Experience Analytics events provide the mechanisms for monitoring mission-critical metrics and other indicators of your web application's performance, including software errors, failures to complete transactions, customer struggles, and more. Through events, IT staff, business managers, and executives can keep tabs on critical aspects of the overall customer experience.
Experience Analytics event features include:
- Multiple triggers for evaluating event conditions based on when they are expected to occur in the session
- Multiple types of conditions to capture the many business events for which Experience Analytics users often search
- Multiple actions that enable different event and reference data to be stored and manipulated
- Triggering events off of events
- Support for creation and population of multiple reference dimensions to store contextual information about the event occurrence.
- User-defined variables for storing data for the duration of session evaluation
Events are triggered on conditions, then record a value and report dimensions. Event conditions and values are based on hit attributes, session attributes, other events, or a combination of all three.
Eventing and DOM capture
Experience Analytics eventing works for both full DOM and network capture. However, the resulting metrics and reporting data that is generated from an event definition can be effected by the capture type (full DOM versus Network) used.
If you created an event for a page that is captured by using network capture, and then decide to change the capture type for that page to full DOM, you are likely going to need to modify the existing Event definition.
Network capture configuration in the UIC focuses on capturing every user interaction, while DOM capture focuses on capturing strategic trigger points and on optimizing the triggers for snapshots.
Note: DOM Diff capture supports simple eventing only. If you created Events to work with full DOM capture, these events are likely not to work if you change from full DOM to DOM Diff.
Event engine scripting
The Event Engine is based on its ability to recognize hit attributes in the session data. Hit attributes, in the most generic sense, are the basis for recognizing data and marking it as an event in Experience Analytics. The data that is gathered by hit attributes are available only for the hit on which the event is triggered. For example, hit attributes for the third hit of the session, for example, URL, hit number, response time, are specific to the third hit of the session. Those hit attributes are different for the fourth hit of the session.
There are two types of hit attributes:
- System hit attributes: Hit Attributes maintains a set of attribute values for each hit captured. These attributes are managed by the Canister and cannot be modified such as Network Trip Time.
- Custom hit attributes: The data object type Hit Attribute can be used to identify explicit strings in session data or the content between two specified tags.
- Text Pattern example:
Logged Out. This text pattern example could be used as a condition for an event that identifies when the visitor explicitly logged out of your web application.
- Start Tag End Tag example: Suppose you wanted to identify the contents of the HTML table in the following code:
You could configure a hit attribute to use StartTag=
<TD ID="ShoppingCartValue">and EndTag=
</TD>to gather the contents of the cell (in this case:
$999.95). From these types of hit attributes, you can create a wide variety of events to monitor your web application.
- Text Pattern example:
Both types of hit attributes are displayed in the Hit Attribute tab of the Event Manager.
Session Attributes are values that are not specific to a hit. For example, Referrer for Session is a Session Attribute because it is the same throughout the session. Hit Referrer is a hit attribute because it changes per hit. Session Attributes need not to be constant throughout the session. The attribute Session Length changes on every hit. It is considered a Session Attribute and not a Hit Attribute because it is not specific to a hit. It is based on all hits up to that point in the session.
- System Session attributes: Similar to default hit attributes, default session attributes are commonly used properties that apply to the entire session such as Hit Count, Browser Type, or whether the session is from a Bot or not.
- Custom Session attributes: Custom session attributes are user-defined variables that are populated by events. While they can be used in an event, they are mostly useful for populating Session List Templates.
Both types of Session Attributes are displayed in the Session Attribute tab of the Event Manager.
An event defines a set of criteria for which to search the captured session data. When matches are found, one or more actions can be taken, including the saving and delivering of the recorded value to one or more systems.
When data captured from sessions of visitors to your web application arrive to the Processing Server, the Event Engine scans the data for the presence of these criteria. When these conditions are detected, the specified value is written.
Because Experience Analytics captures all requests and responses from visitor sessions, events provide a flexible facility for monitoring and analyzing individual hits and complete sessions.
Experience Analytics also enables the creation of reference dimensions, whose data is extracted from the session data when an event is triggered. When an event fires, the values of the associated dimensions are recorded with the event value. Suppose an event is triggered on a page with the following characteristics:
The values for the URL, Host, Application, and Server for the page on which the event is triggered can be recorded in dimensions of the same name.
In reporting, you can then use dimensions as the context for filtering event data. Suppose that you were interested in the URLs where a Status Code 500 (Internal Server Error) message appeared. You could create the Status Code 500 event, which looks for the appropriate message in the response. If the URL dimension is associated with the event, you can quickly generate a list of all URLs where the error occurred. The Portal includes an integrated dimensional report building facility.
Using events and dimensions, you can configure a wide-range of monitoring mechanisms, while capturing the contextual information necessary to make superior decisions.
Dimensions can be populated by Events, hit attributes, or Session Attributes.