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The Event-Driven Data Layer: Unifying Analytics and Development Teams

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One common way of implementing tags through Adobe Launch is using a data layer, which is a JSON object (key/value pair) that is loaded onto the page from which attributes are passed through as the user navigates through the website or completes certain objectives.

This can be extended further into using an Event-Driven Data Layer (EDDL), which serves to load Custom Events within JavaScript that are passed to the data layer upon an action being completed on the website, and can be loaded on any element of the DOM.

Many times, it can be difficult to manage the needs of the development team and analytics team, prioritize work to be done, and achieve cross-functional collaboration between both departments. Here are some tips to help you manage both departments and unify them to successfully implement this style of analytics tagging in your implementation.

Educate Your Developers and Train Them Well

One source of frustration for both departments is a lack of information about what it is that analytics is meant to do, and how it is meant to help achieve the Key Business Objectives of the organization.

Without a clear understanding of how the analytics team works within an organization, developers will have trouble resolving requests or understanding what needs to be done.

When this comes up, try the following:

  • Work with your developer as a partner to educate them on the value of their work, and to help them understand why the EDDL is necessary and worth working on for analytics.
  • Create training materials on what it is that you need and instruct them on how to develop the events and solutions you need to track your analytics.
  • Create a dedicated wiki page with readily available information on how your team works, with standardized processes and best practices for making requests of development.
  • Encourage all members of the analytics department to be open with development about their needs and what information should be provided to make them work well on their site.

Be Patient with Your Developers, But Advocate for Your Project

Another source of frustration is that both departments are asynchronous in terms of delivering work due to differing priorities and projects that may not align with each other. In addition, analytics work may not be properly prioritized and scoped depending on the needs of the development team. Because of this, there can be delays in communication regarding certain projects, in receiving expected deliverables and in coordinating analytics efforts to satisfy tracking requirements on a website.

Because of this, it’s important to come up with a strategy for advocating for your team and helping stakeholders, developers and other involved departments see the value of your work.

Here are some ways to accomplish this:

  • Maintain frequent communication between departments and create open lines of communication, encouraging other team members to educate and advocate for your department.
  • Make the work of your developers as easy as possible after educating them by being intentional and specific with your requests.
  • Come up with a unified format from which requests can be sent and handled through your department. This can be done through Jira/Confluence, or through creating a set of unified terms and common best practices when working.
  • Have frequent touch points with liaisons from each department to ensure that requests and work are synchronized along the course of the project.
  • Emphasize certain timelines and deliverables based on the needs of the client and the expected outcome of the fix.
  • Utilize a value-added approach when explaining the work that needs to be done for tracking analytics by explaining to both developers and stakeholders why your work and impact on the project matters to achieving overall Key Business Objectives (KBOs).

Hopefully these two tips help you to better understand and work with your developers on making your analytics implementation a success!

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Waden Greaux

Waden Greaux is a Technical Consultant for Perficient, specializing in Adobe Analytics and Adobe Launch. He is certified as an Adobe Analytics Developer Expert.

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