Month: January 2020

Analysis Workspace Hacks (AGE) – Metric Targets

This is a post in the Adam-Greco-Edition (AGE) series of posts. They aim to iterate on some great posts by Adam Greco, showing some different approaches to achieve similar things. In another great Post, Adam Greco showed how we can have Metric Targets in Analysis Workspace. His approach includes setting up a Data Source to import Goals to a Custom Event. This is a very nice approach, but has some serious limitations. Because it utilizes Data Sources, all their limitations apply (see documentation). Most importantly, data can not be deleted or changed once it has been imported. Also we need to sacrifice Custom Events for every Goal we set. The setup is also very involved and not suited for non-techie people. What I would like to have is a Goal Metric that does not use valuable Custom Events, is changeable over time, and understandable and usable by non-technical users. As […]

Analysis Workspace Hacks (AGE) – Average Daily Unique Visitors

This is a post in the Adam-Greco-Edition (AGE) series of posts. They aim to iterate on some great posts by Adam Greco, showing some different approaches to achieve similar things. In one of his posts Adam Greco shows a way to replicate the Daily Unique Visitors Metric from Reports & Analytics in Analysis Workspace. His approach involves creating a Calculated Metric for a given time range, summing up the Visitors for each day. There are some limitations to that approach. The obvious one is that we need a new metric for each date range we want to analyze; We can’t use a 7-day Metric if there are 8 days to analyze. Second, Visitors are not deduplicated but summed up over all days in the reporting window (just as in the old interface); So a Visitor visiting our site three times would be counted as three Visitors. Last, the name could […]

Analysis Workspace Hacks – Next and Previous Page Report

Analysis Workspace is the most capable solution for Web Analysts today. It allows us to switch between building a Dashboard or old-school Report or something in the middle on the fly. It has surpassed the old Reports & Analytics Interface in functionality and workflow effectiveness and leaves you longing for it once you start using different solutions. But there is one thing that is not that awesome in Analysis Workspace yet: Pathing. Once you activate Pathing for a custom prop, the old interface gives you Next and Previous Reports for that prop, just like with the Page Dimension: As a result we get a nice table with the Next or Previous Dimension Items for a given Item. Hacking Analysis Workspace’s Flow Visualizations The closest thing to that functionality is the Flow Visualization in Analysis Workspace. It allows us to see a Flow of Users between Dimension Items or even across […]

Analysis Workspace Hacks – Link Events on Page Reports

Adobe Analytics gives us two types of events to use for our tracking implementation. With Page Tracking (calling s.t() in Websites or trackState() in Apps) we are supposed to measure when a page has been viewed. If we want to measure interactions on a given page, we would use Custom Link Tracking (s.tl() in Web and trackAction() in Apps) for that. The reasoning behind that is quite simple. If there was only one function, we would either end up with increased Page Views for every on-page event or have to take care of the distinction ourself by using valuable props or eVars. So from a simplicity standpoint this approach makes a lot of sense. But there is one problem: When using Custom Link Tracking, you can not set a pageName for that call. Adobe Analytics just ignores whatever you set for the pageName, because pageNames only make sense in the […]

Migrating from Androidโ€™s BroadcastReceiver to Google Play Install Referrer API with Adobe Analytics

Adobe Analytics can track not only websites, but mobile apps just the same. This is achieved by using the Adobe Experience Platform Mobile SKDs for native iOS and Android apps. One very interesting part of tracking mobile apps is known as acquisition tracking, which looks at how users found the tracked app. To help with this, Adobe exposes some functionality in their SDKs to listen for the events that the mobile operating system is using to tell apps about the way they have been installed. This happens โ€œautomagicallyโ€ on iOS but needs some custom implementation on Android. BroadcastReciever and Install Referrer API on Android Adobe requires to use a very old implementation method called BroadcastReceiver. That method relies on the Google Play Store App sending a message (a broadcast) to the app that has just been installed, telling it about the details of the install (like which marketing campaign has […]

Building your own Web Analytics from Log Files โ€“ Part 6: Conclusion

This is the sixth part of the six-part-series “Building your own Web Analytics from Log Files”. In this series we built a rather sophisticated logging and tracking functionality for our website. We used OpenResty to identify and fingerprint our users via cookies, stored that information to log files which were shipped to Elasticsearch and visualized with Kibana. Web Analytics democratized By using those techniques, we are able to use what we already have (log file processing) to answer questions about our users. Under best conditions this doesn’t even lead to a bigger technical footprint. This way we can have deep insights into our user behavior without external tools. Even as a startup or hobby developer you are now able to put the user first on your digital platforms. Next steps While this series is done for now we have a starting point to further build our platform. With some frontend […]

Building your own Web Analytics from Log Files – Part 5: Building our first Dashboard

This is the fifth part of the six-part-series “Building your own Web Analytics from Log Files”. At this part of the series we have our log files in Elasticsearch with indices like “custom-filebeat-tracking-logs-7.4.0-2020.01.03”. First thing is to set up a Kibana index pattern for this. Kibana Configuration In Kibana we go to Management -> Index Patterns -> Create index pattern. As Index pattern we use “custom-filebeat-tracking-logs-*”, which gives us all the indices with our daily index pattern. In the next step, we set the Time Filter field name to “@timestamp”. This is the timestamp that marks the point where Filebeat indexed the document. This is fine for now, we click “Create index pattern” and are done with this part! Checking our Data Now, let’s head to the Discover section in Kibana and look at our index pattern. And there it is: Our log entries show up like we wanted: This […]

Building your own Web Analytics from Log Files – Part 4: Data Collection and Processing

This is the fourth part of the six-part-series “Building your own Web Analytics from Log Files”. Legal Disclaimer: This post describes how to identify and track the users on your website using cookies, IP adresses and browser fingerprinting. The information and process described here may be subject to data privacy regulations under your legislation. It is your responsibility to comply with all regulations. Please educate yourself if things like GDPR apply to your use case (which is very likely), and act responsibly. In the last part we have built a configuration for OpenResty to generate user and session IDs and store them in browser cookies. Now we need a way to actually log and collect those IDs together with the requests our web server handles. OpenResty Configuration To be able to log our custom variables we need to announce them to Nginx. This is done right in the server-part of […]

Building your own Web Analytics from Log Files – Part 3: Setting up Nginx with OpenResty

This is the third part of the six-part-series “Building your own Web Analytics from Log Files”. Legal Disclaimer: This post describes how to identify and track the users on your website using cookies and browser fingerprinting. The information and process described here may be subject to data privacy regulations under your legislation. It is your responsibility to comply with all regulations. Please educate yourself if things like GDPR apply to your use case (which is very likely), and act responsibly. Identifying Users and Sessions One of our goals for this project is to be able to tell how many people are using our site. This means we need a way to differentiate between the users on our site. One approach would be to look at the IP addresses of our users. This is not very precise since all devices with the same internet connection share an IP address. Especially for […]

Building your own Web Analytics from Log Files – Part 2: Architecture

This is the second part of the six-part-series “Building your own Web Analytics from Log Files”. Architecture Overview To start of this series, let’s remember what we want to achieve: We want to enable a deeper understanding of our website users by enriching and processing the log files we already collect. This article looks at the components we need for this and how to make our life as easy as possible. To achieve our goal, we need to teach our web server to identify our users, store information about the activity in the log files, ship those files to storage and make it actionable with a way of visualizing it. Because I believe in Open Source Software, we will look at our options among that category. Another requirement is to introduce as less components as possible and keep scalability in mind. Choosing our Web Server The first part of our […]

Building your own Web Analytics from Log Files – Part 1: Motivation

This is the first part of the six-part-series “Building your own Web Analytics from Log Files”. What is Web Analytics As the owner or administrator of a website, you will go through different phases of maturity. When you are just starting with a hobby or web project, you will most likely care about the technical setup and gaining traction. Once everything is up and running, you will start asking yourself questions like How many People are using my website? How many of those are new Visitors? Which page on my website attracts the most (new) Visitors? Those questions are Web Analytics questions. It is what Web Analysts spent their time on to deliver value to the business behind it. To achieve that, we most commonly use tools like Piwik (Matomo), Google Analytics, or Adobe Analytics. Those tools rely on some Javascript code that needs to be integrated on a website […]

Blogging Ideas for 2020

So, 2020 is here. Happy updated-copyright-notice! While I need to republish my website because of just that, why not think about what to write in the new year? Here are some ideas of what I may spent an article on: Adobe Analytics. Obvious choice, topics may be: Starting tips, explanations and tutorials. Give some definitions and examples for people starting with Adobe Analytics, explaining Dimensions and Metrics, props vs. eVars, interfaces, etc. Use case examples. Show how to analyze the user journey in Analytics and what to consider. Integration examples. Talk about how to integrate Analytics to get the most value with some Open Source tools for Realtime and Big Data stuff or Classifications. Admin tasks. User management considerations, setting up different things. Analytics analytics. Monitoring your adoption by looking at Analytics logfiles. Expert level stuff. Get into details about how props and eVars work internally, how time spent is […]