Which is the Right Solution for Me—Adobe Analytics or CJA?

An evening snack of a slice of fruit or an ice cream cone or an analytics platform powered by Adobe Analytics or Customer Journey Analytics. We help you choose.

Take this simple five-question quiz to learn which solution—Adobe Analytics or Adobe Customer Journey Analytics (CJA)—is the best fit for your business, based on your organization’s goals.

An evening snack of a slice of fruit or an ice cream cone. . .
An analytics platform powered by Adobe Analytics or powered by Customer Journey Analytics. . .

These two scenarios present the “both options are great” dilemma! What it boils down to is your goal. Are you looking for the tastiest treat possible, or are you looking for a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth?

While we may not be the best ones to advise on which snack to choose, we can definitely help when it comes to analytics platform selections! To that end, we’ve put together this five-question quiz to determine if Adobe Analytics or CJA is the better fit based on your organization’s goals.

Ready? Get those #2 pencils out!

Take the Quiz!

Question 1: What types of conversions are you primarily optimizing your advertising budget towards:

Adobe Analytics gives you the ability to identify which online efforts are driving visitors to your website and which ones ultimately led to conversions on the site.

With Adobe Analytics, you have the ability to analyze all online traffic—from natural search to paid marketing efforts to direct traffic—with Marketing Channels, or you have the ability to narrow the analysis down to only marketing-driven traffic with Campaign tracking.

If you are optimizing towards offline conversion or need to account for offline events, then CJA will be a better fit. That’s because CJA is purpose-built to combine on- and offline datasets into a single view, enabling more complete insights and allowing you to squeeze more value out of Workspace’s attribution capabilities.

With CJA, you’re more easily able to account for offline actions, such as in-store returns or purchases, resulting in a more accurate view of digital campaign performance. Combined with Workspace’s more advanced features, such as algorithmic attribution, your analysts can now leverage AI-augmented analysis to unlock powerful, cross-channel insights that enable your organization to make more data-driven decisions.

Question 2: Do you need to stitch digital and call center data together to understand which digital experiences led to customers calling the call center?

When stitching online and offline data sets is not necessary to answer your business questions, then Adobe Analytics is perfect!

While Adobe Analytics allows pre-site data (such as advertising impressions and cost) and post-site data (such as call center data or returns) to be uploaded, there are a few caveats:

  • There are only two ways to connect data: transactionID and visitorID
  • There is a cap on the amount of data that can be uploaded each day. The cap is 90 days worth of data. Once 90 days have been uploaded, then you need to wait until the next calendar day to do your next upload.
  • It will take between 2 and 17 hours for the data to process.
  • Once loaded, the data cannot be removed or changed.

If deflecting calls to your call center and/or providing additional context to reps so they can more effectively resolve calls is a priority for your organization, then CJA is going to be the better fit. CJA’s straightforward OOTB stitching capabilities will help your team more easily identify opportunities to improve the digital customer experience and, in turn, reduce the calls to your call center.

These cross-channel insights can be uncovered in minutes, rather than the days or weeks required for multiple data lake pulls and manual stitching. It’s also not going to require an analyst to have advanced SQL, R, or Python skills. Instead, they can arrive at these insights using Workspace features they’re already familiar with.

Adobe Experience Platform (AEP), which CJA is built on, can also help you provide richer context to your call center reps, enabling more efficient call resolution. Depending on the call rep’s purview, additional context around what other products or content a caller interacted with can even open the door for up- and cross-sell opportunities.

Question 3: Are all customer interactions taking place on your website or app?

When your website, product, and app all send data to the same report suite, you can use Adobe Analytics to see how visitors move among them!

Some ways that Adobe Analytics provides insight into this business question include:

  • Flows: Adobe Analytics has really elevated the flow visualization. Before, you could mix and match dimensions, and now you can identify specific starting or ending points.
  • Funnels: Funnel reporting also allows you to mix-and-match dimensions and metrics, and you can even include segments within it.
  • Cohort Tables: You can use the standard dimension of time (or any dimension within your implementation) to create these tables to see either retention or churn.

CJA is going to be the better fit. Said differently, CJA can help your organization go from “how are visitors interacting with my website or app?” to “how are people interacting with my brand?”

Even better, analysts are able to do this leveraging their existing Adobe Analytics skill set, as they’re still working in Analysis Workspace. All the features that you know and from fallouts to flows to freeform tables are all still available.

All that’s changed is the data you’re able to leverage within those visualizations, as you’re now able to analyze both online and offline behavior side by side. Additionally, CJA affords you more flexibility regarding the interaction data you’re collecting by eliminating data caps, allowing for dev-free corrections to historical data, and enabling merchandising dimensions post-implementation.

Question 4: Is your current Adobe Analytics implementation providing you with the full insights you need to drive your business forward?

You are most likely reading this article because you have invested time, energy, and dollars into your analytics program. And if your existing Adobe Analytics implementation is fulfilling your needs, then stay with it. CJA may still be a future consideration as your business questions expand beyond the online channel.
You are most likely reading this article because you have invested time, energy, and dollars into your analytics program. If your business model has changed, or you anticipate it changing in the near future, to the point that your current analytics implementation is not providing you with insights like it used to, then it is the perfect time to consider migrating to CJA to layer in additional channels into your analysis..

Question 5: Do you need to retain historical data from other platforms, such as Google Analytics?

When historical data from other platforms is not necessary to answer your business questions, then Adobe Analytics is perfect!

It’s possible to upload historical Google Analytics, along with data from other platforms, into Adobe Analytics using the Bulk Data Insertion API. However, this approach requires a decent amount of work for few insights, because the data uploaded will just sit beside your Adobe Analytics data, i.e., it won’t be able to be stitched together like CJA.

CJA includes OOTB capabilities that make it relatively easier to retain your historical data, regardless of the tool it’s coming from. Some examples include:

  • Data Prep, which allows Data engineers to map, transform, and validate data to and from Experience Data Model (XDM); also Data Prep API
  • CJA allows you to use any ID in a dataset—not just ECID. This means you can even bring GA data into CJA.
  • IDs that you choose to use do not need to be PII—for example, hashed email.

While it can be easier, there are still limitations to be aware of:

  • Timestamps ten years back for historical data
  • One month ahead for predicted values
  • A person will need at least one event tied to their ID to show up in Workspace, though the data will be retained in AEP

Important note: Neither tool can make up for a poor foundation

image1 2

Congratulations on passing the quiz with flying colors! But, before you show your A+ to your boss, it is important to remember that no matter which Adobe tool is being used, there are three core tenets of solid analytics: embracing data integrity, creating a robust event-driven datalayer, and utilizing all the features of the tool.

Data Integrity

For any analytics tool to provide meaningful insights, the data must be trustworthy. Having a Data Governance and a Data Management Program in place will protect your data investment by ensuring that the data is accurate, that it is available promptly and to the appropriate people, and that it is understood by all who use it.

The Data Governance team sets the data strategy and policies, and outlines the roles and responsibilities. And the Data Management team establishes the data architecture, maintains the data dictionary, sets naming conventions, and implements data validation processes.

Event-Driven Data Layers

The best way to ensure your web data is collected accurately is by creating a robust, event-driven data layer. For anyone who may be unfamiliar with event-driven data layers, they are a JavaScript object used to pass information from your website to consumers, such as Launch. They describe an event and a payload of attributes, used to give context to that event. The benefits of implementing an event driven data layer include:

  • Data collection is decoupled from JS/CSS development
  • And helps create trustworthy data because it is not affected by dev changes to the DOM
  • Creates a data governance structure that ensures data accuracy and consistency
  • It also works with Single Page Applications (SPAs), where using traditional triggering mechanisms such as DOM ready and Page Bottom are less reliable
  • Mitigate race conditions by using subscription, rather than polling, to send data to consumers (i.e., rather than always checking to see if an action occurred, the action is pushed to the consumer)

Utilizing All Features

Make sure you are using all the features in your tool. Yes, free form tables and line charts have their place, but there is so much more functionality that can be leveraged to unlock meaningful insights! To more thoroughly understand existing features and to keep up-to-date on new features,

Adobe Analytics or CJA Cheat Sheet

To choose between adobe analytics and Customer Journey Analytics (CJA), answer how these 5 considerations fit into your business goals.

To recap, Adobe Analytics is the right solution when your business questions are digitally focused, such as

  • The effectiveness of online marketing
  • The ways people are navigating and interacting with your content or your product
  • The ways new and existing customers are utilizing your website or app

Adobe Analytics is especially the right solution for you if you already have it in place and are gleaning insights that help you understand how your business is performing and help you move your business forward.

CJA will be a better fit if your organization is

  • Looking to explore unanswered questions about how people are engaging with online and offline touchpoints through machine learning/artificial intelligence-augmented analysis and attribution.
  • Running into data caps with Adobe analytics
  • Needing to correct inaccurate data or to include historical data from other systems

If you need help with selecting, implementing, or getting the most out of your digital analytics tool, reach out to Search Discovery!

Related Posts

Join the Conversation

Check out Kelly Wortham’s Optimization based YouTube channel: Test & Learn Community.

Search Discovery
Education Community

Join Search Discovery’s new education community and keep up with the latest tools, technologies, and trends in analytics.




Scroll to Top


Catch the latest industry trends we’re watching and get new insights from our thought leaders delivered directly to your inbox each month.