In the post about “Variables” I neglected to mention one important characteristic of Adobe Analytics: with each Report Suite, you get 75 props (traffic variables), 75 eVars (conversion variables) and 100 events.
Now everyone who has ever worked in the field will tell you that 75/75/100 is ample for everyone. And it really is.
But sometimes, marketers or analytics teams disagree.
So how about I share a tip that you can pass on? It should make you look good!
Remember how these “variables” are like buckets? You put a label onto a bucket (“page language”, for example), then you throw values into it (“en”, “fr”, “de”, …). The system then builds reports essentially by counting the values in each bucket and presenting the count in a UI.
And what I said above means: there are 150 buckets in total that you can use. 75 of them behave one way, the other 75 a slightly different way. But they are still buckets.
Given that there are 75 + 75 of them, what happens if your marketer wants to have more different labels? What if he has used all available buckets?
My tip: combine them, then use SAINT to separate at report time.
Let’s go through an example.
Presume that we are using
prop1 for page language and
prop2 for site section.
On any given page, the code could include these lines:
I am not going to go into much detail about what reports your marketer can get out of this, suffice to say that they can see the most popular page languages and site sections in two separate reports.
We can free up one of these traffic variables.
prop2. All we need to do is track the values into
prop1 as well, like so:
See what I did there?
I used the “|” symbol to separate the two values but I wrote them into one single traffic variable. The other one is now no longer needed. Success!
At this point, your marketer will hate you.
Instead of their good old report on languages, they now get one that mixes languages and sections, which does not help.
Classification Rule Builder to the Rescue!
You (or your friendly marketer) can create a classification on
prop1 that mimics the old separation, like so:
In order for the actual values to be classified correctly, you use SAINT Classifications.
You would normally download all values, assign the classifications in Excel, then upload the file back into SAINT. Tedious. And outdated!
Since the release of the Classification Rule Builder, you can automate the classification of values like we have here.
You basically set up a rule that says “split this thing at the ‘|’, use first part as language, second part as section”.
You need two rules because you want to split into two values:
The system now scans all values every night and applies the right classifications itself.
Check how many values you have in each variable and how many valid combinations exist! If the number of combinations is very high (exceeds 500000), you might want to pick different variables to combine.
The variables that you combine do not have to be related in any way! You could combine “gender” and “language” or any other combination that you are currently tracking.
One big restriction: for the metrics to make sense you really only should combine values that are actually being set in the same situation.
The example we used — page language & site section — works well because those two will be set on every page of the site.
Especially for the eVars, you really need to make sure only to use this method when both values are being set. Remember how eVars persist? Well if you put two values into an eVar, then later only overwrite one (maybe
s.eVar15="|blue";), you are effectively also overwriting the first part, only with an empty string.
Also: for eVars, the settings of the two variables that you want to combine have to be identical! And for props, do not combine those that are used for Path analysis.
There you go, one handy tip for your marketer and analytics colleagues. You’re welcome.