Recently, I visited a new client that was in the process of deploying SiteCatalyst 15. While the company was new to Adobe SiteCatalyst, most of the analytics team had previous experience with SiteCatalyst 14 at other firms. When they asked me what was new in SiteCatalyst 15, I realized there wasn’t really a master list of all its new features available online. While there are a lot of different blog posts on its features, you could easily miss something in SiteCatalyst 15 that could be beneficial to your team or organization. What good is a great feature if you don’t know about it?

Ben Gaines did a good post on five hidden gems in SiteCatalyst 15, but I think there are still many other features that shouldn’t be overlooked. As a result, I thought it would be helpful to summarize all of SiteCatalyst’s new features (with updates from subsequent point releases) in one central place with links to relevant blog posts. I’ve organized the updates and new features so that it’s easier to digest the changes that have been introduced with SiteCatalyst 15.

Segmentation

  1. Custom segments (new): Previously you needed to rely on DataWarehouse reports or Adobe Discover to create and explore advanced segments. With SiteCatalyst 15, one of the major enhancements was the ability to build and use advanced custom segments in SiteCatalyst.   
  2. Pre-configured segments (new): In SiteCatalyst 15, you have a number of pre-configured segments which can be applied to various SiteCatalyst reports. For example, basic segments such as visits from paid search, single page visits, visits from mobile devices, etc. can be used to filter reports.
  3. Suite segments (new): With SiteCatalyst 15, you can now use suite segments, which are common segments found across other products in the Digital Marketing Suite (SiteCatalyst, Discover, and Test&Target). For example, you have suite segments for non-purchasers/purchasers, first-time visits, visits from social sites, visits from Facebook, etc.

Metrics

  1. Report-level default metrics (new): It’s simple in SiteCatalyst 15 to assign default metrics to specific reports. If you’re a SiteCatalyst administrator, you add the metrics you want to a report and then click Add Metrics > Set as Default.
  2. Bounce rate (new): You could build a calculated metric for bounce rate in previous versions of SiteCatalyst. However, with SiteCatalyst 15, it is now a standard metric on the Pages report along with Bounces (single hit visits with no page interaction).
  3. De-duplicated visits and visitors in SAINT classifications (updated): Prior to SiteCatalyst 15, classifications summed totals for visitors or visits. Now, classification values are correctly de-duplicated for grouped items.
  4. De-duplicated success metrics for merchandising eVars (updated): SiteCatalyst 15 de-duplicates orders for merchandising eVars so that merchandising categories are only credited for one order if two or more products were purchased from the same category in a single transaction.
  5. Traffic metric availability (updated):  In previous versions of SiteCatalyst, you had page views, visits, and unique visitors on specific, traffic-related reports. Now they’re more generally available across various reports as standard metrics.
  6. Time spent metrics (updated): Previously, time metrics were based on timestamps from page view server calls as opposed to page interactions such as custom links, exit links, video views, etc. Now, the timestamps of these non-page view server calls are used to calculate more accurate time metrics.
  7. Unique visitors (updated): In SiteCatalyst 15, the unique visitors represents unique visitors for the time period of the report rather than a sum of daily unique visitors.
  8. Visits for non-cookied visitors (updated): Now all visitors, regardless of cookie acceptance, are included in visits counts and pathing data. In SiteCatalyst 14, site visitors who do not accept persistent cookies via their browser were not included in the visits total.

Analysis

  1. Full subrelations (updated): You now have full subrelations for all conversion (eVar) reports. You’re not able to nest multiple breakdowns like you can in Discover, but you do have the flexibility to perform a single breakdown of any two conversion reports in SiteCatalyst 15.
  2. Uniques exceeded / high cardinality (updated):  Previously, when a SiteCatalyst report received more values than its unique values limit (typically 500,000 values), the rest of the values would be grouped under “Uniques Exceeded.” If a high-traffic value occurred after the threshold was met it would be thrown into the Uniques Exceeded bucket and only visible in DataWarehouse. In SiteCatalyst 15, the Uniques Exceeded algorithm was updated to avoid “big rocks” from falling into the Uniques Exceeded bucket.

Dashboards

  1. Dashboard look-and-feel (updated): Dashboards in SiteCatalyst 15 received some subtle enhancements so that the size of the reportlets could be increased (less white space). The GeoSegmentation reportlets are now interactive as you can hover over a country/state to see its total count.
  2. Dashboard workflow (updated): In SiteCatalyst 15, you have the option to start with either a 2×2 or 3×2 format (in 14, 3×2 was the default). You also have more quick access to editing options in SiteCatalyst 15.
  3. Dashboard filter options (new): You can now apply segments or change date ranges on the fly for individual reportlets or an entire dashboard.

Reports

  1. SiteCatalyst Visualize for iPad (new): A new iPad app was created so that clients can view their SiteCatalyst 15 on this popular tablet device. With this new app, users can explore various trend reports and leverage the “multi-touch” capabilities of the iPad to zoom and focus on specific data points within the last 90 days (free download from the iTunes store).
  2. Key metrics report (new): This report enables you to trend multiple metrics at the same time in a single graph. You have the ability to normalize the values to observe patterns for metrics with different scales.
  3. Rollup report suite (now available in v15): When SiteCatalyst 15 first came out it didn’t include support for rollup report suites, but in version 15.4 rollups are now supported. Rollup report suites aggregate data from multiple report suites in a single summary report suite.
  4. Mobile carrier report (new): Found within Visitor Profile > Technology, you can see what mobile provider (Verizon, Vodafone, T-Mobile, etc.) that your visitors were using when they accessed your site through a mobile device. This was added with the version 15.4 release.
  5. Connection types report (updated): Found within Visitor Profile > Technology, this report now includes a “Mobile Carrier” category for how people are connecting to the Internet.

Note: With the 15.3 release, several reports from SiteCatalyst 14 were re-introduced into version 15 (Pathfinder, full paths, path length, original entry page, days before first purchase, all search page ranking, pages not found).

Implementation

  1. List eVars (new): In SiteCatalyst 14, you have List Props which capture multiple values in a delimited list. In SiteCatalyst 15, you now have List eVars which allow you to capture lists and tie them to conversion metrics instead of just traffic metrics. For example, you can capture all of the search refinements used on a single search (brand, price, size, etc.) and tie them to conversion or revenue.
  2. Context data variables (new): Introduced in the 15.3 release, context data variables enables your developers to assign values to friendly s.contextData variables (e.g., s.contextData[‘section’]=”sports”) that can be later assigned via processing rules to specific eVars, s.props, and events. Your developers no longer have to be burdened with what value goes into which eVar.
  3. Processing rules (new): Introduced with the 15.3 release, processing rules can be used for pre-processing data before it is passed into SiteCatalyst. For example, the rules can be used for simple pattern matching, concatenating values, and detecting values in the URL or query string. Processing rules are used in conjunction with the new context data variables to assign the values to specific SiteCatalyst variables. Think of these rules as VISTA-Lite.  

Usability

  1. Report search box (new): In SiteCatalyst 15, you have the ability to search for reports rather than just relying on the menu navigation. For example, you can search for “product finding methods” to find the corresponding report in SiteCatalyst.
  2. Site overview dashboard (new): SiteCatalyst features a pre-configured dashboard that displays summary data unless it has been overridden by another custom landing dashboard or report. This overview report provides a quick snapshot of what’s happening on your website.

Administration

  1. Bot filtering and reporting (new): In SiteCatalyst 15.3, you gained the ability to filter out commonly known bots and spiders (as defined by IAB) as well as any custom bots/spiders from your SiteCatalyst reports. This new feature is found in the Admin Console. When you select a report suite, choose Edit Settings > General > Bot Rules.
  2. Report suite-specific calendar events (updated): Calendar events are special comments that can be added to specific dates in reports to notify users of promotions, site performance issues, or other contextual events that may have impacted the data. Previously, calendar events were assigned at the company-level across all report suites. Now you can set calendar events that are report suite-specific.
  3. Log in as user (new): Admin users have the ability to log into SiteCatalyst as their non-admin users without needing the users’ passwords.

Phew! If you made it to the end of this blog post, you’re a hardcore SiteCatalyst user. I hope this summary of the new and updated SiteCatalyst 15 features was helpful. As future point releases come out for SiteCatalyst 15, I intend to update this post.

Follow me on Twitter at @analyticshero.

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