Henry spends more time with Adobe Omniture (SiteCatalyst) than he does with his own family (we’re not kidding). This means he’s very well placed to offer us all a few best practice tips on Segments.

SiteCatalyst – as I STILL call it – can be an amazing tool for analytics and insights, but it can also be overwhelming and, at times, confusing, for new users. This can especially be the case when dealing with data across different dimensions, events and metrics.

Segmenting your data can help break stuff down and give you more detailed and specific insights, but to ensure you’re getting the most accurate results possible, you need to be aware of how the segments have been created and what criteria they contain. An issue I see regularly is when users create reports using segments that other people have created and just assume they’ve been set up correctly.

A few rules I go by are that if I haven’t created a segment I’m using, I’ll look at the criteria of it and how it’s been created. If I’m unsure of anything, I’ll create a test segment using my own criteria logic and tie the results back to the original segment. This is a great way to tie back data and discover possible discrepancies.

Another thing I also do when using roll-up data i.e. data from one or more sources which may also contain sub-levels of data, is to do a manual count the first time I pull the data. This ensure s that my roll-up data total does actually include all of the sources and sub-levels – these things can be easy to miss!

By carrying out these and a few other checks, you can be a lot more confident that your data is solid and consistent – two things which are imperative in the world of analytics and reporting!”

[tips guest=”henry”]