Customizing visits in virtual report suites

It is possible to change the definition of a visit in Adobe Analytics in a non-destructive way using a virtual report suite. This video shows that and the different options that are available. For detailed documentation, visit Context-aware sessions.

Hey everybody, it’s Doug. In this video, I want to dive down a little bit deeper on the visit definition and how we can customize the visit and the visit definition when you’re creating a new virtual report suite. So we are in the middle of this wizard here to create a virtual report suite. If we go back to our settings, for example, we can see that this virtual report suite, which we’ve named mobile, it’s listed up there, is based on the source report suite listed right here. We’ve chosen that. And the second step is this visit definition. Okay. So you can see that there’s really nothing going on in this step until we enable report time processing. So in regular report suites, not virtual report suites, you don’t have report time processing like this. The processing happens when the data is collected, right? It’s data collection, and then there’s processing of that data and made ready for the tables. And so in other words, at that time, the data, for example over here, the number of visits, in this case for the last 90 days, you can see there, they are calculated based on, you know, when people are coming into the site and when they leave or when they have in essence a 30-minute timeout and that visit ends. So you can imagine that if we change the visit timeout that it can change the number of visits and indeed it will. We’ll see that here in a second. So for that to happen, we have to move the processing from data collection to later on and do it at time of reporting. So that’s why it says enable report time processing. Therefore when we do this, it’s done in a non-destructive way or in other words, we don’t ruin any data by changing this. We can change it and change it again and change it again. It’ll report based on that setting. So if we can always go back in, change the setting, and then go back and report and get the different numbers. So again, it’s done at report time if we click that. So we’re gonna check that box so that we can customize the visit here. But right away this visit number is gonna change for us. So if we go from here and change this from 30 minutes, let’s say to 15 minutes, we can see that this number changed and it went up. It didn’t go up a lot, but it went up some because now it’s only taking 15 minutes to timeout a visit instead of 30. So some people may have, you know, been stuck on a page for 17 minutes and it started a new visit under these new settings. Whereas most people, you know, if they leave for 15 minutes, they probably leave for at least 30 as well. So that’s why I didn’t change it by a lot. But in any case, you’re gonna want to be able to set this, you know, for your needs. Now for most website cases, you might want to be around 30 minutes. But again, you can change that to these other selections. You know, if that makes more sense for your business. For a mobile visit, we recommend something closer to five minutes. Again, it doesn’t have to be five minutes. It can be whatever you choose. But these are kind of based on people’s actions, based on people’s behaviors, whether they’re on a website, on a computer, on a desktop, laptop, whatever, or are they on a mobile app. So I’ll just click over here and get rid of that. Now, the next thing that we have here is being able to start a new visit with an event. And we’re gonna dig a little deeper on a different video. But just to kind of make it clear how you would use this, you can use this dropdown. You can see it’s the same as the ones over here. And so you can use a dropdown and find it there. You can also, you know, choose it from over here and drop it in. You can search for it either up here on the left, or you can even start searching for it right here. And if you wanted orders, you know, then you put the O there and, you know, anything with an O shows up. So, you know, if you wanted to start a new visit when people order or when they sign up for something or when they start some kind of a process, then you can drag that over there and it will start a new visit whenever that event happens. That’s actually very similar to this one that we dropped down here to the bottom that’s grayed out right now. We don’t have all the mobile app settings that we need to on this source report suite or else this would be available to us. But in any case, when you choose this, when it is available to you and you choose this, it’s similar to the new event or the new visit starting with an event. You’re starting a new visit upon this quote event of an app launch. So whenever an app launches, you can say, let’s start a new visit. This would be as opposed to if they close down an app and then restart it right away. Should it be the same visit or should it be a new visit? If you check this box, then we’re going to treat it like a new visit. If you don’t check this, it’ll just be based off the timing up here or again, the other event that’s listed up here. And then lastly, we have prevent background hits from starting a new visit. So if the mobile app is not in the foreground, right, you haven’t closed it, closed it and you’re not working with it, et cetera. Then those hits that get sent in that might contain something that you chose up here could start a new visit. In the event that that happens and it happens from the background, don’t start a new visit. So anyway, those are some of the settings you can do to customize a visit. And remember that this will be the visit throughout your data. So it’ll be a visit that will affect, you know, when conversion variables, also known as EVARS, when do they expire, if you have one that expires on a visit, then that will affect that. You know, that affects your segments that are built with visit containers. And of course, it affects all your reports you might use a visit in. So anyway, hope that was helpful as you are creating your virtual report suites. Good luck.