Adobe Campaign’s standard reports cover basic marketing campaign information primarily from an execution standpoint, and they can include a variety of simple data points such as budget metrics, feedback tracking, e-mail bounce detail and non-deliverable message counts. However, when an organization needs to calculate specific KPIs and break down information through data dimensions specific to its business context, custom reporting becomes necessary.
Each organization’s data models can vary greatly depending on the company’s business type (B2B or B2C, market sector) as well as on its existing IT system (single or multiple data bases, data quality and usability). These multi-faceted factors are a major source of complexity when designing, building and optimizing custom reports in Adobe Campaign, and they are the main reason why the requirements gathering phase of any report-building project is always the most critical component in helping ensure its success.
Taking the time to develop formalized and detailed requirements that are signed off on by both client and Systems Integration partner will help to make sure that a project will be completed on time and within budget while also successfully meeting or exceeding client expectations.
There are two main pieces of documentation that should be developed during the requirements gathering process:
- A complete description of a report’s final rendering, including the expected user interface with necessary filters such as date or campaign-type filtration. It should also include possible breakdown levels, such as having the ability to aggregate metrics on a campaign level with the ability to break down a particular line with the detailed values for each campaign
- A full description of all required KPIs with the aggregation and calculation rules for each, as well as the location in the data model of all the SQL fields used in the process
Although requirements gathering is critical, it is one in a series of key steps that every typical custom reporting implementation will go through:
- Discovery: client context definition, advice on best practices, documents expected
- Requirements Gathering: report rendering, metrics calculation rules
- Solution Design: based on the information provided by the client, is the report doable within Adobe Campaign? What level of effort it will involve?
- Modification threshold: gaining agreement with the client that every modification from that point forward may need a review of the entire report’s design
- A data schema designed for the report requirements
- A technical workflow to calculate and feed the data schema
- A report to display the data stored in the data schema
- UAT and testing
Often, despite an optimal project configuration with a single team member / decision maker from a client, Systems Integrators have to deal with multiple scope changes due to the client realizing during the implementation that it would like to have things a little bit different from the initial design. Beyond dealing with the underlying complexity of modifying custom reports in Adobe Campaign, this situation presents a higher overall risk for the project which could have been mitigated by an in-depth and robust requirements session as defined above.