Why We Built Paths


Heap’s mission is to power business decisions with truth.

As a Product Manager, when I first learned about Heap, the product’s value proposition and the customer’s pain it solved for was instantly clear to me. We’d all like to believe that we live in a perfect world where we know all of our business questions ahead of time. Ideally, we can just put these into a tracking plan spreadsheet once, and then seamlessly run our business with 100% truth-informed decisions.

The reality is much, much messier.

I’ve felt that pain personally in past projects — every business decision has a deadline, and all too often we don’t know what we don’t know. By the time we realize we have a question that we need to answer to inform an important business decision, we have to wait so long for the data to get tracked, collected, modeled, and visualized or presented that time runs out and we are forced to make a blind decision. In a competitive sense, it’s important to move and act quickly and deliver the best product experience possible.

Heap’s unique strength has always been its ability to power agile analysis and accelerate decision making. By providing a more modernized approach to product analytics, we give our customers the benefit of a complete, retroactive dataset that lets them ask a new question and the answer in seconds, not weeks.

But there is so much more we can do with that dataset.

There are so many “unknown unknowns” that we have yet to surface before you even realize that you may want to ask a question or track a new event.

We built Paths as a solution for a top feature request (the ability to explore the user journey with the goals of understanding the most common paths to conversion, the biggest points of drop-off, and where users go first after landing on a site or app). What really excites me about this launch is that it’s the first time we are really surfacing our autocaptured data (in this case, all autocaptured pageviews) in the context of an analysis feature.

For example, if you are exploring the user journey through your online store, and you created Pageview events for all the critical parts of your site but forgot to track a few product collections, you no longer have to worry about incomplete data. Instead of these pageviews completely missing from your analysis, they are visible alongside the events that you’ve defined. You now have peace of mind that you’re drawing insights from a more complete picture of the user journey.

Paths is just the beginning. Heap has made a bet against legacy solutions that rely only on static tracking plans and a waterfall-style approach to analytics. We believe in a modernized, more agile approach to product analytics: a complete, retroactive dataset that not only provides you with insights instantly when you ask for them, but also helps you understand a more complete picture of user behavior. We encourage Heap users to use this understanding as a launching pad for deeper analysis, and we’re excited to release Paths as a means of doing just that.