Adobe Analytics For Dummies
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Adobe Analytics is the most powerful tool available for analyzing digital consumer data, but it’s easier to grasp if you know where to start. Master the most basic and widely applicable features in the easiest way. Get details on two standard calculated metrics in the analytics industry that focus on analyzing engagement on your site, app, or other digital property. Discover several tips to improve your productivity in Analysis Workspace.

The Most Used Features in Adobe Analytic's Analysis Workspace

Adobe’s Analysis Workspace is where you perform the bulk of your data analysis. The interface is intuitive, but there’s a lot to it. The following tips will guide you through the easiest ways to access the most widely used features:

  • Log in to the Adobe Experience Cloud. You need your Adobe ID and password, which your administrator set up. After you’ve logged in, click the Solution Selector icon in the top-right corner (it looks like three rows of three dots each), and choose Analytics from the drop-down menu.
  • To make sure you’re in Analysis Workspace, look at the top-left of your screen and confirm that the word Workspace is highlighted. If Reports is highlighted instead, click Workspace to switch to Adobe’s most powerful browser-based analytics tool.
  • Create a new project by clicking the blue Create New Project button and then choosing a blank template or one of Adobe’s preconfigured templates.
  • Define a timeframe for your project by clicking anywhere in the date that appears in the top-right corner of Analysis Workspace. You can manually enter dates in the two boxes (Start and Finish), or click in the calendar to set start and finish dates for your project’s timeframe. You can also click the drop-down menu above the blue Apply button to find an abundance of prebuilt time ranges, including Last 7 Days and Last Month.
  • Create a panel for tables or visualizations by clicking the Add Blank Panel link in the large section of Analysis Workspace to the right of your screen. You can choose from a set of table and visualization options.
  • Toggle between displaying and hiding the left rail by hovering your cursor over (or off) the left edge of the Analysis Workspace screen.
  • Quickly access panels, visualizations, and components by clicking one of the three icons at the top of the left rail.
  • Add a freeform table by clicking the Visualizations icon in the left rail, and then dragging and dropping the top item, Freeform Tables, into your blank panel on the right.
  • Add a dimension, metric, segment, or timeframe to a panel by clicking Components in the left rail and then dragging the element to your freeform table.
  • Quickly find components by entering a string of numbers, letters, and symbols in the Search box at the top of the left rail.
  • When in doubt, right-click. Many of the most widely used features in Analysis Workspace appear in context menus.

Engagement Metrics You Need for Adobe Analytics

Take advantage of the advanced features in Adobe Analytics by building and applying calculated metrics, the data points created in Adobe Analytics after data has been processed and is accessible in the Adobe interface. Interestingly, calculated metrics don’t have to contain a calculation, but they usually do. A calculated metric in Adobe Analytics could be a metric with a different attribution method, segment, or calculation applied to it. Following are several simple calculated metrics that you should find useful as you begin your Adobe Analytics journey.

Page views per visit metric

Companies care about the amount of visitor engagement on their website and mobile app. A common metric that dissects engagement uses this calculation: page views divided by visits. The thinking behind this metric is simple:

  • Page views: Focuses on quantity, showing the amount of content viewed
  • Visits: Focuses on quality and is used as the denominator to ensure that the analysis is focusing on visits in which a lot of content is viewed at once

The page views per visit metric has been used by digital analysts for decades and provides a useful lens into the quality of the visits that are being driven by your marketing channels, device types, or geographies. The following figure shows how the metric is built in Adobe’s interface.


When you apply the page views per visit metric (or any calculated metric), also include in your analysis a metric that isn’t calculated. This non-calculated metric will help provide context to your analysis. For example, suppose you’re analyzing mobile devices that access your site and notice that a specific device, the Microsoft Kin, has the highest page views per visit by far. Before you call your team to let them know that your site has to be rebuilt with the dimensions of this device from 2010 in mind, it would be smart to add the visits and unique visitors metrics to your analysis. This additional context will help you realize that page views per visit was high for the Kin because only one visitor came to your site with that device. The additional context of your non-calculated metrics provided a valuable lesson: Don’t be fooled by high calculations without context.

Content velocity

Unfortunately, page views per visit has other faults besides a potential lack of context. When page views per visit is applied to the page dimension, it shows only the number of times each page is revisited, on average, within a visit. A more interesting question is, “What pages help drive additional page views on other pages?” The answer will provide you with the pages that are most likely to encourage your visitors to be engaged on your site. This additional metric is easy to build. The metrics are the same as page views per visit, with page views in the numerator and visits in the denominator. The only change has to do with the attribution model applied to the numerator. Use the Calculated Metric Builder in Adobe to apply a non-default attribution model set to Participation, as shown in the following figure.


Thanks to the magic of participation, every subsequent page view is included in the count of page views when you apply participation. After you create the content velocity metric, you can apply it to the page dimension to discover the pages that are not only being viewed often per visit but are also convincing your visitors to continue reading other pages on your site, too.

Adobe Analytics Analysis Workspace Productivity Hacks

Face it: You’re busy at work. Whether you’re a marketer, an analyst, or a data scientist, your time is limited and your calendar is full of meetings. To make the most of the time that you spend in Adobe’s Analysis Workspace tool, use the following list of our favorite productivity hacks to make the most of every second that you spend in the Adobe interface:

  • When working in a freeform table, you may want to select multiple rows of data at the same time. Shift-click (Mac and PC) to select multiple contiguous rows of data. Or Command-click (Mac) or Control-click (PC) to select multiple noncontiguous rows of data.
  • Our most-used keyboard shortcut is Command+S (Mac) or Control+S (PC) to save the current project. We’re compulsive savers because we know there’s always a chance that the browser or computer will crash, and we’d hate to lose our analysis work. Add Shift to this keyboard combination (Command+ Shift +S on a Mac or Control+Shift +S on a PC) to Save As so you can duplicate and rename the project.
  • Another useful keyboard shortcut is Command+C (Mac) or Control+C (PC) to copy data from a freeform table to the clipboard. We like to use this to more easily extract data out of Analysis Workspace into other analysis tools such as Excel or even into an email message.
  • If we were to analyze the keyboard shortcuts that we use the most, Command+Z (Mac) or Control+Z (PC) would be high on this list. This keyboard shortcut for undo is useful when analyzing because you often begin exploring your data in one path, realize there isn’t much of interest there, and then want to undo your work step by step. If you ever undo too far, you can always press Command+Shift+Z (Mac) or Control+Shift+Z (PC) to redo a step.
  • We love creating calculated metrics on-the-fly. This task is necessary when you have two metrics in a freeform table to which you want to apply a simple calculation: divide, subtract, add, or multiply. First, highlight the column headers of two metrics (by clicking to highlight one metric, then Shift-click or Command-click or Control-click a second metric). Second, right-click one of the highlighted column headers. Third, click Create Metric from Selection and choose the math operator to apply. If you want to apply a function to just a single calculated metric, apply Mean, Median, Column Max, Column Min, or Column Sum to any single metric. One final timesaver is to open a single metric in Calculated Metric Builder, as shown at the end of the following figure.


Each of these productivity hacks will help speed your analysis and increase your skill. We hope you enjoy all the free time you now have to continue learning about Analysis Workspace!

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Eric Matisoff is Adobe's global evangelist for their Analytics solution. He appears regularly at tech and industry events to speak about Adobe products and their potential. David Karlins has written 40 books on digital communications and design, including HTML 5 & CSS 3 For Dummies.

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