Different Flavors of Success Events (Part 1)
Recently, the Adobe Analytics product team made some enhancement to how metrics (Success Events) can be allocated using the Calculated Metric Builder. I have noticed that many people have not learned about this new update, so I am going to share a bit more information about it and some examples of how it can be used.
Allocation of Success Events
As I have explained in numerous past blog posts, when a Success Event fires in Adobe Analytics, that number (which can be a 1 or more) is bound to the current eVar value for each eVar report. For each eVar, you can choose if the metric is allocated as First Touch, Last Touch or Linearly (divided amongst values within the visit). It has been this way for years. However, those who have used the Ad-Hoc Analysis product (formerly Discover), have probably seen that each metric can be viewed as Last, Linear or as the Participation version (Participation gives credit to all values viewed) in each eVar report. That was a cool bonus of using Ad-Hoc – even if you choose First Touch for an eVar, in Ad-Hoc, you could see Last Touch as well and not have to waste more eVars.
Now, this same concept has been brought to the normal Adobe Analytics Reports (browser) interface through the Calculated Metric Builder. This means that you can see different flavors of Success Event metrics by Last, Linear and so on. There is even a great new one added that expands upon the use of Participation that I will cover in Part two of this post next week. To illustrate what has changed, let’s look at what is new in the Calculated Metric Builder:
Here you will notice that there is a new/expanded Allocation drop-down box found within the gear icon of a Success Event that has been added to the Calculated Metric Builder. This drop-down allows you to choose which “flavor” of the Success Event you want to use in your calculated metric and you will notice both familiar and some new options. Unbeknownst to you, metrics added have always been using the “Default” option unless you manually changed it. But now there are additional options here, such as Linear, Visit Participation, Reporting Window Participation, Last Touch, etc. By selecting one of these and providing your metric with a new name, you can create a brand new metric.
Since this can be a bit confusing, let’s look at an example of how this new feature can be used. For this example, I will use the “Visit Participation” option within the Allocation drop-down. The scenario is that I have a blog and I have an eVar that captures the title of each of my posts. This is a Last Touch eVar and is commonly used with a Blog Post Views success event. Here is what a typical report looks like:
Now, let’s say that I want to see which of my blog posts gets visitors to view the most other blog posts. To do this, I would normally go to the Admin Console and enable Participation on the Blog Post Views success event and then I would see a new metric called Blog Post Views Participation. This metric would give one “point” to each blog post title that is viewed and another point to each blog post for subsequent views of blog posts. For example, if someone viewed the Merchandising blog post and then viewed the Cohort Analysis post, the Merchandising post would receive two Participation points – one for itself and one for the Cohort post. Then I could divide the total Participation points by the total Blog Post Views to see which post had the most “pull-through.” This is something that has been done for years and you can read more about it here in my old Participation post (from 2009!).
But what has changed now, is that you no longer have to be an Adobe Analytics Administrator to do this. Traditionally, only Admins have been able to turn on Participation, so end-users were stuck until they could get help. But now, you can create a Participation version of any Success Event right in the Calculated Metric Builder. Here is how you do it:
- To begin, simply open an eVar report and add the metric for which you want to see Participation like what you see in the report above (note that you can create the Participation metric outside of a report, but I will do it within the report context to simplify things)
- From here, use your link of choice to bring up the metrics left-nav window and click “Add” to create a new metric
- Next, drag over the metric for which you want Participation, which in this case is the Blog Post Views Success Event
- Then, click the gear icon and then the Allocation dropdown to display the options. When you complete these steps, it should look something like this:
In this scenario, you will select the “Visit Participation” option and provide an appropriate name for the metric until you have something that looks like this:
When I save this and add it to my report, you’ll see this:
This report is the same as you would have seen if your administrator has enabled Participation for the Blog Post View success event. The Participation numbers will be higher than the raw metric because each blog post gets a “1” for itself and then credit for subsequent posts viewed. The closer the numbers are in the two columns, the less the post drove views of other posts. If you want, you can even create a calculated metric that divides this new Participation metric by the original metric. The formula might look like this:
Adding this new metric to the report would show us which blog posts are the best at pulling visitors into other blog posts as shown here:
Using this report, you can easily see that the Merchandising post drives more posts than the Advanced Search Filters post. If you wanted, you could even re-sort to find the posts that have the most pull-through:
In the end, the cool addition here is that any end-user can enable Participation for any metric without having to get any approvals or harass your Adobe Analytics administrator. But at a higher level, you can create six new flavors of each Success Event in your implementation without having to do any additional tagging! In this post, there isn’t time to cover all six of the options, but most should be self-explanatory and can be created using the same steps outlined above. Next week, I will continue this topic with one of my favorite new additions – the Reporting Window Participation feature!
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