Data Layer Observer

Many FullStory customers have invested significant time and effort into building a data layer that lets them track custom events and user variables. Often these data layers are provided by vendors like Google, Tealium, or Adobe, and customers frequently ask how data within a data layer can be made available in FullStory. So we built a new integration called Data Layer Observer that makes it possible to automatically pull information from your data layer in just a few clicks.

Note: The Data Layer Observer is available as an integration for FullStory Business and Enterprise. The integration is not included with free trials of the FullStory platform or with FullStory's Free edition.

What data is recorded from a data layer?

Data Layer Observer is designed to automatically capture common data layer attributes and make them available in FullStory as custom events or user variables. Our out-of-the-box integration works with:

We have taken an intentional approach to data recording using vendor guidelines, and we do not record user-specific information out-of-the-box. If you need to record additional or custom data from your data layer, see the Data Layer Rules section in the project documentation to write your own rules. 

Getting started with data layer integration

Follow these simple steps to integrate your data layer:

  1. Request access to the data layer integration 
  2. Login to FullStory
  3. Navigate to Settings > Integrations
  4. Click Add next to Data Layer Observer under Available Integrations


After adding the integration, update the Preview Mode and Read on Load options to the on position.  Then toggle any of the supported data layers based on the type of data layer on your website.

Verifying your data layer is being recorded

When Preview Mode is enabled, custom events will be printed to the browser's console rather than being sent to FullStory. This feature lets you confirm that data is being captured as expected before sending it to FullStory.


Sending your data layer to FullStory

Once you’re happy with the results in Preview Mode, set this option to be disabled and your data layer will start flowing into FullStory. You can then search for custom events or use data layer information in features like Conversions and Dashboards.


What do these options do?

Preview Mode

When enabled, the contents of your data layer will be printed to the console rather than being sent to FullStory.

Read on Load

When enabled the initial contents of the data layer will be read when the integration loads.  This is often helpful when data layers are pre-loaded when the user visits a page.

Validate Rules

If you’re writing custom rules, enable the Validate Rules option to perform additional error checking.  This can be disabled once you’ve confirmed data is being recorded correctly.

Tealium iQ: Retail Definition

When enabled, Tealium’s data layer will be recorded specific to Retail data. Data related to customer and user personal information (e.g. customer_first_name, customer_last_name, and customer_email_address) is not recorded.

Google Analytics: Enhanced Ecommerce

When enabled, Google’s data layer will be recorded specific to Enhanced Ecommerce data.  Impression related data is not captured.

Customer Experience Digital Data Layer: 1.0

When enabled, a data layer based on the CEDDL 1.0 spec will be recorded.

Will integrating the Data Layer Observer impact my site’s performance?

Enabling data layer integration adds the latest version of our observer library to your website with predefined rules.  The process is very similar to how the FullStory snippet is added.  We host the observer script using the same approach as our core recording script, fs.js, and you should see the same fast response times and caching behavior.  Additional performance details are available here. 

What if I want to integrate custom data layer properties?

FullStory Data Layer Observer leverages a flexible syntax and rules-driven approach.  You can reference data from any data layer, perform intermediate changes, and send the result to FullStory - all without writing any custom JavaScript. Read more about how you can add your own custom rules to Data Layer Observer at our official github repository

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