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Improving Data Collection with Adobe Experience Manager

Adobe Analytics gives marketers the ability to tie data to content and content to data. The "tags" are regularly just an approach to gathering information about your website. This is the data that permits you to effectively measure, analyze, improve, and control your digital initiatives. In software development, it's normal to separate complex frameworks into various layers. For example, in an HTML document, it’s common to separate and think of the HTML code as a “structural” layer, or the style rules of CSS documents as a “presentation” layer, and the functions of JavaScript code or tags as a “behavioral” layer.

One of the hardest lessons I’ve learned in Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) implementation from an analytics lens was using traditional methods to place an analytics library inside the page template when an out-of-the-box integration is already available in AEM.

Common Errors and How to Avoid Them

A common error is to transmit dev/stage environment data to production reports. This is caused when a production library is on a stage website. To avoid this kind of accident, use Connect Launch to AEM via Adobe I/O, a function that allows AEM administrators to easily configure AEM and Adobe Launch via an easy to use interface, reducing the level of effort and the number of errors that can occur when configuring these two tools.

Another common error is not knowing why a component isn't tracked.

Why is a Component Not Tracked?

The components are not tracked due to the analytic tags being broken. And, the tags can get broken due to design updates in the component. This refers to updates in the markup code which uniquely identifies a component. Not all components are tracked because a generic tagging code that fires on all components is missing. Not all tracked components are used to author a webpage.

It’s challenging to track components inside an iFrame unless a tracking library is placed inside an iFrame. A typical example of such asynchronous load is search results page when an analytics beacon fires even before the content is visible on the page. This will result in a beacon fired with empty data points collected on the server or a failure to fire a beacon because the condition wasn’t visible to be satisfied. This is due to the wait time of the function to receive the content of the page and analytics code triggers to read a blank page. In this case situation, the data layer is a reliable friend that provides the information related to the data asynchronous issue.

Improving Data Collection

One basic way to improve your data collection process is to make a document object model (DOM) traversal and selection easier. Adding custom data attributes helps you to identify specific elements of interest in your pages and can help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of any data collection implemented using DOM traversal methods.

Three benefits of creating the data attributes are:

1. All major browsers support them, including the feared Internet Explorer 6 and 7. It ensures there won't be any conflicts with extensions to HTML in future releases.

2. Web developers can change IDs and class names at will, without breaking tracking once it is changed to trigger off the data attribute.

3. Multiple data attributes can be applied to a single element, meaning you can capture as many data values as you like with a component-type

Want to learn more? I will be presenting a webinar with Merkle and Adobe experts on the topic of ‘Enabling Person-Based Marketing with Adobe Experience Manager’ on October 16 at 2pm EST. Sign up for your spot here.