When discussing the possibilities of new analytics partnerships, we’re often asked how difficult it is to migrate from Adobe Analytics (formerly Omniture) to Google Analytics 360. Our team’s typical answer is, “It’s not that tough, but the complexity and timeline really depend on a number of factors.”
Super clear, right?
If your organization has already made the decision to migrate from Adobe Analytics to Analytics 360, allow us to outline what that migration process looks like and what factors need to be considered.
Factors to Consider Pre-Migration
1. Internal Stakeholder and Management Buy-In
The easiest way to ensure a new platform fails or takes longer than expected is to not obtain buy-in from internal stakeholders and management.
2. Previous Adobe Analytics Implementation
There really is no “one-size-fits-all” architecture and implementation. Sure, you can set up your standard tracking for things like pageviews/screenviews and maybe a few user interaction events, but each company and collection of digital properties is unique. So, there will be necessary work to be done to translate what was being collected and used with Adobe Analytics over to Google Analytics 360 (such as mapping eVars and s.props from Adobe Analytics to Custom Dimensions, Traffic Info, and Events in Analytics 360).
3. Additional Data and Reporting Needs
Now is the time for your analytics partner to meet with all your internal stakeholders to understand the limitations of the current analytics implementation, as well as what additional requirements they’ll have for the new analytics platform (Analytics 360).
4. Development and IT Support
What kind of internal development/IT support do you have? Migrating from Adobe Analytics to Analytics 360 will take web and app code updates. Therefore, it’s important to have developers at the ready to ensure everything is updated properly and on time. Your analytics partner is not going to make (nor should they make) the site/app updates for you.
5. Internal Platform Knowledge and Training Needs
Are your employees going to be able to take advantage of the new Analytics 360 implementation right away? 99 times out of 100 the answer is no—there will need to be training to ensure employees understand the new platform and the data being collected.
6. Down-Stream Systems
What other systems do you have that currently utilize data from Adobe Analytics? Think about integrations with CRM systems, email marketing systems, data visualization and reporting systems. Your analytics partner will need to have a good understanding of all these integrations, mapping out what needs to happen to switch these connections from Adobe Analytics to Analytics 360.
As you can see, there are many factors that go into answering what seems like a simple question on the surface. InfoTrust has migrated some clients from Adobe Analytics to Google Analytics 360 in under a month–meanwhile, it’s taken 3-4 months for more complex cases. It all really depends on the above factors.
“Andy, I’m lost. Can you give me real examples?”
I’m glad you asked! Let’s take a look at two clients for whom we completed an Adobe Analytics to Analytics 360 migration. One is a publisher; the other, an eCommerce organization.
Migration Example: Publisher
In this example, our client, a major publishing site, had used Adobe Analytics for over 5 years. The migration was not simple due to a few factors:
- Nobody within the organization knew how Adobe Analytics was currently set up (and what was tracked); the original team that set up the tool was no longer with the company. And, to make matters worse, they didn’t leave any documentation on the tracking architecture.
- Nobody within the organization trusted the Adobe Analytics data they used every day for their reporting, but their job performance was still tied to these metrics. So, any deviation from them in the Analytics 360 data was extremely troublesome.
We held many stakeholder interviews to understand what data was currently being used for reporting and analysis so that we could map that data over to GA 360. However, there were also thousands of third-party pages that were being tracked with Adobe Analytics that nobody at the organization knew about. (I’m talking about sections like Classifieds, Obituaries, etc. that are on the publisher domains, but are actually iframed in from a third-party domain.) We utilized Tag Inspector to scan all of the publisher sites to see what pages were being tracked with Adobe Analytics, and then reached out to all of the third-party companies to add the GTM container so that we could implement Analytics 360. As you can imagine, this was a very long process.
Fortunately, the publisher had a few months left on their Adobe contract, which meant we could run both Adobe Analytics and Analytics 360 on their sites to compare data over time. This allowed us to build an Analytics 360 architecture that was as close to 1:1 with what Adobe Analytics was tracking as possible.
We explained some of the slight differences between the tools and why there wouldn’t be a 100% match in the data, but after the education and our tracking documentation, everybody in the organization was on the same page with what was being tracked.
In addition to the technical migration, InfoTrust developed a fully-customized Analytics 360 training program for the organization, giving users trust in the data they were collecting.
This entire process (including the training) took 3-4 months. This was to be expected, though, given the complexity of the situation. We worked closely with the client to build out a project roadmap to cover tasks, milestones, and timelines, ultimately leading to a successful migration from Adobe Analytics to Google Analytics 360.
Migration Example: eCommerce Company
In this scenario, the eCommerce company had been operating on Adobe Analytics for years; it was their reporting and analysis tool of record. However, they knew they hadn’t been keeping up with the implementation, and there were a number of discrepancies in their current data collection that caused them to move to another tool.
This migration proved to be much simpler than the publisher example above for two main reasons:
- The company had the analytics architecture already documented, with a development team that had knowledge of the previous Adobe Analytics implementation.
- Their management team bought into the Analytics 360 migration, and they were not worried about the data matching the old Adobe Analytics data. They simply wanted the Analytics 360 implementation to be as accurate as possible.
Instead of being tied to the Adobe Analytics data and saying, “Be as close as possible to this Adobe dataset”, InfoTrust was given the instruction to instead make a great Google Analytics 360 implementation that collected the necessities from Adobe Analytics, but was custom to the latest version of the website and held true to eCommerce best practices.
This implementation took a little over a month because our team didn’t need to do much auditing of the Adobe Analytics implementation. We already knew what was tracked (or what was supposed to be tracked), and without a reliance on matching the two platforms, we could start from scratch with Analytics 360 for a fresh, accurate implementation.
Need Help Evaluating Your Migration Challenge?
Hopefully these examples give you a better idea of the considerations organizations must address when migrating from Adobe Analytics to Google Analytics 360. Challenging questions often field complex answers, and this process is no different.
If your organization has decided on migrating away from Adobe Analytics to Google Analytics 360 and has specific questions about the process, please reach out to InfoTrust. Or, if you still find your team in the evaluation stage and aren’t sure whether a migration is appropriate or not, consider leveraging our analytics consulting expertise. InfoTrust works with clients on Google Analytics 360 and Adobe Analytics, and understands the key differences between the two platforms.