This video explains three different ways to work with dates in Freeform Analysis: the calendar, the date range elements, and the granularity elements. Not shown, somewhat embarrassingly: how to use dates to enable line charts.
This is Ben Gaines from Adobe Analytics Product Management. And today I want to talk to you about how you can work with dates, in the new Freeform Analysis tool. There are three ways of controlling dates and using dates in the Freeform Analysis tool. The first, is probably the one that you’re most familiar with and that’s the calendar. I can change the overall date scope of my project by interacting with the calendar here and this works very similar to hotel or airline calendars you have a start calendar and an end calendar and you can interact with them separately, so I can move the date for the end. I can move the date for the start and they don’t necessarily conflict with one another, ever. I can use rolling dates, so that if I save a calendar, my dates will progress as I come back to that calendar over and over again. In this case, I’m gonna to leave my dates as April 1st 2015, through May 30 1st 2015 and I’ll show you how you can work with dates as elements in a table. So you’ll notice, on the left here in addition to your dimensions and your segments and your metrics, there are two types of dates, date ranges, and granularity. And these are used a little bit differently. When I use a date range and I drag and drop that and I’ve just got a simple metric here, page views. I’m actually going to get the entire range, even if it expands beyond what I’ve selected here in the calendar. So even though I’ve only got about 60 days of data in the calendar, if I choose last 90 days, that’s actually giving me all the way back to march. I guess it would be March 1st or so, roughly the last three months. Or if I go and do, if I actually do last three four months, I will get the last three months not including May, because May is not a full month, yet we’re still in the middle of May as I’m recording this. So that’s something to keep in mind. It does not constrain these date ranges here, on the left are not necessarily constrained by the calendar that you have here on the right. They can go back beyond it or potentially extend ahead of it, if I’m looking at a historical date range. You’ll notice that I can drag and drop these as dimensions, I can add them as rows, so I could look at just yesterday, for example and I could add today to it as well. Looks like I don’t have any data yet for today, but I can add those as comparative elements in my table. I could also add them here, so I could very easily add a second metric and add a date range, I could compare let’s do one where we actually have data. Let’s compare this week to last week and I do need some sort of a dimension there, so I’ll just do something simple like product name. And when I do that, I’m able to use these date ranges as comparative tools as well. Let’s clear those out and go back to where we were and now let’s look at granularity. Granularity is beholden to the calendar. So if I add a granularity to my table, it will not extend beyond this range that I’ve selected here in the calendar. All it’s going to do is break out whereas these date ranges give you just one line item. So I could say last week and I just get one line item for last week. Granularities will give you individual line items at the granularity you choose. So if I add day to the table, I get a list of days and I get many line items. You can use them in combination with one another as well. So if I add last seven days as a date range and then, I want to break that down by day, I can drop day on top of last seven days and I get each of the last seven days, broken out by by day. One other interesting thing to note here about date ranges, kind of unique to this Freeform Analysis tool. We give you the ability to sort by the metric, or by sequential date. So by default, it’s actually sorted by sequential date and you’ll see that, my days are out of order here, but they’re are ordered in terms of the ones that had the most page views on each day. I can sort by day, so that they are sequential by time, they’re chronologically sorted by clicking the sort arrow there. And then if I want to change back and sort by the metric I can just click to sort there. So tons of flexibility with date ranges and a lot more coming soon, as we work to introduce custom date ranges, which will let you do all the comparisons that you want to be able to do. Month over month, year over year, this month over the same month 13 months ago. All of those great date range use cases that analysts and marketers have for their data. So a lot of great stuff coming soon in Freeform Analysis and hopefully, this gives you a bit to get started on using dates in your projects. -