Archive for General

Adobe AdHoc swan song

Late this summer Adobe announced that it would “end of life” the AdHoc tool (formerly called Discover). I really enjoyed using AdHoc and while I like Analysis Workspace there was something special about AdHoc that’s tough to explain. It looked cool and it did help analysts discover new things happening on websites. There’s still some time to use AdHoc, so enjoy it while it lasts. Read the announcements and see the migration guide at Adobe Spark.

Adobe Analytics

Adobe DTM and hashtag
Adobe DTM’s New Custom and pushState/hashChange Event Types

Google Analytics Implementation with Single Page Application architecture

Adding Google Analytics to your React Application

DTM debugger

For years the best tool for debugging Adobe Analytics was the DigitalPulse debugger, a JavaScript bookmarklet offered by Adobe. (The browser console was pretty useful too, once you got the hang of it.)

Now comes Disruptive Advertising with a Dynamic Tag Management (DTM) debugger. It’s got a decent interface and it’s just a bookmarklet as well, so it should work in most browsers, unlike some debuggers which only work with Chrome (via Chrome app store).

Check it out and enjoy!

Lately I’m working with implementing Google Custom Search for a larger customer.  It’s a pretty good product with a great deal of flexibility and of course, it has Google’s Famous Search Algorithm underneath.  So, it’s pretty darn good at handling whatever most site visitors throw at it.  The problem is with quantifying the results (visitor successes and failures).  There isn’t much to go on since GCS is implemented with JavaScript tag blocks and not actual code.  If these blocks of code called in a little Data Layer with results data elements (as Google has been coaxing us to create for web analytics elsewhere) there would be something to work with!   So, Big G, what about it!?

Thanks for reading my rant – as soon as I have something workable I’ll post more info.  Either G will do something or I’ll devise something. Already I’ve implemeted GCS via a Tag Management system as a proof of concept, so there is hope yet.


Capturing Browser User-Agent string in web analytics

Anything to avoid snooping a web log, these days…! Sometimes you’ve just got to know what user-agent string a certain browser passes when it hits your site. Lately I’ve been capturing it as an eVar in Adobe Analytics (Omniture SiteCatalyst), because as a custom conversion variable you can get co-relations, breakdowns, etc. and even segement on that variable for serious troubleshooting or tracking purposes.

Once you’ve collected the user-agent string, then you may need a lookup area to figure it out… that’s where this link to comes in handy. They’ve broken down so many devices and browsers with version data and listed it in a very useful format.

And, when all else fails and you’ve peeped an actual http logfile the hard way, is still helpful. Enjoy!

Google Universal Analytics Upgrades

This will be a hot topic, all right  – apparently Google will soon begin migrating us, kicking and screaming, to Universal Analytics. Take a look at Robert Miller’s writeup at ClickZ to learn more.  For those who are kicking and screaming louder than others, Robert’s part of a team who built a tool called Airlock which eases the pain of migration. Enjoy!

I’m passing this technical how-to along to those using SiteCatalyst.

Adobe Analytics Implementation Documentation in 60 seconds

It’s a great idea to have a solution document handy for your implementation.  Looking forward to your comments!

Decipher Minified JavaScript

JavaScript and jQuery are a web analytics implementer’s best friend. However, there’s a lot of valuable code out there which has been minified, or optimized, for fast download/execution, which leaves the code pretty much unreadable. For these blocks of code, an online tool called is a huge help! Besides expanding minified code into neatly indented code blocks, there’s a ton of useful links on this site. Enjoy!

Google Analytics Academy is offering a three-week course hosted by Justin Cutroni starting October 8th. Take a look at the mini-site with all the details. The course is all online, and should take 4-6 hours to complete. It will help you prepare for the GA IQ certification test (not included, of course!).

Custom Dimensions have been available using one name or another in paid web analytics products for years. In Omniture (Adobe) SiteCatalyst (Analytics) their called eVars. Webtrends has offer custom dimensions since the early/mid-2000s.

Google Analytics offered five “custom variables” at first, then this Universal Analytics notion came along and now we can have 20 custom dimensions now. (I’m grateful!)

These variables can be used to track visitor interactions in a truly customized manner tailored to your website. They allow you to count what you want, not what everyone else using standard Google Analytics is counting. Combine custom dimensions with custom events and Google Analytics will be custom for your site forever more! Take a look at this blog post at analytics-ninja and learn more. See also this reference entry on Google’s Developer site which explains Custom Dimensions and Custom Metrics in a way developers will appreciate.

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