Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hedgehog Persona Tool Part II

Profiles, Patterns, Cards and how Mongo keeps track of it all.

In the first post in this series, I discussed how useful Profiles and Pattern Cards can be (read that post first if you haven’t yet!). But there are a lot of tools, terms and details involved, and it can be so confusing! There's profiles, profile keys, profile cards and profile card values. Then there's patterns and pattern cards. What is it all about? I’m going to go through some of those details, clarify a few things and also show how profile data is handled by Mongo.

1. Profile is a category Sitecore uses to define criteria by which we track visitors' behavior. In the example site I used in my previous blog post PersonaTool Part I Audience Segment would be a profile.

2. Profile Key is an attribute of a Profile. In our example Analytics is one aspect under Audience Segment. We need to set MinValue to the lowest value in the scale and MaxValue to the highest. So what is MaxValue? Can it be 197? How about 12? It could be any integer really but in most cases a scale from 0 to 5 is sufficient.

3. Profile Card (or it's Profile Card Value) is a preset collection of profile key values combined. It is these cards that get assigned to content items. You can pick and choose values for each Profile Key (such as Technology) to reflect the degree of relevancy. In this example Technology is quite a bit more relevant to a content item that will be associated with the Developer profile card.

4. Pattern Card are used by Sitecore to match a visitor profile in real time with its closest pattern. They don't have to contain exactly the same values from a corresponding Profile Card but in most cases it makes sense to mirror values between the two. For example, you can see in the image above that the Developer Profile card shows identical metrics for Analytics, Campaigns, Content Management and Technology as the Developer Pattern Card (below).

Now let's look at the way profile data is represented in a MongoDB collection. The one we need is called Interactions. Thinks of it as visit data, which contains wealth of information about interactions with out site. We are interested in is Profiles node. In the screen shot below I have highlighted Audience Segment profile that we have been using so far. Some things, like ProfileName and PatternLabe are self-explanatory. Others need a bit more investigation.

Count is visit "score", or a way of measuring how many times visitor clicked on content associated with any profile card. Count is of particular interest because this value, along with a Max Value on each profile key, is involved in calculating the accumulated profile key value. Take analytics (5). This number will never be more than Max Value for Analytics in sitecore (5) multiplied by Count in MongoDB (4). We shouldn't worry about this auto-generated value too much unless we are mocking profile data and need to know what value to put in each profile key in Mongo. I will discuss this further in my next blog post Hedgehog Persona Tool III coming out next Thursday. Stay tuned!

Values are profile key values accumulated by our visitor.

Total is the sum of all accumulated values between all profile keys (analytics, campaigns and targeting, content management and technology combined).

PatternID is an internal way to identify a pattern.

In my next upcoming blog posts I will touch on more aspects of working with Sitecore Profile data such as reading it with Mongo Query and writing BSON documents to MongoDB using .NET driver for Mongo. And if you'd like more information about persona development and marketing strategy, please reach out to Hedgehog Digital Marketing Innovation Team.

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