Thursday, 17 March 2011

Instances vs. Visits in Omniture

Instances and Visits in Omniture

Lot of people get confused between instances and visits in sitecatalyst . Actually they are two very different animals.
Instance is the count of the number of times a value was received in a conversion variable. Visit pertains to the session.

Lets look at it with an example. Say you are tracking the username in your website in a conversion variable (lets say evar1), then in the evar1 report the instances metric shows you the number of times evar1 received a specific value .
So evar1 report would have values like Guest,UserA,UserB,etc and the instances metric will give the number of times each user accessed a page.

Now that we got an idea of instance, lets look at visit. A visit always identifies the session. A visit lasts for 30 minutes.Visit is the interaction a user has with a website.Visit can comprise of multiple page views/requests.

Instances would increment each time a particular value was received in the conversion variable. On the contrary, the visit metric does not behave so. Even if a value was received multiple times in a session, the visit metric takes into account only one count since it all happened in the same session.

So if a user views 3 pages in the following order

Login->Home Page(evar1=guest)->ContentPage(evar1=UserA)->AnotherPage(evar1=UserA)->Signout Page(evar1=loggedout)->Home page(evar1=guest).

So for the same value (lets take 'Guest') , the instance and visit metric would be different:

eVar1 value
Visits *

*All of this would be counted as single visit if it had been done by the user within the 30 minute time frame. If it had been done by the user after a gap of 30 mins/more , or using two different browsers then more visits would be counted.

Lastly, since conversion variables are directly linked to success events, it makes more sense to use the visits metric with them. As instances and visits are different in sitecatalyst, they both have different scenarios of usage in analytics.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Uniques exceeded in Sitecatalyst reports

Can you find your unique ?

There is a limit to everything aint there? Yeah..Its the case with Adobe (a.k.a Omniture) sitecatalyst as well.
There are limits to the variable sizes as well as reports.
Any report in sitecatalyst can only contain 500,000 unique values atmost(per variable per month).Which means that any variable which has more than 500,000 unique values would throw up something which you wouldnt want.Yes, the report will then show you "Uniques exceeded" element.

Okay,so do you resolve it? Well there is no specific solution to this, only workarounds..

* Cut down on the unique values
     Primarily anything more than 500,000 unique values is absurd , even in the reports..Whats the use of such  a huge number of values anyway.
     So cut down on the unique values.Group them up, make sure all values are in the same case- remember most variables are case sensitive so 'home page' and 'HomePage' are two different values,even this could drive the numbers up.

    * Double your variable
       Well but what if you really want to keep all those uniques?
       Then what you could do is probably use two variables in place of one to track the value.If your pageName values contain the "Uniques Exceeded" then track your pageName in two props or two evars (as need be)

For instance say you have on hand a huge multilingual site with so much content and the pagename for each page has to be unique. Then you could do it like if the page is in english then track the name in prop1 and if page is in french then track the name is prop2. This way you have all your unique pageNames.
But this has its pitfalls too..If you wanted to know the top pages on the site level (regardless of language) you'd have to use both the reports for prop1 as well as prop2

Though Sitecatalyst allows only 500,000 unique values , I have heard Discover doesn't do so and lists all unique values.

If you have used sitecatalyst for quite sometime , you would have by now faced this limitation.If so what did you do to resolve it?
Do you think there are better ways to resolve this ? Or should Omniture raise the limits? ..
You can either leave your comments here or email me..

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Omniture - Variable Limits

Adobe(Omniture) Sitecatalyst - Variable limits CheatSheet

The following character limits are for languages whose characters are one byte.For Asian languages like Japanese which constitute multiple bytes per character, the limitations will differ -probably less characters
  • PageName / s.pageName - 100 characters
  • Server / s.server - 100 characters
  • Hierarchy / s.hier -Maximum of 255 characters
  • Traffic variables / s.props - 100 characters
  • Conversion Variables / s.evars - 255 characters
  • events / - unlimited
  • But remember the variable cannot contain any spaces and should contain only valid event name


About this blog:
This is the place through which I wanted to reach out to the world.
I have been wanting to start a blog (like everybody else does) for quite a long time now.I guess I wanted a solid reason to do so.I think I have one now..I plan to share my knowledge on web analytics with everyone though I might start rambling about other things pretty soon ..Watch out!!!!!!!