The time has come to kill two birds with one stone: blog and give credit where credit is due. It pains me to say, but the Omniture’s Excel integration product line direction is pretty darn good.
ReportBuilder for SiteCatalyst makes so much sense it’s easy to forget it’s an Omniture product. Allowing ReportBuilder diehards and casual users alike the ability to continue using a familiar reporting product post migration is a welcome nudge in the SiteCatalyst direction. At this point I’d love to say more, but given that I have never touched the product, cannot comment on its quality, usability and similarity to the original.
When I last talked to Omniture I got the impression that ReportBuilder and Excel Client would be converged into a single tool. Farther down the road when Omniture grows weary of supporting two Excel integration tools that still seems like a possibility, but for the time being there are still two to consider. Since Excel Client will live on it nice to see it taking steps forward. The improvements in the most recent upgrade don’t significantly affect the tool’s capabilities but does make it cleaner and smoother.
I don’t know about you but most of the Omniture implementations I deal will overlap props, evars and sometimes even events and apply identical names to all. In the last version of Excel Client this was problematic because identically named reports, with access to different metrics, would sit next to each other in the reports dropdown with no clear differentiation. The addition of notes specifying if a report is a “Custom Conversion,” “Custom Traffic” or other not out of the box metrics type is a welcome, if not long overdue, addition.
How many times have you finely hand crafted an elegant, detailed and perfect data block only to press the “Done” button without ever pressing the “Insert” button? Personally, I’ve never made such a simple mistake, but I figured “you” might have. The combination of the “Insert” and “Done” into just an “Insert” button is beautiful simplification within the updated Excel Client. Now if you fail to select an insert location Omniture politely reminds you, instead of exiting out of the data block wizard. It’s nice to know that even with a brief mental lapse “you” won’t lose more than the time spent daydreaming.
If I have one complaint it’s the redesign of the Choose Date window. The date selector tool is now more convoluted and complex than in the previous version of Excel Client. Omniture would have been fine if they had left the date selector unchanged, but made the “Relative” date range tab the default. Maybe I’m taking crazy pills, but since when does it even make sense to build data blocks with fixed date ranges? Not building (or retaining) a simple date range selection tool with relative ranges as the default is a mistake.
But let me end on a positive, sarcasm free, note. Nice job Omniture. Keep up the good work.