First off, I am not privy to the upgrade timeline and what’s involved there in terms of who gets upgraded and when that happens. That being said, I think that it is important for everyone to be aware of both the benefits of upgrading as well as the customer-side factors that might slow down the decision to migrate. I will also preface this with the fact that I am excited for every client that I work with to get upgraded, as the new features and implementation capabilities will greatly increase what they can do with their analytics investment.
SiteCatalyst 15 Migration Benefits:
- The new context variables and processing rules
- Real-time segmentation (you’re living under a rock if you don’t know about that one!)
- Segment sharing between Omniture Discover and SiteCatalyst
- Upgraded dashboards (including segmentation of the dashboards themselves)
- True unique visitors (matching the # in Omniture Discover)
- Visits are now calculated for non-cookied visitors
- Full subrelations enabled on all eVars (i.e. conversion variables)
- Visitors, Visits and Page Views available on all reports
- Bounce Rate available on more reports
- More accurate calculation of time spent on site/page
- Deduplication of visitors in classification reporting and in merchandising eVars
- Enhanced video reporting and measurement
- Better Data Warehouse functionality such as editing a request, scheduling a previously created request, and better status/error reporting
I’m sure that I’m missing some things here, and that there are more benefits, but these are the ones that stood out for me as a regular user of these features. Now, a few of what might be challenges for some customers.
SiteCatalyst 15 Migration “Gotchas:”
- Segmentation will only work for data collected under the new platform. So, you will not be able to segment your data in SiteCatalyst prior to the migration. The implication here is that you will have to wait for year over year segmented data. However, how useful is that data really anyway? Tell me an actual change you’ve made on your site after looking at how Jan 2010 did compared to Jan 2011?
- In order to utilize the processing rules feature there will be a certification process that has to be passed. This is to safeguard the implementation integrity so that an accident does not cause a significant problem for an implementation.
- As with segmentation above, the new visitor metric will only be available from the date of the migration, moving forward.
- The new calculation of visits (i.e. the inclusion of non-cookied visitors) will increase your numbers for the visits metric. I’d doubt this will be a huge increase, but nonetheless, it will need to be something you are aware of and will need to educate your users as such.
- The new calculation of time spent will change this data moving forward only. The impact being that your time spent will be more accurate, but that again there is a change of which you will need to educate your users.
- Video measurement in SiteCatalyst 15 will require an upgrade to your video implementation. This probably won’t be any more complicated that your original implementation was, but it will need to be done. So, the tricky thing here is timing a video implementation that you need to do now, while knowing that you will eventually be upgraded to SiteCatalyst 15 and might have to recode it. Again, since I’m not privy to the upgrade timeline for everyone, this is something you’d need to discuss with your Omniture account manager. Also, I’d point out that this is about all that I know about the video measurement. The upgrade to video measurement will work for v14 and v15 as well (when it’s out of beta), so there is that good news.
- Segmentation is not in the Excel Client or Report Builder with the initial release of SiteCatalyst 15. I am positive that this will come at sometime down the road, but the point is that if you use these tools for reporting and dashboards, you will not be segmenting in them until the time that there’s an upgrade there.
- SiteCatalyst 15 will not provide ASI slots/segments. This makes sense since you will have segmentation, but the real challenge is to cope with not having access to those old ASI slots for reporting once you migrate to SiteCatalyst 15.
If you have any questions or other thoughts, leave me a comment below!