Leverage Analytics with Contribution Analysis Tips Tricks and Best Practices: Part 2

In the first part of this post, we saw that Contribution Analysis is a groundbreaking new “data-scientist-in-a-box” uber-lever, letting you start moving heaven and Earth for your boss. We also dipped into tips, tricks, and best practices for selecting the right variables and deselecting less-useful ones, so you can see clearly enough to place your lever properly and get your Contribution Analysis going.

More Contribution Analysis Tips, Tricks & Best Practices

In the previous installment, we covered variable selection. Now it’s time to hit hard on other crucial Contribution Analysis features.

Interactions & Actions

Within Contribution Analysis, you can curate data visualizations and perform a number of actions and interactions. You can use several new visualizations to filter your Contribution Analysis drilldown. You can hide individual items across Contribution Analysis for a more curated experience. You can also select items or use the Top Segments area to create and save segments directly from CA within the Segment Builder. You can favorite and bookmark a Contribution Analysis for sharing and rapid recall. Here are a few tips for maximizing the value of your interactions and actions:


Figure 4. To maximize the strength of the insight, try hiding all items for a dimension that is less interesting or valuable.

Apply Segments

Any segments that you apply to Anomaly Detection are inherited by Contribution Analysis as a data filter before the analysis. To filter and refine Anomaly Detection, apply segments to your data.


Contribution Analysis ranks the impact of each data item analyzed in the form of Contribution Scores. This statistic is comprised of two values that identify the significance and overall impact of the dimension item with respect to the anomaly. Scores vary from -1, the strongest negative association, through 0, a weaker significant association, up to +1, the strongest positive association. By default, only statistically significant items are displayed, so all of the contributing items are worth inspection. Here are some tips for interpreting Contribution Scores:

Top Segments

The final component to your Contribution Analysis super-lever relates to an exciting feature of Contribution Analysis called Top Segments. This analyzes and uncovers the overlap, or intersection, of the contributing items, forming segments for you. You access the Top Segments by clicking on the overlapping circles icon at the top right-hand side of the Contribution Summary. Select a contributing segment from Top Segments and click “Create Segment” to save it for segmenting reports and optimization (see Figure 5).


Figure 5. Contribution Analysis lets you create and save custom segments for later reporting and optimization.

Next, Take Action!

Your next steps from Contribution Analysis may include:



Personalized Optimization:

Operations Improvement:

A Final Word on Understanding Your Limitations

Even demigods, titans, and gods had their limitations, and guess what, so do you! Remember that you don’t know what you don’t know! In terms of Contribution Analysis, the key contributor to your anomaly may be something you don’t track within Adobe Analytics. For example, you may know you’ve experienced an anomalous number of hits on your error page, but if you’re not tracking the finer detail of those errors via an error code in a prop, Contribution Analysis can’t tell you what caused the error.

Nils Bohr, a Nobel-prize laureate, famously said, “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” You can never know in advance all the variables you’ll need, so track as many as you can think of, reducing the probability that your lever slips off its fulcrum and injures you.