Omniture DataWarehouse [Inside Omniture SiteCatalyst]

Do you use Omniture DataWarehouse on a regular basis? I am surprised by how many of my customers don’t know anything about DataWarehouse and what it can do for them. This is a big mistake, especially since you are probably paying for it! While Omniture DataWarehouse is technically a separate product from Omniture SiteCatalyst, the majority of my customers have access to it and the two products go hand-in-hand. For this reason, I am going to include it in this blog series and show you how you can take advantage of it. In this post, I will explain the basics of DataWarehouse and in my next post, I will take it a step further by discussing ASI (Advanced Segment Insight) which is part of DataWarehouse.

**What is Omniture DataWarehouse?
**Omniture DataWarehouse is a repository of SiteCatalyst data that stores information similar to that which you can see in SiteCatalyst. While many customers think DataWarehouse is only a backup of their data, it is actually much more than that. To understand DataWarehouse, you need to first understand how it differs from SiteCatalyst. When you use SiteCatalyst, the reports you get are pre-defined so that they can return quickly in the browser. For this reason, you may notice that you can only perform a small number of report breakdowns (Correlations and Subrelations) within SiteCatalyst and that you cannot breakdown Traffic Variables and Conversion Variables by each other. The reason for this is that these more complex queries could take too long to return, resulting in a browser timeout. SiteCatalyst is fine-tuned to provide you with speedy access to 80% of the reports you should need on a daily basis. On the other hand, DataWarehouse stores the raw data which enables it to be used for much more complex queries, but the results are not provided in real-time (normally within 24 hours).

Another key difference between SiteCatalyst and DataWarehouse is that DataWarehouse can provide deeper visitor segmentation. For example, when SiteCatalyst is collecting information about a visitor, it is difficult for it to know that three months ago this same visitor looked at Product XYZ and that two months ago the visitor began an application but did not complete it. That level of information requires that Omniture sift through rows and rows of website data which is not easy to do in real-time within a browser. DataWarehouse, however, contains all of this historical data and has a built-in visitor segmentation engine that allows you to create segments that are meaningful to you and extract SiteCatalyst data for that specific segment. Common DataWarehouse segments might include:

  1. All Visitors who have added a product to the shopping cart, but not purchased
  2. All Visits where visitors have viewed a product page, but not added anything to the shopping cart
  3. All Visits where visitors came from a few select cities and added a few specific products to the Shopping Cart (see below)

The number of different segments you can create is limited only by your imagination. DataWarehouse provides a Segment Builder that allows you to choose how you want to build the segment and a canvas that allows you to specify what data you want to see for that segment. You can also choose the timeframe for the data set and whether you want the resulting report to be delivered one time or on a recurring basis.

**When Should You Use DataWarehouse
**Once my customers have absorbed the preceding information, the next logical question they ask me is when they should use SiteCatalyst and when they should use DataWarehouse. Here is how I respond:

  1. Use DataWarehouse when you need to see data for a subset of your audience. If you need to see visitors from the US who have started the application process, SiteCatalyst will be more than adequate, but if you need to see 1st time visitors, using a Google Chrome browser who have started an application at some point, and began their visit on a specific marketing landing page, all for the last 3 months, I would recommend using DataWarehouse (or Omniture Discover).
  2. Use DataWarehouse if you need to see Traffic Variables and Conversion Variables broken down by each other and you do not have access to Omniture Discover. If these breakdowns are going to be needed on a recurring basis, I work with my clients to capture the necessary data into both Traffic and Conversion Variables to avoid having to rely too much on DataWarehouse, but many times this is not feasible and DataWarehouse can really save the day.
  3. Use DataWarehouse if you need to go beyond the two levels of report breakdowns offered in SiteCatalyst. DateWarehouse allows you to create an unlimited number of breakdowns.
  4. Use Data Warehouse if you have a piece of data that has more than 500,000 unique values per month. While this doesn’t happen too often, there are cases where Omniture customers need to pass a user ID or some other unique values to a variable which exceeds the recommended limit of SiteCatalyst. In these cases, the variable in SiteCatalyst is not useful since it shows a “Uniques Exceeded” value, but all of the data is stored correctly in DataWarehouse where you can build the appropriate segments and extract a list of the relevant unique values as needed.

**Important Things to Know About DataWarehouse
**The following are some important things to know about DataWarehouse:

  1. The more complex the DataWarehouse segment and the larger the time frame, the longer it can take for a report to be returned.
  2. The Unique Visitors metric provided in a DataWarehouse report is relative to either the overall time frame or specified report granularity (Day/Week/Month if selected) in DataWarehouse reports.
  3. DataWarehouse segments have an “exclude” function that allows you to eliminate data that you don’t want to be included in your segment query.
  4. Building too granular of a segment can often times return no data. My advice is to run a test report for one day of data to be sure you have your segment correct before attempting to run it for months worth of data (learned the hard way from someone who waited a few days only to receive no data due to my own user error!).
  5. DataWarehouse can be used to load historical data into Omniture Discover.
  6. DataWarehouse is used by many Omniture Genesis integrations.
  7. Most of the things you can do in Data Warehouse can be done in Omniture Discover in real-time.

**Real-World Example
**In this installment of our real-world example, we will focus on the CoolFlowers subsidiary of Greco Inc. In this scenario, the CMO of CoolFlowers is looking to test a new re-marketing campaign and would like to identify all of its customers who have purchased flowers in the past three months but submitted fewer than three total orders and are from the New York City metro area. CoolFlowers captures an encrypted customer ID into a Traffic Variable (sProp) on each page after a customer logs into the site and since SiteCatalyst captures orders and geographic location, this can be accomplished through a DataWarehouse request. However, just to make things a bit more complicated, the CMO would also like to see what Products, if any, the visitors matching this segment have looked at online, how many times and what city they are from within the New York City metro area.

To accomplish all of this, the SiteCatalyst power user (you), would build a segment as described above and then add the necessary data to the reporting canvas which shows what the output file will look like:

Once you have your segment built correctly and have added the correct data on the canvas, you can schedule the report and it will be delivered to the specified e-mail address or FTP site.

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

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