Trying out the new Adobe Analytics App
Adobe Analytics still is the most complete solution for Digital Analytics. But for years, there has been one thing missing: A mature way to use dashboards on the go, without using your computer. While Analytics is usable on mobile browsers on a technical level, it is not the best user experience for both Analysts and Business Users. This is why a real Mobile App has been one of the most requested features over the years. And guess what: Adobe just released one!
Who this App is made for
There is one important thing to know about this new App before diving into the features and interface. Let’s ask ourselves first who the target audience for this app is, because it most likely is not primarily made made for you if you are an Analyst. It is not made to offer the same feature set that Analysis Workspace offers and I’m very happy about that!
Let me explain that last point. I personally can’t think of a way to translate the rich experience that Analysis Workspace offers to a mobile touch interface and small screen. We would not be able to have the familiar drag-and-drop way of building our dashboards. Also, most of the Visualizations would not work with the small amount of screen space. So a mobile Analysis Workspace experience would always need to be somewhat toned down. This is why I prefer to stay with the PC experience to do my day-to-day deep dives and analysis.
But I’m not the only person to use Analytics. In fact, we Analysts should be the minority of users to get the most value out of Analytics. The other part of our users are the non-analyst Business Users. They use Analytics in a very different way, mostly looking at pre-built dashboards created by your Analytics team. They are who this app is really made for, to allow them to give a quick look at their data on the go in a highly standardized way. It allows them to give quick answers in a meeting without the need to use a computer or dig through emailed reports.
We need to keep this in mind while looking at the interface and features. If you are looking for a mobile Analysis Workspace experience, you will be disappointed surely. But when you are looking for a way to enable your business to be data driven everywhere and anywhere, this App is the best way to go!
Getting started in Analysis Workspace
While the Adobe Analytics App is already released in 1.0.0 (at least on Android, where I just checked), the documentation still claims it is not. But this will surely be updated over the next days, as well as the rest of the documentation. You can download the app through the appstores for your operating system.
In Analysis Workspace, you first need to create a new Scorecard. This is an alternative to a Blank Project:
This will give us a blank canvas to put our Metrics on. At time of writing, there is only a trended view available as visualization. Also, there are no Panels to structure our Scorecard or Multiple Report Suites on one Scorecard. But first, let’s take a look at the options on the right:
The first option we need to set is the Report Suite for the Project. Right now, we can only select a single Report Suite for a Scorecard, but this will surely be extended in the future.
Next, there are two important options. As I explained above, this app is not primarily made for us Analysts but Business Users who are used to seeing their numbers in a certain way. This is why we only have a set of Date Ranges and a mandatory Comparison Date Range. Our users can’t pick a date they want but only from this defined list. Try selecting a certain Date Range and see how this influences the available Comparison Date Ranges.
Last, we can select a list of Segments that should be applied to the whole Scorecard. Note that there is an option to let the User select from a list of Segments and to apply a given Segment to only certain Visualizations. To give your users the option to select a Segment themselves, drop them in the selector (1). You can then change the Display Name of the Segment (2), reorder them (3) or hide the option to use no Filter at all (4):
Once we drag and drop a Metric on the Scorecard we get an extended view of how our Scorecard looks like once we tap on that Visualization in the App. On the Card itself, we now have our Metric in a trended view with the Comparison Date Range (1). The granularity changes depending on the Date Range. In the detailed view we have both a trended view and total comparison (2). Below that we have a preview of Drill Ins or a trended table by default (3). Here we can also change the name of the View (4), apply Segments to this Vis (5) and define which Drill Ins are available (6). Note that those can also be renamed and rearranged.
When we are done building our Scorecard, we can save it and give it a descriptive name. Also we can add a Description to help our Users understand the Scorecard better. Unfortunately, the Tags are not used in the App at time of writing:
Now that our Card is saved, we need to share it with the Users who should have access to it besides ourselves. We also get a good impression on how things look like in the App. But there are some cool features in the App specifically, so let’s look at it as well!
Using the Adobe Analytics App
Once we installed the App and signed in we are greeted with our Scorecard we just created. This also shows that the Tags are not yet shown:
If you are like me, you of course want to know about the settings to look at your data in your own way. We have some very interesting options there (including a Dark Mode!) regarding the Tile Layout:
Here is a side-by-side comparison of the different Theme and Layout Options. On the left we have the normal Grid View, with the List View in the middle and the Dark Mode on the right:
I really like those different display options and would like them to be in the settings of the Scorecard as well.
The way forward
This new Adobe Analytics App got me really excited. I feel quite confident to offer it to my business users in good conscience. I would love to give them an opportunity to talk about their live product performance in a meeting or during casual water cooler conversation.
On a larger scale mobile Analytics Apps help businesses to democratize access to data and allow for educated conversations instead of gut feeling. Once everyone is able to look into performance metrics whenever and wherever they are, discussions about possible influences and ways to excel will arise through it, which is a good thing.
I am very excited how the Adobe Analytics App will develop in the near future and how many people will actually use it. I hope Adobe keeps focused on the business users and tries to keep it simple and free of unnecessary clutter.
German Analyst and Data Scientist working in and writing about (Web) Analytics and Online Marketing Tech.
2021&2022 Adobe Analytics Champion