Conversion Variable Subrelations [Inside Omniture SiteCatalyst]

In our last post, we discussed Omniture SiteCatalyst Traffic Data Correlations and learned how they could be used to break one Traffic Variable (also known as an sProp) down by another Traffic Variable. But what if you want to break down a SiteCatalyst Conversion Variable (also known as an eVar) down by another Conversion Variable? Since these are not Traffic Variables, Traffic Data Correlations cannot be used. Instead, we rely on Conversion Variable Subrelations which will be covered in this post.

**Conversion Variable Subrelations
**So what is a Conversion Variable Subrelation? In the simplest terms, it is one Conversion Variable broken down by another Conversion Variable. For example, let’s say you capture the current visitor’s City in one Conversion Variable, their Age in another and also have a Subscriptions Success Event. You can use the City Conversion Variable to see Subscriptions broken down by City and the Age Conversion Variable to see Subscriptions broken down by Age. But what if you would like to see Subscriptions where users were from Chicago and 18 Years Old? To view this in SiteCatalyst, you would need to use Conversion Variable Subrelations. In this example, you would work with your Omniture Account Manager to “enable” Subrelations on one of the two Conversion Variables (City or Age) and from that point on, you can break one down by the other to see a report like this:

If you read the previous post you can see that this is very similar to the concept of a Traffic Data Correlation, only for Conversion Variables. While there are some important differences, the general concept is very similar.

**All or Nothing
**One of the ways that Conversion Variable Subrelations are different from Traffic Data Correlations is that you cannot enable a subrelation between just two Conversion Variables. A Conversion Variable can have one of the following types of Subrelations:

  1. Full Subrelations – Conversion Variable can be broken down by all other Conversion Variables
  2. Basic Subrelations – Conversion Variable can be broken down by any other Conversion Variable that has Full Subrelations
  3. No Subrelations – Conversion Variable cannot be broken down by any other Conversion Variable (rarely used)

Therefore, Conversion Variable Subrelations is an “all or nothing” proposition. The number of Conversion Variables for which you can enable Full Subrelations is specified in your Omniture contract. For this reason, it is important to think about which of your Conversion Variables are the most important with respect to breakdowns. For example, in the scenario outlined above, if the client feels that City is a much more important data point than Age, given the choice of enabling Full Subrelations on one or the other, it should choose to enable it for City since it will then be able to break down every Conversion Variable by City.

**Other Things To Know About Conversion Variable Subrelations
**The following are some important things to know about Conversion Variable Subrelations:

  1. By default, SiteCatalyst provides Full Subrelations on the Campaign Tracking Variable, the Products Variable and for Customer Loyalty.
  2. Enabling a Conversion Variable Subrelation allows you to break down the two Conversion Variables from that point forward, but does not allow you to see the data retroactively.
  3. In order to see two values broken down by each other in a Subrelations report, both Conversion Variables must have a data value for the same visitor prior to the Success Event being set. If no value is present, the report will show a “None” row.
  4. Any Subrelations settings for a Conversion Variable will also apply to any SAINT Classification for that Conversion Variable.
  5. In Omniture DataWarehouse and Omniture Discover, all Conversion Variables are automatically Subrelated with each other!

**Real-World Example
**In a previous post we learned that Greco Inc. was capturing the Language the current site visitor was using in a Conversion Variable. Now the Marketing Manager is looking to augment this data by associating Language with Zip Codes to determine the geographic location of Spanish-speaking visitors who are completing the initial Site Success Event (viewing Online Course Demos). Prior to launching the Online Course Demo, site visitors are required to enter their Zip Code so the Marketing Manager works with IT to pass this value to a new Conversion Variable. Since much of what Greco Inc. does is geography-based, they decide to enable Full Subrelations on this new Zip Code Conversion variable so they can break down future Conversion Variables by Zip Code. Once this tagging is done and Subrelations has been enabled, the Marketing manager can use the magnifying glass icon to view Online Course Demos for a Language (in this example “spanish”) broken down by Zip Code (or vice versa):

One final “power user” tip. Instead of just breaking one Conversion Variable value down by another Conversion Variable, you can use the little known “5 by 5” icon (highlighted below) to see the top five values for each of the top five items in the Conversion report you are currently viewing. This gives you a great way to see a lot of data all at once:

Have a question about anything related to Omniture SiteCatalyst? Is there something on your website that you would like to report on, but don’t know how? Do you have any tips or best practices you want to share? If so, please leave a comment here or send me an e-mail at _<insidesitecatalyst@omniture.com_> and I will do my best to answer it right here on the blog so everyone can learn! (Don’t worry – I won’t use your name or company name!). If you are on Twitter, you can follow me at