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Config.yml

In order to use GrowthBook, you need to connect to a data source and define metrics (and optionally dimensions). There are two ways to do this.

The default way to define these is by filling out forms in the GrowthBook UI, which persists them to MongoDB.

The other option is to create a config.yml file. In the Docker container, this file must be placed at /usr/local/src/app/config/config.yml. Below is an example file:

datasources:
warehouse:
type: postgres
name: Main Warehouse
# Connection params (different for each type of data source)
params:
host: localhost
port: 5432
user: root
password: ${POSTGRES_PW} # use env for secrets
database: growthbook
# How to query the data (same for all SQL sources)
settings:
userIdTypes:
- userIdType: user_id
description: Logged-in user id
- userIdType: anonymous_id
description: Anonymous visitor id
queries:
exposure:
- id: user_id
name: Logged-in user experiments
userIdType: user_id
query: >
SELECT
user_id,
received_at as timestamp,
experiment_id,
variation_id,
context_location_country as country
FROM
experiment_viewed
dimensions:
- country
identityJoins:
- ids: ["user_id", "anonymous_id"]
query: SELECT user_id, anonymous_id FROM identifies
metrics:
signups:
type: binomial
name: Sign Ups
userIdType: user_id
datasource: warehouse
sql: SELECT user_id, anonymous_id, received_at as timestamp FROM signups
dimensions:
country:
name: Country
userIdType: user_id
datasource: warehouse
sql: SELECT user_id, country as value from users

Data Source Connection Params

The contents of the params field for a data source depends on the type.

As seen in the example above, you can use environment variable interpolation for secrets (e.g. ${POSTGRES_PW}).

Redshift, ClickHouse, Postgres, and Mysql (or MariaDB)

type: postgres # or "redshift" or "mysql" or "clickhouse"
params:
host: localhost
port: 5432
user: root
password: password
database: growthbook

Redshift and Postgres also support optional params to force an SSL connection:

type: postgres
params:
...
ssl: true
# Omit the below fields to use the default trusted CA from Mozilla
caCert: "-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----\n..."
clientCert: "-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----\n..."
clientKey: "-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----\n..."

Snowflake

type: snowflake
params:
account: abc123.us-east-1
username: user
password: password
database: GROWTHBOOK
schema: PUBLIC
role: SYSADMIN
warehouse: COMPUTE_WH

BigQuery

You must first create a Service Account in Google with the following roles:

  • Data Viewer
  • Metadata Viewer
  • Job User

If you want GrowthBook to auto-discover credentials from environment variables or GCP metadata, use the following:

type: bigquery
params:
authType: auto

If you prefer to pass in credentials directly, you can use this format instead:

type: bigquery
params:
projectId: my-project
clientEmail: growthbook@my-project.iam.gserviceaccount.com
privateKey: -----BEGIN PRIVATE KEY-----\nABC123\n-----END PRIVATE KEY-----\n

Presto and TrinoDB

type: presto
params:
engine: presto # or "trino"
host: localhost
port: 8080
username: user
password: password
catalog: growthbook
schema: growthbook

Databricks

type: databricks
params:
host: dbc-123-abc.cloud.databricks.com
port: 443
path: /sql/1.0/warehouses/abc123
token: dapi123abc

AWS Athena

If you want GrowthBook to auto-discover credentials from environment variables or instance metadata, use the following format:

type: athena
params:
authType: auto
region: us-east-1
database: growthbook
bucketUri: aws-athena-query-results-growthbook
workGroup: primary

If you prefer to specify access key and secret directly instead, use the following format:

type: athena
params:
accessKeyId: AKIA123
secretAccessKey: AB+cdef123
region: us-east-1
database: growthbook
bucketUri: aws-athena-query-results-growthbook
workGroup: primary

Mixpanel

Mixpanel access requires a service account.

type: mixpanel
params:
username: growthbook
secret: abc123
projectId: my-project

Google Analytics

Unfortunately at this time there is no way to connect to Google Analytics in config.yml. You must connect via the GrowthBook UI, where we use OAuth and a browser redirect.

Data Source Settings

The settings tell GrowthBook how to query your data.

SQL Data Sources

For data sources that support SQL, there are a couple queries you need to define plus an optional Python script to run queries from inside a Jupyter notebook:

type: postgres
params: ...
settings:
# The different types of supported identifiers
userIdTypes:
- userIdType: user_id
description: Logged-in user id
- userIdType: anonymous_id
description: Anonymous visitor id
queries:
# These queries returns experiment variation assignment info
# One row every time a user was put into an experiment
exposure:
- id: user_id
name: Logged-in user experiments
userIdType: user_id
query: >
SELECT
user_id,
received_at as timestamp,
experiment_id,
variation_id,
context_location_country as country
FROM
experiment_viewed
# List additional columns you selected in your experimentsQuery
# Can use these to drill down into experiment results
dimensions:
- country
# These optional queries map between different types of identifiers
identityJoins:
- ids: ["user_id", "anonymous_id"]
query: SELECT user_id, anonymous_id FROM identifies
# Used when exporting experiment results to a Jupyter notebook
# Define a `runQuery(sql)` function that returns a pandas data frame
notebookRunQuery: >
import os
import psycopg2
import pandas as pd
from sqlalchemy import create_engine, text

# Use environment variables or similar for passwords!
password = os.getenv('POSTGRES_PW')
connStr = f'postgresql+psycopg2://user:{password}@localhost'
dbConnection = create_engine(connStr).connect();

def runQuery(sql):
return pd.read_sql(text(sql), dbConnection)

Mixpanel

Mixpanel does not support SQL, so we query the data using JQL instead. In order to do this, we just need to know a few event names and properties:

type: mixpanel
params: ...
settings:
events:
experimentEvent: Viewed Experiment
experimentIdProperty: experiment_id
variationIdProperty: variation_id

Metrics

Metrics are what your experiments are trying to improve (or at least not hurt).

Below is an example of all the possible settings with comments:

name: Revenue per User
# Required. The data distribution and unit
type: revenue # or "binomial" or "count" or "duration"
# Required. Must match one of the datasources defined in config.yml
datasource: warehouse
# Description supports full markdown
description: This metric is **super** important
# For inverse metrics, the goal is to DECREASE the value (e.g. "page load time")
inverse: false
# When ignoring nulls, only users who convert are included in the denominator
# Setting to true here would change from "Revenue per User" to "Average Order Value"
ignoreNulls: false
# Which identifier types are supported for this metric
userIdTypes:
- user
# Any user with a higher metric amount will be capped at this value
# In this case, if someone bought a $10,000 order, it would only be counted as $100
cap: 100
# Ignore all conversions within the first X hours of being put into an experiment.
conversionDelayHours: 0
# After the conversion delay (if any), wait this many hours for a conversion event.
conversionWindowHours: 72
# The risk thresholds for the metric.
# If risk < $winRisk, it is highlighted green.
# If risk > $loseRisk, it is highlighted red.
# Otherwise, it's highlighted yellow.
winRisk: 0.0025
loseRisk: 0.0125
# Min number of conversions for an experiment variation before we reveal results
minSampleSize: 150
# The "suspicious" threshold. If the percent change for a variation is above this,
# we hide the result and label it as suspicious.
# Default 0.5 = 50% change
maxPercentChange: 0.50
# The minimum change required for a result to considered a win or loss. If the percent
# change for a variation is below this threshold, we will consider an otherwise conclusive
# test a draw.
# Default 0.005 = 0.5% change
minPercentChange: 0.005
# Arbitrary tags used to group related metrics
tags:
- revenue
- core

In addition to all of those settings, you also need to tell GrowthBook how to query the metric.

SQL Data Sources

For SQL data sources, you just need to specify a single query. Depending on the other settings, the columns you need to select may differ slightly:

  • timestamp - always required
  • value - required unless type is set to "binomial"

Plus, you need to select a column for each identifier type the metric supports.

A full example:

type: duration
userIdTypes:
- user_id
- anonymous_id
sql: >
SELECT
created_at as timestamp,
user_id,
anonymous_id,
duration as value
FROM
requests

And a simple binomial metric that only supports logged-in users:

type: binomial
userIdTypes:
- user
sql: SELECT user_id, timestamp FROM orders

By default, if a user has more than 1 non-binomial metric row during an experiment, we sum the values together. You can override this behavior with the aggregation setting:

type: duration
userIdTypes:
- user_id
sql: >
SELECT
created_at as timestamp,
user_id,
duration as value
FROM
requests
aggregation: MAX(value) # use MAX instead of the default SUM

Mixpanel

For Mixpanel, instead of SQL we just need some info about what events and properties to use.

Here's a simple binomial metric:

type: binomial
# The event name
table: Purchased

Any metric can have optional conditions as well:

type: binomial
# The event name
table: Purchased
# Only include events which pass these conditions
conditions:
- column: category # property
operator: "=" # "=", "!=", ">", "<", "<=", ">=", "~", "!~"
value: clothing

For count, duration, and revenue metrics, it will count the number of events per user by default:

type: count
# Event name to count
table: Page views

You can instead specify a javascript expression for the value of the event. By default, it will sum these values for each user:

# A "Revenue per user" metric
type: revenue
# The event name
table: Purchases
# The metric value that will be summed
column: event.properties.grand_total

If you don't want to sum, you can also provide a custom aggregation method that reduces an array of values into a single number (or null). For example, here's a metric that counts the number of unique files downloaded per user

type: count
# The event name
table: PDF Downloads
# The "value" of the metric (the file name)
column: event.properties.filename
# The aggregation operation (number of unique values)
aggregation: new Set(values).size

Dimensions

Dimensions let you drill down into your experiment results. They are currently only supported for SQL data sources.

Dimensions only have 4 properties: name, datasource, userIdType, and SQL. The SQL query must return two columns: the identifier type and value.

Example:

name: Country
# Must match one of the datasources defined in config.yml
datasource: warehouse
userIdType: user_id
sql: SELECT user_id, country as value FROM users

Organization Settings

In addition to data sources, metrics, and dimensions, you can also control some organization settings from config.yml.

Below are all of the currently supported settings:

organization:
settings:
# Enable creating experiments using the Visual Editor (beta). Default `false`
visualEditorEnabled: true
# Minimum experiment length (in days) when importing past experiments. Default `6`
pastExperimentsMinLength: 3
# Number of days of historical data to use when analyzing metrics
# (must be between 1 and 400, default `90`)
metricAnalysisDays: 90
# The min percent of users exposed to multiple variations in an
# experiment before we start warning you (between 0 and 1, defaults to `0.01`)
multipleExposureMinPercent: 0.01
# When we should auto-update experiment results
updateSchedule:
type: stale
hours: 6

The updateSchedule setting has 3 types of values:

  • Never update automatically
    updateSchedule:
    type: never
  • Update if data is X hours stale
    updateSchedule:
    type: stale
    hours: 6
  • Update on a fixed Cron schedule
    updateSchedule:
    type: cron
    cron: "0 */6 * * *"