One of the most powerful features of Site Catalyst is ability to capitalize off of Site Catalyst’s easy of use by uploading external data and integrating it with the Site Catalyst reports. The uploading of external data in referred to as Data Sources.

  • Explain the function of Data Sources.
  • Give examples of common Data Sources.
  • Know the benefits of using Data Sources.
  • Upload a Data Source.
Sometimes, in order to see how your business is doing as a whole, it is important to include metrics from offline sources. For example, if you are an e-Commerce company, you might have a call center, where people can call in and order products, and you may also offer these products online. In order to see the complete picture, you will need to combine the sales of a product online with the sales of that product from your call center.

In another example, most online presences spend some amount of money (often huge amounts) on Search Engine Marketing. With Site Catalyst Campaign Management, you can determine exactly which keywords and groups of keywords are driving success on your site. However, there is a missing component if you stop there. In order to see the complete Return and Ad Spend (ROAS), you have to know how much was spent on the keywords. This information comes from the search engine partner and has to be uploaded into Site Catalyst. This is where Data Sources come in.

Site Catalyst’s Open Data platform allows you to import data from a variety of external sources. This data can then be viewed in conjunction with the online data collected via the standard Site Catalyst methods. This functionality cal allow you to add powerful custom report such as “Ad Impressions” “Offline Revenue,” or “Returns” to your standard set of reports. This Data Sources page (Data Sources Manager) contains a wizard that allows you to create new data sources. It also displays all of the currently activated data sources for your account.

Each new data source allows data to be passed to Site Catalyst with one row per record. Mandatory fields include the date / time, the Site Catalyst “event” triggered, the magnitude of the event (such as a sale magnitude of $32,45), and any other fields used to tie the imported data with Site Catalyst data (tracking code, referrer, etc.). An FTP upload site accepts these data files, and the details of processing the data file are e-mailed to the submitting individual.

Data Sources Common Uses
There are many different users for Data Sources. The most common uses include
  • Data from sales taking place on sites that cannot be tagged.
  • Call center data.
  • Ad/PPC impressions, clicks and cost.
Some additional uses include
  • Activity from not-Web interactions.
  • CRM tools.
  • Internally built tools.
  • Customer satisfaction surveys.
  • Sales data from brick-and-mortar stores.
The advantages of using Data Sources to import external data center around understanding your business as a whole. This can, however, be broken out to smaller advantages that are very powerful. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Add New Metrics to Existing Reports.
For example, you might sell products online, but you probably don’t capture a product return online. This is important to be able to understand when you look at your successful products. It might be great that you sold 1000 items of Product A this year, but what if 500 if them were returned as defective? Importing product returns data can help you determine your successful products and - maybe just as important - your unsuccessful products.