I have observed that Adobe Discover at times opens up such a wide range of options that a number of the advanced features do not standout to users. In the below three cases I aim to highlight several of these advanced techniques through a walkthrough of the tool access steps and potential business applications. Discover users that leverage these capabilities can pull in more advanced insights into their reporting and analysis within the same familiar workflow.

Visitor Participation Metrics

The first advanced feature showcases the visitor analysis capabilities available within Discover. The enablement of visitor-based participation metrics allows for true cross-visit views across a variety of report types. The way visitor participation attribution works is Discover spreads conversion credit across all pages and visits within the given reporting time frame to matched visitors. Visitor participation metrics in Discover are automatically available for all standard and custom events and appear within the events list in the main Metrics selection window.

In the first example I will work within a Marketing Channel report by attributable revenue in the period. The initial analysis step is to create a calculated metric that divides the base metric revenue by the revenue (visitor participation) metric. The new calculation then provides a % ratio that can be sorted by low and high influencing touch points.

Discover Advanced Techniques 1.1: Calculated Metric Build Details of Revenue % Share of Revenue (Visitor Participation)


In the full report example below ‘Revenue Visitor Participation’ and ‘Revenue % of Revenue (Visitor Participation)’ are brought into the Marketing Channel report. The visitor participation metrics illustrate touch points that lead to purchase consideration and conversion. In the context of ‘Revenue Visitor Participation’ full revenue credit is given to every marketing channel that was bound to a visitor in the time period before conversion regardless of end attribution settings. It allows users a comparison view to evaluate which marketing channels are assisting at a high level, but also giving up end credit attribution to other channels.

Discover Advanced Techniques 1.2: Marketing Channel Report with Revenue, Revenue (Visitor Participation), and Revenue % Share of Revenue (Visitor Participation)


Segments Within Calculated Metrics

The second advanced technique touches on the Calculated Metric build options in Discover that can bring in segments. The ability to add segments to calculated metrics opens up further comparison opportunities and saves time by allowing for the breakdown of analysis questions direct within Discover. I will walk through two examples where the application of a segment within a calculated metric proves invaluable.

The initial general step is to access the Calculated Metrics Builder by clicking on the wrench icon in the upper right hand corner of the main Metrics selection window. A Calculated Metrics Builder window will pop up next with a blank slate to pull in available metrics and segments to create a new custom formula based metric. Please note to pull in segments as a component to the calculated metric it is necessary to tab over from the metrics options tab to the segments option tab in the upper left hand corner of the Calculated Metrics Builder window.

Discover Advanced Techniques 1.3: Calculated Metric Builder Tool


The first example utilizes the ‘Visits from Social Sites’ SiteCatalyst v15 suite segment and shows how a custom calculated order conversion rate can be derived for only social site visits. The main steps are twofold; bring in the desired metrics within the calculation (orders divided by visits in this example) and then underneath each metric component bring in the desired segments.

Discover Advanced Techniques 1.4: Visits from Social Sites Conversion Rate Custom Calculated Metric


As you can observe in the end below report, we can now slot a wholly contained social sites order conversion rate right next to our overall site conversion rate and even perform direct calculations within the same workspace. The addition of segments within calculated metrics can be a significant time saver in building reports and running comparisons.

Discover Advanced Techniques 1.5: Visits from Social Sites Conversion Rate Comparison


The second example illustrates a mixed application of a single segment within the Calculated Metrics Builder. The ability to attach a secondary segment condition to a metric allows for efficient formulation of % of total calculations for segments of interest. In order to create a quick % of total calculation we can bind a segment to the denominator portion only of the calculation; leaving the numerator representative of entire site totals.

Discover Advanced Techniques 1.6: Tablet % of All Mobile Views Custom Calculated Metric


We can observe that in the time frame tablet traffic is by far the dominant mobile views device type for the site. Given the multitude of options in segment build creation; the ease of enhancing calculated metrics shows through in these specific applications.

Discover Advanced Techniques 1.7: Tablet % of All Mobile Views


Time Prior To Event

I also want to emphasize the enhanced power of new SiteCatalyst reports that become available in the Discover workflow. A great example is the new ‘Time Prior To Event’ report which Ben Gaines introduced in recent SiteCatalyst release notes (A new lens on customer behavior: Time Prior to Event report and more); which carries several enhancements in Discover. You can access the Time Prior To Event in Discover by navigating within the report selection menu to ‘Reports>Paths>General>Time prior to event’. The report provides all the same great insights as the SiteCatalyst version, but in Discover one added benefit are the blue bar scales visually highlight differences across metric types by time prior band range.

Discover Advanced Techniques 1.8: Time Prior To Event Report in Discover


The visual proportion cues within Discover allow for quick exploratory data reads by swapping in different segments. An enhancement to the base report in Discover is the ability to compare segments head to head at once. The report gains value in Discover with this flexibility because users can efficiently fine tune different properties of the segment to determine low and high performing segments of interest on the fly. We can observe in the below report that in the time frame ‘Direct (Typed/Bookmarked)’ versus ‘Natural Search’ traffic show common patterns and variations in time prior to event in the context of several key shopping user actions.

Discover Advanced Techniques 1.9: Time Prior To Event Report with Multiple Segments



Discover users can leverage advanced features to bring in special attribution proficiencies, sophisticated calculated metrics, and further enhancements to the latest SiteCatalyst v15 report releases. The fluid nature of the Discover workflow and Calculated Metric Builder are great assets that power users should take advantage. I hope the reviewed advanced examples have highlighted starting points for users to make the most of their Discover analysis projects.

Brian Au is a con­sul­tant in Adobe Con­sult­ing, focused on dig­i­tal strat­egy, ana­lyt­ics & opti­miza­tion for retail & travel clients. He tweets at @BrianAu.