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Intention to End-of-life Ad Hoc Analysis (Discover) announced

jen_lasser
Moderator
Moderator

On August 6, 2018, Adobe announced plans to end-of-life Ad Hoc Analysis, as well as the Discover point-product. Ad Hoc Analysis functionality and capabilities are being moved to Analysis Workspace. It is common practice for Adobe to announce plans to deprecate a technology at least one year in advance, to give our customers plenty of time to migrate projects, learn new workflows and ease into the transition. To ensure all users make a smooth transition, Adobe is targeting Q3 2019 to deprecate Ad Hoc Analysis. For more information, visit https://adobe.ly/discoverworkspace.

 

In support of this announcement, we are working toward improving 3 primary workflows in Analysis Workspace, giving you the ability to:

1) Build advanced queries, without having to wait for individual components to build

2) Download 50K rows from freeform tables

3) Remove repeat instances from Flow

A date for end-of-life/access will not be set until these workflows are improved.

 

This thread has been created to provide a channel for feedback about the announcement.

1 Reply
jen_lasser
Moderator
Moderator

Thanks Andrew, I'd love to chat with you more about this feedback to better understand if what we are planning to build in will meet your needs, or if there is still more we can do to support in-depth analysis in Workspace. Please DM me with your contact info if you are up for a discussion. Thanks!

Gigazelle
Employee
Employee

A huge thank you to everyone for their feedback thus far. Keep in mind that we are talking about events that are almost a year out from now - we wanted to give plenty of warning so we wouldn't pull the rug out from anyone. And based on this thread, it's a good thing the conversation started this early - workspace still definitely has some improvements to make!

We have heard your voice loud and clear that you don't want Ad Hoc to go away. Our intention is to not remove tools from your use, but rather focus our development efforts on a more refined set to better enable you in your role. Analysis Workspace is where most development and refining efforts are going to take place. Strategically, it will allow Adobe to develop more features for in-depth analysis, instead of maintaining multiple tools.

Based on responses so far, Workspace has its use for quick numbers and good visuals, but Ad Hoc is more used for deep dives and in-depth analysis. If row limit and performance weren't an issue in Analysis Workspace, what are the biggest obstacles that prevent you from from doing deep dives and thorough investigations in the tool? We have plenty of time before the tool is sunset, so the more we discuss missing critical features, the more refined and developed Workspace will be this time next year. Linking idea threads here would be ideal, and ensuring the idea thread contains use cases/struggles your organization has will allow us to ensure those features meet your needs.

Lastly, thank you for keeping things civil and professional here. I know that this is absolutely a charged topic, and I appreciate that no one's responses have come down to flaming or insults.

jharrington7897
Level 4
Level 4

Thanks for that reply, definitely will help formulate everyone's responses towards a set of needed features.

It sounds like things that are already planned are:


-Query builder (which I assume is a table builder).

-50K Rows.

My other call out initially was a compact view (it's too bubbly) Analysis Workspace: Compact Report Stylesheet

Fix Granularity exports (which may already be being addressed) Fix Granularity Representation on Export

jen_lasser
Moderator
Moderator

Correct to both of those things, and also improving Flow (namely, removing repeat values). Those are the 3 focused workflows we are working on right now.

billpress
Level 2
Level 2

If you truly are looking to "better enable you in your role", you would keep Ad Hoc.

It may be a year away but that doesn't mean that you are not pulling the rug underneath us. 

Nice try though. 

Andrew_Wathen_
Community Advisor
Community Advisor

One of the powerful things about Ad Hoc Analysis is the ability to use the site analysis report to understand the typical pathways between 2 points on the website i.e. a flow visualization where you can define a start point and end point of the flow

(The existing workspace "flow" visualization allows you to define a start point or an end point so does not help do this).

It's going to be hugely frustrating not being able to do this kind of analysis 😞

Workspace:New flow visualization - how users navigate between 2 points 

Gigazelle
Employee
Employee

For everyone following this thread, we are holding a webinar this Thursday that might help shed some light around this topic:

Adobe Analytics Insider Webinar: Ad Hoc Analysis migrates to Analysis Workspace

jharrington7897
Level 4
Level 4

Is this a feedback session or a how-to?  (I don't need a how to), I don't think many here need an Ad Hoc teaching session, so just wanted to clarify what the live session was for

Gigazelle
Employee
Employee

The webinar is for some pointers/best practices on how to make a smooth transition to Workspace; Jen will be answering questions at the end as well.

ashert33772002
Level 3
Level 3

Is it an open forum to discuss the poor decision to end Ad Hoc?

Gigazelle
Employee
Employee

That's what this thread is for I anticipate we will get some additional traffic in this thread following the webinar as well.

The webinar will be focused on the transition, although there will be a Q&A pod where you can ask whatever you want. I'll be helping answer those questions during the webinar, and I am fully expecting plenty of people to express concern around the decision itself. I can't speak for Jen around her providing more detail or rationale behind the decision, but I will bring it up with her.

jharrington7897
Level 4
Level 4

Thanks for the honesty and the reply, much appreciated.  I'm 100% confident the people on this thread already know how to transfer projects, because you can't bring up issues with transition unless you used both tools - I think the pain point is that workspaces cannot be transitioned to as it is insufficient.

I fear the session, though intended to be helpful, kind of is missing the point of taking feedback 😕 It's not that we don't know how to cope with the choice, it's that the replacement tool being offered is not good for the kinds of work we are doing, and that should be a primary focus of a session.

"we heard you, and here's how we're going to work on it to make it better" sounds a lot better than "we took your feed back, and here's how you change to fit our decision"

Just a suggestion on how to allay fears and get some people back on Adobe's side  - hope the session goes well

Gigazelle
Employee
Employee

Thanks Justin for the feedback - you're absolutely right. I hope the webinar will be along the lines of "here's how to make it as painless as possible, also these are the things Adobe plans to do in order to further alleviate that pain".

Not gonna lie, I'm also a bit apprehensive for the webinar for some of the reasons you stated, and I hope it goes well too.

jharrington7897
Level 4
Level 4

It'll be alright in time   Change is hard, just got to try to be our evangelists with the workspace enhancements  and gear the conversation that way

jen_lasser
Moderator
Moderator

Hi Justin - appreciate the feedback as always. The session will serve a few different purposes, it won't just be "how to":

1) To reiterate the announcement, in case some customers did not hear it yet

2) To give a view in the timeline we are working toward

2) To explain what we've released so far to help make this a smooth transition (Project converter, Microsite)

3) To talk about ~6 key workflows that someone might have in Ad Hoc, and how do those same things in Workspace. We will talk openly about some gaps that we plan to close related to these workflows as well.

4) To share some Sneaks - we are going to share some mocks of features that we are working on building into Workspace, in support of this announcement. I'm hoping this section will be most helpful for those on this thread, and I'd love feedback on what I show. We've done a couple rounds of research on these ideas so far, but I want to setup another round with you & others once we have a working prototype ready (we are aiming for end of September for that).

5) FAQs related to the announcement

As with any of our webinars, lines will be muted so this won't be an open back & forth dialogue. But, there will be a few colleagues on answering questions throughout in the chat pod. Also, I've received contact emails from several people on this thread (you included) that I plan to reach out to to engage in our research & give you an opportunity to provide feedback.

Hope to see you on the call Thursday!

jharrington7897
Level 4
Level 4

That's cool - It'd be great to see some mock ups - I think once everyone gets to the "oh yeah I can see this working out ok" stage everyone will be happy

jen_lasser
Moderator
Moderator

That's exactly where we want to get by working with you & others along the way

Phillipuk
Level 2
Level 2

"It's not that we don't know how to cope with the choice, it's that the replacement tool being offered is not good for the kinds of work we are doing, and that should be a primary focus of a session."

Rather than repeat all the details others have stated about the benefits and performance of Ad Hoc, I'll touch on the heart of the issue:

"Ad Hoc Analysis" is what differentiates Adobe Analytics from its competitors. Hardcore analysts know it; why doesn't Adobe get it?  Or do they just not care?

The money Adobe is throwing away on the marketing of this unhappy transition to a lesser application, would be better served to support the superior product.

evans46331181
Level 3
Level 3

I agree, enough of the smiley faces. 

This was a short-sighted decision based strictly off of saving Adobe a couple of bucks.

There is no possible way that they will get Workspace to be an adequate replacement for Ad Hoc.

Phillipuk
Level 2
Level 2

Adobe's been trying unsuccessfully to end the life of Discover/Ad Hoc for several years now, and replace it with Workspace. 

It's as if Adobe wants to re-skin it, and thereby re-brand it as their own, but can't.  So they chose to try to re-create it in the slow, clumsy browser format.

In the recent announcements they quote a low number of Ad Hoc users.  Somewhere in these comments, someone said that's because most nubee's aren't aware of it.  I would concur.  When I work with younger analysts, and turn them on to Ad Hoc, I usually get two comments:

  1. "I didn't know this existed."  and
  2. "WOW!  THANKS FOR TURNING ME ON TO THIS APP!  WAY BETTER!"

Internally at my company there has been a lot of griping about this among analysts (not just report jockeys).

Whatever the case, the endurance and performance of Discover/Ad Hoc, is a testament and a nod to it's original creators at the former Websidestory.

frankd55973318
Level 4
Level 4

Like lots of others in here, I think it is a real shame that Ad-hoc is being killed as it is by far the best analysis tool in the AA suite. Workspace is nice for dashboards and quick analysis but doesn't hold a candle to Ad-Hoc for deeper analysis.

The one thing that would severely lessen the pain of being forced to use Workspace is if you brought in the table builder from Ad-hoc. Another user posted this idea earlier this year. https://forums.adobe.com/ideas/10223#comment-224880. This would make it much quicker to create and alter reports.