Allow Negative Values for Numeric and Currency Events

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mattweg

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mattweg

mattweg

22-11-2010

In the past, web analytics was about "consistency", not "accuracy".  As long as everything was reporting equally "inaccurate", we didn't care b/c we could still get some insight from the data.  It still happens today when someone visits your site with javascript or 3rd-party cookies disabled, they are excluded from tracking.  Now days we have some really cools tools that allow tracking data to be more accurate then before.  These include "server-side" tracking libraries, datasources, and the data insertion api.  

 

There is still one huge drawback.  If you trigger an event too many times there is no going back.  Our tracking data will never be 100% accurate until we have the ability to "undo" an event.  Please allow us to enter negative values for numeric and currency events.  

 

If you don't know what I'm talking about, promote it anyway.  Smiley Wink

 

-Matt

7 Comments (7 New)
7 Comments

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benjamingaines2

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benjamingaines2

benjamingaines2

22-11-2010

Does http://blogs.omniture.com/2009/08/06/under-the-hood-with-negative-revenue help at all? I know it focuses on revenue, but the same principle applies. You could either use the Data Insertion API or (more likely) Data Sources to pump values into custom events, then use calculated metrics to create an accurate total.

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mattweg

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mattweg

mattweg

22-11-2010

Ben,

 

That's a good blog post and it describes the way we handle it now.  I know you guys are familiar with this problem.  I think calc metrics and "negative" events are an ok solution, but they create an extra level of complexity that shouldn't be required. Try telling your CEO to "look at the other revenue metric" or "that's not the order metric you should be using".  I guess it would be ok if we could hide these events from our user's view, but still allow them to see the calc metrics that use those events.  It would be much simpler to just find a way to allow negative events.

 

Thanks,

Matt

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nic_cm

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nic_cm

nic_cm

22-11-2010

Matt,

 

just using negative values doesn't solve the problem, does it? It's not just events, it's events tied to specific times, eVar values and VisitorIDs.

To truly "delete" an event, you need to create a negative event with all the same environment variables. Else you mess up your Lifetime metrics and eVar reports, don't you?

 

so long

nic

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mattweg

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mattweg

mattweg

23-11-2010

Thanks for chiming in nic.  

 

You're right.  Just triggering an event with a negative value alone won't cut it. Dates, evars, etc wouldn't match the original event.

 

But if you could use an event with a negative value in a datasource with a transaction id it could link the "undone" event back to all the original details of the transaction.  

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nic_cm

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nic_cm

nic_cm

24-11-2010

Hi Matt,

 

hm, ok. If you spot the events causing the problem while the xact is still valid, it will work. At least for persistent stuff.

Nevertheless, I can think of interesting stuff, that can be done with negative values, too. Voted:-)

 

so long

nic

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benjamingaines2

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benjamingaines2

benjamingaines2

29-11-2010

Really good points, both of you. There is a lot to chew on with this idea, but it's helpful to know that a.) the current process creates a lot of "overhead" in terms of setting permissions, hiding metrics, training your CEO, etc. and that b.) Transaction ID is viewed as a potential alternative to upload negative values after the fact, but that simply pushing negative values without tying to the visitor (and his/her associated eVar values) doesn't do the trick.

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BretGundy

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BretGundy

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BretGundy
Employee

07-04-2011

Solid points, mattweg. Negative numbers are supported in all versions of SiteCatalyst with the release on 7 April 2011.