In my last post, I explained one of the new fea­tures in Site­Cat­a­lyst v14.9: seg­men­ta­tion by clas­si­fi­ca­tions. Our users let us know that this was impor­tant func­tion­al­ity by vot­ing for it often in the Idea Exchange; we lis­tened, and responded by build­ing it. Today I would like to men­tion a fea­ture that came up both in the Idea Exchange and at Sum­mit 2010 in Brett Error’s clos­ing gen­eral ses­sion, and which we deliv­ered upon request in Site­Cat­a­lyst v14.9: addi­tional cus­tom variables.

With Site­Cat­a­lyst v14.9 (released in Octo­ber, so we kept Brett’s promise!) you now get a max­i­mum of:

  • 75 Cus­tom Traf­fic (s.prop) variables
  • 75 Cus­tom Con­ver­sion (eVar) variables
  • 100 Cus­tom Events

Of course, prior to this release, there was a tech­ni­cal limit of the following:

  • 50 Cus­tom Traf­fic (s.prop) variables
  • 50 Cus­tom Con­ver­sion (eVar) variables
  • 80 Cus­tom Events

The idea to expand on these lim­its, allow­ing you to cap­ture more data across your site(s) so you can opti­mize in new ways, was the run­away win­ner at Brett’s ses­sion this past year. We had already seen users flock to this idea to vote for it, and Sum­mit ham­mered home the point even fur­ther, so we got started right away. In fact, Brett him­self tweeted this in April:

Brett Error's tweet about more SiteCatalyst variables

When I started at Omni­ture back in early 2006, we had very few orga­ni­za­tions using all 50 props or all 50 eVars. (Back in those days, when we also used to walk to and from school, uphill both ways, in the snow, there were only 20 cus­tom events, and it was far more com­mon to use all 20 events than it was to use all 50 props and eVars.) Those that were using all 50 often had to come up with cre­ative ways to meet a wide range of needs, such as con­cate­nat­ing a bunch of val­ues together in a sin­gle variable/report, then using SAINT to build out a clas­si­fi­ca­tion struc­ture that would turn the report into some­thing that could give mean­ing­ful insights.

The online user/customer expe­ri­ence has com­pletely changed since those days. First, it has gone multi-platform, with web, mobile, social, video, etc. all pre­sent­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple to inter­act with your brand and move along the path from vis­i­tors to cus­tomers and from cus­tomers to loyal cus­tomers. Sec­ond, in this expand­ing online world, as com­pa­nies have become gen­er­ally more data-driven, var­i­ous parts of these orga­ni­za­tions have begun to ask more ques­tions about the online user expe­ri­ence and, thus, to need more data points to help tell a story about how var­i­ous users and seg­ments inter­act with each of the dif­fer­ent online prop­er­ties. (Oh, and if you ask most web ana­lysts they’ll tell you that orga­ni­za­tions are only start­ing their love affairs with data. We’d like to help push them along if we can!)

These two trends, I believe, drove users to raise hands in large quan­ti­ties at Sum­mit, and click the upward-pointing arrow on the Idea Exchange to ulti­mately put more vari­ables into our products.

Your admin-level users can enable these new vari­ables by going to to the Admin Con­sole. They work just like the tra­di­tional vari­ables and events, and you can imple­ment them any­where on your site as long as you are using Site­Cat­a­lyst code ver­sion H.22 or newer. They even allow you to use dynamic vari­ables. Since these variables/events fol­low the same rules as the pre-existing ones, I’ll just give a few quick exam­ples and won’t go into too much detail:

s.prop51="some value"
s.prop75="an internal search keyword"

There isn’t a whole lot more to say about these vari­ables, other than that (again) it’s a great exam­ple of our team lis­ten­ing to the needs of our users and respond­ing quickly. I’m proud to be part of an orga­ni­za­tion that puts such heavy empha­sis on user feed­back and input. Now go get H.22.1 from the Admin Con­sole and begin say­ing “YES!” to those requests to cap­ture more data and to do more analy­sis through­out your company!

As always, if you have any ques­tions about any­thing in this post, or about any­thing else related to the Adobe Online Mar­ket­ing Suite, please leave a com­ment here or con­tact me on Twit­ter and I’ll do my best to get you the infor­ma­tion that you need.


That's great - are people requesting streamlined advanced segment functionality (eg, like custom segments in Google Analytics) in SiteCatalyst w/o datawarehouse? Jeff

Ben Gaines
Ben Gaines

Absolutely. Check out the Idea Exchange—specifically this idea—for the latest comments and status.