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Sitecore Blog: Getting to Know Sitecore

Visualizing Pattern Cards

By Adam Conn, July 28, 2011 | Rating:  | Leave a comment

radar charts

Profile and pattern cards are a new feature in Sitecore's Customer Engagement Platform. The idea is to streamline the process of profiling content and determining a visitor's profile. As a visitor navigates my site, Sitecore builds a visitor profile based on the content profiling configuration.

CEP generates radar charts to visualize profiles during content authoring. But how can do you see what that visitor profile is and how it compares to the patterns that have been defined?  In this post I will show how you can use radar charts to visualize profiles during content delivery in order to better understand how Sitecore's pattern matching features work.

I'm going to assume that you understand how to configure pattern cards. If you don't, you should read the Marketing Operations Cookbook. This document reveals all.

In my demo site I have a couple of pattern cards defined. For the Function profile, I created pattern cards for Buyer and Shopper. For the Persona profile, I created pattern cards for Novice, Amateur and Professional.

I have assigned content profiles to a number of sections of my demo site.

  • Viewing a product adds to the Building Trust and Create Desire keys under the Function profile. 
  • Viewing a news article adds to the Building Trust key under the Function profile.
  • Viewing a service adds to the Define Concept key under the Function profile.
  • Viewing products under the Home Products section adds to the Cecile key under the Persona profile.
  • Viewing products under the Office Products section adds to the Ian and Sandra keys under the Persona profile.
  • Viewing products under the Vacation Products section adds to the Chris key under the Persona profile.

As I navigate my published site, I know Sitecore is collecting information, but how do I see it? Sitecore makes all of this information available to me, I just needed to build a small module to put it together.

What does the module do?

  • Displays a radar chart for any visitor profile values that have been recorded
  • Overlays any pattern cards that exist for the profile 
  • Identifies which pattern card matches the current profile

The following image shows how the visitor profile changes over time.

 

What did I need to write?

  • Sitecore uses the flotr library to generate radar charts. A sample file is located in the folder [install directory]\Website\sitecore\shell\Applications\Analytics\Personalization\Chart. I used this file for most of the code related to generating the charts.
  • I used the Sitecore API to retrieve the pattern cards and to access the visitor profile.

How do you install the module?

  1. Download the source. (Eventually this will be moved into the Sitecore Shared Source Library.)
  2. Copy the dll into the bin folder for your Sitecore installation. 
  3. Copy the aspx file anywhere you want under the Website folder.

How do you use the module?

Using the browser that you're navigating your site with, open the aspx file in a new browser tab. You will see your visitor profile and how it relates to your pattern cards. As you navigate your site, your profile will change. You will need to manually refresh the tab running the module. I didn't set it up to automatically refresh.

Tags: API, Web Analytics, Personalization

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