Well, you know, it’s that time of year again. We make our res­o­lu­tions for the New Year, and then off we go on our jour­ney to try and make them hap­pen. Of course, they range any­where from weight loss to new hob­bies to get­ting rid of bad habits. Maybe I’ll com­bine all three this year, and get a new hobby that can help me lose weight, includ­ing los­ing my bad habit of eat­ing every­thing in sight. :)

In any case, this week, I thought I’d throw out some sug­ges­tions for your New Year’s ana­lyt­ics res­o­lu­tions. These were actu­ally brain­stormed by a group of con­sul­tants as I asked them about the topic and what they thought should go on your list of res­o­lu­tions for your ana­lyt­ics this year. I know that it’s bad form to have so many goals that you could never accom­plish all of them, but since some of you may have already accom­plished some of these, and since dif­fer­ent res­o­lu­tions will appeal to dif­fer­ent peo­ple, I guess I’ll risk my entry into the resolution-making hall of fame and give you 10 things that you can con­sider for this year.

As a side note, since I’m giv­ing you 10 dif­fer­ent things, I’m not going to write too much about any one of them. If you’d like to fur­ther dis­cuss any of these with your con­sul­tant, I’m sure that he/she would love to have that con­ver­sa­tion with you.

Res­o­lu­tion #1: Per­form at least one analy­sis and rec­om­men­da­tion per month

Too often we get mired down in the get­ting of the num­bers, the cre­at­ing of the reports, the deliv­ery of the data, etc. When was the last time that you really looked at the data, ana­lyzed it, and made a rec­om­men­da­tion to some­one to actu­ally make a change? I mean, that’s why we are col­lect­ing the data, right? I remem­ber talk­ing to a client who cap­tured and reported on cam­paign effec­tive­ness, show­ing which cam­paigns and cam­paign types resulted in suc­cess on their site. How­ever, they admit­ted that this infor­ma­tion was not used to help make deci­sions for future cam­paigns. Really? This year make a res­o­lu­tion to ana­lyze your data and make a rec­om­men­da­tion at least once a month.

Res­o­lu­tion #2: Upgrade to V15

If your com­pany is still using Site­Cat­a­lyst ver­sion 14, make a res­o­lu­tion to upgrade to ver­sion 15. There are a plethora of great fea­tures and capa­bil­i­ties included in ver­sion 15 that can ben­e­fit you in your (monthly, remem­ber?) analy­sis. One of the coolest fea­tures in ver­sion 15 is the real-time seg­men­ta­tion tool. The abil­ity to cre­ate a seg­ment on the fly and apply it to any and all of your reports in Site­Cat­a­lyst is fan­tas­tic. And that’s just one of the cool new fea­tures. For a com­plete list of the fea­tures, see the Site­Cat­a­lyst 15 Help, Fea­ture Overview, and Upgrade Guide avail­able here.

Res­o­lu­tion #3: Recon­nect with key stakeholders

Is it time to check in again with your key stake­hold­ers, to see if they are get­ting what they need from the ana­lyt­ics that you are pro­vid­ing? Maybe you have a reg­u­lar meet­ing with them to ensure that they are get­ting what they need. I rec­om­mend this. But if you are the Site­Cat­a­lyst guru/admin, and you haven’t been meet­ing with the key con­sumers of the data, it’s time to get that going again. That’s a habit that I DO rec­om­mend this res­o­lu­tion season.

Res­o­lu­tion #4: Only cre­ate use­ful reports

This can be a toughie. It’s so addict­ing, isn’t it, to make a dash­board with a ton of dif­fer­ent reports on it? Or to show some­one all the cool infor­ma­tion that you can get from your ana­lyt­ics. But what do you actu­ally DO with the data? What are you going to change based on what you see there? This is actu­ally a good ques­tion to ask oth­ers as they request data from you. I sup­pose it can be an awk­ward sit­u­a­tion to ques­tion motives, depend­ing on your report­ing rela­tion­ship with the requestor, but as you teach peo­ple to request infor­ma­tion that they can act upon, you will also be teach­ing them to act upon the data that they request. And then they will start refer­ring to you as their “sen­sei”. Sweet.

Res­o­lu­tion #5: Per­son­al­ize a login dashboard

When you log into Adobe Ana­lyt­ics (Site­Cat­a­lyst), do you find your­self going to the same report(s) every time? Do you have cer­tain num­bers that you need on a reg­u­lar basis, or even just on an ad hoc basis? There are tools in Site­Cat­a­lyst to help you with this. You can cre­ate book­marked (con­fig­ured and saved) reports, cre­ate dash­boards, and even sched­ule the deliv­ery of said reports and dash­boards to your­self or oth­ers reg­u­larly. But if they are your most impor­tant KPIs (key per­for­mance indi­ca­tors), you might as well have them star­ing you in the face when you open Site­Cat­a­lyst. Sim­ply cre­ate the dash­board with your impor­tant reportlets on it, and under the “More Actions” menu in the dash­board lay­out inter­face, you can set the dash­board as your land­ing page.


How you doin’? Got room for 5 more? Then keep reading…


Res­o­lu­tion #6: Add “quick vari­able iden­ti­fiers” to report names

This is a best prac­tice that seems to be quite use­ful, and some of you might already be doing. Some­times reg­u­lar users of Site­Cat­a­lyst want to refer to the vari­able num­ber, and might not know where you have moved a report (if you have cus­tomized the inter­face) or might not know what you have named the report. But (for exam­ple) they might know that the data is in prop10. Try putting an abbre­vi­ated vari­able name/number in the name of the report, so that they can quickly use the report search to find the report. For exam­ple, instead of nam­ing the prop2 report to sim­ply “Site Sec­tions”, you could name it “Site Sec­tions (p2)”. Then a quick search for p2 in the report search will bring your Site­Cat­a­lyst user right to the data. With eVar and event reports, I guess you’ll have to decide which ones gets the “e” on this tip. J

Res­o­lu­tion #7: Clean up your report suite architecture

Do you have an out­dated struc­ture of your report suites, based on your ana­lyt­ics needs? If your report­ing needs have changed over the years, but you still have the same data going into the same report suites, it’s time to take a look at it. It doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean that it’s wrong, but it’s worth a look. You may want to con­sider multi-suite tag­ging instead of using rollup report suites, or vice versa (if you’re unclear on the dif­fer­ence, we’re happy to explain it). With Site­Cat­a­lyst ver­sion 15 (see res­o­lu­tion #2) and real-time seg­men­ta­tion, you might not need to multi-suite tag any­more, and can cre­ate seg­ments from a global report suite that will get you the infor­ma­tion that you need. Or maybe you were putting dif­fer­ent device data into dif­fer­ent report suites for the same mobile app, and it makes sense to put them both into the same report suite. Any­way, it’s some­thing to poten­tially revisit.

Res­o­lu­tion #8: Cre­ate use­ful segments

Am I going over­board on the seg­ments? Maybe you can tell that I like them. If you are on Site­Cat­a­lyst ver­sion 15, it’s likely that you have already started this. If you haven’t, talk to your key stake­hold­ers to see what user or con­tent seg­ments are help­ful to them. For exam­ple, maybe your email mar­ket­ing group always needs to see data based on peo­ple com­ing in from an email cam­paign. So set up a seg­ment for vis­its where peo­ple came in from an email cam­paign (and save it, of course). Then you will be able to use it all the time. And if you cre­ate the seg­ment in the admin con­sole, all of your users will be able to use it, and you will help them on their path to action­able data. Nice work, sensei.

Res­o­lu­tion #9: Get certified

You may already be cer­ti­fi­able, but that’s for a dif­fer­ent blog. Get­ting cer­ti­fied with Site­Cat­a­lyst your­self, or help­ing oth­ers in your orga­ni­za­tion to become cer­ti­fied with Site­Cat­a­lyst (for users or imple­men­ta­tion) will not only give you some­thing that you can put on your resume/business card, but it will obvi­ously increase the knowl­edge in your orga­ni­za­tion. This is a great way to bring ana­lyt­ics more to the fore­front in your com­pany, and will help you to cre­ate a data-driven orga­ni­za­tion. Please con­tact Adobe Train­ing Ser­vices for more infor­ma­tion on cer­ti­fi­ca­tion options.

Res­o­lu­tion #10: Finally learn the dif­fer­ence between props, eVars and events

Ok you may already know this and be com­fort­able with it, but if you are unsure at all about when to use a prop or an eVar, it’s def­i­nitely some­thing to spruce up on. If you are the Site­Cat­a­lyst guru in your orga­ni­za­tion, peo­ple will look to you from the busi­ness AND tech­ni­cal side to know how best to get the infor­ma­tion that they need. Cus­tom vari­ables are the key to get­ting you the most use­ful and action­able data. Learn when to pop­u­late these dimen­sions (props and eVars), and when to trig­ger cus­tom events. If you already have this knowl­edge, then go forth and teach another.

Thanks for hang­ing in there for all 10 res­o­lu­tions! I hope that you’ll find some­thing that can help you improve your ana­lyt­ics through­out the year and mov­ing forward.

And now one more assign­ment: TELL US WHAT YOU WOULD ADD TO THIS LIST IN THE COMMENTS BELOW. Thanks and Happy New Year!