Adobe Analytics Tutorial | What is SAINT Classification
SAINT classification > what a fancy name. What is it though?
What is classification in Adobe Analytics:
Classification allows us to append additional data points to any value. The objective of classification is to enrich the already collected data item with more information for better analysis and insights.
Like for example lets say you are passing campaign id through “cmpid” query parameter, and cmpid contains only campaign index (a unique number that you give to each campaign).
cmpid 1225 is for a “google adwords” source with “paid search” medium and “Jupiter socks exact match” campaign name
cmpid 1226 is for a “facebook ads” source with “paid social” medium and “Jupiter socks video” campaign name
Now, with Adobe Analytics you can simply pass the cmpid index (1225 or 1226 in example above) without the need to pass details around source/medium/campaign in the query parameters.
You can rather set these details in Adobe Analytics admin. With this Adobe Analytics allocates additional dimensions to the report you want to classify. And note : these additional dimensions are not additional props are eVars, so no extra variables are consumed.
How to configure variables for classification:
Now lets take an example, if you want to add source, medium and campaign name to the tracking code variable you can do that in the admin like this:
Admin > Report Suites > Choose the report suite where you have the variable for classification > (once the selection highlights a report suite selection) Edit settings
Now if you want to classify a prop report then traffic > traffic classification
else, if you want to classify an eVar report then conversion > conversions classification
In the next screen, you can select the variable from the select classification type drop down:
Now, if you click on the play button at the end of variable name you will get the option to “add classification”
Next you simply need to add the name and optionally the description, if you want to further classify this new variable as well, you can add the options in the dropdown list:
You will need to repeat this as many times as many variables you want to add. So in our example you will do this 3 times for source, medium and campaign name.
In the screenshots share the variable has 11 extra variables.
Once, this is done you can pass the values to the classified variables either through classification rule builder or through SAINT.
When to use classification rule builder and when to use SAINT?
Classification rule builder is convenient to use if you have simple logic to classify the data point, for example if you were passing your cmpid like “1225_googleAds_paidSearch_Jupiter socks exact match” instead of just “1225” then you can use classification rule builder to set “source” as googleAds if tracking code contains “googleAds” and set “medium” as paid Search with tracking code contains “paidSearch”
You can pass values formatted in regular expressions and configure classification rule builder to segregate the values based on the delimited and position.
For example in “1225_googleAds_paidSearch_Jupiter socks exact match”, the delimiter is “_” and we can fix the position that after first “_” we will pass source after second we will pass medium and after third we will pass campaign name.
If you do not have a simple logic and don’t follow a regular expression based approach, you will use SAINT classification instead
How to do SAINT classification?
Click on Admin, click on Classification importer
By default you will land on the “Download Template”
simply select your report suite and variable you need to classify and download the template
You can open this tab separated file in excel or google sheets.
It will look like this :
The “Key” column will always be there, but other columns are the names of classifications you added to the variable for which you have downloaded the template
Now here the “Key” variable is the value that has been already passed in Adobe Analytics
so for example, the cmpid is pushing the data in the “campaing” report
and for cmpid 1225 you want to set “google adwords” source with “paid search” medium and “Jupiter socks exact match” campaign name
so 1225 will be your Key as that is already getting passed in AA, then your entry in the sheet will be something like this:
Next you simply need to save this file. BUT MAKE SURE THAT THE FILE IS SAVED EITHER In .txt or .tab file extension
Next, again go to your classification importer and click on “Import File”
Here also simply select the report suite and variable and upload your file.
There are 2 optional check boxes.
Overwrite data on conflicts > If you select this then it will overwrite the existing data if same key is present. For example, if 1225 previously existed and you provide another value of 1225, it will overwrite the existing value in AA with a new one as classification is retroactive.
Automatically download Classifications file after the import is complete > This will download the final file processed by Adobe Analytics for classification. You can use this for your reference or utilise this file for future updates and uploads.
Few common issues (source : https://helpx.adobe.com/analytics/kb/common-saint-upload-issues.html) :
Classifications require a specific file type and format to upload successfully. If saved improperly, it throws an error and doesn’t process any rows. The error returned is frequently “First column is required to be the key”, but can be any number of errors. Be sure to check the following:
- Uploading a spreadsheet (.xlsx) instead of a .tab or .txt file: The classification importer does not know how to handle .xls or .xlsx files. When in the Save As dialogue in Excel, set the Save as type toText (Tab delimited) (*.txt) instead of Excel Workbook (*.xlsx).Note: Do not try to change the filename extension when saving the file without changing the Save as type. Doing so can make the attempted filename extension part of the filename. For example, trying to enter fileupload.txt into the filename field while the Save as type is still Excel Workbook creates an Excel Workbook named fileupload.txt.xlsx.
- Changing the filename extension after saving it as a workbook: Attempting to change any .xlsx extension to .tab or .txt generates an invalid workbook. Only use Excel’s Save As function or edit classifications in a text editor such as Notepad++.
- Using uppercase extensions: Uppercase extensions (such as fileupload.TXT) don’t work. Rename the file to a lowercase extension (fileupload.txt).
- Incorrect file encoding on Apple computers: If using Mac OS, save the file as Windows Formatted Text instead of Text Tab-delimited. Mac computers process text files differently than Windows, which causes the classification importer to throw an error.
- Mismatched character encoding: Be sure that the encoding of the saved classification upload matches the original encoding when the template was downloaded. If you upload a UTF-16 file when it was originally encoded in UTF-8, uploads produce unexpected results. Adobe recommends uploading files using UTF-8 without byte order marks.