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“A Tip for the QA of Digital Analytics Data” or “Good Isolation Rocks”

December 5, 2013

In the recording studio, isolation can be very important. Isolation techniques keep the guitar amp (volume set to 11) from bleeding into the drum microphones and vise versa. Good isolation gives you greater control and more sound shaping options during the mixing process.

In analytics, isolation or segmentation, is critical as well. This is especially true while testing the integrity of your analytics implementation.

This quick tip will help you standardize and simplify your analytics Quality Assurance, by isolating the activity of those people testing data integrity from those responsible for other testing in the same environment (development, QA, production, etc.)

The data input process:

  • Document a clear set of repeatable actions and specify the order of the actions
    • Go to XYZ page through a link with a predefined QA tracking code appended (?cid=qa_regression_test)
    • Search for “Antidisestablishmentarianism
    • Compete the Contact Us form
    • Etc.
    • Have the testers execute the documented process
    • Note the number of testers, times at which the procedures where executed, etc.
    • Validate the expected data is returned in your analytics tool/s

The Tip (using SiteCatalyst nomenclature, though this can be done in any tool with segmentation capabilities):

  • Create a segment for “visits” where your specified tracking code (qa_regression_test ) was passed in.
    • Note: Always validate your data set when first creating a segment.

When you apply you’re newly created segment you will have isolated the data passed in specifically from your testers and eliminated the “noise” from anyone else that may have been working in that environment. This technique is particularly valuable when testing in a production environment.

Rock on!

Want to hear some of my music? Go to: http://www.reverbnation.com/matthewcoen

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