Through the Event Manager, you can specify data dimensions to track metadata associated with an event. They can be considered the contextual data captured at the moment of event execution.
A dimension contains a set of values that are captured from the session data stream, which is based on the evaluation of an event, hit attribute or session attribute. For example, you can configure a dimension to capture the URL of the requested page from the request buffer. This specific dimension might be configured to be sourced from a hit attribute that is defined to recognize the start and end of the URL information in the standard request.
Note: Experience Analytics provides the
URL dimension specifically for this purpose.
Dimensions can be grouped into report groups and associated with events for reporting purposes. A report group that contains multiple dimensions is called a crossed-dimension report group.
In Experience Analytics reports, you can report on event counts and values in the presence of specific dimensions or dimension values. These associations provide essential context for when the event occurred; when the event fires, the data of the associated dimension provide a snapshot of the context.
In the preceding example, you might want to know the shopping cart value when the visitor arrives at the Checkout page (
checkout.asp). To do so:
- Create your shopping cart value event, which gathers the value of the shopping cart.
- Assign the URL dimension to a report group.
- Assign this report group to the shopping cart event.
- Create your report such that the dimension is included as the segment. You can then filter the report that is based on the specific value
checkout.aspto see a report of shopping cart values on the Checkout page.
In Experience Analytics, dimension features include the following:
- User-defined dimensions can be populated from internally captured data or externally loaded lists, as both whitelists and blacklists
- Defined limit to the number of unique values that are captured on an hourly basis to limit database growth
- Can be associated with multiple report groups and events
- Can be created from an event, hit attribute, or session attribute
- Defined dimensions that are provided by Experience Analytics to support reference data available in earlier versions of Experience Analytics and new dimensional data
To ensure that the database does not grow out of control, the following general limitations are applied to dimensions:
- Each report group may have up to 4 dimensions. For report groups used by cxOverstat events, you may add up to 8 dimensions.
- There is a fixed limit of 10,000 total facts. One fact is a combination of one event and one report group.
- Dimension values can be up to 450 characters. Longer dimension values are truncated at 450 characters.
- There is a fixed limit of 256 total dimensions, which includes preconfigured date dimensions such as
Day of Year,
Month, among others.
Dimensions and other event objects
Experienced event designers might notice that it is possible to create a dimension that is populated directly from a source hit attribute. Experience Analytics does not recommend this approach.
- By creating an event that is populated from the hit attribute first, you can apply modifications to the conditions and states in which the event is triggered, limiting the processing.
- If the dimension is populated directly from the hit attribute, the dimension is updated with each hit, which is not necessarily true in most cases.
- Particularly for user agent data, which may not change from hit to hit, it is a best practice to create an event source from the hit attribute, which is used in turn as the source of the dimension.