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July 15th, 2005, 07:34 PM #1Constructive, Actionable Suggestions for Synergy Analytics
Talking with one of my Linkshare contacts today, I found out that they're going to be having a major meeting about Synergy Analytics the week of 7/25. Feedback received between now and then will be reviewed and prioritized.
Here's where we can help. Let's put together a list of constructive, actionable suggestions on specific ways that Synergy Analytics can be improved.
Please let's avoid the following:
1) General rants with no constructive, actionable suggestions.
2) Suggestions that they scrap Synergy Analytics and go back to the old reporting. I think many of us feel this way, but it's just not going to happen.
3) Repetition of things already mentioned in this thread. Let's keep the list short.
4) Posts saying that this is useless.
I'm going to strictly moderate this thread. Please keep it constructive or I'll remove your post.
Try to prioritize the suggestions you make, so they'll know where you think the focus should be.
July 15th, 2005, 10:40 PM #2
I'll start with a couple simple ones:
For just about all of the reports, instead of asking us for options prompt by prompt, default to reasonable options (last 7 days if before the 7th, MTD if after the 7th, all merchants, etc.) and show the report. Then, have the ability to change options on the report page. That way, we should get what we usually want with one click and we can quickly and easily change it if we're looking for something a little different.
On the main page, instead of showing a ton of stuff that affiates don't care about (Campaign Overview Metrics, Partner Overview Metrics, etc.) show us the things we care about. Total commissions earned MTD, any new private offers (with links), a graph of daily commissions for the past 30 days, the most recent check sent (with a link), the total commissions accumulated for the next check (received by merchant but not paid out yet), the total outstanding commissions (not paid by merchants yet), etc.
On any report that shows both commissions and clicks, show the EPC. Affiliates find this metric more useful than just about any other metric, and you don't show it anywhere.
July 15th, 2005, 11:29 PM #3
Linkshare has my list which I mailed to Mr. Messer and my contact person this week already. However, here are the basics I'd like to see that I will share here for this post.
Keep It Simple!!! Okay, you can leave all that other stuff if you want for the few that might use them, but I just want a simple initial page like CJ has.
If it is going to be in Beta for months and months, then there should clearly be a link at log on of known problems, status of fixes AND a place to submit suggestions. I mean, really, what kind of beta test site is this if they have never set up a system for feedback.
On that note, make what works the real stats package and anything that does not or future things they want to implement should be beta to an actual beta group, not everyone from the newest affiliate to the guy making thousands a month. Not everyone wants to be guinea pigs!!!
July 16th, 2005, 03:21 AM #4
At the top of my list is being compatible with non-IE browsers (Firefox, Camino, Safari).Tim
consultant by day, affiliate by night
July 16th, 2005, 01:32 PM #5
- Join Date
- January 17th, 2005
They might use the Google/AdSense report system that displays today's report in the same format you were using last so us dogs that are set in our ways can get our one report with a minimum of key/mouse strokes - it shouldn't be too difficult - these LS folks are supposed to be real good cookie setters. If necessary, I'd be willing to establish a 'default' report configuration file.
July 16th, 2005, 10:37 PM #6Originally Posted by infoTim
- ScottHatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.
July 18th, 2005, 12:37 PM #7
We just wanted to confirm that we are monitoring this thread closely. We are interested in constructive comments regarding LinkShare Synergy Analytics:
* What it does right, but could go farther
* Ways that you used the old analytics to manage your business, that you want in the new analytics
* New ways that you feel the Beta analytics program could help you manage your business
* Mission critical information that you need from analytics
* General usability impressions
* Other suggestions
Thank you for all suggestions so far, and any more that you have!
July 18th, 2005, 07:03 PM #8
I'm not a tech person - I just know what I like/use and don't like. So, if this has already been stated in a tech way, please forgive :-)
I want the reports to be easy to use.
1. When I log in - I want to see, at a glance:
how much I have made for the month and day, how many clicks, sales and impressions.
2. I want to be able to easily hone this down by merchant, day, month, year.
3. I DON"T want to have to look all over the place to log in to my reports. (because I can't remember what the new reports are called)
I want it to say - REPORTS - in big bold letters
thanks for listening.Ebudae
July 18th, 2005, 10:00 PM #9
I want to be able to get a check, see what the check is for, meaning which merchants paid what (which they are now finally doing), then go back and see the actual approved commissions for each of those merchants in the that check (which I can currently do, but it does not jive with my check amount).
July 18th, 2005, 11:39 PM #10
Okay, to be fair, I sat down tonight and went through Synergy Analytics page by page, screen by screen. If I were to accept that Synergy Analytics was here to stay and I could not go back to the old reporting, then here would be my suggestions:
Number One Suggestion: Whoever built this used such technical terminology to try to describe every function and table that I usually have no idea what the report is about. I suggest you simplify terminology (see examples below) and that when you mouse over a box, perhaps after one second, a box appears with a description of what it is in laymenís terms for us statistically language illiterate.
FIRST BOX ON SCREEN: This is a mess of information in one little area and Iíve never understood what the default is. I suppose it is this quarter. I think it should say what the default is and then give choices for what is not the default. Also the Date Between section only goes back to January (yet the overview screen is comparing data from a year ago) so I canít see how I did a year ago compared to now. I have no idea what the Merchant Industry is. Also, why are there three GO boxes in that table? An affiliate should be able to check what they want from the various boxes and click just one GO button. It took me week to figure out I was always looking at the same data as I was clicking the wrong GO button.
OVERVIEW BOX: I should not have to read five lines of a sentence to figure this one out. This should be a quick, easy to read box like the rest. Example:
Current Month July 2005
Estimated Commission 75
Year Ago 65
Active Offers 5
Why they put these statistics in a sentence form is beyond me.
CAMPAIGN OVERVIEW METRICS:
What does campaign overview metrics mean??? Keep it simple! How about ďYour Current StatusĒ? Iíd understand that in a heart beat. Also, why is there a refresh option? Is this going to change that much while I am logged on? Probably not at all while Iím looking at it.
PARTNER OVERVIEW METRICS
Same as Campaign Metrics. Why not ďPartner StatusĒ? And again, why the Refresh option?
NETWORK TRANSACTION METRICS
Again, easier name would work here. First, I canít see this box on my screen. All information should be easily visible on the screen without scrolling. Second, what is this information? I really have no clue. Is it LSís total for the day, week, month, year? Refresh here might work, but after having the screen up for an hour I tried the refresh and it did nothing.
CAMPAIGN ANALYSIS SCREEN:
With all of these, what does the refresh option do? I see no change in any of them when I click it.
CAMPAIGN TERMS ANALYSIS
What is this? I have a big green circle and the numeric value below is 0.00. Again, no clue what this is. I tried clicking all the various options and combinations from the two scroll down options and nothing changed. So, this is useless to me if I donít know what it is.
CAMPAIGN APPROVAL DURATION ANALYSIS
Again, no clue what this is. Does this tell me how long it took for mechants to approve me? If so, what real service does this serve me?
CAMPAIGN TYPE ANALYSIS
Again, no clue. All of mine say private and I know I have some private offers merchants as far as commissions go, so have no idea if this is for that or not. I clicked the three different options in the scroll down box and with the first two everything was unchanged. However, on the third option, Number of Invitations, all the numbers turned from Public to Private (zero now in Public). What does this mean???
PARTNER ANALYSIS SCREEN:
With all of these, what does the refresh option do? I see no change in any of them when I click it.
PARTNER TENURE ANALYSIS
Ahhhhh, I can figure this one out. However, I donít really see itís value. Why would I want to know how long Iíve been with merchants? It does not tell me which merchants, what type of merchants or even if they are merchants I make money with or not. Useless to me.
PATERNERSHSIP GROWTH AND RETENTION ANALYSIS
Not sure what value this is. I guess I could go in and join 20 merchants today just to see my graph take a rise.
ACTIVE PARTNER ANALYSIS
This means nothing to me as I have no clue what LTD activations means.
INACTIVE PARTNER ANALYSIS
This means nothing to me as I have no clue what LTD activations means.
CONSUMER ANALYSIS SCREEN:
My own site statistics give me more information than this. Sure it is nice to see how many visitors, but I have a couple dozen sites promoting a handful of LS merchants. Which sites had visitors would be much more meaningful. Also, show me visits compared to sales per site. Further breakdown by merchants with another click.
NETWORK TRANSACTION ANALYSIS SCREEN:
Finally my first screen that has useful data.
ADDITIONAL NETWORK TRANSACTION ANALYSIS
Additional??? This is the first box on this screen and it is telling me it is additional. If additional, where is the main network transaction analysis. Poorly worded I think. How about Network Transaction Analysis Tools or Network Transaction Resources.
YTD NETWORK PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS
Why do I have to pick a network? Just how many LS network affiliates are also members of any of those other nine options? If I log in using my LS affiliate ID, should not I be coming here to see my LS data, not the others? And what are those others?
I tried clicking on all the above and only the LinkShare Network works, so make it my default when I log in and the others should only be seen in a drop down box if I select it. Afterall, on the main Network Transaction Analyis screen you already have a dropdown box with all those same options with my LinkShare network option already defaulted, but when I try the Year To Date option, you make me select one. Silly!!!
Now, once I get to the actual report, which is great by the way, Iím stuck with that data only and have to go back two clicks, forward one click, pick the network again just to see data for a different period. Iím sorry, but it should have been obvious to the designer of this that I would want to look at other periods while Iím there to see how Iím doing. Once the affiliate is at that final screen, put up options for me to view a different period.
CREATIVE PARTNER DETAIL ANALYSIS
Again, no clue what this is about. The word creative means nothing to me at this point. Then it wants me to select a data range and as I have no idea what this is I have to just guess my first time. I think it would be better if it just defaulted to the current month and then gave options to change the data range after you viewed the results. Again, that stupid list of network options again.
Well, Great! I still donít know what this report is as it returned the following:No Results
The specified criteria didn't result in any data.
Finally the one report LS got right (almost) and the only one I use. Problems are as follows. Payment history status is confusing:
7/7/2005 authorized No
7/8/2005 approved No
7/8/2005 issued Yes
Not authorized, not approved, but issued.
Also, at the bottom of the Affiliate Payment Summery, there is GoBack, Return, etcÖ..
Go Back and Return would seem to be the same thing, but they are not. Go Back goes back one screen while Return takes you back to the beginning of this entire session. Needs to be more descriptive.
However, as mentioned in another post, the figures for the latest check, which says it is for May, does not jive with the commissions I made from those same merchants in May. If the report is indeed accurate, then why the discrepancy?
PROGRAM TREND ANALYSIS and PROGRAM GROWTH ANALYSIS boxes
Change Select a Metric to Select an Analysis Tool. Also, what is YAGO? If it is Year Ago, why then is one of the graph identifiers saying YAGO Est. Commissions? If they were a year ago, they would be finite data items, not estimated ones. Again, this makes no sense to me. I guess it really does not matter as there is no YAGO (green line) data listed anyway. So, the report does not work? I have no clue.
PARTNER ORDER ANALYSIS
Report looked okay, but would not use it.
CONSUMER VALUE-ADD ANALYSIS
Again, another report I donít understand. High Value-Add Sales and Low Value-Add Sales. What are these???? Also, I only show Low Value and there is nothing for High Value.
Okay, Mr. Messer, THIS IS WHAT A TRUE BETA TEST IS LIKE and what you should have had a bunch of affiliates doing long before this all went public. I hope (I really mean this) that you do not every put something this poorly organized out again with out truly BETA testing it. The rest of us affiliates donít want to be wasting time swimming through reports we donít understand or donít need. Please donít waste our time. Iím sure you could easily find a group of affiliates interested in BETA testing this before you do it.
Speaking of which, I understand you have several employees who are also affiliates (which I think is a conflict of interest, but thatís another issue). If you are going to let your employees be affiliates also, would not that also be a good source of beta testing before you go live with something that is so inferior?
July 20th, 2005, 10:14 PM #11
Add grossly inaccurate reporting to the list as well as insufficient internal monitoring for such things.
July 21st, 2005, 11:20 AM #12
- Join Date
- January 17th, 2005
Don't place resource consuming items on the main navigation pages. For example, the overview page is 57k with mulitple divisions. The divisions do not help me navigate to the information I want. The same is true with the Network Transaction Analysis page. I would have to download over 100k to get to information I needed, and I would have to wait for the different scripts to resolve.
The primary navigation bar for the old system was one of the best in the business. It was simply a small block that would let me navigate to the information I needed.
Ideally, the navigation structure should be streamlined. Its job is to get you to the resource intensive page. In synergy analytics, the navigation is resource intensive, and the end content pages are streamlined, creating a sense of imbalance.
July 24th, 2005, 10:09 AM #13
A help area that has help (unless it's changed since the last time I looked) The last time I looked there was nothing there but the link that said "help."
July 27th, 2005, 10:19 PM #14
So, LinkShare, can we get some kind of update on what is being done to fix these many, many problems? I know I spent hours testing this and would be very curious to know if my time was benificial in bringing about some change or not.
July 28th, 2005, 10:59 AM #15
- Join Date
- June 3rd, 2005
Where is a simple report showing completed months and amounts owed and from who
July 28th, 2005, 11:10 AM #16
1) I hate the fact that all of the amounts are rounded to the nearest dollar. Include the cents. Or, round up and pay based on the rounded up number. Really, though. Just include the cents. At least with the downloaded version. With everything rounded, it's hard to match earnings up with payments.
2) It's way too time-consuming to generate reports. For instance, one of the most common reports I run is to run the Revenue Report MTD for a specific merchant. Here's a comparison in the time it takes:
Old Reporting: From the home page, just select Revenue Report, the merchant, and click. Everything else is defaulted right. It takes 3 seconds to select and 2 seconds for the report to appear. Total time: 5 seconds.
Synergy Analytics: From Synergy Analytics, click Network Transaction Analysis (6 seconds). Click Traditional Reports (2 seconds). Click Revenue Report (2 seconds). Use the popups to enter the date ranges (10 seconds). Click Next (2 seconds). Select the network (3 seconds). Select the merchant (4 seconds). Wait (232 seconds). Total time: 261 seconds.
Even if you were about to get the wait time down to 1 second, that would still be 30 seconds (SIX TIMES AS LONG AS THE OLD REPORTS) for Synergy Analytics.
July 28th, 2005, 10:26 PM #17
Echo, echo, echo....So, LinkShare, can we get some kind of update on what is being done to fix these many, many problems?
Not just an update on on a couple of things, but all the many, many problems identified but users here. I supplied a 127 line post here of problems ten days ago and others have also provided information. I think it only appropriate that LS respond to these issues and more importantly, they need to send an email to all affiliates with a timeline of what is going to be done.
Sorry, Michael, if this is straying a bit from providing suggestions, but if we affiliates are going to spend our time here in this thread trying to fix LS, then I think they should be here addressing these concerns and telling us what they are going to do about it. And I don't want empty promises. I want to know they are taking these issues seriously and informing us about it.
July 29th, 2005, 06:09 AM #18
I noticed that the help link does have help information on it now. I'm not sure how long it's been there and when I have a free month to do some reading I may tackle it.
July 29th, 2005, 07:15 AM #19
We've met internally to review and evaluate all of the suggestions that have been made since the last update to SynergyAnalytics. In the coming weeks, we will provide a more detailed roadmap for enhancing the system. As a starting point, we are mocking up some sample changes to the Transaction Analysis tab which seems to be the area most utilized by affiliates. These changes are based on the feedback we've received thus far. We will also be making this tab the first default tab when you log into the system in order to provide you with quicker, easier access to the payment report and other information most valuable to you.
Before we make any further changes, we'll be reaching out directly to a group of affiliates, some of whom are active members of ABW, to review the mock ups and gather more detailed requirements. We will continue to work with this group of affiliates until we feel we've arrived at a first set of changes that better meet your needs.
Until we go through the first set of mock ups with some of you, we can't commit to a firm implementation timeline. Again, as we get further into the process, we will share more information on our plan for improving SynergyAnalytics.
July 29th, 2005, 07:56 AM #20Current Activity May be Misleading.
You should not base your decision on what reports are most often used on synergytics based on current activity. I am pretty sure that the payment report is most often accessed on synergytics because that information was REMOVED from the old reports. You need to need to combine the activity levels from 'tics and the old reports to determine overall utilization levels.
July 29th, 2005, 12:11 PM #21
Keep in mind that there are two things affiliates care most about: reporting and getting paid. That should be the focus. We need to see quickly and easily how much we've earned (YTD, MTD, yesterday, today, etc.), anything that has changed, what checks have been sent out, what outstanding commissions have been earned, etc.
I can't remember if I mentioned this idea anywhere, but here's an idea for a very useful report/chart: Something to show at a glance monthly commissions earned, commissions in process, and commissions due. I picture it as a report and stacked chart that looks like this:
It would show all months in which there are unpaid or in process commissions. Unpaid commissions would be commissions that merchants haven't paid yet. In Process commissions would be commissions that merchants have paid but haven't been dispursed yet (which will presumably be on the next consolidated payment). Paid commissions would be commissions that have been paid by the merchant and dispursed to affiliates. All of the numbers would be clickable to get the supporting detail. This would give us a really quick view at a glance of all outstanding commissions and where they were in the process. You could click the "In Process Total" to see all the merchants and periods that (as of today) should be on the next consolidated check. You could click the "Unpaid Total" or the unpaid amounts for any month to see the merchants and periods that haven't paid yet. It'll also let affiliates see how their earnings have grown over time.
July 29th, 2005, 12:40 PM #22
That looks great. I think LS needs to hire you to pull this thing together in a couple of weeks instead of the weeks and weeks they seem to be working under. Sadly, I can see this taking months and monthts to repair the way LS is going and I'd be willing to take bets on that.
And I have to agree with jrb, current activity may be misleading, especially with a new reporting program. Also, just because a reporting area was much used does not mean it was best, it may have been all that was available to us.
July 29th, 2005, 12:57 PM #23
I have a feeling it'll take months no matter who is running things.
I wouldn't be open to consulting right now. I have several small projects I'm trying to finish up, a new site I'm trying to design, and a baby due in about 6 weeks.
July 29th, 2005, 01:33 PM #24
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
Great graph, Michael. I'm using the same kind of table to follow my LinkShare commissions with data from the old reports, my own tracking and the checks received. I can tell where's something wrong between March and May. Congratulations for the baby!
July 29th, 2005, 04:07 PM #25
Months is just too long for most affiliates at this point.
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