Understand usage data

Who can use this feature?

Usage data generally refers to the measurement of a customer's utilization of a product or component outside of Totango that you want to represent inside Totango. Use cases can include anything from tracking detailed user behavior in your SaaS application to webinar registration and attendance. 

Have a question about a use case for "usage" data? Join our data webinars led by our Customer Success Engineers.

Usage data does not refer to usage of Totango by your team, such as tasks and touchpoints they’re creating. Admins can enable that option in User Management and interact with the data via a Totango Users segment.

Common methods for tracking customer "usage" data in Totango include:

  1. Account attributes and custom metrics
  2. User-level usage
  3. Aggregated account usage

Each option has different requirements for ingesting this data into Totango.

Account attributes and custom metrics

Just like any other account attribute, you can bring data into Totango on a daily basis (or other custom schedule) via data file or other data source. Attributes at the account level retain a historical record of each value, so you can visualize those changes on the account profile (e.g., an attribute value for "Average Order" might be $73 today and $90 tomorrow).


Additionally, if you build a custom metric, you can perform calculations and use them in filters, such as “Show me all accounts where the Average Order increased by 15% or more in the last 2 weeks.”


User-level usage

User-level usage (product instrumentation) collects data about user activity performed in some other system. With this type of data, you can view a stream of events per user and per module and action.

  • Module: Think of modules as nouns that describe the main areas of your application. For example, if your app is an invoicing application, it may have modules such as Invoicing, Billing, or Reporting.
  • Action: Think of actions as verbs that describe some specific activity the user did. For example, in an invoicing application, it may have actions such as “Send an invoice” or “Delete bank profiles.” Every action will be grouped under a module.

There is no time-stamp with each activity because it’s for the purpose of aggregation over time. This approach allows you to look at activity over different time periods.

Analyze user-level usage

When enabled, user-level usage is available in the following areas of Totango:

  • Developer ConsoleAll user-level activity for all accounts within Customer Data Hub
  • Usage Monitor (Executive Dashboard): All user-level activity for all accounts
  • Account profile (Usage tab): All user-level activity for the account
  • User profile: All user-level activity for the user
  • Segmentation: Use the "User Actions" filter within segmentation (e.g., User Joe hasn’t logged in for over a month, send him an email to nudge him back into the product).

User-level usage is tied to a specific user (or person).* For example, Lisa used your product’s Dashboard 3 times 28 minutes ago, and 1 more time after that. At the end of the day, assuming no more activity, the count for Lisa's activity for this module would be 4.

*Your API call is not required to define the user, but if you do want to, a user/contact cannot exist in Totango without identifying the account they are associated to. Additionally if you want to anonymize your usage but still record it as user usage you can send it for a fake ID (e.g., system_aggregated_user@domain.com).

Collect user-level usage

User-level usage data must be sent to Totango at least daily and have an automated process in place. Totango accepts user-level usage data in a number of ways.

Usage metrics are updated daily; usage activity streams are updated in real time. Learn more about data processing schedules.

Wherever the data comes from, it must specify Account ID, User ID, module, activity, and count. You can think of usage data as a bucket per user, filling up with activities during the day. Then at midnight of your instance time, Totango empties the bucket and sums the activity that happened the day before. In the case of using a data file, if you send multiple files throughout the day, all the activity per user will be summed at the end of the day.


Totango supports up to 100 modules, but works best with <10 modules defined. Totango supports up to 500 user-actions, but works best with 20-100. 

Aggregated account usage

Aggregated account usage is an alternate way to represent usage data that is not tied to individual users. Instead, you can pre-aggregate usage outside of Totango and then load that data into Totango. Rather than all individual activity inside your product, it’s summative data for ALL activity inside your product. 


This type of data can be collected via data file on a scheduled basis. Aggregate account usage must always specify Account ID and a column for each item you want to track–either a Module/Activity represented with two pound signs, or an attribute.


Additionally, you must also manually identify each user activity that you bring into Totango (i.e., add user action) within Totango's instrumentation section of admin settings (Data Management > User Actions).

Aggregate account usage is often used for Totango attributes such as License Utilization, Active Users, or Time Spent.


Question: Can Totango measure time and engagement metrics if I am only integrating via HTTP / Backend Integration? 

Answer: Totango estimates the time and engagement of users by looking at heartbeats in their individual event stream. Heartbeats are automatically generated by the Totango JavaScript library every 60 seconds of user activity. If you are relying on the HTTP integration, you can simulate that by ensuring you are sending an event approximately every 60 seconds for active-users.

Question: Can I delete unused/old user-action and module names?

Answer: Contact our Support team. If we delete a user-action or module but see it again from the API, it will be re-created. So make sure you stop sending it from your application code before you submit your request.

Question: How can I upload aggregate information about historic usage from a local file?

Answer: Any activity data from a local file is considered to have occurred on the day of upload. Upload of historical information may be possible through a professional service engagement with Totango. 

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