This post on ASI (Advanced Seg­ment Insight) is a con­tin­u­a­tion of the pre­vi­ous Omni­ture DataWare­house post due to the fact that ASI and DataWare­house are very sim­i­lar con­cepts.  There­fore, if you haven’t already, I sug­gest that you review that post prior to read­ing this one.  I have found that many of my clients don’t use ASI sim­ply because they don’t under­stand it or by the time they learned about it in train­ing their brain was over­loaded!  I can’t tell you how many times a client has said to me “If only I could see this report for 1st time vis­i­tors” or “I wish I could see a com­par­i­son of this report for Yahoo vs. Google vis­i­tors.”  When I respond to them that they can using ASI, they often look at me like I am speak­ing a for­eign lan­guage.  There­fore, the goal of this post is to make ASI under­stand­able for all of you out there in hopes that you will begin to lever­age this great tool.

What is ASI?
ASI is a com­po­nent of Omni­ture DataWare­house that allows you to cre­ate a data set sim­i­lar to that of a report suite for a spe­cific seg­ment of users.  Whereas DataWare­house allows you to build a seg­ment and run a report for that seg­ment, ASI takes this a step fur­ther by allow­ing you to see all Site­Cat­a­lyst reports for a seg­ment.  While this may not seem like a big dis­tinc­tion, it is.  ASI allows you to see all Omni­ture Site­Cat­a­lyst out-of-the box reports and the many reports you cre­ate by set­ting Suc­cess Events, Traf­fic Vari­ables and Con­ver­sion Vari­ables for any seg­ment of your users that you desire.  In addition, ASI (or Omni­ture Dis­cover) is the pre­ferred way to view pathing reports for seg­ments of users.

How Does ASI Work?
So how does ASI actu­ally work?  When you cre­ate an ASI slot, you give it a name, select or cre­ate a seg­ment and then spec­ify whether the ASI should be for a fixed time frame or daily recur­ring.  If the ASI slot is cre­ated for a fixed time frame, Omni­ture will cycle through all data in that time frame, look­ing for data that matches the spec­i­fied seg­ment and include data accord­ingly.  If you choose a Daily Recur­ring ASI slot, Omni­ture will begin with the spec­i­fied start date and do the same steps as just described, but will con­tinue to add one day of data every 24 hours.

(Click here if you would like to see a Flash demo of the cre­ation of a sam­ple ASI slot)

Once you have sub­mit­ted the ASI for pro­cess­ing, Omni­ture will begin pro­cess­ing the data that matches the time frame and seg­ment def­i­n­i­tion you have specified.  Sometimes, I think of ASI as a time machine that goes back in time and recre­ates all of the web behav­ior after the fact for a spe­cific group of peo­ple of your choos­ing.  When ASI has made it through the entire date range, you will be noti­fied via e-mail, though you can use the ASI slot while it is in progress if the time frame is large (one trick I use is to view the Page Views report in the ASI slot which will show you which dates it has processed).  Once the ASI slot is ready, you can use it just as you would any other report suite that appears in your list of Site­Cat­a­lyst report suites in the top-left drop-down box.

Impor­tant Things to Know About ASI
The fol­low­ing are some impor­tant things to know about ASI:

  1. You can re-use ASI slots when you are done with them.  Let’s say you need to see a month worth of data for a spe­cific seg­ment, but after you have done your analy­sis, have no use for it?  Sim­ply purge the ASI slot and after an hour or so it will be ready for re-use.
  2. ASI slots can be used to down­load data to the Excel­Client.  Want to have a data set that shows you all Site­Cat­a­lyst reports for 1st time vis­i­tors?  Google vis­i­tors?  Cam­paign vis­i­tors?  All of this can be eas­ily accom­plished via ASI.
  3. Any seg­ments that you build in DataWare­house are avail­able for use in ASI (and Omni­ture Dis­cover for that mat­ter) since seg­ments are tied to an Omni­ture user ID.
  4. You can man­age set­tings of ASI slots using the Admin Con­sole just as you would any other report suite.  To do this, select “All” in the Report Suites Man­ager area of the Admin Con­sole.  ASI slots will have report suite ID’s begin­ning with a “cyg.”
  5. ASI’s can be used in A/B com­par­i­son reports just like any other Site­Cat­a­lyst report suite.

Real-World Exam­ple
In this install­ment of our real-world exam­ple, we will be work­ing with Greco Inc.‘s bank­ing sub­sidiary.  In this sce­nario, the web­site design group is inves­ti­gat­ing alter­na­tive site designs based upon whether the site vis­i­tor is logged into the site or not.  Their hypoth­e­sis is that those who are signed in (cus­tomers) may be look­ing for dif­fer­ent types of con­tent than new vis­i­tors (prospects) such that a one-size-fits-all approach is not jus­ti­fied.  In order to test this the­ory, the design team worked with the web ana­lyt­ics team to cre­ate two dis­tinct ASI slots.  One to con­tain only data for vis­i­tors who were logged in and the other being the con­verse, con­tain­ing only data for those who were not logged in when data was collected.

Once these ASI seg­ments had been cre­ated and the ASI slots were built, the first thing the web design team wanted to see was what search terms each user type had searched upon.  To see this, they sim­ply open the search term report, switch to A/B com­par­i­son mode and select the two rel­e­vant ASI slots:

Next, the web design team wants to com­pare the pathing behav­iors of both seg­ments.  The first report shown here pro­vides pathing infor­ma­tion on those who had logged in…

…while the fol­low­ing shows the paths for those who had not logged in.

As you can see from these exam­ples, ASI can be extremely help­ful in com­par­ing seg­ments and extend­ing your web analysis.

Have a ques­tion about any­thing related to Omni­ture Site­Cat­a­lyst?  Is there some­thing on your web­site that you would like to report on, but don’t know how?  Do you have any tips or best prac­tices you want to share?  If so, please leave a com­ment here or send me an e-mail at insidesitecatalyst@​omniture.​com and I will do my best to answer it right here on the blog so every­one can learn! (Don’t worry — I won’t use your name or com­pany name!).  If you are on Twit­ter, you can fol­low me at http://​twit​ter​.com/​O​m​n​i​_​man.

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Adam Greco
Adam Greco

Pedro - Thanks for the comment and our ongoing e-mail dialog. In this post, I was referring to visitors who had Signed-in and not Signed-in since it is always difficult to know if the current visitor is a customer or prospect due to cookie deletion. I am not referring to new users as prospects and existing users as customers. Some other ways that Omniture clients segment this is by setting their own cookie and passing "customer" or "prospect" to an sProp on each page and segmenting off of that. Thanks! Adam

Pedro Hernandez
Pedro Hernandez

Hi Adam, I would like to thank you for these tips you are sharing through this blog, they are super interesting and instructive. After analyzing this post I would like to comment that I disagree with the "Real-World Example" exposed here, because it doesn't give an accurate answer to the marketing question. I don't recommend to use the single "sign in action" as hypothesis and parameter to segment and compare the behavior between customer and prospect users (new visitors), because this is not a single indicator that you can use to define a customer or not. In addition to this, if you are using the visit container with the "sign in" action as a value of some traffic or conversion variable to create the ASI segment, it is pretty possible that those numbers ( in the A/B comparison Chart) are duplicated or double counted (the same visit was "not logged in" and "logged in", at time frame). Thanks, Pedro Hernandez