The following article contains points of consideration and commonly asked questions to help develop the requirements for migrating Adobe Analytics from client-side tag to server-side connector using EventStream. 

Requirements

It is important to note that migrating from client-side to server-side could result in some minor differences in the data being sent to the analytics platform due to the delivery method and features available for each method. 

Testing and Validation

A new report suite or property will need to be set up for testing and should be identical to or as close to the production suite as possible in order to validate the server-side data. Important and varied reports currently produced out of the client-side analytics implementation should be used as benchmarks for validation against the testing suite/property. These reporting suites should have the same processing rules as differences can cause issues during validation. It is also helpful to identify core metrics, defined as the most business-critical or project use case relevant fields, for validation. These values should be validated first and any issues addressed before beginning the server-side migration. Tealium will configure the server-side connectors to send data to those suites, making data validation easier.

Client-side Generated Data Points

Sending data directly to analytics vendors through client-side network requests automatically provides those vendors with certain data points (ex: IP addresses, browser user agents, third-party cookies, etc.). Those data points will need to be present in the server-side payload in order to be sent in the final API request.

Adobe Analytics: Considerations

Here are some considerations unique to the Adobe Analytics EventStream connector that should be reviewed before beginning a migration:

  • Visitor Identification: If Adobe’s Experience Cloud ID is being utilized, the existing tag should continue to run client-side to ensure identifiers are as similar as possible. Server-side data insertion into Adobe should include one of the following visitor identification attributes: <visitorID>, <marketingCloudVisitorID> or <IPaddress>. If the customer is currently using the marketingCloudVisitorID, the IP address will be sent if given permission. If an Adobe Experience Cloud ID is not being used, please reach out to your Customer Success Manager for further assistance.
  • Do Plugins / Plugin: If doPlugins or any other plugins included as a part of the current Adobe Analytics Installation are being utilized, the existing code will need to be rewritten to replicate this functionality. Identifying and removing any doPlugIns not needed for the migration will reduce the level of effort later in the project.
  • Link Tracking: If link tracking is being utilized, additional code will need to be added client-side, along with any customizations or specific props/eVars sent with link tracking events in order to recreate "link_type" and "link_name". This will generate the type of click that takes place (i.e. generic click, download, etc.) Gathering details around the current link tracking setup is useful since this code will need to be rewritten as part of the server-side migration.
  • Adobe ActivityMap: The Activity Map module of Adobe Analytics allows users to view data overlays on links and content to understand how users engage with the website. If the Activity Mapping module is in use, additional code will need to be added client-side to gather the values required. 
  • Adobe Audience Manager: If the Adobe Audience Manager is being utilized, a separate connector will need to be implemented. Running the Audience Manager client-side is not recommended due to the necessary inclusion of the Adobe library. 
  • Adobe Target: Adobe Target is not available for a server-side implementation. Using a server-side connector for Adobe Target causes delays by up to 24 hours and will not allow for accurate personalization of the page. Adobe Target can be run client-side while the rest of the implementation executes server-side.
  • IP Address: As shared above, exposing the user’s IP address can provide a more accurate representation of where the calls are coming from in Adobe products. If you are interested in enabling IP address collection server-side, please reach out to your Customer Success Manager.
  • Consider other dependencies: If there are other vendors integrated into the Adobe Analytics setup  - either other Adobe products or outside vendors - it's important to identify any dependencies early so they can be accounted for in the migration plan.

Validating Adobe Analytics
There are a few helpful tools that can be used to validate Adobe Analytics client-side network calls. Tealium recommends:

Commonly Asked Questions

How does server-side analytics tracking work in Tealium?

Moving Adobe Analytics server-side will involve removing client-side libraries (except in a few places like the Adobe Experience Cloud ID) from the page entirely. Code that was handled by a specific module or a piece of the vendor's library will need to be converted into Tealium compatible code.

What will be different from the current client-side experience?
Depending on the vendor, removing client-side code can cause a variance in attribution. While Tealium aims to minimize this variance as much as possible, it is not guaranteed to be identical.

It is important to keep in mind that when reviewing reporting for a client-side to server-side migration, a 3%-7% reporting variance is considered standard. This statistic is based on averages and may not align exactly with a unique implementation. If questions arise regarding the differences in the vendor's reporting, please contact a vendor representative.

Why do variances in reporting occur?

Traffic variances may occur for a few reasons including:

  • The vendor's tag code takes longer to load than the Tealium Collect Tag code, so the event is captured by our server instead of by the vendor's code depending on how quickly the visitor navigates away from the page.
  • Server-side requests through the API connection could time out in scenarios where a client-side request would be successful.
  • Server-side data collection may lose cached page navigation data because using a web browser’s back button or reloading a cached page does not generate additional server requests or responses. This condition may limit pathing data available for analytics reports.

Is there any way to limit the attribution changes?
Enabling the exposure of a user’s IP Address is required. The IP address provides greater accuracy and prevents Adobe from interpreting users as originating from the same place (i.e. the Tealium IP Address).

If you are interested in enabling IP address collection server-side, please reach out to your Customer Success Manager.

 

Does this change how data is validated?
Moving analytics server-side will limit the ability to verify the requests since the requests will not show in vendor validation tools (ex: Adobe Experience Cloud Debugger) and are no longer visible from the browser. Connector actions can be validated using the Trace Tool found within the Tealium Tools Chrome extension.

Other Tealium Employee Resources and Related Articles

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Last update:
‎03-11-2021 11:01 AM
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