Analytics and Diagnostics

Note that much of this information is specifically geared toward edX.

This page supplements the wealth of knowledge in /wiki/spaces/AN/overviewand Mobile Analytics.

Analytics Events in edx-platform

Designing new events

When designing new events, see the /wiki/spaces/AN/pages/13205895.  


Determine if your new event is a research event for partners that goes into the publicly documented data package, or whether it will only be used for internal BI purposes.  

  • For internal-only events, use the special prefix '' for your event name.
  • For research events, make sure you tag someone on the Docs team, to make sure your new event is documented in the edX Research Guide.

Choose between server-side and client-side implementation of the event, and consider whether or not Mobile Analytics events need to be implemented separately for a native client-side feature.

Implementing in edx-platform

Implementing events in edx-platform is documented in the edX Developer's Guide and /wiki/spaces/AN/pages/30967007.  This section provides some additional clarity and examples.

Server-side events (includes celery)

  • Rule of thumb: Use server-side events where possible.  More context is available to server-side events.  Server-side events are less likely to have false duplicate events.
  • Call tracker.emit
    • Emits to Tracking Log and downstream tools (e.g. Vertica/Tableau, edX Research Package, etc.)
    • Event must be whitelisted to also be emitted to Segment.
      • In turn, Segment emits to other tools: Google Analytics (GA), Google Tag Manager, Optimizely, Qualaroo, Crazy Egg, Marketing tools.
      • Here are sample commits for updating the whitelist for and the whitelists for
      • At this time, it doesn't look like our code supports sending special labels to GA from server-side events.  See /wiki/spaces/AN/pages/30967007 for possibly enhancing this.
  • To send events directly to Segment:
    • This is appropriate when server-side event does not need to appear in tracking logs.
    • Call segment.track(), after "from common.djangoapps.track import segment".
    • If appropriate, also call segment.identify().  Currently the LMS only does this at login/registration.   

Client-side events

  • Rule of thumb: Where you have an option of client-side or server-side event, choose server-side (see above).
  • Logger.log
    • Important: This should be renamed to Tracker.emit, but that requires a deprecation strategy including telling course teams.
    • Emits to Tracking Log and downstream tools (e.g. Vertica/Tableau, edX Research Package, etc.)
    • Event must be whitelisted to emit to Segment (see above).
  • analytics.track
    • Use this if you want Segment and its downstream tools only.  If you want the Tracking Log or both, use the other call (with or without the whitelist).
    • Emits to Segment and its downstream tools.

Ecommerce Events

For any ecommerce related activity, including any messages encouraging a purchase, you can use Segment's Ecommerce Events.  

Any message encouraging a user to purchase could be considered a Segment Ecommerce "Promotion" Event. These, in turn, can be tracked in Google Analytices: Conversions > Ecommerce > Marketing > Internal Promotions.  Here is an example of implementing a "promotion" event in edx-platform for a verified upgrade reminder.

Analytics Tool Usage by Team

LearnerMercury TeamHow we workGoogle Analytics (GA), Tableau, and Optimizely.


Analytics Tools:

  • Google Analytics (GA)
  • Google Tag Manager
  • Firebase Analytics
  • Fabric (Mobile)
  • Segment (a.k.a.
  • Tracking Log
  • Optimizely (A/B Testing)
  • Qualaroo (survey tool)
  • Crazy Egg (screen recording/heat mapping, may or may not be used)
  • Marketing
    • Sailthru (email marketing)
    • Facebook ad reporting

Diagnostic Tools (includes Performance):

Consider the following data storage questions:

  • Limits (e.g. Splunk Logs)
  • Privacy (who has access?)
  • How long does data live?