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://twitter.com/Omni_man.

Learn more about Omniture Consulting
Learn more about Omniture University
2 comments
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