Archive for Omniture

Adobe Analytics post roundup for early April

A great post describing how techniques for debugging Adobe DTM implementations appeared at Search Discovery’s site. Who better to get this info from than the inventors of Satellite, the predecessor to DTM!

Debugging and validating an Adobe Dynamic Tag Management implementation

Search Discovery also published another blog explaining why results can vary between Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics installations.

The next link I want to pass along is about documentation – something we’re all loathe to do. Antti Koski over in Finland blogs about his approach to documenting SiteCatalyst implementations using Microsoft Excel in this great post on his site, . This post is from a little more than a year ago, but it is relevant for anyone working with a new or existing Adobe Analytics setup. Other tools exist for this documentation process, such as the R library I’ve mentioned a few months back and there’s an Adobe employee written tool which integrates with MS Excel as well. So far I can’t get that tool to work, but I’m still interested in it and will update here when I get it working for myself. Cheers!

Hit and Run and a belated Happy New Year

So, today is the first day of daylight saving time (DST) here in the U.S. and it’s also the occasion of my first post of 2015. So, belated Happy New Year to you all, and here’s a heads up that this post will be a hit and run listing of links I want to keep track of. You may find some of them useful too.

First off is Omniture for Beginners by Tom Capper at Distilled. At the very end of the post is a table which will help guide folks accustomed to Google Analytics as they get started with Adobe Analytics. That table is the reason I kept this post around. I’m sure it will come in handy as I train and teach others in the future.

Next is a post by Stuart Roskelley at his blog, “How to Dissect a Vendor Script”. His blog is aptly called “The Hidden Layer” and it deals with modern approaches to web analytics using tag managers, DOM scraping, etc. I found the post relevant because I’ve spent a lot of time recently shoehorning vendor tags into tag management and making all the tags play together nicely. I do have to admit that some of the problems I’ve encountered were self-inflicted, but that’s how I learn. Breaking and fixing.

Until next time, ‘keep on trackin‘! *
    *(With apologies to Dan Fredeen)

Working with Clickstream Data out of Adobe Analytics

4/28/14 UPDATE: the original thread on LinkedIn for this topic continues to draw useful comments regarding serious implementations/requirements. Take another read on it as time permits.

I honed in on an interesting thread on the Omniture Enthusiasts group on LinkedIn. The topic author, Nicholas, asks: “Has anyone has implemented a SiteCatalyst Clickstream Database solution?” The thread has turned into an interesting conversation, and another active participant has posted an R package at GitHub to faciliate this type of data movement and analysis. Turns out that it is possible to have a daily dump of clickstream data sent similar to a Data Warehouse data file for further processing. Hmmm – what an intriguing possibility.

Adobe Analytics / Omniture SiteCatalyst Resource Kit

Hopefully I covered all my bases in the title of this post. Every time I think about the confusion around Adobe renaming Omniture SiteCatalyst, I think of the pop artist Prince (a/k/a “The Artist Formerly Known As…”). But I digress.

Today I’m passing along a link to a compilation of SiteCatalyst resources you’re bound to find interesting and useful. Some call it the Ultimate Cheatsheet for Omniture.


Saving Page Referrer as an eVar for better correlations

Antti Koski has written a well-illustrated post about using SiteCatalyst processing rules to save page referrer data in an eVar for better correlation in analysis. I expect to try this using logic in my Adobe Tag Manager code in the meanwhile. I agree with Antti that using the default Referrer report in Adobe Analytics leaves much to be desired. When will it be possible to correlate everything with everything?

More insight into Adobe Dynamic Tag Management

This week’s Adobe Digital Marketing Blog post for Analytics offers insight into Adobe’s plans for Dynamic Tag Management (the recently acquired Satellite tool). I found it most interesting that in 2014 it will support a formal integration of Google’s Universal Analytics, as well the possibility of DTM being made available publicly, not just to Adobe customers. I only wish there were more documentation, samples and other education about this fantastic tool available now.

Improving the Data Layer for web analytics

At last, the good articles about creating and maintaining a web analytics Data Layer for tag management are coming to light. Josh West at Web Analytics Demystified has written an article entitled “Getting the Data Layer Right” and while it does not mention any specific tag management system (TMS), it builds the case for making careful choices when setting up a data layer and reasons for using a data layer rather than relying on query strings or accessing DOM elements directly.

I became aware of Josh’s post when an email arrived from Jan Exner’s Web Analytics for Developers blog, and it contained his commentary ‘”Data Layer” Tips’ which provides additional guidance more closely related to using Adobe SiteCatalyst/Adobe Analytics. This is primarily because he mentions using Processing Rules and Context Variables and s_code.

Enjoy these articles and enjoy the benefits of implementing a data layer for your current or next web analytics project!

Unlocking the Data Layer for web analytics

The LunaMetrics blog has a great writeup about the web analytics data layer aimed at non-techies. Actually, it’s perfect for techies as well. The vibe that I’m picking up so far is that many folks aren’t using a data layer in their web analytics implementations just yet. But once you master the data layer concept, it opens many new capabilities in web analytics data capture, especially when using a tag management tool.

I initially read about the data layer with regards to Google Tag Manager, and it seemed odd to me that more advanced web analytics tools such as Adobe Analytics and Webtrends weren’t using this method to facilitate data collection. Turns out that some SiteCatalyst implementations had already used this technique, but few people had written publicly about it. (Why?) Recently I used a data layer on my first Adobe Tag Manager implementation and I found it was the best decision I’d ever made since I learned how to configure a hybrid Webtrends data collection setup back in 2006.

So, the idea behind the data layer is that on the server-side the web developer will expose some data elements in a JSON-formatted block of JavaScript and then your tag management container will be able to pick up those data elements and propagate the data throughout the other tags in the container. Determining which data elements requires some forethought. In many cases, we’re referring to passing along ecommerce-related data elements here, such as tracking data, order totals, transaction numbers, product prices, tax, etc. Many other data elements can be picked up with existing web analytics data capture techniques.

So, take a look at the two links above, and feel free to leave a comment below and share your thoughts and questions. As for me, my next mini-project is to implement Google Tag Manager with a data layer on a VPASP ecommerce site. I will pass along my experience with this project in future posts.

If you’re looking to get started with Adobe Tag Manager, this quick start video will give you some insight. Adobe has mentioned that ATM may go away by the end of 2014, but ATM is still super-useful for the time being, especially if you’re migrating away from implementing SiteCatalyst the ‘old fashioned way’.

So now we know the end result of Adobe’s recent purchase of Satellite, and we know much sooner than I’d expected. What an exciting time to be involved in web analytics implementation! Tag Management has totally changed the way we think about tagging a site for website visitor experience tracking.

It’s not a perfect world yet. Despite Adobe’s promise that IT assistance won’t be required for implementing new website tracking, on the lead documentation page is an invitation to engage their consulting services or to use one of their partners. Wait, I thought you said, “now it is easy”!?!

Of course now it’s easier, but not yet easy. A web analytics implementation which results in reports from which marketers gain valuable insights still requires careful planning and implementation. So with this new innovation, folks on the implementation side simply have more (effective) tools now. Honestly, I’ve enjoyed using the “legacy” Adobe Tag Manager, which I’ve read will be supported through the end of 2014. So things really are moving fast since ATM 2.0 was released only earlier in 2013.

For ADTM documentation, check out this link:,
And check out the brief YouTube intro.

Of all the news today, the best to me was the announcement that ADTM is included at no additional charge for Adobe Marketing Cloud customers. Considering the competition in the WA arena, that’s a great move on Adobe’s part to retain customers.

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