Do more analysis with new SiteCatalyst custom variables

In my last post, I explained one of the new features in SiteCatalyst v14.9: segmentation by classifications. Our users let us know that this was important functionality by voting for it often in the Idea Exchange; we listened, and responded by building it. Today I would like to mention a feature that came up both in the Idea Exchange and at Summit 2010 in Brett Error’s closing general session, and which we delivered upon request in SiteCatalyst v14.9: additional custom variables.

With SiteCatalyst v14.9 (released in October, so we kept Brett’s promise!) you now get a maximum of:

Of course, prior to this release, there was a technical limit of the following:

The idea to expand on these limits, allowing you to capture more data across your site(s) so you can optimize in new ways, was the runaway winner at Brett’s session this past year. We had already seen users flock to this idea to vote for it, and Summit hammered home the point even further, so we got started right away. In fact, Brett himself tweeted this in April:

When I started at Omniture back in early 2006, we had very few organizations using all 50 props or all 50 eVars. (Back in those days, when we also used to walk to and from school, uphill both ways, in the snow, there were only 20 custom events, and it was far more common to use all 20 events than it was to use all 50 props and eVars.) Those that were using all 50 often had to come up with creative ways to meet a wide range of needs, such as concatenating a bunch of values together in a single variable/report, then using SAINT to build out a classification structure that would turn the report into something that could give meaningful insights.

The online user/customer experience has completely changed since those days. First, it has gone multi-platform, with web, mobile, social, video, etc. all presenting opportunities for people to interact with your brand and move along the path from visitors to customers and from customers to loyal customers. Second, in this expanding online world, as companies have become generally more data-driven, various parts of these organizations have begun to ask more questions about the online user experience and, thus, to need more data points to help tell a story about how various users and segments interact with each of the different online properties. (Oh, and if you ask most web analysts they’ll tell you that organizations are only starting their love affairs with data. We’d like to help push them along if we can!)

These two trends, I believe, drove users to raise hands in large quantities at Summit, and click the upward-pointing arrow on the Idea Exchange to ultimately put more variables into our products.

Your admin-level users can enable these new variables by going to to the Admin Console. They work just like the traditional variables and events, and you can implement them anywhere on your site as long as you are using SiteCatalyst code version H.22 or newer. They even allow you to use dynamic variables. Since these variables/events follow the same rules as the pre-existing ones, I’ll just give a few quick examples and won’t go into too much detail:

s.prop51="some value" s.prop75="an internal search keyword" s.eVar63="foo" s.eVar58="D=c75""event84,event97"

There isn’t a whole lot more to say about these variables, other than that (again) it’s a great example of our team listening to the needs of our users and responding quickly. I’m proud to be part of an organization that puts such heavy emphasis on user feedback and input. Now go get H.22.1 from the Admin Console and begin saying “YES!” to those requests to capture more data and to do more analysis throughout your company!

As always, if you have any questions about anything in this post, or about anything else related to the Adobe Online Marketing Suite, please leave a comment here or contact me on Twitter and I’ll do my best to get you the information that you need.