Classifications are a powerful way to add metadata – descriptive attributes – to your products, campaigns, pages, customers, and more. These attributes can help you better understand your marketing and experience efforts by allowing you to group similar elements and break down data to dive deeply into what is and isn’t working for you.
Hey this is Eric Matisoff with Adobe and I’m here to talk to you about a really powerful feature within Adobe Analytics called Classification. Now, classifications have been around for a while and they’re something that we see used with all of our best customers and we thought that it might be valuable for you to get a feel for the power that they bring to the table within your reports and how to set 'em up. So if you’ve haven’t heard of classifications but you’ve heard of the term SAINT before that’s an old term that we used in the amateur days but really SAINT or SAINT classifications or classifications they all really mean the same thing. The whole concept of a classification is it gives the ability for you, the user, to actually classify the raw data coming in to any of your custom reports. And what that means is you can make that report to be a little bit more friendly. So some examples of how this could be more friendly, is maybe you’re pulling into the products variable, you’re pulling the SKU of a product and it’s 12345ABCDEF, is the product SKU that you happen to be using for your products and that could be really valuable in terms of, you know, how one particular set of users views those reports, but another particular set of users may not have a clue what 12345ABCDEF actually means. So what you can do is you can take all of those SKUs and classify them so that they are more friendly. Instead of that somewhat ugly SKU, you could make it the product name. So the product name could be Red Nike Sneakers Air Jordan’s and then your report would have that friendlier product name within the report.
Another way you can use the concept of friendliness is if you’re doing the exact same thing instead of for products but you’re pulling in a campaign code and the campaign code is somewhat ugly as well, we all know that query parameters can be kind of ugly on occasion, you would be able to make those values friendlier as well. Another feature that I’ve seen folks use reports classifications for, you can use it for just simply report clean up. So maybe you’ve got some values in your reports that are not quite as friendly looking as you’d like. Maybe you’ve got some with some extra spaces in there or some misspellings and you’d like to clean that up. What you can do is you can actually create a classification of that report and then consolidate each of those different, maybe unfriendly values, into a single friendly value and so the idea there is consolidation which is really quite powerful. Now keep in mind that the classification report is actually retroactive so if you are looking to classify some data from last month, but you’re not able to classify it until this month, you can actually make that change today, and even the data that you were looking at from last month will still be retroactively updated and therefore classified for you, which is really quite powerful.
And then the third feature of classifications that I see used all the time is for bucketing.
So if you have a particular variable that’s pulling-in maybe for example page load time. So page load time a lot of folks will pull in maybe the number of seconds it took for a particular page to load, I’ve even seen tenths of a second for a page to load and really the difference between a page loading in 1.1 seconds versus 1.2 seconds is not a very big difference and so I’ve seen customers who have bucketed those values into a few different sets of classifications. And that’s, so maybe you have one to two seconds, two to four seconds, and four to six seconds or something like that and so that’s another feature that you could use is bucketing within classifications. I’ve also seen bucketing at the product level as well. So I was talking earlier about Nike Red Air Jordan Sneakers, all of those could be different classifications. So you could have a classification around brand which would be Nike, you could have a classification around color which would be red, you could have a classification around product name which would be Air Jordan’s, and then you would have a classification around product type which would be sneaker. And so you’d be able to create all of those different reports just simply based on the one set of raw data which is maybe in this used case, the product SKU which was 12345ABCDEF.
So now that I’ve talked about all of these different ways of classifying and use cases for it, trust me there are dozens and probably hundreds more that we’d be able to find out there within the world of our Adobe Analytics customers, but what I’d like to do is actually get you into the tool so you can get a feel for how to set these up for yourself. And so the first thing that you need to do is you need to make sure that you have admin access to your Report Suite and once you do have admin access, the place that you will wanna go is to Admin and then Report Suites. You select your Report Suite and then hover over Edit Settings here and if you’re editing a conversion variable which would mean any of the eVars or tracking code or products, then you would go to Edit Settings, Conversion, Conversion Classifications. And if you’re looking to edit a traffic variable, that would be within Traffic and Classifications. So let’s go through and take a look at our conversion classifications. So I’m gonna go ahead and click that one and when that loads up, you’re gonna see what current conversion classifications have already been set up for you. And it’ll bring you to a screen very similar to the one that you’re seeing here. And the first item that you’ll have for selection is all of the different classifications or conversion variables that you have available to classify. So by default you’ll have product and campaign, zip code, et cetera and then also all of your eVars below it. And so for this example what I’m gonna actually do is I’m gonna want to classify campaign. So by default we’ve got campaign and then we’ve also got creative elements and campaigns as well. This is most likely again what you’ll see within your reports as these are the default classifications that come based on campaign. Now if you want to add an additional third classification to your Report Suite here, to the s.campaign variable, the place that you would do that is by hovering over the arrow next to Campaign and clicking Add Classification. Note that I clicked the arrow next to Campaign since that’s the variable that I’m actually classifying. What’s really cool about classifications in Adobe Analytics is you can actually classify a classification, which is quite a mouthful, but the way that you would do that is maybe we wanted to classify all of our creative elements, we can actually add a sub-classification to that classification. Now we don’t need to get into that craziness but I’m sure if you are curious about that, there’s great information in the knowledge base and you can also find me in the Measure Slack and Twitter, et cetera. So let’s create that classification. So here’s our new classification, we wanna put add classification based on campaign and our new classification that we’re going to create is going to be called size. There’s a few different types of classification, there’s text, and numeric. Numeric allows you to actually push some information around metrics into your classification as well. So maybe we could push in if it was products, we could push in cost of goods sold, or we could push in maybe campaign cost information in there or impressions or something like that. So we’re gonna go ahead and push size as our new classification for the campaign and when I hit save here what it’ll do is it’ll add size as a third classification for campaign here. And just like that, we’ve got a brand new report created within our Report Suite that is based off of campaign. Now of course there is nothing in it because we haven’t actually told the tool what kind of information we need to be pushing into this report. And where this exists is Admin and then Classification Import.
So once we go there we’ll be able to then see what classifications have already been set up as well as import and export those classifications as well. So the first thing that I like to do is I actually like to go to the Browser Export tab first. So when we head on over to the Browser Export tab, it’s going to give me a list of all of my different Report Suites and then all of the different variables that have classifications enabled on them. And so the one that we just set up was in this Report Suite and it was for the campaign variable and so I’m gonna leave it as is and then scroll on down and it looks like all of the settings that we have here we’re gonna leave as is. We can hit Export File and what that will do is it will download for you a spreadsheet which has a list of all of the different classifications that have already been setup within the tool. Since this is a brand new one, we’re actually not gonna have any classifications set up in there and by the way that file will be .TAB file which can be opened in Excel. So open up your TAB file that you just downloaded and once that loads then you can see there’s just a little bit of information here. And since we haven’t yet sent any data to this report nor have we set up any classifications for it, it’s actually a mostly blank template here. At the top we’ve got three rows of headers and if it has these two hash marks you can actually see it describes it there, those are required headers for your TAB file, so leave them as is. Then the next row, row four, is gonna be basically a header of the different columns, column headers that you have and it’s gonna be the key, so this is the raw data value that’s getting pulled into Adobe Analytics and into the report for s.campaign.
You also have creative elements, campaigns, campaigns period and size and these four items are the classifications that are currently set up based on the campaign report. So for one and two we could go in here and enter in manually all of the different campaign variables, the campaign values that we’re expecting to be populated in this report. However, that’s a very tedious way to do things and I mentioned earlier that we have this option to do this retroactively and so what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna open this other Report Suite which does have data and here’s the confirmation of that, there’s we.outdoors2015. And we can see here’s our campaign report and our tracking code report, and we can see oh okay, we actually do have data in here. So we’ll be able to directly access and see the data within it. So I’m gonna go ahead and hit Export File and as that’s loading up we’re gonna go ahead and hit Save and it’s downloaded and we open our more exciting classification file here and we can see great, we do actually have more data than just those four rows within this spreadsheet here. You’ll notice that it does leave a fifth row empty, please leave that as is otherwise you may have some issues when you try to reimport it back into Adobe Analytics. And so in the left column here again, this is a list of all the raw data files that we’re pulling directly into the tracking code report. And if we wanted to we could say oh okay, here’s yet another raw data file that we’d like to classify. So we can say the creative element if we happen to know this very unfriendly campaign is also another version of It’s Powder Time, this campaign however, was an email campaign. So we can classify that one and maybe we do that actually for all of these since they’re all email campaigns. And we could put in the Eric is the greatest, we could but in Ben Gaines is cool, we could put in whatever we need to in terms of the creative elements that tie to each of these campaigns. Once we’ve done that and hit save, we are done with classifying piece of the project here in that we’ve taken a look at all the values that are getting pulled in. If we wanted to, we could scroll on down to the bottom and maybe add some additional ones that we know about. So maybe there’s also .6 and then we can also do four seven and four eight and so if we wanted to add these we know these are upcoming campaigns that haven’t gone live yet, we have the ability to preemptively plan for those and push that data into the platform as well. So once we’ve hit save, then the next step is to actually import that new file into Adobe Analytics as well. And the way that we do that is by once again, we’re in Admin and Classification Importer, we head on over to the Import File section of the Classification Importer.
Now over here you’ll see there’s actually two different ways that we can import a file. We have the opportunity to import it right here in the browser which is what we’re gonna do in this video, you also have the opportunity if necessary, it import it over FTP. Generally I’ve seen FTP created for one of two reasons, if the TAB file that you’re trying to push in, that spreadsheet we were looking at earlier, is bigger than 50 megabytes I believe that you need to import it via FTP. Another reason to do that would be if it’s a set of products or a set of reports that changes often and you could actually set up a weekly or a daily import from one of your other systems that just automatically sends classification to FTP.
I’ve definitely seen customers that have rapidly changing product information and they push that information in from other systems doing it that way. So the way that we would do this for our example here, so we had SAR or whatever Report Suite, we select the data set that we wanna classify and we choose our file and here’s our TAB file and we can choose to either overwrite the data when there’s a conflict or we can choose to say if there is a conflict, whatever’s already been uploaded, leave that as is. And then we could also choose do we need to download it after the import is complete to confirm that all the data went through.
Once you’ve done that, go ahead and click import file and usually within about 24 hours or less, all of your updates will start to get propagated into your reports.
And that right there is really everything that you need to know in terms of getting classifications set up within your Report Suite. So let’s take a look at what some of these reports could look like. So now right here we’re looking at the tracking code report and the way I got here was in Campaigns, Tracking Code, and Tracking Code and you know what, that’s actually the old way to do it. Let’s pull it into Workspace. We can do that by just clicking on Try in Workspace here and when that loads up you’ve got the opportunity to see alright great, so here’s my tracking code report that we wanna pull information into. And so we are looking earlier, maybe we wanna see, well you know what this isn’t very friendly, what other reports that are tied to tracking code could we replace this report with? And so we’ve got the Campaigns report, we’ve also got the Creative Elements report. Let’s take a look at that one. So maybe we wanna replace the Tracking Code report instead with Creative Elements. And now we can see oh okay, this is much much more friendly of a view of our campaign report. And if I need to be able to distinguish any of these, I have the opportunity to say oh okay, Enjoy The Journey, I know that was a few different tracking codes, I can drag and drop and then drill in to see what were the actual tracking codes tied to Enjoy The Journey that drove this data to revenue and the visits. Similarly of course I could drill in to what were the campaigns particularly? So Paid Search verus Display and Social. So lots of fun ways to break down the data here.
Now something that you may have noticed is that there’s a pretty large None bucket here and if you’ve been working with Adobe Analytics for awhile, you’re most likely used to seeing a None bucket, but it’s especially interesting when you’re looking at a classification report and the reason for that is the None bucket will also include any underlying raw data values that have yet to be classified. And the way that we can discover that is by clicking Tracking Code and drilling into the None version of the classification value here.
So we can see oh okay, here are all those different tracking codes that when we were looking at the Excel file, had yet to be classified. So here’s this one, we can copy that and search for it and this is one that we hadn’t yet classified but once we import it we will see that will get updated. And same thing, let’s check out this one. So here’s another one, we do a search for it and now we can see okay, so here’s another value that is yet to be classified and that’s why it’s showing up as none.
Anyway, I hope you found this video to be valuable. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me or the folks at Adobe with any additional questions and until then, keep on analyzing. Thanks for watching.
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