#AdobeSummit Takeaways: My Favorite Tips
By Tim Wilson on in Data Visualization, Web Analytics with 3 Comments
I’ve written several posts with different reflections on my Adobe Summit 2013 experience. You can see a list of all of them by going to my Adobe Summit tag.
This post isn’t long, but I picked up a few real nuggets of brilliance that were very tactical tips that I’ll be exploring further in my day job in the next week or two.
Finding Questions in Site Search
Nancy Koons might be the nicest person on the planet (feel free to leave a comment if you think you know someone nicer) and also is the source of two of my favorite tips (neither of which is at all Adobe-specific).
I’m a fan of site search data (I even wrote a Practical eCommerce article on the subject last year). Nancy set up the tip by explaining why site search analytics makes sense, but then she gave this tip:
“Filter your site search terms report by the words: who, what, why, where, and how.”
Literally. Filter for those 5 words. What this will give you a list of results that are full questions people typed into your search box. These are all going to be unique — they’ll be wayyyy out on the long tail of the report. But, they’re also context-rich. They tell you exactly what the visitor was trying to do.
A Poster of Insights
This next tip is also completely to Nancy’s credit. The entire panel touched on the need to not just do analysis, but to effectively communicate their results. Nancy shared a situation where her team was doing a “year in review” and had a number of useful insights that they had turned up over the course of the year. The challenge they had was, “How to actually communicate them in a way that they wouldn’t be forgotten at the point when they would be most useful to apply in the coming year?”
The solution: a printed poster that captured the insights that would most be able to be applied in the coming year. The poster was heavily designed — almost infographic-level detail. The posters were good-sized — they looked to be 24-30″ wide and maybe 15″ tall — and were distributed to the marketers to put up in their offices. Brilliant! A constant reminder/reference of the most useful learning from the prior year!
There were several tips that were geared towards “don’t present the data directly from within SiteCatalyst,” which meant Report Builder and Excel got some real love. Report Builder is a great way to get automated data updates into Excel, where the richer visualization options for the platform can be put to full use.
Context Variables in SiteCatalyst
I’m not proud. I’ll admit that I totally missed context variables in the v15 release…until Ben Gaines explained them in his “10 tips” session. Basically, remove developer confusion over the difference between props, eVars, and event.
Did You Pick Up a Favorite Tip?
I got a number of other little nuggets and ideas, but these were the ones I most felt like I’d be putting to use almost immediately. What did you take back from Salt Lake City that you’ll be putting into action soon?