2020 Review & 2021 plan

Hello everyone,

After seeing the post from Pedro Monjo and Jan Exner on their 2020 summary, I decided to write my own one.
I found these posts interesting and as Pedro mentioned, I used to do that so here it is.

To be totally frank, this year was so crazy that I didn’t see the point of comparing my 2020 plan vs my 2020 achievement.
Nevertheless, I still learnt a great deal this year and this blog is about sharing knowledge (and thoughts) and as I learned from Jan and Pedro review and point of view, here is mine.

2020 for Datanalyst

I didn’t do it before but I found the fact to share numbers on what drive traffic on the website is pretty interesting for me and for the adobe analytics community mostly.

I do not have the longevity of Webanalyticsfordevelopers so I will just give you the number of the past year but hopefully in the future I will be able to compare them and show the topics that are trending.

I would also need to refine my actual tracking to give you more information.

Top articles

So here is the top 5 pages (except homepage) for 2020 (sorted by Page Views):

PageUnique VisitorsPage Views
Adobe Analytics : Product Syntax – a complete guide9521 350
The Event Driven Data Layer revolution586908
Adobe IO : JWT authentication with Python464823
Adobe Analytics API 2.0 : Introduction460791
Segmentation in Adobe Analytics – part 1435762
Top 5 articles datanalyst.info

The product syntax is not really a surprise because it has been years that I am saying that Adobe doesn’t have a proper documentation on it. They even reference article of Adam Greco (based of data before Workspace existed) in their documentation not so long ago.
I like Adam Greco article but I preferred to condense one for my own reference than referring someone else article.

I was actually expecting python articles on Adobe APIs to come more often but it seems that my more “general” articles are pretty popular.
By the way: When you are considering EDDL and AA segmentation general article, it probables proves that you are in a niche 😀 .

The JWT authentication proves again that Adobe documentation is super exhaustive but not very intelligible for non-advanced (Adobe) users. Adobe technical documentation is written by devs for devs. I have said that before and say it again.

That being said, it does have everything and they are doing a fantastic job of publishing it. Did you see the amount of releases this year? I know many companies that would be jalous of such a great documentation and it is getting better and better. You just have a high entry bar.

For my segmentation article, segmentation is a big topic in Adobe Analytics and I expect this article (more this series of article) to rise even higher in the future.

Traffic Trend

Here is the traffic trend through the months:

datanalyst.info traffic per month

As you can see, I was flirting with the 2000 page views per month at the beginning of the year and then it decreased bit by bit. This can be explained by a pause in new articles when I tried to focus more on delivering work and learning the new Adobe Experience Platform. The lack of new articles in the middle of the year probably impacted my ranking but I had other priorities back then. Some explaination given here: What happend to datanalyst mid 2020.

Github Project

This blog post allows me to review my overall contribution to the (adobe) analytics community and it does not stop at the blog itself. I started to share some Python API wrapper since 2019 I believe and slowly but surely it does get a foot in the community. My github repo is here if you want to have a look.

I am aware of more and more people using it and this is really remarkable…. even mind blowing for me. I remember all the sceptiscism when I was starting these projects. Sceptiscism from other people but also from myself. I was not sure that I was up to the task, I was (and still am) very humble for the contribution I can give to the analytics community but bit by bit, thanks to everyone helping me we are starting to get some python module that are used in production for some companies and are adhoc API connector for others. Thanks everyone, none of these projects could be there without your feedbacks and support.

At first, I wanted to have these small projects explained on the blog but then I remarked that the users of these API are much more comfortable on github. So the documentation moved there and in addition to all blog posts I am doing on datanalyst, I am also improving and maintaining the github documentation for these API.

At the same time than my blog post, I am also maintaining and developing these modules so they are following the API capabilities and get better suited for all tasks users want to do with them. These efforts are not minimal as you can imagine but the recognition and the learning I get from this work are worth the investment in time – for the moment.

I wish to do more of it “officially” but because of several reasons, these projects will most likely remain developed out of free time for the foreseeable future. I have some plan for 2021 about one of these particular module. I will discuss it later in this post.

I started to see that my initiative also inspired other people to realize the same thing (shout out to DHL experience cloud apis) and I saw other people starting to do the same thing. This is awesome. Because I am doing it on my free time, I am in no capacity to realize the type of development and the type of support I would love to do. I see lots of good idea and use-cases that I am not able to follow and if my module doesn’t achieve what you are looking for, thre are always these 3 options:

  • Do a Pull Request (PR)
  • Fork the repo
  • Build your own library

Sometimes, it is a bit frustrating as I wish to do more and I believe my company should see an opportunity to improve some products but it is unfortunately not the case.

Videos

Another type of content I developed in 2020 is the youtube videos. It has been quite successful I believed as I gained 45 subscribers, reached 3000 views and got over 200 hours watched on my channel.

My channel is about explaining the Adobe API modules I developed on python (who would have guessed?). So again, it is a very small niche, therefore I feel that I achieved quite a success for it. I saw that the demand is here and as my goal is to make them available to beginner programmer, I definitely would enjoy a lot to do more of them.
However, I saw that my equipment for making these videos is quite limited, sound and sometimes video itself are not perfect but it does the job I believe.

2020 for me

Stop talking about the website but a bit about me.
For 2020… what a ride. A lot has happened in this crazy year and even more crazy stuff will happen next year. Professionally and personnaly.

Looking at my post at the beginning of 2020, I am laughing out loud 😀
Let say that I had huge expectation for me (understatement). It was problematic that these goals were not aligned at all with my company goals.

TypeScript and Rust

I tried but there was no way I could learned TypeScript and Rust in my agenda. I actually really started Rust recently and I will dedicated a proper article to that later but it was ambitious to try to learn 2 languages as I am not even a developer.
I still learned a lot on Python and I got better at Application Architecture through my different APIs. That will pay at some point with AEP I believe but I need to prove it first.

So both things were (almost) completely scratched and it was one of my top wish. Let see the rest of my plan.

Adobe Analytics and Audience Manager

I did some article on Adobe Analytics, especially the segmentation ones and they took me a lot of time. So in that part I probably achieved my objective.

For Audience Manager, I didn’t do as much as I would have wished for but I still re-built an Audience Manager API module based. I had one before but I applied all my learning of the other API to this one in order to rebuild something cleaner.
This has to count for something. As well as I did an article on how you could leverage the API to get insights from Audience Manager that would not be possible otherwise.

I would like to show the API via a Youtube as well but didn’t find the time yet.

Visualization

I have maintain my level on Bokeh but didn’t use other viz library this year with python (seaborn, matplotlib) therefore my level probably decreased a bit there.
Another wish that didn’t go as expected.

Others

I wanted to run and I achieved some sort of success but I was injured every quarter more or less (ankle, knee, heel) so I wouldn’t put it as success but managing above 700 km runnng and more than 1000 km bike riding is not so bad as I had to managed with injuries for 4 months.

I wish that I can manage to start my 2021 year in shape and not injured myself so I can enjoy outside a bit more. (Edit : time of this blog post is published, I am injured for 3 months now)
Due to the situation I didn’t go to the montain this year and there was no real holidays either… I hope all of that will improve for next year.

Unplanned things

2020 has been an unplanned big focus on Adobe Experience Platform for me, through projects at work and I learned a lot of things there. As this is a complete new Product there are a lot of things to learn at the same time.

Also, I worked a lot on the python module for AEP and it is MASSIVE. AEP has an API first approach so it definitely makes sense to develop this module.

Usually this kind of module can be created by everyone over a good weekend work.
Not this one… There are so many submodules and exceptions. It is quite complex and I doubt that anyone else will do what I did (at least for free).
Regarding that, I wish to say thanks to Marius, if he ever reads this blog post. One of the few people supporting this internally at my company, it really helped a lot to achieve the current state.

I received very good feedbacks on it and we already saw how it can bring huge value to people working on AEP. My US and Indian colleagues started to use it and I am confident that it will gain traction in European projects as well.
There is a saying stating that no one is a prophet in their own land. This definitely applies to me.

I did an analysis and just counting lines of code of aepp vs aanalytics2, it is 4800 vs 2200 (+120%)… I really hope it will be +100% valuable for me and for the (future) AEP community than my Analytics API module.

My 2021 plan

In 2021, I will have to deal with another massive change: becoming a father.
As I am getting a baby, I am planning to spend more time on that “project” than on other things.

Because this is my first baby, I have no idea of what I am putting myself into. Therefore I will not do any plan for 2021. Looking back at 2020 plan vs realization. It is probably better that way :).

But overall, I wish to stay curious and learn new things in 2021. As usual, be prepared for the unexpected and let see where this will lead us.

Take care and talk to you on the next article.

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