Operating Metrics

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Review Process

We track a wide range of dimensions and metrics on our corporate dashboard. Many definitions are self evident but some are not.


We define customers in the following categorical level of detail:

  1. Subscription: The number of organizations that have entered into a unique subscription contract with GitLab for which the term has not ended. As customers become more sophisticated users of GitLab the number of subscriptions may decline over time as Accounts and Parents consolidate subscriptions to gain more productivity.
  2. Account: We define an Account as an organization that controls multiple subscriptions that have been purchased under a group with common leadership. In the case of the U.S. government, we count U.S. government departments and major agencies as a unique account.
  3. Parent: We define a Parent as an accumulation of Accounts under an organization with common ownership. In the case of the U.S. government, we count U.S. government major agencies as a unique parent account. (In Salesforce this is the Ultimate Parent Account field)

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

Monthly recurring revenue from subscriptions that are active on the last day of the month plus (true ups/12).

As of FY20-Q1, subscription data from Zuora is the primary source of tracked MRR. The MRR value for a given month is based on the rate plan charge that is active on the last day of the month. True-up revenue is divided by twelve and added to the subscription MRR for the month it was charged.

Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR)

MRR times 12

Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)

Average Accounts Receivable balance over prior 3 months divided by Total Contract Value (TCV) bookings over the same period mutilpied by 90 that provides an average number of days that customers pay their invoices. Link to a good definition and Industry guidance suggests the median DSO for SAAS companies is 76 days. Our target at GitLab is 45 days.

Average Sales Price (ASP)

Gross IACV per won deal.

Gross Incremental Annual Contract Value (Gross IACV)

Value of new bookings from new and existing customers that will result in recurring revenue over the next 12 months. Gross IACV includes True Ups

Growth Incremental Annual Contract Value (Growth IACV)

Contract value that increases at the time of subscription renewal

New Incremental Annual Contract Value (New IACV)

Contract value from a new subscription customer

Lost Renewal

Contract value that is lost at the time of subscription renewals. Lost Renewals examples include cancellations at or before the subscription renewal date.


Contract value that results in a lower value than the previous contract value. Downgrade examples include seat reductions, product downgrades, discounts, and customers switching to Reseller at time of renewal.


Lost or lowered contract value that occurs before a subscription renewal or subscription cancellation

Incremental Annual Contract Value (IACV)

Value of new bookings from new and existing customers that will result in recurring revenue over the next 12 months less any credits, lost renewals, downgrades or any other decrease to annual recurring revenue. Excluded from IACV are bookings that are non-recurring such as professional services, training and non-recurring engineering fees (PCV). Also equals ACV less renewals. However, bookings related to true up licenses, although non-recurring, are included in IACV.

Annual Contract Value (ACV)

Current Period subscription bookings which will result in revenue over next 12 months. For multiple year deals with contracted ramps, the ACV will be the average annual booking per year.

PCV (ProServe Contract Value)

Contract value that is not considered a subscription and the work is performed by the Professional Services team

Total Contract Value (TCV)

All bookings in period (including multiyear); bookings is equal to billings with standard payment terms.

Retention, Gross & Net (Dollar Weighted)

We measure Net and Gross Retention aggregated by month, for the three levels of customers described above.

Gross Retention (%) = (min(b, a) / a) * 100%

Net Retention (%) = (b / a) * 100%

a. MRR 12 months ago, from currently active customers
b. Current MRR from the same set of customers as a.

Gross Retention cannot exceed 100%. Industry guidance suggests median gross dollar churn performance for SaaS/subscription companies is 8% per year

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Total Sales & Marketing Expense/Number of New Customers Acquired

CAC Ratio

Total Sales & Marketing Expense/ACV from new customers (excludes growth from existing). Industry guidance reports that median performance is 1.15 with anything less than 1.0 being considered very good.

LTV to CAC Ratio

The customer Life-Time Value to Customer Acquisition Cost ratio (LTV:CAC) measures the relationship between the lifetime value of a customer and the cost of acquiring that customer. A good LTV to CAC ratio is considered to be > 3.0.

New ACV / New Customers

Net IACV that come from New Customers divided by the number of net closed deals in the current month

New ACV / New Customers by Sales Assited

Net IACV that come from New Customers and sold by the field sales team divided by the number of net closed deals in the current month

Rep Productivity

Monthly IACV / number of quota carrying sales representatives on board for at least 90 days prior to start of period.

Magic Number

IACV for trailing three months / Sales & Marketing Spend over trailing months -6 to months -4 (one quarter lag). Industry guidance suggests a good Magic Number is > 1.0.


Marketo Qualified Lead


Sales Qualified Lead

Cost per MQL

Marketing expense divided by the number of MQLs

Sales efficiency ratio

IACV / sales and marketing spend. Industry guidance suggests that average performance is 0.8 with anything greater than 1.0 being considered very good.

Marketing efficiency ratio

IACV / marketing spend

Field efficiency ratio

IACV / sales spend


Customer Life-Time Value = Average Revenue per Year x Gross Margin% x 1/(1-K) + GxK/(1-K)^2; K = (1-Net Churn) x (1-Discount Rate). GitLab assumes a 10% cost of capital based on current cash usage and borrowing costs.


Customer Satisfaction - A measure of the satisfaction of service from a customer's interaction with the GitLab Support team. Based on survey responses from customers after the ticket is solved by the GitLab Support team using a Good/Bad rating. (CSAT = Satisfied / Total Survey Responses)


Service Level Agreement - GitLab Support commits to an initial substantive response in a specified amount of time from the time the customer submits a ticket. The SLA for this first reply is based on a customer's Support plan. The SLA is currently measured on tickets submitted by customers with our top Support plans (Premium for Self-managed, Gold for Gitlab.com). The SLA is calculated by (Number of Times SLA met / Total Tickets SLA was applicable).

Capital Consumption

TCV less Total Operating Expenses. This metric tracks net cash consumed excluding changes in working capital (i.e. burn due to balance sheet growth). Since the growth in receivables can be financed with using cheap debt instead of equity is a better measure of capital efficiency than cash burn.

Monthly Active User (MAU)

A GitLab.com user with at least 1 Audit Event in a calendar month.

Monthly Active Group (MAG)

A GitLab.com group with at least 1 project with at least 1 Event in a calendar month.

Lost instances

A lost instance of self-managed GitLab didn't send a usage ping in the given month but it was active in the previous month.

Monthly Metrics Review

Purpose: We review all key operating metrics that either i) appear in the Corporate metrics sheet or ii) are included in the our Operating Model. The goal for the monthly meeting is to understand month to month variances as well as variances against the plan, forecast and operating model.


  1. Review metric and conclude on implications for operating model.
  2. Discuss proposals for different measurement.
  3. Determine if external benchmarks are required.
  4. Discuss proposals for addition of new metrics.
  5. Discuss proposals for deprecation of existing metrics
  6. Review decisions & action items

Timing: Meetings are monthly starting on the 10th day after month end.

Invitees: Mandatory attendees are the owner of the metric and eteam functional representative and the CFO. Optional attendees are the rest of the e-team and anyone who has an interest in the metric.

Meeting Format:

  1. The metric owner will prepare a google slide presentation with the content to be reviewed. In addition to metrics and key takeaways, this presentation should end with a slide documenting decisions made and actions to be taken as a result.
  2. A google doc will also be attached for participants to log questions or comments for discussion, and to any additional track decisions & action items not covered in the presentation (eg generated during the meeting).
  3. The slide header or text on the slide should convey whether the metric result is good or needs improvement.
  4. Wherever possible the metric being reviewed should be compared to Plan, OKR target or industry benchmark.
  5. The metric owner is expected to present a summary of highlights which should not last more than three minutes.
  6. The metric owner is responsible for preparing the document in advance of the meeting. The owner should update the meeting invite and send to all guests so they know the materials are ready for review.
  7. Materials for the meeting should be prepared at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting and included in the meeting invite.
  8. For an example of a presentation to model after search this slide file on Drive "Sales Metrics- 2018-09-21"
  9. A Blank Template is availabe here.