Effective marketing today requires technology. While years ago, companies could put an ad in the phone book and wait, today’s digital world requires websites, cross channel distribution and analytics to successfully promote and measure your efforts – all of which are facilitated by technology tools such as a Content Management System (CMS).
Earlier this month, we walked you through a Sitecore 101 Blog, which included a complete list of out of box DMS reports in Sitecore that effective marketers just can’t ignore. In this article, we will walk you through the seven steps involved in manually setting up those reports.
The first step in effectively configuring your Sitecore DMS, is to do a little background research in Sitecore to find your dashboards and configure an Executive dashboard.
As silly as it sounds, finding your Sitecore data is really the first step in effectively configuring your dashboards, and even some smart marketers get hung up on this stage. You would be surprised how often I hear, “I don’t see any data in my Sitecore dashboard.”
So, step one is to find the data and data collection starts after we have configured the analytics database/DMS for Sitecore.
Sitecore configuration includes three default databases:
Sitecore DMS is not configured by default when we configure Sitecore for building the website.
We need to configure Sitecore DMS which populates the analytics database. The next step is to map the analytics database to Web database or database where all visitor information and data is collected. In little bit technical terms, it means we need to configure Sitecore Analytics on Production Environment.
A very important note, we need to change the connection string on Authoring, pointing to the Production Analytics Database, thus it will start showing the Analytics data from Production in content authoring environment. So we will see website Analytics by logging into content authoring environment. We do not want to login into production environment for accessing production (website) analytics for safety reasons.
We will then be able to see basic data within Executive Dashboard and Engagement analytics in Sitecore DMS.
(urls) into specific channels to see segmented data by various channels. I have heard people saying “I see data for some channels while other data is blank in dashboard”. Google analytics classify the channel data by default but in Sitecore you will need to set it up.
We need to classify all visits that appear in the Referred – Other category to make the dashboard data more meaningful. For example in above we need to classify LinkedIn into Social sites, otherwise all visits from LinkedIn will show in “Referred another category”. When you classify a traffic type, the changes are applied immediately but are not visible in the dashboard until the data in the current cache has been updated.
Goals and page event content items contain a Points field into which you can enter a value. Sitecore uses this number to calculate an overall value for a visit. As a visitor navigates around the website achieving various goals and triggering different page events the value of their visit is calculated. When a visitor leaves the website their total accumulated points for the visit are displayed in the Executive Insight Dashboard as the Engagement Value.
Have you configured all these basic steps to enable Sitecore analytics? What else you think is important for basic set of reporting?