Sunday, March 14, 2010

Difference Between Omniture DataWarehouse and ASI slots

Many first time users of Omniture SiteCatalyst have this question as to what is the difference between DataWarehouse and ASI slots. Infact ASI slots is part of Omniture DataWarehouse. However there is a major difference between the two -- whereas DataWarehouse is ideally used for ad hoc analysis (mostly one time requests), ASI slots are created for segmenting your traffic and using all your SiteCatalyst reports on this segments.


Data Warehouse and ASI (Advanced Segmentation Insight) are similar reporting options in that they allow you to produce reports based on segments of data (e.g. visits where the referrer was Google, page views where a purchase occurred, etc.). Ultimately, Data Warehouse and ASI use the same data set to generate reports, and both will add significant value to your online business optimization efforts when used correctly. However, these two products use very different methods to present segmented data, and it is important to understand when to use Data Warehouse and when to use ASI to address your business questions.

The results of a Data Warehouse request are provided either via e-mail or FTP, in .csv (comma-separated values) format, for offline consumption. The result is always presented in a single file. As such, Data Warehouse reports are typically run on an ad hoc basis, when you need a certain set of data for a defined, historical date range. When setting up a Data Warehouse report, the report parameters must be chosen to reflect the purpose of the report; nearly every data point collected in SiteCatalyst is available as a breakdown in these reports.

For instance, if you needed to report on all orders by visitors in December 2009 who came to your site via a certain marketing campaign, you might use Data Warehouse rather than ASI, because this information can easily be presented in a single report using multiple breakdowns. After defining your segment, you would include the relevant breakdowns (e.g. products, tracking codes, purchase IDs, etc.) and metrics (e.g. orders, revenue, page views). The result would be a single file, delivered via e-mail or FTP, which you could use to analyze campaign effectiveness.

Unlike Data Warehouse, ASI acts as its own report suite, processing the full set of data returned by a segment and making this data available in the full suite of SiteCatalyst reports. Once enabled, an ASI segment can continue applying a segment and processing incoming data indefinitely. As such, ASI is a more appropriate option for ongoing analysis of a data segment, rather than ad hoc reporting, and when your analysis does not require the advanced correlation/subrelation capability of Data Warehouse (i.e. ASI
is limited by the correlation and subrelation functionality of SiteCatalyst, which does not allow page view-based data, such as Custom Traffic variables, to be broken down by persistent, visit- or visitor-based data, such as Custom Conversion variables).

You might use an ASI slot if you wanted to focus continually on first-time visits. After naming your ASI slot (e.g. "First-Time Visits"), setting up your segment and specifying a starting date for the ASI slot, you could select the ASI slot from the report suite selector drop-down menu in SiteCatalyst to view any report - including Traffic Sources, Campaigns, Pathing reports, and more - for only that portion of your site-wide data included in the segment.

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