Translating Adobe Analytics technical language in a non-technical way

Speaking different languages

With more eyes on the digital world than ever before, there’s a growing need to understand, analyze, and action the rich data available in your Adobe Analytics setup. This increased attention may surface a set of stakeholders who are completely new to the world of props and eVars. As your organization’s Adobe Analytics expert, you’re key to helping your stakeholders understand the technical details and make the most out of your Adobe Analytics investment.

Here are four tips that I have found helpful in getting my stakeholders to understand the technical language of Adobe Analytics.

Tip #1: Start your stakeholders off strong

A solid onboarding program for your new Adobe Analytics users is key to driving adoption from the start. Many times, your onboarding program will be their first exposure to the wonderful world of props and eVars. Your onboarding program needs to be approachable, relevant, and memorable to ensure your users keep coming back to the tool.

For example, here’s my favorite way to explain eVars and allocation methods to new analysts: Imagine you’re out on an evening walk around your neighborhood and oh no, you step on a piece of chewing gum. For the rest of your walk, that piece of gum is now stuck to the bottom of your shoe (just like an eVar!). You take a couple of steps forward and another piece of gum gets stuck to your shoe. At the end of your walk, you decide to toss out your shoes. What led you to that decision? Was it the first piece of gum you stepped on, the last, or were both equally to blame?

TIP
Clearly name components (i.e., dimensions, segments, and metrics) with descriptions
Sharing the data dictionary of eVars and props is always a good step in democratizing your organization’s data, but don’t expect a casual user to memorize all the custom variables and their intended usage by index/number. Instead, in Adobe Workspace, make sure the component names are descriptive with meaningful tags and descriptions. This will help your users quickly find the correct metric amongst your hundreds of eVars and infinite metrics/segments.

Tip #2: Find a common language

No matter the industry you work in, find the common language that connects the world of Adobe Analytics to something familiar to your stakeholders.

At The Home Depot, a merchant or a store manager may not be familiar with a hit, visit or a unique visitor. We could give them an explanation about analytics server calls, browsing sessions, timeouts, and cookies… or we could bring it back to our physical store and our customers (i.e. that common language). A unique visitor becomes a customer who walks through our front doors. Website visits become how many trips to a Home Depot store that customer made. And hits become customer actions like walking the aisles or talking to a store associate.

TIP
Make your implementation reflect that common language
Just about everything in the Adobe Analytics UI is customizable. If your organization refers to shopping carts as shopping bags, you can rename the cart event to shopping bag.
Consider creating your own controlled vocabulary for your organization if you find several synonymous terms floating around, or if there are terms that commonly trip up your users. Take the initiative to drive standardization of the preferred terminology. And review the most common confusing terms in your onboarding and enablement sessions to help users get acclimated.

Tip #3: Form a group of rock stars

Keep an eye out for your analytics rock stars – those who can quickly grasp the Adobe Analytics technical nuances and can readily apply them throughout their analyses. Whether formally or informally, lean on your group of rock stars to test out changes to your onboarding program or be beta users of a new report. They can also flag when there are analytics knowledge gaps within their own teams.

At The Home Depot, we hosted an Adobe Analytics challenge where we asked our users complex questions that could be solved using the tool. The challenge both flagged some analytics rock stars and helped us get a grasp of how well our stakeholders understood the technical Adobe Analytics details.

TIP
Create annotated solution specific workspace templates and guidance
Leverage company reports (templates) and text visualizations in analysis workspace to create contextual guides that will help your rock stars stay on the right track.
The flexibility of Analysis workspace allows you to create templates for faster analysis as well as enabling self-service and self-enablement. By combining the capabilities of features such as curated templates, annotations and inter/intra workspace linking, you have a great way to create efficient, accessible, and easy to disseminate guidance to non-technical users in the context of Adobe Analytics.

Tip #4: Keep open communication channels

Give stakeholders ample opportunities to get help as they build Adobe Analytics dashboards. You could host open office hours where stakeholders can drop in with questions and be paired off with an expert. Or set up a helpline channel where stakeholders can ask questions in a safe learning environment.

At The Home Depot, our stakeholders love our open office hours and Slack helpline. Since the inception of these open channels, we’ve seen improved accuracy in report building and our Adobe Analytics adoption has skyrocketed. In the past, we’ve made it into the top 5% of Adobe Analytics adoption scores, across retailers worldwide!

Helping your users understand the technical world of Adobe Analytics is no easy feat. I hope these tips and examples will help empower your stakeholders to dive deep, build those freeform tables and fall in love with the world of props and eVars.

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