In my last post, I covered the aspects of the Adobe Analytics Fall 2016 release that make Adobe Analytics “smarter,” aiding your analysis with machine learning and intelligence. This is one of the most pressing needs we encounter, as we speak with people from large and small organizations all over the world.
In this post, I break down the features in our most recent release that make it easier for users of all experience levels to generate insights from within Analysis Workspace. And, as with my previous post, everything discussed here is available today in Adobe Analytics.
Customer Journey Analysis
One of the first pieces of feedback we received after we released Analysis Workspace was that you wanted more insight into the customer journey. You explained that you need to understand how your app users and site visitors are progressing through their digital experiences, so that you can remove barriers from the conversion process to optimize revenue-generating opportunities. I’m happy to report that we have added two customer-journey visualizations — Fallout (which includes Funnels) and Flow — to Analysis Workspace (the alliteration was entirely unplanned):
- Fallout — Fallout is designed to help you analyze each user’s progress through clearly defined paths (or funnels). When you know the exact set of steps that you want to analyze, Fallout is for you.
- Flow — Flow, on the other hand, is more exploratory, allowing you to expand and contract your view to examine different ‘branches’ and repeatedly ask, “But, what happened next?”
You can add both Fallout and Flow to any Analysis Workspace project from the left rail where you will find them in the visualizations area. After placing them on the canvas, you can begin adding touchpoints in the forms of dimensions, values, segments, and/or metrics.
One of the great improvements to pathing with this release is the ability to use Custom Conversion (eVar) values as touchpoints in addition to more traditional dimensions like Page, Site Section, Video Name, and more. The Fallout visualization also allows you to use metrics as touchpoints. Here’s an example using a combination of eVar values, page names, and metrics to create a funnel (with the right-click menu expanded as well).
You can also mix and match dimensions in the Flow visualization. Following is an example that shows entry pages along with the internal search keywords that followed from those entry pages. Not shown is the ability to hover over any of these branches to see them highlighted, calling attention to the path you’re investigating.
Included in these customer-journey visualizations are rich segmentation functionality. As you probably expect, you can apply segments to any of these visualizations. However, you can also right-click anywhere to build a new segment based on the path you have defined, so you can use that segment elsewhere to better understand the users who follow (or don’t follow) specific paths. One of my favorite features of the Fallout visualization is the ability to add multiple segments directly to the visualization — by dragging and dropping them into the header — to compare how different segments fell out of these funnels.
Entire blog posts could (and probably should!) be written on just these two new customer-journey visualizations, so I recommend playing around with them and trying out everything they can do. Remember that right-clicking reveals access to a bunch of additional options you can use to extend the power of these new tools even further.
As mentioned above, roles in the organization that may have ignored data previously are finding that they can no longer do so. But, analysis can be difficult, overwhelming even! There are so many ways to define success — and so many options for visualizing and digesting customer insights — that it is sometimes difficult to know exactly where to start. Curation in Analysis Workspace helps solve this problem by limiting thousands of dimension, metric, and segment choices down to the few that matter to a given team, but it still relies on the analyst to create these projects.
Enter stage left, “Starter Projects” in Analysis Workspace. Starter Projects are easy-to-use templates that Adobe has designed and built around specific areas businesses question such as “Content Consumption,” “Mobile App Performance,” “Acquisition,” and more.
Any user of Analysis Workspace can launch a starter project and be presented with a standardized set of visualizations that address the topic selected. And, since they are in Analysis Workspace, they come with the ability to do additional breakdowns, comparisons, curation, sharing, and more.
If I were a product manager for a mobile app, I’d be very interested in understanding app retention — in fact, this might be one of the key areas on which I am focused. But, it would be difficult for me to understand app retention by building my own project from scratch. Instead, I can now come to Analysis Workspace and launch this handy Starter Project. If I need to do some customization — add a new visualization or apply segments, for instance — I can do that. I can even save my changes as a new project and share it with the rest of my team so that they can check out the progress we’re making toward our retention goals as well.
These Starter Projects are also pre-curated to the dimensions and metrics that are most relevant to the business question at hand to prevent users from being presented with too many customization options when they first launch one of these templates.
There are 15 Starter Projects to choose from today — with many more coming soon in these and other role-based categories. This is just the beginning of our efforts to help you expand the wise and simplified use of data in your organization.
As you may have seen in a previous announcement, this release also includes major improvements to permissions in Adobe Analytics as well as across Adobe Marketing Cloud. Within Adobe Analytics, admin-level users will notice a handful of changes.
Perhaps most excitingly, you can now set permissions on Custom Conversion (eVar) dimensions. In the past, you could grant or restrict access to any conversion metric but not to these dimensions. This change gives you greater control over data access, ensuring that only the right people can see the data in your conversion dimensions.
This change also moves access to various Adobe Analytics tools — such as Ad Hoc Analysis and Report Builder — into custom groups so that you can manage 100 percent of permissions in one place rather than be required to jump back and forth between pages in the Admin Console to control access to these tools.
Ultimately, this update sets the stage for better user management in the future — all across Adobe Marketing Cloud (as well as Creative Cloud and Document Cloud) — through the Adobe Enterprise Dashboard.
Analysis Workspace User Interface (UI) Enhancements
Last, but certainly not least, we made a number of improvements to the core of Analysis Workspace itself. You’ll notice significantly better in-browser performance. Right-click menus, the Segment Builder, and other components of Analysis Workspace load much faster, as do breakdowns you perform.
We’ve refactored the Segment Builder and the Metric Builder so that they use the same left-hand rail as Analysis Workspace — with dimensions, metrics, and segments aligned vertically; and the ability to obtain search results that include all types of components that can be added to your segments and metrics. This not only makes it faster and easier to find the components you are looking for, but also makes segment and metric creation more efficient.
We redesigned date selection in Analysis Workspace to make it more like the calendar in Reports & Analytics. You can now select both the start and end dates from the same calendar rather than have separate “start date” and “end date” calendars.
And — perhaps my personal-favorite, sneaky-cool change to Analysis Workspace in this release — when selecting dimensions, metrics, segments, and time ranges from the left-hand rail, you can now click the “Actions” menu to tag, favorite, approve, share, and/or delete what you have selected. This makes it so much easier to manage your segments and metrics (among other things) while you’re working within Analysis Workspace. You no longer need to go over to the Segment Manager or Calculated Metric Manager.
We’re excited to continue delivering on the promise of Analysis Workspace by making it even easier for organizations to drive better decisions through data-informed insights. The Adobe team will continue working to empower you and your colleagues with simpler experiences throughout Adobe Analytics.