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Extend Cross-Device Analytics to become Cross-User-Agent Analytics as a method for identifying unique visitors generally

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yuhuisg
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yuhuisg
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17-02-2021

Description - Cross-Device Analytics allows analysts to understand user behaviour across devices, by stitching device data together.

I would like to see this extended to become more of a general "Cross-User-Agent Analytics", where (field-based) stitching works across devices and browsers (and even standalone browsers and in-app browsers in mobile devices).

I would also like to see this extended to all AA SKUs, not just AA Ultimate.

Why is this feature important to you - Given modern browsers' tracking restrictions, it might be more feasible and accurate for clients to provide their own "user ID" that analytics systems can consume. Also, with the proliferation of apps and browsers (standalone and in-app), there are many areas where a common user ID is beneficial to identify actual unique visitors, or "people".

How would you like the feature to work - The client provides its own "user ID" (with Adobe providing a fallback user ID, e.g. with the current Experience Cloud ID Service). AA consumes this user ID and uses it as its own visitor ID. This has the added benefit of AA being able to count Unique Visitors using this client-supplied user ID, instead of a cookie-based visitor ID that is subject to modern browsers' tracking restrictions.

Current Behaviour - Cross-Device Analytics is limited to stitching device data together, but there is no (apparent) impact on counting unique visitors, or even overcoming modern browsers' tracking restrictions.

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luekl
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20-02-2021

I agree. Offering an Analytics solution without at least some kind of basic stitching (e.g. like Google Analytics User ID feature which at least does session backstitching) is not up to today's reality. Having to pay extra for CDA just to get a sensible Visitor journey is imho not justified.

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Matt_Freestone
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23-02-2021

Hi and thank you for your feedback.

 

CDA can use one of 3 different options for figuring out how to group devices together into people:

 

  • Adobe Co-op
  • Adobe private graph
  • Field-based stitching

I believe field-based stitching best meets the needs you are describing. Field-based stitching requires that you store a user ID of some sort (typically a hashed user identifier) in a prop or eVar when the user is known (typically when they are logged in.) If the login occurs on multiple devices/cookies/browsers, CDA + field-based stitching will use the ID stored in the prop/eVar as the basis for stitching. In other words, CDA + field-based stitching allows you to specify the ID that should be used for stitching devices/cookies/browsers together. CDA does fall back to the visitor ID when the user is unknown. Field-based stitching is deterministic only. That is, it relies on user identification as the method for determining which devices belong together. There is no probabilistic matching for example.

 

CDA also includes the ability to restate up to 7 days of historical data once per week, which allows it to bring in earlier parts of the customer journey (i.e. back stitch) where the user was not authenticated up to 7 days in the past.

 

Note: Given that CDA allows you to merge together the authenticated and unauthenticated parts of the user journey, please ensure you are ensure that you are complying with applicable laws and regulations, including obtaining necessary end users permissions, prior to merging data sets.

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yuhuisg
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23-02-2021

@Matt_Freestone , my idea builds on field-based stitching.

There are 2 aspects of CDA that are not immediately apparent (to me):

  1. If a user is using a client's mobile app, and within that app, he causes an in-app browser to open with the client's website. Let's say CDA is already in use. Will AA know how to stitch the hits from the app and in-app browser together? My idea intends for that to happen.
  2. While CDA results in a "People" metric, I don't recall reading anything about how it affects the existing "Unique Visitor" metric in AA. My idea suggests unifying these 2 metrics into 1 single "Unique Visitor" metric.

There is also Cross-Channel Analytics. I think that could be unified with CDA as well.

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Matt_Freestone
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24-02-2021

Great questions.

(1) The best way to configure the implementation so that CDA will stitch the app hits with the in-app browser hits is to ensure the same user ID is stored in whatever prop or eVar you are using for field-based stitching. (The same user ID should be stored in the prop or eVar in both the app hits and the in-app browser hits.)

(2)  CDA stitched data is exposed through a special type of virtual report suite. In that virtual report suite there is no longer a unique visitors metric. Instead, there is a people metric and a unique devices metric. Unique devices is a little like unique visitors, but not exactly the same. See also:

Because CDA uses a virtual report suite, the original report suite (which contains the unique visitors metric) is still available for analysis if desired.