Last Updated 7/17/18.

When it comes to capturing custom data, a customer has two options--Sprinkle and Update--both of which are fundamentally different and must be understood before choosing one vs. the other. Refer to this article when implementing a pixel that is capturing custom data, to determine which function is best for you to use. 

Sprinkle is Used to Capture Activity of a Person

The most basic use case of using a Sprinkle is feathr(“sprinkle”, “page_view”). This is automatically appended to the Super Pixel, and should be on every website page you wish to track. Using the sprinkle function in this way generates a “breadcrumb”, which is a single unit of data that contains various metrics to indicate activity generated by a “Person”. (See the Glossary of Attributes and Activities to see what activities the Sprinkle function captures.) In Feathr, a Person is anyone who has generated breadcrumbs via the sprinkle function (or update function - see next section).

In addition to the default values that are captured by feathr(“sprinkle”, “page_view”), a set of custom parameters can be passed into the function, shown below, to add custom data to the “breadcrumb”:

feathr(“sprinkle”, “page_view”, {
     “EVENT_NAME” : ”%EVENT_NAME%”}) 

This custom field “EVENT_NAME” is not a default value from the sprinkle function, so it will be added to the “custom_data” field of a breadcrumb.

*Note: This will not automagically pull the event name from the page. You will need to pull that information from the page programmatically, by replacing the %EVENT_NAME% with the HTML variable you wish to track. 

Or, you can hard code in a specific event name, like "Awesome Con 2017", which would set the value for "EVENT_NAME" for each Person who lands on that page. That would look like this: 

feathr(“sprinkle”, “page_view”, {
     “EVENT_NAME” : ”Awesome Con 2017”}) 

Update is Used to Update Attributes of a Person

The Update function does not generate breadcrumbs. It updates Attributes of the Person who is being tracked. In its simplest use case, Update can be used to record the name of the Person who is filling out a registration form. An example of this use case would look as follows:

feathr(“update”, {
     “name” : ”%NAME_VARIABLE%” }) 

*Another Note: This will not automatically pull the registrant's name from the page. You will need to pull that information from the page programmatically, by replacing %NAME_VARIABLE% with the HTML variable you wish to track. 

How to Choose Between Update and Sprinkle

If the data is about a Person that is not likely to change, like their name, use the Update function. If the data is about the activity/actions the Person is performing, use the Sprinkle function.

As a general rule of thumb: If the Person is filling out a form, use Update. If you just want to know that someone is viewing a particular page, use Sprinkle. 

Common Questions

What happens if I use Sprinkle when I meant to use Update? 

The effect of using Sprinkle this way will generate a breadcrumb for the person viewing the page, when you probably wanted to update the Person's attribute. For example, take a look at the following Sprinkle: 

 feathr(“sprinkle”, “page_view”, {
       "name": "Hernandez"})

This would add a custom name parameter to the Person's Activity, not actually update their name Attribute.

Related Articles

Glossary of Attributes and Activities
Pixel Implementation Guide

Did this answer your question?