The Sitecore Experience Platform 8.2 was released over a month ago, and I have been digging into the new features by participating in a Sitecore information meeting and reading release notes. This blog post is about a component I am looking forward to work with.
Improvements for Sitecore Path Analyzer component
I am particularly looking forward to try the new features in the Path Analyzer. The Path Analyzer is a tool, that enables you to see the paths your visitors take when navigating through your website. With the Path Analyzer, you can create maps to show the sequential paths your visitors take and you can see how the visitors are interacting with campaigns and triggering goals and events.
More data views and greater filtering
In my opinion, the Path Analyzer worked great for demos because you could quickly visualize different paths on a website, but it was rather difficult for marketers to grasp how to interpret the data shown. Yes, the data visuals were nice, but knowing how and why to use it was the issue.
Now Sitecore has focused on making it more user friendly for the marketer, and as a result there has been added more views in order to make it easier to read the maps and interpret the data. There are now three views; Horizontal, Vertical and Table. Also, advanced sequential filtering is now possible with a path filter. For instant a new Metric filter makes it easier to find outliers and interesting correlations between key node metrics. Additionally, the nodes on the maps have been more elaborated with more detailed information (display name, template, content tree path, and URL).
The pictures below depict how the customer journey now can be visualized in more ways than one in the Path Analyzer.
I really like how Sitecore has worked with the data visualization in order to increase the value of the tool for the marketers. In order for a business to become truly data driven it is vital to have the right tools to support this.
Reports and more detailed map insights
Sitecore also improved on a Dashboard for the Path Analyzer component. More categories are available in the redesigned Reports part. Furthermore, a list of contacts who have visited a particular path is included and data can be exported into a CSV file for further data analysis – for instant for those who want to dig further into the data, create their own graphs, track other correlations or maybe use alongside other company data.
Below you can get a glimpse of the more detailed reporting, increased focus on map insights and funnel options on the Path Analyzer dashboard.
Valuable and needed improvements
In my eyes, Sitecore has made needed improvements for the Path Analyzer in order to make the tool more valuable and useful for the marketers. It is a strength that Sitecore involves their customers and partners in order to continually strengthen on the platform and not just launch new features, but also focus on improving existing ones. It is crucial to listen to your users and continuously work with user optimization in all types of industries.
Overview of the improvements for the Sitecore Path Analyzer
If you are still curious about the improvements, you can see an overview of the improvements from Sitecores Release Notes below:
- Horizontal, Vertical and Table views have been added to make it easier to read the maps.
- A path filter has been added, which provides advanced sequential filtering.
- You can now apply a Metrics filter with data visualization to easily find outliers or interesting correlations between key node metrics.
- You can now create and explore funnels in the Path Analyzer.
- The Dashboard is the new default view for marketers that showcases the KPIs from a selected map, top landing pages, featured paths, and favorite funnels.
- A context-sensitive help window has been implemented in the Path Analyzer.
- The map selector has been improved to enable favorites, show status, and display metadata.
- The Date range selector has been redesigned to display date intervals for the available map data.
- The Reports feature has been redesigned and now includes more categories.
- You can now see a list of contacts who visited a particular path.
- You can now export map data into a CSV file using download or copy commands.
- All nodes now have labels which you can switch on and off.
- Item info for nodes now provides greater detail and includes the display name, template, content tree path, and URL.
- The Notification bar has been extended to display all key app messages.
- The Page Analyzer app has been rebuilt on the new technology stack and aligned with the main application.
- API level data compression has been introduced, which reduces payload and improves application responsiveness.
- Map retrieval performance has been improved, reducing the load on the master database and improving API performance.
- The Silverlight dependency has been replaced with a standard HTML technology with great cross-browser compatibility.
- The application has been redesigned for improved usability.
- Duplicate nodes are now removed by default. This behavior is controlled by the PathAnalyzer.Aggregation.CollapseDuplicateRecords’ setting.