Integrating SiteCatalyst & Tealeaf
In the past, I have written about ways to integrate SiteCatalyst with other tools including Voice of Customer, CRM, etc… In this post, I will discuss how SiteCatalyst can be integrated with Tealeaf and how to implement the integration. This post was inspired and co-written by my friend Ryan Ekins who used to work at Omniture and now works at Tealeaf.
For those of you unfamiliar with Tealeaf, it is a software product in the Customer Experience Management space. One key feature that I will highlight in this post is that Tealeaf customers can use their set of products to record every minute detail that happens on the website and are then able to “replay” sessions at a later time to see how website visitors interacted with the website. While this “session replay” feature is just a portion of what you can do in Tealeaf, for the purposes of this post, that is the only feature I will focus on. In general, Tealeaf collects all data that is passed between the browser and the web/application servers, so when someone says, “Tealeaf collects everything” that is just about right. While there is some third party data that may need to be passed over in another way, for the most part, out of the box you get all communications between browser and server. Tealeaf clients use their products to improve the user experience, identify fraud or to simply learn how visitors use the website. Whereas tools like SiteCatalyst are primarily meant to look at aggregated trends in website data, Tealeaf is built to analyze data at the lowest possible level – the session. However, one of the challenges with having this much data, is that sometimes finding exactly what you are looking for is like looking for a needle in a haystack if you have an earlier version of Tealeaf (i.e. earlier than 8.x). While the Tealeaf UI has gotten better over the years and is used by business and technical users, it was not built to replace the need for a web analytical package. It is for this reason that an integration with web analytical packages such as SiteCatalyst makes so much sense.
Since SiteCatalyst is a tool that can be used by many folks at an organization, years ago, the folks at Omniture and Tealeaf decided to partner to create a Genesis integration that leverages the strengths of both products. The philosophy of the integration was as follows:
- SiteCatalyst is an easy tool to use to segment website visits, but that it doesn’t have a lot of granular data
- Tealeaf has tons of granular data, but isn’t built for many end-users to access it and build segments of visits on the fly
- Establishing a “key” between the SiteCatalyst visit and the Tealeaf session identifier could bridge the gap between the two tools
Let’s say that you have an eCommerce website and that you have a high cart abandonment rate. In SiteCatalyst, it is easy to build a segment of website visits where a Cart Checkout Success Event took place, but no Purchase Success Event occurred:
Once you create this segment, you can use SiteCatalyst or Discover to see anything you want including Visit Number, Paths, Items in the Cart, Browser, etc… However, the one thing that is difficult to see in SiteCatalyst is the actual pages the visitor saw, how these pages looked, where the user entered data, the exact messages they saw, etc… As the old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words” and sometimes simply “seeing” visitors use your site can open your eyes to ways you can improve the experience and make more money! However, watching every shopping cart session would be tedious. But by using the SiteCatalyst-Tealeaf integration, once you have built the segment shown above, you could isolate the exact Tealeaf session ID’s that match the criteria of the segment, which in this case are visits where a checkout event took place, but there was no purchase. To do this, simply apply this segment in SiteCatalyst v15, Discover or DataWarehouse and you can get a list of the exact Tealeaf session ID’s that are now stored in an sProp or eVar:
Once you have these Tealeaf ID’s, you can open Tealeaf and view session replays to see if you can find an issue that is common to many visits, such as a data validation error, a type of credit card that is causing issues, etc… Here is a screenshot of what you might see in Tealeaf:
It is easy to see how simply passing a unique Tealeaf session ID to a SiteCatalyst variable can establish a powerful connection between the two tools that can be exploited in many interesting ways. The above example is the primary method of leveraging the integration, but you could also upload meta-data from Tealeaf into SiteCatalyst using SAINT Classifications and many, many more.
One additional point to keep in mind is that for many clients, the number of unique Tealeaf session ID’s stored in SiteCatalyst will exceed the 500,000 monthly limit. As shown in the screenshot above, 96% of the values exceeded the monthly limit. This means that you may have to rely heavily on DataWarehouse, which can sometimes take a day or two to get data back. It also means that you may want to consider using an sProp instead of an eVar if you have a heavily trafficked site.
So there you have it. If you have both SiteCatalyst and Tealeaf, I recommend that you check-out this integration and think about the use cases that might make sense for you. Also keep in mind that similar integrations exist with other vendors that offer “session replay” features like ClickTale and RobotReplay (now part of Foresee). If you have any detailed questions about the Tealeaf integration, feel free to reach out to @solanalytics.