Getting started with Adobe Analytics and Alteryx

Sometimes you need your Web data raw and ready to stew. Adobe Data Warehouse is great for that. But sometimes you need to toss other ingredients into this stew and feed the troops at every meal. And at other times your job is to break out the silver and create a work of culinary art. Alteryx workflows and Tableau visualizations are powerful tools to have in the kitchen for more complex data assembly and mouth-watering presentation.

This post is about giving you the best of both worlds…or at least getting you started.

Adobe Analytics provides leading-edge reporting and segmentation tools coupled with the ability to consolidate almost everything under one (Adobe) roof. But if you haven’t built this roof yet or if you need to blend Web data into an internal report or predictive model, the Alteryx Connector to Adobe Analytics (a macro created by Taylor Cox) is a powerful way to pull data from the Adobe API to an existing workflow and Tableau dashboard.

Step 1 is simply to download the right connector…it’s the macro by Taylor Cox that looks like this:  

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In my haste and excitement I ignored the very clear instructions to read the README file first.  This was big mistake.  I know you’re already excited so let me give you a preview of the steps you need to follow to get the Adobe Analytics Connector up and running in no time:
 

  1. Make sure your Adobe User has Web Services privileges enabled
  2.  

  3. Find the Username and Shared Secret on your User’s Adobe profile
  4.  

  5. Download and unzip the Adobe Analytics Connector (Open in Alteryx Designer)
  6.  

  7. Run the application “Adobe Analytics” in the Adobe Analytics Connector directory
  8.  

  9. Enter your Adobe credentials…follow the steps…success should occur
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  11. Run the application “Adobe Analytics – Library Manager” in the Adobe Analytics Connector directory
  12.  

  13. You should see a list of Adobe Report Suites…add all that you need
  14.  

  15. Click Finish

 
If everything worked as planned, when you add the Adobe Analytics Connector to an Alteryx workflow (either by inserting it as a Macro or from your toolbar) your report suites (and measures) should appear in the tool configuration.  If you don’t see your report suites in the Connector, review the steps above and (please) review the README file in detail.

 

So what’s next?

The limitations of the Adobe Connector are essentially those native to the Adobe API, such as restrictions on element (dimension) combinations or volume by API call (e.g. 50,000 element breakdown limit).  And the Adobe Connector makes it very easy to pull larger data sets filtered by 1-2 segments and including Elements with Classification as illustrated below:

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For these reasons I have found the Adobe Connector to be most useful for importing larger datasets directly into existing workflows for blended Web Analytics dashboards &/or predictive analytics.  For Data Scientists, Rsitecatalyst is the most flexible way to programmatically access Adobe Analytics in R via the API.  But if you are not an R coder, or if you have already baked predictive analytics in an Alteryx Workflow and want an automated way to pull data into your model, the Adobe Analytics Connector may be a faster way to get up and running.
 
OK…that should be enough to get started using the Adobe Analytics Connector in Alteryx.  Take it for a test drive and share what you learn! If you have any question, let’s connect via email.

 

Jesse Weissman
Jesse has 15+ years of experience building Analytical teams for global companies in the Retail, Technology and Publishing industries. Jesse defines and implements Data Strategy, Digital Marketing, Site Optimization, and Customer Segmentation using descriptive and predictive analytics. He is currently the Senior Manager, Finance & Analytics at Harvard Business Publishing.