Rule Builder potentially upends past management approaches to the fundamentals of classifications in Adobe Analytics (SiteCatalyst) by allowing you to automate the entire classification process. Users familiar with the prior methods of classifications will recognize Rule Builder as a game changing feature in the toolset. I recommend you check out Matt Freestone’s Rule Builder thorough walkthrough series and the Adobe Analytics Help Microsite for details on the inner workings of Rule logic along with use cases. As a follow up I intend to cover from a business perspective how you can get the most out of Rule Builder capabilities from an initial design view, planning phase, and final activation UI considerations.
Rule Builder Classifications Overview Series by Matt Freestone:
Rule Builder Business Process: Design, Planning, and Launch Phases:
The foundation for Rule Builder critically begins outside the Adobe Analytics UI in the base values of the data that flow into your rule logic. As Rule Builder works on variable values ‘where metadata is located within the string values being passed into Adobe Analytics’ you must first establish a system based on expected recognition indicators and patterns. The two guiding principles as always are granularity and consistency within the base variable values.
Granularity– Variable values must be at the level of specificity required for the business to track site context, actions, or values.
Consistency– Variable values must maintain standards in terms of expected string length, delimiting indicators, and values.
2. Rule Set Planning & Exploration
I recommend as a first planning step you tackle the leg work of gathering a diverse and broad list of live and expected variable values to stress test in Rule Builder. Then I advise shifting into Rule Builder work as a strictly exploratory exercise. The best approach is if you run initial draft approaches on classification rule set work so the logic can be thoroughly stressed under live report suite conditions. I next recommend taking a step back and documenting all the rule sets and logic in a reference document once you are assured all requirements are met. You want to ensure that your Rule Builder classifications incur no conflicts and provide a comprehensive approach to all expected variable values. It is also important as sites and implementations change over time that reference document knowledge is shared and available within your organization. A cloud-based storage system or internal Wiki site are great locations to share and distribute these knowledge reference materials. Therefore my recommended planning steps in the classification Rule Builder feature are as follows:
- Collect a diverse sampling of raw base variable values to stress test Rule Builder logic Rule Set (max is up to 4,000 Sample Keys and Rule Builder can store previous key inputs)
- Create the Rule Builder Rule Set and Name as a placeholder
- Perform initial unsaved test work within Rule Builder to arrive at full Rule Set list of required classifications logic
- Document exact Classification Rule Sets in a spreadsheet reference file exactly matching all Rule Builder work
All of these planning actions should occur before committing any saved activation rules as it allows for thorough checks on data assumptions and logic.
Rule Builder Business Process: Shared File Reference Document EXAMPLE:
3. Rule Builder Activation
The actual input of the last step should then be a straightforward exercise based on the groundwork from the documented Rule Builder process.
- Add Rules to your allocated Rule Set in coherent order from the planning reference document materials
- Activate Rule Set and select from preset options how far back in time you want to run the new logic on the given variable
- Shut down any preexisting classification jobs and inform users of the process transition completion
I hope this post provided pointers in Rule Builder work that you can adopt to maintain logical order, reference knowledge, and maintenance efficiencies. Process in your Rule Builder work is paramount to end data quality and good upkeep. Make sure you approach Rule Builder with a set focus and follow a planned phase approach to achieve lasting organized success.