Adobe Analytics Requirements and SDR in Workspace – Part 2
Last week, I wrote about a concept of having your business requirements and SDR inside Analysis Workspace. My theory was that putting business requirements and implementation information as close to users as possible could be a good thing. Afterwards, I had some folks ask me how I implemented this, so in this post I will share the steps I took. However, I will warn you that my approach is definitely a “hack” and it would be cool if, in the future, Adobe provided a much better way to do this natively within Adobe Analytics.
Importing Business Requirements (Data Sources)
The first step in the solution I shared is getting business requirements into Adobe Analytics so they can be viewed in Analysis Workspace. To do this, I used Data Sources and two conversion variables – one for the business requirement number and another for the variables associated with each requirement number. While this can be done with any two conversion variables (eVars), I chose to use the Products variable and another eVar because my site wasn’t using the Products variable (since we don’t sell a physical product). You may choose to use any two available eVars. I also used a Success Event because when you use Data Sources, it is best to have a metric to view data in reports (other than occurrences). Here is what my data sources file looked like:
Doing this allowed me to create a one to many relationship between Req# (Products) and the variables for each (eVar17). The numbers in event 30 are inconsequential, so I just put a “1′ for each. Also note, that you need to associate a date with data being uploaded via Data Sources. The cool thing about this, is that you can change your requirements when needed by re-uploading the entire file again at a later date (keeping in mind that you need to choose your data ranges carefully so you don’t get the same requirement in your report twice!). Another reason I uploaded the requirement number and the variables into conversion variables is that these data points should not change very often, whereas, many of the other attributes will change (as I will show next).
Importing Requirement & Variable Meta-Data (SAINT Classifications)
The next step of the process is adding meta-data to the two conversion variables that were imported. Since the Products variable (in my case) contains data related to business requirements, I added SAINT Classifications for any meta-data that I would want to upload for each business requirement. This included attributes like description, owner, priority, status and source.
Note, these attributes are likely to change over time (i.e. status), so using SAINT allows me to update them by simply uploading an updated SAINT file. Here is the SAINT file I started with:
The next meta-data upload required is related to variables. In my case, I used eVar17 to capture the variable names and then classified it like this:
As you can see, I used classifications and sub-classifications to document all attributes of variables. These attributes include variable types, descriptions and, if desired, all of the admin console attributes associated with variables. Here is what the SAINT file looks like when completed:
[Note: After doing this and thinking about it for a while, in hindsight, I probably should have uploaded Variable # into eVar17 and made variable name a classification in case I want to change variable names in the future, so you may want to do that if you try to replicate this concept.]
Hence, when you bring together the Data Sources import and the classifications for business requirements and variables, you have all of the data you need to view requirements and associated variables natively in Adobe Analytics and Analysis Workspace as shown here:
Lastly, if you want to minimize confusion for your users in this special SDR project, you can use project curation to limit the items that users will see in the project to those relevant to business requirements and the solution design. Here is how I curated my Analysis Workspace project:
This made it so visits only saw these elements by default:
This solution has a bit of set-up work, but once you do that, the only ongoing maintenance is uploading new business requirements via Data Sources and updating requirements and variable attributes via SAINT Classifications. Obviously, this was just a quick & dirty thing I was playing around with and, as such, not something for everyone. I know many people are content with keeping this information in spreadsheets, in Jira/Confluence or SharePoint, but I have found that this separation can lead to reduced usage. My hope is that others out there will expand upon this concept and [hopefully] improve it. If you have any additional questions/comments, please leave a comment below.
To see the next post in this series, click here.