Mobile report suite

The decision: Mobile application and website in one or two (Adobe Analytics) report suite!?

To be, or not to be in one Adobe Analytics report suite!? That is the question when you have the same online service in mobile application and as website. Yes, you guessed right, this happened to me on one sunny day. My decision is… Not so fast Jan! After torturing me with your long post and “it depends” answers…  well, back in you face!!! *laughing* Ok, let’s start the story and I’ll share link to Jan’s blog post http://webanalyticsfordevelopers.com/2014/10/07/one-report-suite-or-two/ and that way everyone understands what the hell I’m talking about.

After investigating this issue myself, have to admit that Jan is absolutely right: IT DEPENDS (as everything in life). But for me, it doesn’t depend anymore, because I had to make the decision for our (company’s) situation. Disclaimer: I’m sure things will evolve and if you read this blog post few years later then there could be other recommendations even for our situation.

Why I asked this question in the first place? Our product owner listed requirements for analytics and one thing he would like to know in the future would be the amount of unique users using both platforms (mobile app and website) and maybe some other cross-usage data.

If data is stored into two different report suites and the service can be used without the need for login, then it’s really difficult to get data for unique visitors or any cross-usage data. So in that kind of situation the only solution would be to use only one report suite. Update! Lukáš commented important note that single report suite isn’t necessary an answer:

Using one Reporting Suite wouldn’t help you much in this case, because when you haven’t a way to identify the same visitor on both platforms the same way, you still won’t be able to see any cross-platform behavior. On a website, you have a generated ID stored in a cookie. Mobile Platforms does not have access to your cookie in a browser in your computer – it generates its own visitor IDs. The only case in which one Reporting Suite would be of any use is when you have some sort of Single-sign-on solution, that always asks you to login on both platforms and is able to respond with the same unique visitor ID, that would be used with every Adobe Analytics call (in this case I would skip measurement of the login screen).

In our situation the service can be used only with login (ok, frontpage and sign-up process is accessible without login) and that gives us the advantage to use also two report suites. We can save unique loginID by our service to an eVar and make it to “never expire” -> We can export loginID data (e.g. with logged-in event) to Excel and see how many duplicates there are using mobile application and website. Addition to that, I would also save the loginID to eVar with “session” expire. Following and/or segmenting data with certain loginID we could also analyze cross-usage, but this is quite time consuming and that’s why Jan’s tip for using multisite tagging could be the ideal solution if you need to analyze cross-usage much deeper ways.

  • I’m waiting confirmation from ClientCare that would it be ok to make the loginID also as the default metric to count the default unique visitors account and that way the default unique visitor number would be also more accurate and this would also make our segmentation for unique users more accurate. ( I guess nothing special about this, but I have never done this so want to double-check this especially when the other suite is for mobile application)
  • If you save users loginID’s to custom variables (e.g. to eVars), remember to use “random” numeric data or something like that and never save identifiable (e.g. email) to the loginID.

More questions and insights to think about

  • Even if I wouldn’t get that answer with two report suites, is that really the data we would need and make all other analysis work much harder to get by choosing one suite… doesn’t sound good?
  • Is that really the real KPI that we need the answer!? Aren’t the real question and KPI “how many active users we have weekly/monthly, and no matter do they use app or website”.
  • Could we have other sources to get the answer for unique users across platforms?
    > Have to double-check that maybe we get the answers from other (backlogs) tools that tells us are there uniques that use both versions of our service.
    > We could make surveys for users and get insights (ok, this is not same as perfect data, but good insights) by asking from users “do you use our service on both app and website” etc.

As you can see, there are many things to consider around this topic…

The decision

My decision is quite clear, right? Let’s recap some of the facts:

  • Adobe ClienCare (and all other Adobe’s official comments) recommends to use own unique report suite for mobile application
  • We can save the LoginID by the service to Analytics and that way we get the detour to analyze cross-usage (plan B could be to use multisite tagging)
  • It is easier to analyze data if application usage it’s on own suite -> I believe my basic analyzing work would focus only for the application data or the website data
  • Even though goals are the same, we would get some freedom for custom variables usage
  • There are still so many question marks (at least on my mind) around new marketing cloud codes and by codes I mean visitorID and cookies etc and a bit confusing what works with mobile and what doesn’t

We are going to use two report suite, one for the mobile application and the other for the website (both web and mobile browser usage).

Please comment if you have other experiences or insights?

 

About Antti

Antti

Digital Analytics Manager specialized in Adobe Analytics, Online personalization, SEO, CRO...

4 thoughts on “The decision: Mobile application and website in one or two (Adobe Analytics) report suite!?

  1. “Disclaimer: I’m sure things will evolve and if you read this blog post few years later then there could be other recommendations even for our situation.”

    So true!

    Shall we remind you to write a follow-up in 6 months or so? About your experience so far? 😉

  2. You say that “If data is stored into two different report suites and the service can be used without the need for login, then it’s really difficult to get data for unique visitors or any cross-usage data. So in that kind of situation the only solution would be to use only one report suite.”

    IMHO this is wrong. Using one Reporting Suite wouldn’t help you much in this case, because when you haven’t a way to identify the same visitor on both platforms the same way, you still won’t be able to see any cross-platform behavior. On a website, you have a generated ID stored in a cookie. Mobile Platforms does not have access to your cookie in a browser in your computer – it generates its own visitor IDs.

    The only case in which one Reporting Suite would be of any use is when you have some sort of Single-sign-on solution, that always asks you to login on both platforms and is able to respond with the same unique visitor ID, that would be used with every Adobe Analytics call (in this case I would skip measurement of the login screen).

    1. Hi Lukáš,

      Thanks for a great comment and I believe you are absolutely right. I guess this is the main reason why Adobe recommends to use own report suite for mobile application?
      I wish they have explained the reason with so detailed way as you did. I learned again, thank you. This is the reason why I make these blog posts. I’m not always right and great to get feedback from other users who could have more experience on a certain issue. I updated my blog post with your comment.

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