Guide to Segments in xAnalytics

Quick Refresher: The business has asked the Sitecore team to provide additional reporting views for data already being collected by Experience Analytics. (To understand the full request take a look at the first part of the guide.

This post covers the final steps to using custom views on our data

Step 3: Create New Segment

Segments are used by Sitecore to show the summarization of a value (dimension) in context to a specific business question.

  • Launch the Marketing Control Panel from the Sitecore Launchpad
  • In the content tree, expand Experience Analytics -> Dimensions
  • Expand the grouping folder for your dimension
  • Right-click on the dimension, choose Insert from the context menu, and select Filter
  • In the dialog box, provide a Name for the filter. This will also be the name of the segment when it is shown on charts and tables. (It is possible to change the display name in the item’s properties)
  • Click OK, to close-out the Message Dialog box
    Guide to Segments in xAnalytics - Image One
  • Update the Name field to the text that will be shown on charts and tables. (This is optional, as it will auto-populate with the value entered at creation)
  • Click the Filter drop-down to select the filter that will set the conditions on the type of contact data that will be included
    Guide to Segments in xAnalytics - Image Two
  • Save your changes
  • For the segment to begin collecting data for reporting, it must be deployed. In the ribbon, click the Review tab
  • From the available options, click Deploy
    Guide to Segments in xAnalytics - Image Three

Once a new segment is created, there will be a 30 minute delay before any actions on the website are aggregated into the segment for reporting.

To allow historical data to aggregate into a recently created segment, you will need to rebuild the reporting database via https://your site/sitecore/admin/rebuildreportingdb.aspx. Before running the rebuild, you will want to update the Deploy Date column of the Segments table in your MS SQL reporting database. This will allow all of the data to be aggregated into the segment.

Step 4: Using the New Segment

Creating the segment to slice data can be done by more advanced Content Editors with access to the Marketing Control Panel section of the content tree. Sadly, by default, just because a segment is created, does not make it readily available on any existing tables or charts in xAnalytics.

  • Before adding the new segment to an existing table or chart, we need to open xAnalytics and identify where we would like to see our segment overlaid. For our sample segment, I’ve chosen the ‘Top entry Pages by Visits’ bar chart found on the Behavior -> Pages -> Entry Pages dashboard
    Guide to Segments in xAnalytics - Image Four
  • Launch the Sitecore Desktop from the launch pad
  • Once in the Sitecore Desktop, we need to switch which database we are working with. Sitecore artifacts that support the xAnalytics are kept in the Core database. Click the ‘hamburger menu icon’ in the bottom-right corner of the screen
  • A menu will display listing all databases of the system, click on Core
    Guide to Segments in xAnalytics - Image Five
  • Click the Sitecore Start icon in the bottom-left corner
    Guide to Segments in xAnalytics - Image Six
  • Click Content Editor from the options
  • Expand the content tree to / Sitecore / client / Applications / Experience Analytics / Dashboard / Behavior / Pages / Entry Pages / Page Settings
    • After Dashboard, you will need to drill into the page of the chart you plan to supplement. For my example, this would be the Entry Pages dashboard
    • The ‘Page Settings’ child item is where the Sitecore Artifacts are assigned as the data source for the charts and tables
  • Click the item that defines the table or chart you wish to change. For my example, this would be Top Entry Pages by Visits
  • In the Segments field, drill through the dimensions until you find your custom segment. Move it to the left by either double-clicking it or using the selection arrows
    Guide to Segments in xAnalytics - Image Seven
  • Save item, return to the launch pad and open xAnayltics. You should now see your segment listed as an option on the table or chart
    Guide to Segments in xAnalytics - Image Eight

As always, feel free to tweet me questions or comments @thecodeattic or on Sitecore Slack Community as @gillissm.

This post originally appeared at https://www.paragon-inc.com/resources/blogs-posts/guide_to_segments_in_xanalytics.

Guide To Creating Dimensions And Filters

Quick Refresher: The customer has asked the Sitecore team to provide additional reporting views using data already being collected by Experience Analytics. (To understand the full request take a look at the first part of the guide.)

This post covers the first two steps

Step 1: Create New Dimension

All of the data that is reported against, starts with a dimension. A dimension consist of a Sitecore Artifact in the Marketing Control Panel and a corresponding, compiled aggregation method and table(s) to support the proper data.

Therefore, creating new dimensions is a task that involves both developers and business intelligence analysts. The BI Analysts work with the customer to help define the questions that they want to ask of the data, and then help the developer understand how the currently collected data can be aggregated to get the needed answers.

This is a process in itself, which we will investigate further in future posts.

Step 2: Create New Filter

Filters are created once, and can be reused throughout different segments. Filters are built using the Sitecore Rules engine to define conditions that must be matched so the element will be added to the resulting data set.

  • Launch the Marketing Control Panel from the Sitecore Launchpad
  • In the content tree, expand Experience Analytics -> Filters
  • Right-click on Filters, choose Insert from the context menu, and then select Filter
  • In the dialog box, provide a Name for the filter
  • Click OK to close-out the Message Dialog
    Image One
  • There are minimal data fields to be filled out for a filter. Expand the Data section of the item and you will see a Rule field to complete
  • Click Edit Rule to open the standard rule editor
  • Choose the rule that best fits the data that you are looking to filter. Sitecore has done some backend magic, which spoofs the ‘current contact’ to allow rules to properly pull users into the filter in the form of Sitecore.ExperienceAnalytics.Aggregation.Rules.AggregationAdaptor.AggregationAdaptorTracker object
  • Finally, be sure to select the action ‘add visit to segment’ to ensure that the contacts are added to the resulting dataset
  • Click OK
    Image Two

As always, feel free to tweet me questions or comments @thecodeattic or on Sitecore Slack Community as @gillissm.

This post originally appeared at https://www.paragon-inc.com/resources/blogs-posts/guide_to_creating_dimensions_and_filters.

 

 

Guide Book to Sitecore Reporting

Taking a journey without a good guidebook can be exciting and scary all at the same time. Having looked at the journey our data moves through from collection, squeezing through formatting to arrive at reporting, I thought we should have some more detailed guiding points (the cheap man’s guide book) as to what we can ‘do’ on the journey.

My first guide book takes a detailed look into the built-in reporting of Sitecore, http://www.paragon-inc.com/resources/blogs-posts/guide_book_to_built_in_reporting.

Journey Into the Aggregation Process Part 2

hope you are not feeling to weary just yet, as we embark on the second leg of the Sitecore Experience Platform data journey. In this leg of the journey we will see how the data points go from living in tables into bright, colorful, and insightful tables and charts. Understanding how these tables and charts populate will allow you to take control of your organizations data and make meaningful decisions to further engage customers. http://www.paragon-inc.com/resources/blogs-posts/journey_into_the_aggregation_process_part_2

 

Journey Into the Aggregation Process

Pack your bags and get ready for an exhilarating trip through Sitecore Experience Platform’s data aggregation process. This introductory post will help you and your team get on board with the basics of data movement as a site visitor becomes an important data point in understanding customer engagement with your brand. http://www.paragon-inc.com/resources/blogs-posts/journey_into_the_aggregation_process

 

Sitecore Experience Analytics Part 2

Sitecore Experience Platform comes with a plethora of colorful tables and charts. I have found that the default names don’t always provide enough context as to the slice of data I am looking at. To help myself out and all those in your organization that get excited about data crunching my Quick Start to Engagement Analytics Part 2 (http://www.paragon-inc.com/resources/blogs-posts/engagement-analytics-quickstart-part-2) is go to reference guide.