Last Tuesday I attended Adam Greco’s Adobe Analytics “Top Gun” Course in Chicago, IL.

As an avid fan of chess, I very much appreciated Adam Greco’s use of chess analogies to explain the process of learning Adobe Analytics. There are basically three steps to the process:

  • Understand the fundamental capability of each product feature;
  • Learn the essential elements of strategic thinking: recognizing and applying patterns; and finally
  • Practice and practice (and practice some more)

In chess step one is relatively easy because the game has only six rules. This is why chess is such an awesome game; it is deceptively simple. Unfortunately the same cannot be written about Adobe Analytics. The product features are numerous and there are many nuances to each feature as Adobe continues to add to and improve its Analytics product. Training sessions like Adam’s reinforces what I already know and allows me to gain clarity on topics that I don’t encounter often.

For example, during the morning session, Adam offered another way of explaining two complicated topics: custom traffic and conversion variables. This is very helpful as the first part of my interaction with clients is to help them understand these concepts.

Another topic that we covered is Merchandising eVar, which is a complicated concept that I don’t encounter often. I knew that it is a method to tie a product to multiple categories. It was helpful to learn other ways that I can use merchandising eVar and it is not necessarily for ecommerce sites.

In the afternoon session we learned step 2, recognizing and applying implementation pattern to analytics challenges. Adam assigned each one of us a real life scenario that he had come across in his 1000+ implementations and we were to come up with a solution. My scenario was to track internal site search. The implementation had to capture the search term, number of search results, how many searches the user attempted, the order in which the search was completed, and the page on which the search was completed.  This is a highly relevant report as many websites contain an internal site search.

I won’t share the solution here for the time being in the hope that you will leave a comment with your solution. Please do so! I’d love to hear from you.

On a final point worth mentioning is that step 2 is very difficult, but incredibly fun to master; this applies to both chess and Adobe Analytics. This is why step 3 is really just mastering step 2. For learning and applying pattern recognition in chess, sitting in front of the chess board with John Nunn’s “Understanding Chess Move by Move” is my current method. Also, my husband is a great opponent to practice with. For Adobe Analytics, it is slightly more difficult to practice because there is no “1001 Practice Implementation Scenarios” book to help me think through and implement on my sandbox.  The challenge becomes to “practice by doing,” which at times doesn’t feel optimal.  Do any you have any recommendations when it comes to practice?