Getting Fancy: Saving all Survey Response Data in Omniture
In my last post on this topic, I showed how to capture key response data directly into the web behavioral stream. For many integrations, this is really all that's necessary. However, a deeper level of integration can make it possible to use tools like Omniture for storing and reporting on all your survey data. In this post, I’ll show how to capture the entire survey record in Omniture. For this short series, I’m focusing on QuestionPro – a very inexpensive survey solution as an example case and showing how it can be effectively tied into Omniture.
Integrating a few key respondent questions into Omniture is a great start. Most analysts find that they use a small subset of survey questions to supplement most behavioral analysis - and if you can capture those you've gotten many of the core benefits to integration.
But why stop with the integration of a few key questions into Omniture? Wouldn’t it be nice to have all the survey data in your web analytics tool? After all, most Omniture shops prefer to have SiteCatalyst as a single source for their online reporting. Making it easy for information consumers to get and report on survey data from Omniture is a significant win.
There are a couple of ways you can do this. First, let’s suppose you are more interested in having a unified reporting platform for the survey data than you are in the web behavioral integration.
Instead of sending the web analytics data to an existing report suite, you can send it a special report suite that is just for survey responses. Now since this is a clean report suite, you have all the props and eVars available to you and you can just save each response in a separate variable. This is really just a minor extension on the techniques I showed in my last post. You need more customVariables (so you'll have to get the Enterprise version of QuestionPro), but the programming is identical. All that's really changed is the target report suite in Omniture (the s_account variable).
That means that everyone in the organization can use Omniture to look at survey information, dashboards and reports. It also means you can use Excel Integration to create survey reports for distribution.
Unfortunately, this strategy gives up the behavioral integration that I've been talking up. No sweat. There are two ways to have the best of both worlds.
Here’s method number one: drop the basic behavioral integration tag on to the Thank You Page. This tag sets the Response ID and a couple of key variables in the report suite that captures all of the real user behavior. Now drop a second s.tl() call onto the Thank You page. Before you make the call, change the report suite and assign the additional custom variables (you don’t want to use multi-suite tagging because you can’t tune what variables to send).
In effect, you have dropped two Omniture tags on a single page. You don't want to do this when sending data to a single report suite (Omniture will often throw out the extra call) but it works fine when sending to different report suites. You’ll pay for the extra server call, of course, but we are talking survey volumes so the cost is always minimal. Now you’ve got a report suite with all the survey data AND you are populating your behavioral suite with the key questions.
There’s an even easier way to accomplish this same multi-suite tagging though it involves a bit of expense. You can stick with your comprehensive tag that captures every question and targets its own report suite and add an Omniture Vista rule to copy just the key question data from the survey report suite to the target report suite that contains all the behavior. You can even handle multiple surveys and report suites this way by passing the appropriate target report suite in an s.prop. The Vista rule copies the data and only the key variables to the designated report suite. Vista rules take a bit of time to get setup and they will typically cost you a few thousand dollars - but they are a great way to move data across report suites without changing tags.
By the way, don't think that by going the Vista rule route you somehow avoid the cost of a secondary server call. You still get charged for that call - even when it's just a Vista copy.
With either of these two methods, you’ve got the best of both worlds: key response data integrated with behavioral data and a complete survey response set stored in Omniture. The expense involved is quite small (at most a Vista Rule and a small number of secondary server calls) and the effort very moderate.
As good as this is, however, it's not the best you can do. In my next (and final post), I'm going to show how you can integrate ALL the survey resonse data into the web behavioral stream. The immediate integration turns out to be pretty easy, but it's a little harder to make the information really accessible. For that, the Omniture API provides a surprising solution!