Global namespace for events and properties
This guide is a part of our Avo Design Decision series, and it covers our decision for this:
👉 Avo has a global namespace to ensure that all events and properties in the tracking plan have unique names that they can be easily identified.
Data design is a rising skill. Please check out our guide on Naming conventions of events and properties.
Naming inconsistencies often arise either during the "data design" step, not only implementation step. This is particularly true as product organizations scale up and multiple teams contribute to the tracking plan. (It's difficult enough to remember all the events you yourself created, let alone be aware of all the events other people have created).
Having a global namespace for all events and properties allows Avo to support people in various ways in designing better data.
Avo prevents creating a duplicate event whose only difference from an existing event is the casing. Same for property names.
For example: Avo won't allow you create a
signupStart event if
SIGNUP_START already exists:
Avo nudges you if you try to create an event in a casing that contradicts your tracking plan casing convention. Same for property names.
For example: if the convention is
snake_case and you type in
gameStarted in the event creation modal, Avo will suggest the right casing to you before you create the event:
Avo nudges you if you try to create an event with similar words as an event that already exists.
For example: if you try to create
EMAIL_UPDATE already exists.
Avo prevents you from creating properties with slightly different meaning depending on which event they are sent from.
This is a source of many confusions for the "data consumers" (analysts, PMs, whoever is digging into the data).
For example, the data consumer may be used to
player_id meaning "id of the current player", but then all of a sudden a new event gets created with
player_id referring to the opposing player. 🤯 The consequences are not only confusion, but also that the "normal"
player_id property cannot be added to the new event. With a global namespace for properties, this cannot happen*.
* Avo provides workarounds to bypass this, in case you have existing tracking that requires support for this. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Avo enforces mutually exclusive property names for event properties and user properties.
For example, if you have a user property called
player_id, you won't be able to create an event property called
Why does this matter? Because "user properties" typically update and overwrite a state of the user (often referred to as CRUD; create, read, update, delete), while "event properties" are specific only to the event they are attached. This means if you segment data by a user property, you are segmenting by the *most-recently-known state of the user*, while if you segment data by an event property, you segment it by the *at-the-time-of-the-event state of the event*. These are typically two different states. Segmenting by them can produce vastly different results, and it can be dangerously misleading if data consumers can't distinguish between these two.
For example: Let's say there is a user property called
role, which is kept up to date to always represent the user's current role. Let's say someone creates a
payment method updated event with an event property
role, which represents the user's role at the time of the event. Then someone wants to verify that only admins have been able to update the payment method. If they segment
payment method updated by the
role user property, instead of the
role event property, they will miss out on any cases where a user was able to modify the payment method as non-admin, as long as the user has been made admin since.
That's why Avo doesn't allow you to create event properties and user properties that have the same name.