Comparing Props and eVars

There are several types of variables available in the Experience Cloud. The two most popular types, Props and eVars, allow your organization to report on custom dimensions to your site that standard out-of-the-box reports do not offer.

When determining which variables are assigned where, it is important to understand the differences between Prop and eVar functionality. Understanding these differences allows your organization to decide which type of variable is best to use.

Props vs eVars

The following are the main differences between props and eVars:

Exclusive advantages to Props or eVars

With the release of version 15, the capabilities between Props and eVars are much less distinct. eVars have recently been updated to include capabilities such as visits/unique visitors with minimal processing load, as well as pathing metrics.

Props hold a couple advantages of eVars, some of which can be circumvented:

  • Prop data is collected and available in reporting almost instantly. eVars can take upwards of 30 minutes to appear in report suite data.
  • All Props can have flowchart-like reports enabled, which let you see the path visitors take to your site. These pathing flow reports are available for both Props and eVars in Ad Hoc Analysis.
  • Props can be correlated multiple levels, where eVars can only be subrelated once. This limitation can be mitigated by using segmentation, giving identical data as correlations.
  • Participation metrics allow you to see what prop values participated before a success event.

eVars on the other hand hold several advantages over the limited nature of Props:

  • eVars can use success events as metrics. Props cannot.
  • eVar expiration can be customized, including having an expiration of every hit (no persistent values whatsoever). Props don't persist in any way.

Pathing metrics, such as Total Time Spent, Entries, and Exits, were originally not available for eVars. However, recent updates have made these metrics available, increasing the value of eVars.

Which to Use

Props: If latency is the largest concern, and you intend to only measure traffic (not success events) with this dimension.

eVars: If data breakdowns and relationships are the largest concerns.

Tip: If you don't want an eVar to persist, you can change its expiration to 'hit' so it doesn't keep any data beyond the hit.