The Museum tracks data from all interactive digital experiences and this capability must be factored into the experience development. It is critical to understand in detail how visitors are interacting with digital experiences in order to assess their effectiveness, inform ongoing improvements and guide the design and development of new digital experiences.
Scoping Analytics Requirements
Base level analytics requirements are informed at the developed design phase and will continue to be defined during detailed design and production. We typically start with an "Analytics Wishlist '' which is informed by the high-level wireframes and designs during the detailed design phase. Understandably the overall scope of analytics also needs to be agreed upon earlier to ensure we are capturing critical metrics, noting other metrics will become apparent as design features and interactions are further developed upon.
As some bespoke experiences can be tracked in different ways that may not necessarily rely on Google products, we are open to other means of tracking such as using a txt file or CSV, decisions on what form the data will be acquired needs to happen early and as part of the initial technical solution prior to production.
The basic analytics requirements are:
- Google Tag Manager set up on AM account (AM will provide access.)
- Google Analytics property set up.
- Standard events set up for sessions, CTAs, page views, idle timeouts.
- Standard events for touchscreen interactives also include pinch-to-zoom and swipe.
- Video analytics on playback, time spent, pause, scrubbing, volume adjustment.
These requirements may vary between projects. The digital lead on your project will discuss analytics requirements with you in more detail during the contract and brief phases. Custom data layers may need to be set up and applied to the front-end code depending on what insights are being tracked
Insights, vanity metrics, what is a session?
When setting up analytics it's important to always first ask what metrics you want to track and why. Ensure these relate to clear success measures and learning outcomes of the interactive and avoiding ‘tracking for the sake of tracking’. Avoid reports that show large ‘dumb’ numbers (e.g. “300,000 page views”) with no context as to how that relates to a clear insight for the experience, a learning, a component to optimise or tweak, etc.
When reviewing analytics it is also important to look at the physical environment of where the interactive is located in relation to the visitor journey, location in-gallery and proximity to objects.
Finally, tracking user ‘sessions’ is often difficult as visitors can simply walk away mid experience and another visitor picks up where they left off. There are creative ways of closing off a session but typically reporting on sessions is largely an observational task that AM’s VMR team can inform.
If Google Tag Manager/Google Analytics is not possible then logging similar data to a CSV is possible. Requirements for CSV Analtyics:
- Rotated weekly.
- Data older than 3 months purged to avoid space issues.
- One event per line.
- Standard ASCII (not compressed).
- Contain a single header in each output file. Delimited in the same manner as each data row.
- Text strings should be in double quotation marks.
- Delimiter could be a pipe symbol or other less common symbol to avoid a delimiter requiring escaping in a string.