The Do’s and Don’ts of Data Enrichment
The recent Analytics Nexus event, hosted by Claravine, included an industry-leading lineup of speakers. If you weren’t able to attend, we hope to see you at our next event!
One of those terrific presenters was Adam Greco, a senior partner at Analytics Demystified and an advisor to Claravine. Adam literally wrote the book on SiteCatalyst, and he took the time to share with our audience some of the tactics he’s learned to make full use of the capabilities of data enrichment.
But first, what is data enrichment? Simply put, data enrichment is the act of merging an existing database of first-party customer data with third-party data from another authoritative source. Brands generally do this to enhance the data they already have, so they can make more informed decisions.
- Your analytics tool does not provide a sufficient number of dimensions
- Some of the data you want isn’t available at the time of collection
- You need flexibility to modify or update your data over time
Metadata can be added in a number of ways. You can upload it in a browser, you can FTP the metadata in, or you can use an API. Or–the method we recommend–use a third party platform like Claravine, and upload your metadata automatically using preset tables. This creates efficiencies by minimizing the risk of human error and can save your team lots of time.
It’s up to you to decide when and how often your metadata gets added. More importantly, you should look at each dimension and determine, Is there any additional data that I can provide to this dimension, that will help me do more analysis, and help my users know what’s happening on my site or in my app?
One valuable feature of data enrichment is that you’re able to aggregate data in the same way you might use a pivot table in Excel. Uploading your metadata allows you to group together different types of content. For example, you could enrich your company’s blog posts by adding a piece of metadata called blog post type. After you’ve uploaded the metadata, your analytics tool will allow you to see all your blog posts grouped by type. This can provide an easy way to sum up your metrics over time and to see how assets perform by category, without having to know the blog type in advance at the time the page was loaded.
And remember: metadata can be used like any other data point in your implementation. For example, if you add a metadata attribution called source to your campaign tracking code to see where your blog views come from, you can then use source as the report view in your analytics tool. Adding 20 new pieces of metadata to your analytics implementation opens up the possibility of 20 more reports you can generate, to refine and slice your data.
Conversely, there may be times when you want the ability to override some data sets. Suppose you launch a campaign code with a tag identifying it as paid search, but it wasn’t actually paid search. If you upload that tag as metadata, you can easily alter it after the fact with the correct code.
Do you have some good data enrichment tips you’d like to share? Let us know! And be sure to bookmark the Claravine blog and the Analytics Demystified blog for more analytics content.