Compare data processing across Adobe Analytics and CJA reporting features

Understanding the differences in data processing for the various reporting features can be helpful in understanding which metrics are available where and why they may differ.

For example, since “visits” as a metric in Adobe Analytics is defined at data processing time, and “sessions” as a metric in CJA is calculated at report time, the two metrics may differ based on the rules used for session definition inside the CJA data view.

Also, neither visits nor sessions as a metric is available in datasets created by the Analytics Source Connector and therefore would require you to define the session in your query logic in order to do comparisons.

Terminology

The table below defines terminology for the different types of processing logic that are applied to Adobe Analytics and CJA:

Term Definition Notes
Processing-time logic Logic that is performed when data is being processed, before being stored for reporting and analytics purposes. This logic is ‘baked into’ historical data and generally cannot easily be changed.
Report-time logic Logic that is performed at the time a report is run. This logic can be applied to future and historical data at report runtime in a non-destructive manner.
Hit-level logic Logic applied at a row-by-row level. Examples: Processing rules, VISTA, certain marketing channel rules.
Visit-level logic Logic applied at the visit level. Examples: Visit and session definition.
Visitor-level logic Logic applied at the visitor level. Example: Cross-device/cross-channel visitor stitching.
Segment (filter) logic Evaluation of hit/visit/visitor (event/session/person) segment (filter) rules. Example: People who bought red shoes.
Calculated metrics Evaluation of customer-created custom metrics which can be based on complex formulas including segments and filters. Example: # of people who bought red shoes.
Attribution logic Logic to calculate attribution. Example: eVar persistence.

Over time, Adobe Analytics and now Customer Journey Analytics have improved their flexibility by allowing visit and visitor-level data logic to be performed at report runtime.

Types of data processing

The data processing steps which are performed for Adobe Analytics and CJA and the timing of those steps varies from Analytics feature to Analytics feature. The table below provides a summary of the types of data processing for each Analytics feature, and when the data processing is applied.

Analytics feature Applied at processing time Applied at report time Not available Notes
Core AA reporting
(not including Attribution IQ or virtual report suites with report-time processing)
  • Segment logic
  • Calculated metrics
  • Cross-Device Analytics (see note)
  • CDA requires use of virtual report suites with report time processing.
  • “Visit-level marketing channel rules” include the following: Is First Page of Visit, Override Last-Touch Channel, and Marketing Channel Expiration. (See documentation.)
Core AA Data Warehouse
  • Processing rules
  • VISTA rules
  • Hit-level marketing channel rules
  • Visit-level marketing channel rules
  • Visit definition
  • Attribution logic
  • Segment logic
  • Calculated metrics
  • Cross-Device Analytics
Core AA Data Feeds
  • Processing rules
  • VISTA rules
  • Hit-level marketing channel rules
  • Visit-level marketing channel rules
  • Visit definition (visitnum field)
  • Attribution logic (in post columns)
  • Segment logic
  • Calculated metrics
  • Cross-Device Analytics
  • ID mappings for certain marketing channel-related columns in data feeds are not included with data feeds. (See the data feed documentation.)
Core AA Livestream
  • Processing rules
  • VISTA rules
    • Hit-level marketing channel rules
    • Visit-level marketing channel rules
    • Visit logic
    • Attribution logic
    • Segment logic
    • Calculated metrics
    • Cross-Device Analytics
    Core AA Attribution IQ
    • Processing rules
    • VISTA rules
    • Visit definition (see note)
    • Cross-Device Analytics (see note)
    • Hit-level marketing channel rules (see note)
    • Visit-level marketing channel rules (see note)Attribution logic
    • Segment logic
    • Calculated metrics
    • CDA requires use of virtual report suites with report time processing.
    • Attribution IQ in Core Analytics uses marketing channels that are derived completely at report time (i.e. derived mid-values.)
    • Attribution IQ uses a processing-time visit definition except when used in a report-time processing VRS.
    Core AA virtual report suites with report time processing (VRS RTP)
    • Visit definition
    • Attribution logic
    • Segment logic
    • Calculated metrics
    • Other VRS RTP settings
    • Hit-level marketing channel rules
    • Visit-level marketing channel rules
    Analytics Source Connector-based dataset in AEP data lake
    • Processing rules
    • VISTA rules
    • Hit-level marketing channel rules
    • Field-based stitching (see note)
    • Must apply your own filter logic and calculated metrics
    • Field-based stitching creates a separate stitched dataset in addition to the one created by the Analytics Source Connector.
    Customer Journey Analytics reporting
    • Session definition
    • Data view settings
    • Attribution logic
    • Calculated metrics
    • Filter logic
    • Visit-level marketing channel rules
    • Must use a stitched dataset in order to take advantage of field-based stitching.

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