Cross-Device Analytics (CDA) is a feature that transforms Analytics from a device-centric view to a person-centric view. As a result, analysts can understand user behavior that crosses browsers, devices, or apps. Adobe supports two overarching workflows to link device data together:
Field-based stitching: Recommended stitching option because it uses only deterministic matching to link devices together.
Allows you to choose an Analytics variable as a base for cross-device stitching in a virtual report suite.
Device graph: CDA communicates with a private graph to stitch devices together.
Using CDA, you can answer questions such as:
- How many people interact with my brand? How many and what types of devices do they use? How do they overlap?
- How often do people begin a task on a mobile device and then later move to a desktop PC to complete the task? Do campaign click-throughs that land on one device lead to conversion somewhere else?
- How does my understanding of campaign effectiveness change if I take into account cross-device journeys? How does my funnel analysis change?
- What are the most common paths users take from one device to another? Where do they drop out? Where do they succeed?
- How does the behavior of users with multiple devices differ from the users with a single device?
When devices are stitched, variable persistence is carried over across devices. For example, a user first visits your site through an advertisement on their desktop computer. That user finds your mobile app, installs it, and eventually makes a purchase on their mobile device. With Cross-Device Analytics, you can attribute revenue on the mobile device to the ad that they clicked on their desktop computer.
Out of a spirit of partnership and transparency, we want our customers to be aware of our use of Microsoft Azure in association with Cross-Device Analytics. Adobe uses Azure to store device graph data and to perform cross-device stitching. As such, Adobe Analytics data is passed back-and-forth between Adobe’s data processing center and Adobe’s provisioned instances of Microsoft Azure.
See the Journey IQ: Cross-Device Analytics Spark page to learn more about the capabilities and features of Cross-Device Analytics.
The use of CDA requires all of the following. Field-based stitching and Device graph methods also have their own specific prerequisites.
- A contract must be signed with Adobe that includes Adobe Analytics Ultimate.
- Your organization chooses which report suites to enable CDA. Adobe recommends report suites that contains cross-device data, meaning data from multiple device/browser/app types. Some organizations refer to this concept as a “global” report suite, although CDA does not strictly have to be global from a geographic perspective.
Cross-Device Analytics is a groundbreaking and robust feature, but has limitations in how it can be used. Field-based stitching and Device graph methods also have their own specific limitations.
- CDA is only available through Analysis Workspace.
- Cross-Device Analytics does not work across report suites, nor does it combine data from multiple report suites.
- Adobe Analytics report suites cannot map to more than one organization ID. Since CDA stitches devices within a given report suite, CDA cannot be used to stitch data across multiple organization IDs.
- CDA uses a complex processing pipeline, with multiple dependent components. This runs in parallel with the base Analytics reporting workflow. Therefore, a data mismatch of approximately 1% for the total number of hits between the original report suite and the CDA virtual report suite is expected.
- Cross-Device Analytics uses a virtual report suite and report time processing, which have their own limitations. For example, they do not currently support Marketing Channels variables. See Virtual report suites and Report time processing for more information on these limitations.
- Private Graph leverages the same ID syncs as those used by the Customer attributes capability found within Experience Cloud and Adobe Analytics. However, CDA virtual report suites (whether based on private graph or field-based stitching) are not compatible with the rest of the Customer attributes functionality. In other words, Customer attributes-based dimensions are not available for use with CDA virtual report suites.
- CDA is not currently compatible with A4T.
- The 1.4 API is not supported. Power BI connectors and Report Builder both rely on the 1.4 API, and are therefore not compatible with CDA.
- Active monitoring of the CDA stitching process by Adobe is limited to production report suites only.
- CDA is not currently compatible with the Adobe Analytics Data Repair API
- Historical data in the virtual report suite changes based on Adobe recognizing and stitching devices together. Data in the source report suite does not change.
- Stitched data follows a latency of 8 to 12 hours.
- Mapping history data for a given device is stored for up to 1 year.
- If a device reaches a very high number of mapping history entries within a year, the mapping history is truncated. The exact limit depends on the stitching option used.