Use metrics to understand how performance impacts your business

mPulse captures your custom metrics, timers, dimensions, and performance data elements and objects in an mPulse beacon. Use this beacon to connect your users’ experience and your site’s key business goals to understand how performance is impacting your business.

Metrics and custom metrics

In mPulse, metrics are non-performance data that are the result of something a visitor did while on your site. For example, a metric might be the percentage of visitors who buy something on your site (conversion rate), or the percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing only your home page (bounce rate).

Custom metrics are values defined in your web app configuration to track and assess the status of specific business goals that mPulse doesn’t automatically capture. Some examples of custom metrics include; conversion rate, revenue, order total, number of items in cart, and number of shares traded. mPulse has built-in system metrics such as bounce rate, session length, and session duration that are automatically captured in your data beacon.

Timers and custom timers

mPulse considers timers to be performance data such as DNS lookup time, SSL connection time, front-end time, back-end time, and page load time. mPulse system timers and custom timers are measured in minutes, seconds, or milliseconds.

For modern browsers, mPulse has built-in system timers to automatically collect performance data for page load time. There are also perceived performance timers that track Time to Interactive, Time to Visually Ready, and LongTasks Time. Timers that are defined by the Navigation Timing API are also collected for browsers that implement it.

Custom timers are values that you define in your web app configuration to identify and track other key performance moments during a page load that mPulse doesn’t automatically capture. A few examples of custom timers include time to first image, time to sidebar load, and time to load content served from a specific third-party resource. For older browsers, mPulse estimates front-end and back-end performance timing, and collects custom timers using values from the Resource Timing API and the User Timing API for browsers that implement them.

Dimensions and custom dimensions

Like metrics, dimensions are non-performance data about your visitors’ experience that help mPulse categorize page views into useful segments for analysis. mPulse has built-in system dimensions that capture details about the technology used by a visitor including browsers, operating system, device, network, geography, and Internet service provider (ISP).

Custom dimensions are values defined in your web app configuration that mPulse doesn’t automatically capture. For example, you can use custom dimensions to identify pages served to visitors that are logged in, visitors that are not logged in or first-time visitors. You might also consider custom dimensions to identify mobile-optimized versus desktop-optimized versions of pages, and capturing the language or regional edition used for the page content.

How your custom definitions are collected in mPulse

Whenever a visitor goes to your site, the mPulse boomerang library looks at the definitions that you set up in your custom metrics, timers, and dimensions. When the library sees a match, it reads and stores the value as part of the boomerang beacon that’s sent back to the mPulse collection system, where it’s aggregated and displayed on mPulse dashboards.

All mPulse system metrics, timers, and dimensions are calculated at the page view level.

For descriptions of the parameters collected via the boomerang beacon, as well as how they’re mapped to other parts of mPulse (for example, S3, Snowflake, and RedShift), see What's in an mPulse beacon?.