The lat­est Dis­cover release intro­duces even fur­ther sophis­ti­cated analy­sis tech­niques through sequence and time. All of these advanced data fil­ter and manip­u­la­tion ele­ments can be applied together and brought into pre­vi­ous Dis­cover projects. The sequen­tial and time bound seg­men­ta­tion fea­tures have ele­vated the pos­si­ble analy­sis views to another plane and widened oppor­tu­ni­ties in the tool. Your analy­sis capa­bil­i­ties are more real­ized by merg­ing sequen­tial seg­ments with Discover’s enhanced cor­re­la­tions and breakdowns.

The fea­tures present new ways for you to be resource­ful and expand your problem-solving meth­ods. Over the com­ing weeks, my col­leagues and I will share a series of Dis­cover seg­ment analy­sis walk­through posts focus­ing on crit­i­cal areas of site per­for­mance and vis­i­tor behav­ior assess­ment. We will start by cov­er­ing appli­ca­tions of Dis­cover 3.2 across straight sequen­tial seg­ment analy­sis examples.

Sequen­tial Seg­men­ta­tion: Fall­out Report to Seg­ment Builder Introduction

I rec­om­mend you start within the Fall­out Report in Dis­cover to famil­iar­ize with the new sequen­tial seg­men­ta­tion, which can be found in the menu under Reports>Report Templates>Fallout, or in the right side ‘Report Tem­plates’ win­dow within a fresh Dis­cover Work­space pane. The Fall­out report allows for the build­ing of sequen­tial seg­ment under­pin­nings with a straight­for­ward focus.

Dis­cover Sequen­tial Seg­men­ta­tion Primer 1.1: Fall­out Report Start Options


Upon selec­tion of the Fall­out report there will be a new open work­space tab with sev­eral open dimen­sion slots for cus­tom def­i­n­i­tion of the fall­out steps. The Fall­out report allows for the use of any com­bi­na­tion of cus­tom events, cus­tom traf­fic, and cus­tom con­ver­sion vari­able types at a visit or vis­i­tor level. For the given period it cal­cu­lates the vis­its or vis­i­tors that reach each step based on the par­tic­u­lar user defined sequence. It is impor­tant to note that sequence does not have to hap­pen in exact con­cur­rent flow at this stage, or in other words each stage imme­di­ately fol­lowed by the next one below.  How­ever the sequence steps do need to be reached at some point in order for each level for a visit OR vis­i­tor to be tab­u­lated in the vary­ing reported level totals.

In Dis­cover 3.2 you can build seg­ments from the Fall­out report by click­ing the upper report right-side cor­ner ‘Cre­ate Seg­ment’ but­ton (high­lighted in the green box in the dia­gram 1.2 screenshot).Discover will then open a new Seg­ment Builder win­dow with the entire sequence pre-built (Dia­gram 1.3 screen­shot). The method is a great way to learn the ins and outs of your sequence con­tain­ers and rules. At its essence sequence seg­ments are nested con­tain­ers that can be joined with sequen­tial logic via a THEN oper­a­tor. Dis­cover 3.2 allows for these sequen­tial con­straints based on the behav­ior prop­er­ties of a visit or vis­i­tor to be baked into seg­ments.  The entire seg­ment then can be applied against any report to pro­vide a sophis­ti­cated fil­tered data view.

Dis­cover Sequen­tial Seg­men­ta­tion Primer 1.2: Fall­out Report Setup Example


Dis­cover Sequen­tial Seg­men­ta­tion Primer 1.3: Fall­out Report Cre­ate Seg­ment Results


Sequen­tial Seg­men­ta­tion Poten­tial Appli­ca­tions By Vertical:


Cart & Check­out Flow, Account Reg­is­tra­tion, Email Sub­scrip­tion Flows, Price Quote Flows, Infor­ma­tion Request Flows, Store Locator


Trip/Hotel/Rental Car/Flight Book­ings Flow, Trip Pack­ages Builder, Account Reg­is­tra­tion, Email Sub­scrip­tion Flows, Deal Flows


Account Reg­is­tra­tion, Account Login Ver­i­fi­ca­tions Flows, Addi­tional Ser­vices Flow, Help Ser­vices, ATM/Bank Locator


Login for Ser­vices, Reg­is­tra­tion for Software/Hardware/Warranty, Prod­uct Noti­fi­ca­tions Email Sign Up, Soft­ware Updates, Help Center/Troubleshooting Flows

Sequen­tial Seg­men­ta­tion Exam­ple 1: Shop­ping Cart & Check­out Flow Trends

Ques­tions:  How many vis­its fol­low a retail site shop­ping cart & check­out con­ver­sion flow in sequen­tial order over the course of a sin­gle visit ses­sion (1.Add to Shop­ping Cart, 2.Initiate a Check­out, and 3.Place an Order)? How many of the vis­its that passed through these steps encoun­tered a check­out error?  How many vis­its ini­ti­ated a shop­ping cart and reached the check­out, but failed to place an order?

Poten­tial Actions: Cal­cu­late the share of order vis­its in which the full sequence is com­pleted ver­sus com­pleted across mul­ti­ple vis­its. Iden­tify char­ac­ter­is­tics and peri­ods of time on the site that had a high vol­ume of errors. Address what site fac­tors may have resulted in errors and bench­mark web­site per­for­mance over time. Assess the viable vis­its pop­u­la­tion avail­able for cart and check­out aban­don­ment remar­ket­ing efforts.

Analy­sis approach:

  1. Build a ‘Fall­out Report’ con­tain­ing the steps in ordered sequence from top to bot­tom: 1.Add to Shop­ping Cart, 2.Checkout, and 3.Order
  2. Click the Cre­ate Seg­ment but­ton within the ‘Fall­out Report’ to auto-generate a stan­dard check­out con­ver­sion sequence seg­ment and label as ‘Shop­ping Cart Flow (All Paths)’.
  3. Use the Seg­ments Edit and Save As func­tion to build two new seg­ment vari­a­tions of ‘Shop­ping Cart Flow (All Paths)’. The first seg­ment vari­a­tion will con­tain an addi­tional Con­tainer with Check­out Form Error is greater than 0 to cover suc­cess­ful order vis­its in sequence that con­tained an error inside check­out. The sec­ond seg­ment vari­a­tion will con­tain an exclu­sion con­tainer on the Order met­ric to track vis­its that did not end up plac­ing an Order despite ini­ti­at­ing a Shop­ping Cart and then ini­ti­at­ing a Check­out within the same visit.

Dis­cover Sequen­tial Seg­men­ta­tion Primer 1.4: Vis­its with Shop­ping Cart to Check­out to Order Sequence Flow


Dis­cover Sequen­tial Seg­men­ta­tion Primer 1.5: Vis­its with Shop­ping Cart to Check­out to Order Sequence Flow AND with Check­out Form Error event Occurrence


Dis­cover Sequen­tial Seg­men­ta­tion Primer 1.6: Vis­its with Shop­ping Cart to Check­out Sequence Flow AND No Order Conversion(s)

-          As shown in Dia­gram 1.7 below you can observe and com­pare the aggre­gate vis­its spread over any cus­tom period of time across the three sequen­tial seg­ments. The raw vis­its total report allows an oppor­tu­nity to pin­point site per­for­mance with spe­cific behav­ior indi­ca­tors as borne out through the sequen­tial visit seg­ments. You can observe peri­ods with a higher than aver­age check­out form error rate within a deter­mined site expe­ri­ence path or inves­ti­gate peri­ods of high check­out aban­don­ment. All of the views in con­cert pro­vide site per­spec­tives through the observed seg­ment met­ric trends.

-          As show in Dia­gram 1.8 you can observe acqui­si­tion mar­ket­ing chan­nels against the three sequen­tial seg­ments at once. You can run a mar­ket­ing chan­nel report if you have clas­si­fied your mar­ket­ing track­ing codes by access­ing the Campaigns>Tracking Code and select­ing a clas­si­fi­ca­tion group­ing (chan­nel, cam­paigns, part­ner, etc.) report. A mar­ket­ing chan­nel or cam­paigns report can help val­i­date assump­tions about the value and poten­tial of var­i­ous acqui­si­tions sources dri­ven to the site. We can cal­cu­late ratios of error rate by mar­ket­ing chan­nel and deter­mine which acqui­si­tion sources are primed for added busi­ness focus.

Dis­cover Sequen­tial Seg­men­ta­tion Primer 1.7: Sequen­tial Seg­ments Aggre­gate Vis­its Count Comparison


Dis­cover Sequen­tial Seg­men­ta­tion Primer 1.8: Mar­ket­ing Chan­nel Report By Sequen­tial Seg­ments ShoppingCartResults2


Sequen­tial Seg­men­ta­tion Exam­ple 2: Direct Sequence Site Action Analysis

Ques­tion:  How many vis­its on a retail site in sequen­tial order over the three ini­tial image requests (hits):

1st) Enter the web­site directly on the Homepage

2nd)Visit the Reg­is­tra­tion Signup page

3rd)Visit the Reg­is­tra­tion Con­fir­ma­tion page

It is impor­tant to note that at this time the occurrence(s) within bounds in Dis­cover 3.2 are at a hit or image request level and do not nec­es­sar­ily cor­re­spond to what is con­sid­ered a page view.

Poten­tial Actions: Cal­cu­late the share of vis­its that meet cer­tain site con­tent nav­i­ga­tion out­comes in direct sequence. Lever­age the sequen­tial reports to mea­sure engage­ment from one site con­tent area to another, video to video, or other site micro con­ver­sions. Gain an under­stand­ing into early site con­sid­er­a­tion inter­est sig­nals by traf­fic source, mar­ket­ing chan­nel, and vis­i­tor pro­file (geoseg­men­ta­tion, tech­nol­ogy, device type).

Analy­sis approach:

  1. Cre­ate a seg­ment by click­ing on the wrench icon in the left side Seg­ments win­dow page and select ‘New Segment’
  2. Click the Add Con­tainer but­ton within the Seg­ment Builder and choose an all-encompassing visit container
  3. First add in the Page dimen­sion equals Home Page and Entry Page Instance=1 cri­te­ria into a dis­tinct con­tainer with the AND oper­a­tor between the two rules. The action ensures you will pull in Home­page entry vis­its only within the segment.
  4. Sec­ond add in the Reg­is­tra­tion Signup page as a sub­se­quent sep­a­rate dis­tinct con­tainer and join with a THEN oper­a­tor set to WITHIN 1 Occurrence(s)
  5. Third add in the Reg­is­tra­tion Con­fir­ma­tion page as a sub­se­quent sep­a­rate dis­tinct con­tainer and join with a THEN oper­a­tor set to WITHIN 1 Occurrence(s)

Dis­cover Sequen­tial Seg­men­ta­tion Primer 1.9: Vis­its where the entry page was the Home Page and the next hit was the Reg­is­tra­tion Signup page fol­lowed by a hit that was the Reg­is­tra­tion Con­fir­ma­tion page


-          As shown in Dia­gram 1.10 you can now fil­ter Paths reports to oper­ate under fine-tuned logic con­di­tions by lever­ag­ing the sequen­tial rules of the cus­tomized seg­ments. We can observe how many of those vis­its imme­di­ately exited from the Reg­is­tra­tion Con­fir­ma­tion page and how many vis­its later exited in dif­fer­ent sec­tions of the site in the Check­out or spe­cific Prod­uct Sec­tions. Seg­ments can be built that address over­ar­ch­ing site flow trends and you are less bound by the stan­dard report­ing lim­its within paths, entry, or exit reports. The com­bi­na­tion of sequen­tial seg­ments in Dis­cover allows for vet­ting of work­flow micro con­ver­sions and can chal­lenge expec­ta­tions around how dif­fer­ent seg­ments inter­act with a site.  The advanced sequen­tial fea­tures can also illus­trate site behav­ior views across vis­its when the vis­i­tor level is used as the over­ar­ch­ing con­tainer in the seg­ment build.

Dis­cover Sequen­tial Seg­men­ta­tion Primer 1.10: Exit Pages Report with Reg­is­tra­tion Flow Seg­ment Fil­ter Applied



The lat­est Dis­cover release allows ana­lysts to dis­cern with greater pre­ci­sion key user expe­ri­ence behav­ior indi­ca­tors and sequence pat­terns within seg­ments. I sense you may have a mind­set shift around Dis­cover as the Seg­ment Builder enhance­ments lend added empha­sis into the seg­men­ta­tion layer of analy­sis work. The bal­ance of the tool in your analy­sis tasks is strength­ened by the sequen­tial seg­men­ta­tion capa­bil­i­ties and enhanced exclu­sion parameters.

I would love to hear what other new analy­sis oppor­tu­ni­ties you are attempt­ing or have achieved. Please share in com­ments and tweets how you’re lever­ag­ing the new fea­tures of Dis­cover 3.2. The release notes and Help microsite New Fea­tures — Dis­cover 3.2 have also been updated with full details on the release.

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