Data layer is one of very important concepts in Analytics set up. While starting with Adobe Analytics – it can become little tricky to understand what a datalayer is. The problem is the heavy documentation one has to read to understand its true meaning. So, here is an attempt to simplify :
What is a datalayer ?
Go to console and type digitalData and you will get to see the data layer in action.
If you want to read more about it, please click here
Why to use a datalayer ?
Use a data layer to collect data from a website. As a next step, send this data to Adobe Analytics to do more sophisticated analysis (ex: Pathing, Attribution and Conversion). Example : There are multiple objects like Page, User and so on. Each of these objects will have attributes which are sent to Analytics. To send the data – use either DTM or Launch. Use a data layer if you want some form of standardization across your digital properties otherwise your Launch/ DTM rules will become messy.
Is it necessary to build a datalayer for Adobe Analytics set up on a site ?
No. It is not necessary. Adobe Analytics by collects few of the variable by default. So, you can see these variables populate in your Reports & Analytics interface. However, just using these automatic variables – will not give you insights needed by the business. Example – Which search terms are leading to more conversions ? – What path did the user follow before making a purchase. Datalayer makes the job so much easy.
How easy is it to build a datalayer ?
Well this depends on what information you want to collect from your site. But nonetheless – the process of developing a datalayer is a new development activity and the developers needs to be aware of different integrations, server calls your site is making.
Example: Product details most of the times come from a PIM (Product Information Management) system; customer details will come from your CRM/ customer database.
Who does the datalayer development ?
What are the next steps after datalayer build ?
Once the datalayer is built, you are all set for the next steps – Configuring the new variables in DTM/ Launch and ensure you send these variables to Adobe Analytics.
I hope this gives you a very clear understanding of datalayer. Let me know if any questions.