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Review: "Adobe Analytics (SiteCatalyst) as Digital BI"
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Jonathon Frampton profile photo
Updated December 04, 2014

Review: "Adobe Analytics (SiteCatalyst) as Digital BI"

Score 8 out of 101
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version
15.3
Modules Used
Reports & Analytics (SiteCatalyst), Ad-Hoc Reporting (Discover), Admin Tools, Data Warehouse, Reporting API

Overall Satisfaction with Adobe Analytics

  • Organizes your data: clickstream data by default is not "clean" so one area where SiteCatalyst excels is the presentation of this data in multiple clean ways.
  • Data access: different organizations like to access and work with data in different ways, SC allows you to access (think Data Warehouse, Discover, API, Feeds), manipulate (think Classifications, Processing Rules) and report on (Dashboards, Report Builder, Scheduled reporting) your data as you see fit.
  • Can expose TOO much data to business users.
  • The sheer amount of reporting available can lead to false insights by users that are not product experts.
  • Requires expert level experience for any implementations.
  • Report automation to reduce and enhance analyst resources.
  • Actionable insights gathered through the tool which are leveraged for overall ROI gain.
We are always evaluating our product choices so we recently looked at Google Analytics Premium (and Universal), IBM Coremetrics, Piwik and some home-grown variations. We stayed the course with Adobe SC to truly take advantage of the current functions that came with the upgrade. In particular to expand the use of offline data integrations (SAINT, Data Sources) and build out more on-demand reporting through the API.
Although the tool is extensive, the price point and level of knowledge required to implement and use it will always lead me to examine other opportunities.
As Adobe continues to bolster this suite, the package itself becomes more attractive. With recent additions such as their "dynamic tag manager" they are quickly building a web analytics empire. All that is left is to utilize the tools vs going the Excel route of only utilizing < 10% of the tools.

Using Adobe Analytics

70 - Adobe SiteCatalyst is used across the organization from Merchandising, Marketing and Planning to Fulfillment and the C-Suite.
1 - Currently just me, but in the very near future we are looking to build a more robust analytics group that will be responsible for the software and others like it.
  • eCommerce site level and global KPI reporting and baselines for conversion and funnel metrics.
  • Hourly and On-Demand reporting of a wide range of metrics across multiple departments and functions.
  • IT & Operations Support issue research and resolution tool.
  • eCommerce Ad-hoc Analysis.

Evaluating Adobe Analytics and Competitors

Adobe SiteCatalyst was the first clickstream analytics implemented.

Adobe Analytics Implementation

One of the benefits and obstacles to successfully using Adobe Analytics is a great / more accurate implementation, make sure your analytics group is intimate with the details of the implementation and that the requirements are driven by the business.
  • Professional services company
The initial implementation was done prior to my employment.

Adobe Analytics Training

  • Online training
  • Self-taught
Videos of the different tools plus the knowledge base articles, but you do have to take the initiative to do them yourself. There are also a few great books on the subject. *Nod to Adam Greco's SiteCatalyst Handbook
With a basic / strong understanding of how the data is collected and what the underlying metrics and dimensions mean a user can become quite adept very quickly within the tool. So, yes.

Adobe Analytics Support

Not very many companies get this one right, but I will say that although I may not like their standard technical support, they do make it very available and with the help of a good account representative service issues can be handled well.
No - Client Care and Account Success Managers are part of the standard pricing model.

Using Adobe Analytics

The user interface and business facing side is incredibly powerful and useful, the back end can be a pain point for many.

Adobe Analytics Reliability

Adobe SiteCatalyst has great actual uptime in the most standard sense, but long lag times in data during critical time periods (i.e. Holidays) I would consider to be an issue with availability.
The speed with which visualizations and data sets are returned within the tool and or data warehouse can be dissapointing.

Integrating Adobe Analytics

  • Internal BI
  • Internal OMS
  • Third Parties (Data Extenders)
Some are quite easy with built in integration of data feeds etc, others require custom code.
  • Front end web system.
  • More third parties.
Many do.

Relationship with Adobe