Heap vs. Amplitude

How are Heap and Amplitude different? A high-level overview:

Heap

Track everything automatically

Heap automatically captures every user action in your web or mobile app and lets you analyze it retroactively. Clicks, taps, swipes, pageviews and more with zero code.

Next-gen infrastructure

Heap's unique approach to analytics is only possible due to the custom data architecture we've spent dozens of person-years building. Learn more from ex-Palantir CTO Dan Robinson's talk at PGConf »

Battle-tested and popular

See independent, unbiased reviews from 80+ marketers, product managers, engineers, analysts, and more on G2Crowd »

Amplitude

Engineering work required

Amplitude doesn’t track anything automatically, resulting in a 6-12 month implementation phase as well as ongoing engineering work every time a new marketing campaign or product feature is released.

Standard infrastructure

Amplitude's analytics infrastructure mirrors what Google, Adobe, and others have been offering since 1996. It isn't built to enable a codeless, automatic-tracking approach.

Untested

As of July 2017, Amplitude isn’t reviewed on G2Crowd.

What customers are saying about Heap vs Amplitude

Lending Club

"I simultaneously installed the Amplitude and Heap scripts. Ten minutes later, we’re getting all of this data in Heap, and nothing in Amplitude. Heap just worked."

Alan D’Souza
Director of Product Analytics
Zendesk

"Heap feels like pure magic. We don't have to try to imagine every way an end-user will interact with a marketing campaign or product launch beforehand."

Paul Godfrey
Director of Engineering
Casper

"With Heap, we make no sacrifices when it comes to the robustness of our data. It’s a game changer."

Michelle Ballen
Optimization Analyst

Heap vs Amplitude: A Deeper Dive

Heap and Amplitude are both event-based analytics tools used by thousands of websites and mobile apps today. Both tools are real-time, have advanced conversion funnels, segmentation analysis, and other ways of analyzing data that are important to modern apps.

Beyond that, however, there are significant differences. Amplitude requires you to manually write custom tracking code for each event you care about. Heap, however, offers automatic event tracking, where user interactions are captured automatically without any code.

Automatic Event Tracking

One of Heap's main features is its ability to track events on your website or mobile app automatically. On web, Heap tracks every pageview, click, form submission and more without any work on your part. On mobile, Heap automatically tracks every touch, swipe, tap, and other gesture events. Amplitude, on the other hand, requires manual instrumentation for each and every event you want to track, using the Amplitude track method. As a result, with Heap, you can start generating conversion funnels after a 1 minute installation. Amplitude can take weeks to properly instrument for complex apps, and requires significant ongoing maintenance.

Retroactive Analysis

All events defined in Heap are applied retroactively. If you've only defined a "Visit Signup Page" event today, but have had Heap installed for the past five months, then you'll view the past five months of data on this interaction instantly. This allows you the flexibility to define events and run queries whenever they're needed, rather than accounting for every possibility from the outset. Amplitude's events only begin tracking data once you've written tracking code and deployed it live.

Complete User Histories

Both Heap and Amplitude offer the ability to drill down into individual users. However, Heap tracks everything users do automatically. This means that only Heap shows a comprehensive picture of every single thing a given user has done on your website or mobile app. Amplitude will only display actions for each user that you've explicitly chosen to track.

Data Integrations

Getting event and user data into Amplitude requires code to be written, no matter what source that data is coming from–web, mobile, or server-side. Heap, however, automates data collection across a multitude of sources. Heap offers automatic, codeless data collection on web and mobile, as well as seamless integrations with best-in-class third-party tools. Heap brings in data from tools like Salesforce, Marketo, and more.

Retroactive Data Warehouse

Heap and Amplitude both allow clients to ETL their event and user data into Amazon Redshift. This means you can run SQL queries directly against Heap or Amplitude data, or integrate that data with a BI tool like Looker or Tableau. However, only Heap provides retroactive warehousing capabilities. You can define an event within Heap's UI, and in just a few hours, you can query it in SQL. Heap SQL includes all historical data for the event from the day you installed Heap.

Event Visualizer

Heap provides a simple, point-and-click interface that allows people to create events without knowing any code. Product managers, marketers, designers, and anyone else can setup conversion funnels or do segmentation analysis in seconds. By contrast, Amplitude requires custom development work for each event you need to track. (In case it's necessary, Heap still offers the ability to manually track events in much the same way as Amplitude.track.)

When Should I Use Amplitude?

Amplitude is built primarily for mobile apps. Their clients include many mobile gaming and social apps. If your business is mobile-first and falls into one of these categories, Amplitude may be a better fit than Heap.

When Should I Use Heap?

Heap is well-suited for any product manager, marketer, engineer, or data analyst that wants to better understand their users without spending engineering time on implementation. The automatic event tracking in Heap eliminates work for engineering work, plays well with constantly changing websites and apps, and enables retroactive analysis. Additionally, Heap excels with an ecosystem of integrations with best-in-class third-party tools. The Event Visualizer makes analytics more accessible to anyone in a business than Amplitude's approach.