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Why Undertake an Adobe Analytics Audit?

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

Written by: Susan Murray, General Manager

Dashboard of audit data and statistics.

The Importance of Adobe Analytics Audit

An audit of Adobe Analytics is a process of reviewing and verifying the accuracy, completeness, and validity of the data collected, stored, and analyzed by Adobe Analytics. Some of the reasons why you would want to perform the audit include:

  • Your team/users have lost confidence in the data – Multiple people in the company are now saying they can’t trust the data in Adobe Analytics to make decisions. At some point, analysts may have been misled by the wrong insights

  • Key resources have left – The previous key user(s) of Adobe Analytics have left your organization or changed positions, and there’s no Subject Matter Expert you can reach out to any longer

  • Your website or application has been modified or redesigned – When the User Interface of your website or app changes significantly, so should your Adobe Analytics instance. Adobe Analytics is not a static application. It’s ideal to have processes to evolve the application alongside your website or app

  • Your KPIs aren’t aligned with your business objectives correctly – Since your business isn’t standing still, factors could have changed since the implementation. You’re no longer able to report on the data that matters to the business

  • Too Basic of an implementation – A person or team new to Adobe Analytics designed the strategy and completed the initial implementation. It takes solid strategy and experience with Adobe Analytics to build the right setup that will support you for a good 12 months

  • Questionable performance metrics – does the data look too good or too bad to be true? Something is probably off, and Celerity will help you figure it out

  • Conversion and transactional data - are misaligned with actual business performance

  • Discrepancies in marketing channel performance - exist between Adobe Analytics marketing channel reports and other 3rd party systems

  • Several reports are empty or appear to contain partial data – data collection doesn’t just happen; it takes a strong framework to keep it current

  • Data in reports needs significant cleanup before any analysis can be performed


Steps of an Adobe Analytics Audit

The Adobe Analytics consulting team here at Celerity IS, Inc. has outlined a 5-step process to complete an audit for our clients:

  1. Creation of a detailed project work plan to set expectations, scope, and resources involved

  2. Conduct discovery meetings with your stakeholders to understand your business, your KPIs, analytics needs, and new opportunities

  3. Complete the audit and review along 3 dimensions: Setup, Implementation and Usage of Adobe Analytics. Issues to be inspected include:

    • Out-of-data AppMeasurement or Mobile SDK data collection code

    • Tech implementation issues that will cause issues in the future – for example, not following best practices with a solid data layer design and setup in a tag management tool

    • Campaign tracking & marketing channel configuration use that leads to an inaccurate depiction of performance

    • Report data that is inaccurate, inconsistent, or shows values such as ‘Unspecified’, ‘Other’, ‘Unknown’, or ‘None’ when these values weren’t expected

    • Default configurations for report suites, props, eVars, and event success metrics that have not been customized to accurately reflect your business

    • Classifications are not being maintained

4. Identify any complex issues leading to data quality problems that you know of today, or are discovered during the audit. This will typically cover:

  • Tag Presence – which Adobe Analytics tags fire on each page so you can check if any are missing

  • Duplicate Tags – where is Adobe Analytics firing multiple times per page which can inflate analytics results

  • Variables & Values – which variables and values are in your data layer so you can identify any missing or incomplete data

  • Tag Versions – which versions and report suites are firing on your site to ensure there is no mingling of data between domains and environments

  • Tag Load Times – how long is Adobe Analytics taking to load to ensure the tag doesn’t fail or slow down your site

5. Deliver a detailed and comprehensive report with clear & prioritized

recommendations on how and why your Adobe Analytics setup and data collection

should be fixed. This includes steps to also help you immediately improve upon your

ability to glean insights and act on your data


Next Steps Following an Audit

After completing the Adobe Analytics audit, here are the steps to address any issues or problems identified during the audit:

  • Review the audit report with your stakeholders and discuss the findings and recommendations and any areas of concern identified in the report

  • Develop a plan of action on which items to tackle and in what order (e.g., new controls, updating policies and procedures, making changes to the data collection, revisions to KPI formulas)

  • Begin implementation of agreed-upon recommendations and improvements. Typically, this will involve working with your IT resources/developers to make any platform-level changes (data layer, code structure on-site/app). It may also involve working directly in your Adobe Analytics instance and your tag management system (e.g., Adobe Launch, Adobe DTM, Tealium iQ, etc.) to execute other changes that need to occur

  • If this isn’t already in place, be sure to take the time after the audit to implement tracking of critical user flows so that you can proactively troubleshoot issues in the future

  • Next, review any changes that you would do first in your DEV environment, and then finally in your PROD instance so that you have confidence that data is being collected properly

  • Be sure to put in place an ongoing process to monitor the effectiveness of the changes made and to review the data collection and processing procedures on a scheduled basis

  • As a last step, communicate the results of the audit and the actions taken, so that your users and executives continue to have trust in the data and the insights that Adobe Analytics reports provide


Summary

The purpose of an audit of your Adobe Analytics platform is to ensure that the data being collected and analyzed is accurate, complete, and reliable and that the controls in place to protect the data are effective. This will improve the quality and usefulness of the insights and decisions based on this data. Our Celerity IS, Inc. consultants can assist you in this important audit because they uniquely bring to the project:

  • A proven process to complete the audit – strong procedures, tools, and detailed recommendations

  • A skilled team with deep knowledge of Adobe Analytics that is responsive, knowledgeable, efficient, and focused on delivering value

  • Ability to solve complex challenges and push the limits of Adobe Analytics

  • The specific steps to complete the audit in 5 days, presenting you with a deliverable that is actionable and precise

If you would like to speak to one of our Adobe Analytics consultants in regard to any questions you might have, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Sean Burrell at sean.burrell@celerity-is.com, or via his cell at (617) 816-9492.

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