SiteCatalyst Advanced Search Filters [SiteCatalyst]
One of the features that I find deceptively difficult at times in SiteCatalyst is the use of the Search feature. I feel like there are many times I use this and end up messing it up. Therefore, I decided to do my best to share what I have learned about what works and doesn’t work in the hopes that it will save you aggravation and time! I also hope that many you can add a comment to this post with your tips and tricks so we can all learn something…
First, let’s start out with the basics. Hopefully if you are a SiteCatalyst user you know that the search function is used to filter results in eVar and sProp reports. You simply enter a value and SiteCatalyst will look for those values in the active report and return those rows. This is handy because you can bookmark reports, make custom reports or add reports to dashboards after you have created the filter so that you never have to apply it again.
For example, let’s start with a Pages report like this:
Obviously we have pages from all sorts of countries, but if we only wanted to look at pages from England, all we would have to do is enter “SFDC:uk:” in the search box (top-right) and we would then see a report like this:
But what if we wanted to see pages from England or France? At this point we have two options. You can either enter “SFDC:uk: OR SFDC:fr” in the search box or use the advanced search editor. Here is what it would look like with the OR statement in the regular search box (look at the top-right portion):
However, believe it or not, if you change the “OR” to be a lower case “or” you will get no results! I kid you not! I call that an “Omniture-ism” and you just have to remember it…
The other way to get to the same report is to use the Advanced Search tool. You get there by clicking on the Advanced link to the right of the search box. Once there, you would enter the appropriate phrase in the first box, click the “+” sign to add another search criteria and then enter the second phrase so it looks like this:
However, it is important that you change the top drop-down box from the default of “if all criteria are met” to “if any criteria are met” or you will get no results.
If you wanted to look for cases where there were pages on the UK website that had the phrase “form” in the pagename, that would be a case where you would use the “if all criteria are met” option and your query should look like this:
This would result in a report like this:
Finally, we can come full-circle and get more advanced and use an “AND” statement in the standard box to get the same result. Here is what the search box would look like:
Again, keep in mind that the “AND” is case-sensitive…
More Difficult Searches
So now that we have covered the basics, let’s get a bit more advanced. First, let’s keep going with our example and say that we need to find all pages in the UK or France that have the word “form” in them. This gets a bit tricky because we are mixing OR and AND statements. Using the Advanced Search query builder, here is how you would enter it:
Conversely, if for some reason we wanted to see any UK Pages that had the phrase “form” in them and all France pages (not sure why, but this is just an example), we would enter this:
Which would result in a report like this:
Note that in this case we had to change the drop-down box back to the “any criteria” option since we did the AND statement within one of the criteria (hey…I told you this was the difficult part!).
The trick here is to combine any OR and AND statements into each row since each of the individual search criteria have to be either an “AND” or “OR” clause.
On a separate note, in the advanced search area, you can change the drop-down which defaults to “Contains” to “Does Not Contain” so if, for example, you wanted to see all UK pages, but exclude those that had “login” in the name you would enter the following criteria:
Note that for this instance, we need the “all criteria are met” option…
Finally, just for fun I entered the following phrase in the “simple” search box…
…and miraculously it produced the same results!! I decided to stop here before I broke anything, but you can feel free to see how far you can push this!!
But wait…There’s more! I have been amazed by how few people I meet know this next one… Imagine that you are looking at an eVar report and you have broken it down by another eVar via Subrelations. Here is an example where I have taken the Site Locale eVar and broken it down by Internal Search Term:
Now, let’s say that you wanted to do a search filter to only see items that mention “Outlook.” The easy way to do this is to just enter the phrase “Outlook” in the search box and SiteCatalyst will show any rows that have that phrase. But what if you wanted to see the phrase “Outlook” in just United States or Japan? No matter what you put in the search box, you will not get the results you are looking for (i.e. outlook AND “united states” OR japan). Would you know how to do this? Most people I meet don’t. Here is how…
When you are using a Subrelation report, you have to keep in mind that SiteCatalyst is running two reports and it doesn’t know which report you want to filter on. Therefore, we need to tell SiteCatalyst which report we want the search term to be associated with. You can do this in the Advanced Search area. When you have a Subrelation report, and you click on the Advanced Search area, you will see a new option that allows you to select one of the two reports being subrelated like this:
Most people haven’t ever noticed this new option so now that we know it is there, all we have to do is select the right report and then enter the search term in the right report and we can get our results. For the example above, we would enter “Outlook” in the search box next to Internal Search Term and “United States OR Japan” in the search box next to Site Locale like this:
Now, since we have been a bit more specific, we can get a nice, clean report like this:
Even More Difficult Stuff
Phew! If you’ve made it this far, you are really devoted to your craft. We’re almost there so hang on…
The next thing that is important to know is that you can use wildcards in your searches. To do this, you use the “*” symbol in the search query. For example, if we wanted to find any pages in the UK that has the phrase “landing” somewhere in the name, we could simply do a search like this:
The next thing to know is that Omniture can be a bit quirky when it comes to the [SPACE] separator in the search box. Let me illustrate. If I enter the phrase “home page” in the search box, here are the results I get:
This seems strange to me since none of these pages have a space in them. That would make you think that a [SPACE] is a valid separator and that this query is the same as “home OR page” right? But if I use that logic and enter this phrase “SFDC:uk: SFDC:fr:” which is really just two phrases separated by a space (just with a colon in the phrase), I get no results. I am sure there is a logical reason for this, but I am not sure what it is. Maybe if SiteCatalyst sees a “:” or a “|” it acts differently (maybe Jorgen can enlighten us on this)?
To be safe, I use the next feature – using quotes – whenever possible. My advice is that if you ever have phrases with spaces in them that you enclose them in quotes and stick to using OR statements. In the preceding example, if I change my “home page” query to be “home page” in quotes, I get the expected result which is no results. Another lesson to be learned here is that you should, whenever possible, avoid putting spaces in values that you think you will search upon. I do my best to remove all spaces from page names since that is the variable I search on the most!
Finally, you can use the “-” sign to remove things from search results. This produces the same effect as using the “Does Not Contain” feature in the advanced search area. As in the previous example, if I want to see all UK pages, but not ones that have the phrase “login”, I can enter the following in the search box:
To see UK pages that do have login in the name, you can also enter this phrase:
So there you have it! Pretty much everything I know about using search and advanced search in SiteCatalyst. Do you have any additional tips or tricks? If so, leave a comment here…Thanks!