efforts are divided between these two modes of acquiring new customers. Separate ad campaigns run for promoting the app and the website. In fact, the tools used to measure the performance of these campaigns are different as well. Whereas Google Analytics is the most popular choice for measuring website performance, Appsflyer and Adjust are used to measure the performance of App campaigns. You might be wondering where is this leading to? This led to a new feature addition to the custom metrics — custom metric based on conditions. As the revenue of App campaigns was measured in Adjust/Appsflyer and that of web campaigns on Google Analytics, the formula for Total Revenue looked like this:Total Revenue =
IF (Campaign Type="Web") THEN GA:Revenue
ELSEIF (Campaign Type="App") THEN AJ:Revenue

Maybe the image below from our product exhibits this better -

(Note: GA is Google Analytics and AJ is Adjust).

Checkpoint reached — August 2018

Checkpoint 4: Adding functions in custom metric
To calculate the monthly and weekly run-rate and compare it with the targets, we added the functions like {days_remaining_in_month}, {days_so_far_in_week} in custom metrics. Marketers can now check if they are at the right pace to hit the monthly targets.

Checkpoint reached — October 2018

All Checkpoints reached?

After multiple iterations, we have now added all the above features in custom metrics. But frankly, we don’t know what’s the final checkpoint for custom metrics. And we don’t want to. Its the journey that is more exciting for us and we are sure there are gonna be many more interesting features in the future.

We are currently working on Weight function and supporting date range in the custom metrics formula. Believe me, building some of these is super-tricky and we are exploring changing our databases to solve this. At Clarisights, we love challenges, a lot. If you are someone who loves such challenges, I suggest you check out our careers page.