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At Sentinel Insights, we pride ourselves on providing context behind data quality issues. When we first engaged with the client featured in this case study, they had numerous problems with their digital data.

Does any of this sound familiar?

  • Multiple development teams, hundreds of websites
  • Disparate MarTech tools deployed on each site
  • Data collection practices that vary from site to site

They wanted to fix their data challenges but the scope of the problem was overwhelming.

Our Sentinel Insights team knew our technology could assist in multiple ways. Now to identify a concrete example where our product could shine a light on data collection and quality issues. Within days, a new problem arose and our platform had its chance to shine.

Bridging the Gap Between Enterprise Data and Website Analytics

Our client, a thriving player in the communications industry, faced a perplexing issue. The purchase data in their enterprise data warehouse (EDW) began diverging from analytics data suddenly in January 2023 – for some reason, analytics dropped about 30% compared to what was being collected in the EDW. This raised concerns about accurate purchase numbers, reliable analytics metrics, and serious impacts on data-driven decision-making, such as campaign attribution and marketing KPIs. It was an all-hands-on-deck effort to figure out what was going on.

They hadn’t made any consequential changes in their TMS that would have caused this issue, so it was a real mystery. After weeks of exhaustive efforts by their team of experts, which included combing through code, scrutinizing data feeds, and brainstorming, the issue persisted, draining valuable resources and leading to growing frustration.

They turned to Sentinel Insights to see if we could help.

Unveiling the Power of Real User Data Monitoring

When our client implemented the Sentinel tag onto their websites, they harnessed the power of real-time real user monitoring (RUM) to uncover detailed data insights. Unlike synthetic scanners, RUM captures all of the intricacies of real user behavior. (A robot can never really predict what a real user can do.) Our tag and backing technology were able to provide detailed information about what was happening in real time, for real users, which provided an easier path toward issue diagnosis.

Our platform was able to provide a comprehensive data export, revealing the state of the data layer when analytics payloads were sent to Google Analytics, and provided it to our client team for investigation. This granularity proved crucial in solving the elusive puzzle.

Identifying the Root Cause in Purchase Events

The Sentinel Insights data export uncovered that a race condition impacting the data layer resulted in the omission of transaction IDs from purchase events about 30% of the time. When the transaction ID is missing from the Google Analytics purchase event, it is ignored and doesn’t increment the total transaction count in reporting. This seemingly minor glitch had a far-reaching impact on EDW and Google Analytics data consistency, but more importantly, it had serious impacts on our client’s ability to market effectively to prospects and drive more sales.

Not only did the data we provided help identify the problem, but it also led directly to a faster fix. The data export served as concrete evidence for effective communication with web development teams who could make the necessary data layer updates to resolve the analytics problem.

Clear insight into the issue’s root cause enabled precise guidance to development teams, expediting the solution process and conserving time and resources. Our client told us that our platform paid for itself almost instantly due to these time and cost savings.

With a quick update to our dashboard and insight infrastructure, we were also able to upgrade our platform to provide our client (and all others using Google Analytics to track purchase events) with proactive notification that transaction ID isn’t being passed, and there may be an issue impacting their purchase tracking.

Real User Monitoring’s Role in Complex Digital Data Architectures

Through a synergy of advanced technology and detailed insights, we helped our client quickly resolve what appeared to be an insurmountable challenge. The scenario that our client encountered underscores the pivotal role of comprehensive real user data analysis in understanding intricate issues.

At Sentinel Insights, we provide marketers with the clarity needed to excel in a data-driven world. This case study exemplifies our consultative mindset, dedication to delivering efficient solutions, and our mission to provide unparalleled visibility into the digital data you care about. We believe (and the data shows) we can help MarTech teams save money and work smarter, not harder.

Want to learn more? Reach out any time to book a demo, or just to chat. We’d love to talk through your data challenges and see where we can lend a hand.