At Refiner, we distinguish between two types of data stored in your Refiner environment. First, there is configuration data such as surveys, dashboards, segments, alerts, etc.
Secondly, there is user data which consists of user profiles, survey responses, user traits and tracked events. The Data Index gives you a quick overview and access to all user data in your account.
User data model
User data consists of the following four types of data objects.
User profiles are the top level object for user data. They are automatically created when you identify a user with our web-client, mobile SDKs, or backend APIs. User profiles are also created when an anonymous user views a survey for the first time.
The user profile object holds meta data such as a user ID and timestamps. User profiles usually contain multiple data traits, survey responses and tracked events. A user profile can be a member of one or multiple user segments.
User profiles can also be grouped into accounts when calling the identifyUser method. This is an advanced option though and not needed in most situations.
Survey responses are created when a user interacts with a survey. A survey response is always linked to a user profile.
The survey response data object hold timestamps such as first viewed at, completed at, dismissed at, etc. Survey responses usually also include response data provided by a user, as well as contextual data that was attached to the response. Survey response data is stored in the same way as user profile data using Traits (see below).
Traits are used to store user profile data, as well as survey response data. Traits are basically just a description of the data that we store in our database. Traits can be strings, numbers, boolean values or dates.
Traits are automatically generated whenever we receive data for a user profile. For example when you call the identifyUser method or our web-client, or a survey response is recorded.
You can see and manage all traits on a dedicated Traits page.
Next to importing user traits, Refiner also lets you track behavioral data. For example, when a user performs certain actions in your app, you can send that info information to Refiner in form of User Events. Tracked events can then be used to to launch in-product surveys or segment your user list based on user behaviour.
An event description is automatically created whenever we track an event for the first time. You can view and manage all event description on the Events page.
Purge user data
The Data Index page also lets you purge user data. This option is helpful if you finished testing and want to clean up your environment.
When purging user data, the following data objects are deleted from your environment:
- User Profiles: All user profiles that were created when identifying users or when an anonymous user responded to a survey for the first time. These profiles include user traits that will be deleted as well.
- Tracked Events: The events that were recorded with the “trackEvent” method of our web-client, through our API or Mobile SDKs.
- Survey Responses: The responses that you collected from your users using the surveys in your environment.
Purging user data will immediately wipe all above mentioned data from our system and the action can’t be undone.
All other data (surveys, traits, segments, dashboards, alerts, …) will persist and you’ll be able to continue using the environment.