Tag: Analysis Workspace

Using Adobe Analytics as a free Data Warehouse

Adobe Analytics is, without a doubt, the most mature Digital Analytics solution we can buy today. We know and love it for the flexible data collection, superior data model and processing, as well as the phenomenal Analysis Workspace interface. I have yet to find a use case I can’t cover with the tool or a platform where it can’t be implemented. While Adobe Analytics works perfectly for the data we collect from digital experiences, companies often use many more digital tools to manage advertisements, analyze search performance, post to social media platforms, etc. Most of those tools have some form of integrated reporting feature, which can hold crucial information to monitor a company’s offsite presence. With growing online activity, this can create a situation where the people working with many tools have to switch between tools many times per day. To help manage this complexity, companies often consider using either […]

Cookie-less Server Side Tracking with Adobe Customer Journey Analytics

If there is one big hot topic in digital analytics right now (besides the unfortunate sunset of Google Analytics 3 and GDPR news) it quite possibly is the recent trend of what many call server side tracking. Currently, server side tracking is an obligatory agenda item at every analytics conference and virtually every vendor of analytics or tag management systems is working on a way to serve the rising demand. However, while there is a lot of talk around the topic, there is no shared definition in our industry of what server side tracking actually is. Jim Gordon has assembled a nice overview of what people might mean when they talk about any of the underlying concepts. In my personal experience, people usually refer to a form of server side tag management, often using Google’s server side tag manager, that still uses some logic in the client’s browser. Adobe has […]

Keep track of goals using the Linearity Indicator in Adobe’s Analysis Workspace

There is an universal truth in life: Inspiration always strikes when and where you least expect it. The same happened to me the other day, when I was reading High Output Management by former Intel CEO Andrew Grove. While the book is definitely worth reading for anyone interested in management, analysts can benefit just as much from reading it to get inspiration for valuable performance indicators and visualizations. Quite early in the book Grove presents one of his favorite visualizations to track progress towards specific goals: The linearity indicator. This chart shows the current progress towards a set target and where the performance might be heading. Here is his example for a hiring target from the book: My initial reaction was “wow, this is super cool and simple to understand”. If the current progress is above the linear progress, we’re in good shape to reach our goals. If it is […]

Web Analytics with Adobe’s Customer Journey Analytics, Part 8: A new home

This post is the eight and last post of the eight-part-series Web Analytics with Adobe’s Customer Journey Analytics, showing how web sites can be analyzed better using Adobe’s next evolution of Adobe Analytics. In the previous post, we were creating the connection from Experience Platform to Customer Journey Analytics. In this post, we are going to take a look at our web analytics data and explore some use cases. Believe it or not, but this series of posts is almost finished! Starting with nothing, we have created a sophisticated schema for our data in Experience Platform, created a tracking implementation using the new Web SDK, enriched our data in Query Service, and pulled all that data into Customer Journey Analytics. If you have been following since the start of the series, I want to say: Thank you, hope you enjoyed the ride! Now it is time for the finale, where […]

Using Flow and Fallout Visualizations like a Rockstar in Adobe Analytics

It’s no secret: I love Analysis Workspace. In fact, I think it is the main advantage Adobe Analytics has over Google Analytics. That is because Workspace allows for seamless collaboration between analysts, marketeers, product owners, and other business stakeholders. With enough enablement, there is no difference in which tools different groups of analytics users would use: It’s always the best one! Workspace is the perfect combination of sophisticated functionality and an appealing user interface. But because of this user-friendly interface, not every advanced function or use case is immediately apparent to every user. This can lead to funny situations, where experienced analysts never really use certain parts of Workspace that could save them a lot of work. In today’s post we will take a close look at two of the most undervalued features: The Flow and Fallout visualizations. While they seem quite similar in functionality and trivial to understand on […]

(Time-)Normalize Performance over time in Adobe Analytics’s Analysis Workspace

In Digital Analytics, one of the most common requests from business stakeholders is to compare the performance of two or more items on our websites, like marketing campaigns or content pages. While it is immediately obvious why this comparison is important to the business, it quite often leads to graphs like this, where the analyst tries to visualize performance over time: This solution is technically correct but makes it hard to really compare how both pages perform in direct comparison with each other. They went public on different dates and while Page A is rather stable in regards to traffic, Page B got a boost at around the middle of its time online. So, how do we make this simpler? When enjoying my free time between jobs, I caught up on some older videos from the Superweek Analytics Summit’s Youtube Channel. In 2019, Tim Wilson demonstrated how to align dates […]

Please, stop comparing Adobe Analytics to Google Analytics

This post is going to be a deviation from the “normal” content on this blog. Its purpose is to address one of the questions I received most often from a lot of people reading my posts. The title might already give away what that question is: “Frederik, in your opinion, should companies buy Adobe Analytics or Google Analytics?” And I think there is something fundamentally wrong with this question. I think the above question can only be answered through some absurd level of generalization that does not do justice to both tools. There are some agencies or consultants who end up doing this comparison to either appear neutral and independent, or drive SEO traffic to their own sites. This annoyed me to a point where I started writing this post to have my personal answer ready at hand in the future. Bear with me on this one. To be able […]

Cool Approximate Count Distinct Use Cases – Adobe Analytics Tips

One of the things that really sets Adobe Analytics apart from other solutions is the ability to create sophisticated Calculated Metrics and Segments on the fly. You don’t need to be a highly trained Analyst or Data Scientist to create your very own set of Measures and Dimensions unique to your business question. The best thing for me personally is that we can create those metrics from the same interface where we do our day-to-day analysis and reporting. It doesn’t matter if we want to quickly create an average or build advanced time series analysis dashboards, it’s all right there at our fingertips. Today I want to tell you about one of my personal-favorite functions called Approximate Count Distinct. This functionality allows us to count how many different values from a dimension we tracked and use that number in both Calculated Metrics and Segments (making this function the closest we […]

Privacy-centered Analytics with Matomo and Adobe’s Customer Journey Analytics

Legal Disclaimer: Data Privacy is a diverse and ever-changing topic. This makes it nearly impossible to give reliable recommendations to a broad audience. Please consult your company’s legal department on whether those ideas described here are feasible under your jurisdiction. If there has been one predominant topic in the web analytics space for the last couple of years, it surely is data privacy. GDPR is a thing in Europa, COPPA in the US, ITP on planet Apple, and cookie consent banners on every website. Conducting a safe data collection practice as a global business has become more and more challenging, pushing businesses to be more and more careful. Because of this landscape, a lot of businesses are looking for a “bullet-proof” way to analyze website users’s behavior. While Google Analytics is a data privacy nightmare, tools like Piwik Matomo try to justify their existence by claiming to be more privacy […]

Why I still love Props – Confessions of an Analyst

Experts are supposed to know everything about a certain topic. And not only are they suppose to know things, they also are expected to behave in the best way possible. Their past decisions are the benchmark for how to assess future situations and judge what to do. But all experts have their little secrets, where they deviate from the gold standard and do something that is outdated, unpopular, or straight-out embarrassing. This post is about one of the things that I still do today and only talk about seldom because it became unpopular a while ago. So here it is: I still use Props in all my Adobe Analytics implementations. But not only do I use them, I secretly love them! Both Adobe themselves and veterans like Jan “Props must die” Exner advise on not using them any more in the future. So this is my confession to the world […]

Retention Analysis in Adobe Analytics – Part 2: Custom Segments and Metrics

User Retention is crucial to any digital offering. If you optimize your offering to a point where users come back on their own, you can not only save on marketing cost but also engage your existing users more. This makes retention analysis a prime example for how digital analytics can provide tangible business value. In the previous post, we used Cohort Tables and some builtin features of Adobe Analytics to analyze User Retention. But there is a lot more Adobe Analytics has to offer once we start using Segments and Calculated Metrics. In this post we are going to build our very own Segments to see how many of our Users we are able to retain. Based on those Segments we will then define some Calculated Metrics to make our lives even easier. I’ve also put the results on the Open Adobe Analytics Components Repository. Let’s start building! Simple User […]

Retention Analysis in Adobe Analytics – Part 1: Cohort Tables and Builtin Functionality

User Retention is crucial to any digital offering. If you optimize your offering to a point where users come back on their own, you can not only save on marketing cost but also engage your existing users more. This makes retention analysis a prime example for how digital analytics can provide tangible business value. In this post, we are going to take a look at how we can analyze user retention with the most advanced digital analytics tool, Adobe Analytics. We are going to start in this post with the builtin analytics dimensions and metrics, then take a look at cohort tables, and in the next post even build our own Segments and Calculated Metrics to help us understand retention. Let’s get started! Builtin Retention Metrics and Dimension To start things off, we will take a quick look at what Adobe Analytics has to offer out-of-the-box to help us understand […]

Time Series Analysis through Moving Averages – Statistics in Adobe Analytics

In what has become one of the most read series on this blog I am showing some examples of what Adobe Analytics has to offer in regards to statistical analysis. In the previous posts we took a look at simple averages and standard deviations, regression analysis and even forecasting. In this post we are going to use a variation of the simple mean called moving average. When dealing with time series data we might encounter what is called “noisy data”. Instead of showing as a steady line our KPIs might go up and down from day to day, making it hard for us to judge where the general trend is headed. One way of solving this is through the regression modeling we did before, which gives us a straight approximation line. But what we can also do is average the data for a defined window along our series, which is […]

Summary Report Suites in Adobe Analytics

Ever since Adobe released Analysis Workspace in 2016, customers were looking for a way to combine data from multiple Report Suites within a single Project in Analysis Workspace. Earlier in 2020 we were finally able to pull data from more than one Report Suite in Workspace, since Report Suites could now be selected on a Panel level instead of for the whole project. While this feature is awesome and a huge improvement, users like myself still wanted to combine multiple Report Suites in only one Freeform Table within the same Panel. Unfortunately, we still have to invest some work to get a view like this, where the right Table combines data from the two Report Suites on the left: The screenshot above was taken from a Report Suite which was created to summarize data from other Report Suites. This can be done without any changes to the implementation or additional […]

Advanced Time Series Analysis through Linear Regression – Statistics in Adobe Analytics

Previously in this little series, we took a look at how we can describe our trended data by using the statistical Mean and Standard Deviation. While this works quite well for data that doesn’t change much over time, it is rather limited in regards to take trends into account. With this post, we are doing something about that issue by using Linear Regression techniques. At the end of this post, you will get an Analysis Workspace project like below, where we can judge trends in data and see changes over time: Let’s get our hands dirty! Limitations of Mean and Standard Deviation Before we start, I want to explain the problem outlined above a bit better. Please consider the following graph I generated with the Workspace from the previous post and some demo data: What we see is a clear trend in our data, since our daily Unique Visitors are […]

Simple Time Series Analysis through Standard Deviation – Statistics in Adobe Analytics

In my last post, we took a look at how Descriptive Statistical Analysis can help us understand our site performance using the simple Mean. I introduced the concept of conditional counters to help us identify our top- and bottom-performing sites. Today we are going to extend our knowledge of descriptive statistical methods by using Standard Deviation on trended data and apply conditional counters to it as well, but with a new spin. If conditional counters are new to you, it might help to check out that last post! As last time, we are setting ourselves a goal for this post. At the end, we want to have a nice workspace to help us understand our trended data better. We need a way to judge if the fluctuation in our data is within an expected range and how often it is not. This is what we are going to build: Let’s […]

Simple Mean and Conditional Counters – Statistics in Adobe Analytics

In my last post, we took a look at how we can predict the future through Regression Analysis with Adobe Analytics and visualize it in Analysis Workspace. While that was a quite advanced post, there are a lot of things we can do using basic statistical analysis. This is what we are going to look at in this post, exploring some ways to describe our data in a standardized way. At the end of this post, we want to describe our relative page performance for a website like this, showing us top- and low performing pages and how many there are of both: Describing ranked website performance relative to the Mean This first part will show how we can level-up our ranked reports. Let’s pretend we want to judge how certain pages on our website are performing. To do this, we might start with a simple table containing our Page […]

Predictive Regression Analysis – Statistics in Adobe Analytics

Adobe Analytics is awesome for analyzing historical data. Besides Segments, Drilldowns or Derived Metrics, it also offers some advanced statistical functions like Regression Analysis. Here are some examples for the different regression models that are available today: It would be really cool if we could use this functionality to predict the future with some regressive models! This is what this article is going to describe by using advanced calculated metrics. In the end, we want to have a graph like this, with the historical and future data in the same visualization: We will go through the whole process of generating a metric like shown above. If you just want the result, you can scroll down to the bottom of this article, where I show the complete metric. Let’s start! Statistics 101: Simple Linear Regression in Adobe Analytics To start things off, let’s remind ourselves what regression analysis does. To keep […]

Generating more business value with the Adobe Analytics dashboards App

The Adobe Analytics dashboards App has been out for some days now. It has been one of the most demanded features among Analytics users for years. Personally, I had to disappoint my business users for quite some time whenever they asked for an App. So naturally, I was quite happy when it finally came out. Before the app arrived, we had to build workarounds to enable people to take Analytics data wherever they go. At my company we utilized Power BI to pull data from Analytics and offer it in some form of mobile app. That was a huge pain, since we had to rebuild things we already had in Analysis Workspace and maintain two products. We also had to make huge compromises regarding interactivity with data and visualizations. I’m very happy we don’t need to do that any more! One of the concerns I had before I gained Beta […]

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 […]

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 […]