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Advanced activation center: the magic is in the measurement

jharrisjharris LondonSYS_ADMIN IMG42
For many customers, Activation Center is a big point of interest when they're getting on board with Datorama. Having the ability to set up rules to trigger actions and alerts sounds GREAT, and the potential uses can be very useful:
  • Conversion tags stopped being triggered because your customer changed their website without warning
  • Campaign is live but shouldn't be (either early, or after it was supposed to end); or campaign isn't live but should be
  • Data from one advertiser appears in another's workspace
  • A critical data stream fails
With my background in agency digital ad operations, these are often the things I'm most interested in - when these issues occur, they can damage relationships and cause monetary loss, so you want to find out about them ASAP before they snowball to something bigger.

That said, often even mature customers haven't achieved the Activation Center dream. Why is that?

My theory is that the Action Rule condition setup screen can be a little intimidating:


After all, if your condition can't be expressed in these terms, then it might feel as if it just can't be done. I'm here to tell you it can!

Let's look at an example: Campaign is live early

In this case, your condition will be based on 'Impressions > 0', but on top of that you have to compare Campaign Start Date to Today. This can't be done without something I call 'Action Trigger calculated measurements'. Within this calculated measurement, you have to check all your conditions, and return 1 if the conditions are met, and 0 if they are not.

Here's how it might look:
Granularity: Campaign Key, Day
Aggregation: Sum
if ([Campaign Start Date] > [Day] &&
    [Impressions] > 0) {
    return 1;
}
else {
    return 0;
}</code></pre>This measurement will return 1 for each day a campaign is live before its start date. In the Action Rule condition setup, check if this measurement is greater than 0.<br><br>But what if your condition is based only on dimensions? Another example:&nbsp;<b>Critical data stream failure</b><br><br>First of all, you have to understand that dimension-only queries are a special case. If you set up a pivot table with no measurement data, the selected date range will have no effect and all dimension values will be returned. However, as soon as you add measurements, the system will return dimensions based only on what's related to those measurements. Therefore, if your calculated measurement is checking only dimensions and returning 1 or 0, then the system will get into a twist and return nothing. The solution is to include a measurement related to the dimension(s) you're conditioning on.<br><br>Here's how it might look:<br><i>Granularity:</i> Data Stream Job Id<br><i>Aggregation:</i> Sum<br><pre class="CodeBlock"><code>var rows = [Data_Stream_Job_Added_Rows] + [Data_Stream_Job_Source_Rows];

if ([Data_Stream_Job_Status] == 'FAILURE') {
	return 1;
}
else {
	return 0;
}
Note the rows variable we saved at the start is not used anywhere, but when the system processes the calculated measurement, this measurement will be queried and the related dimension values will successfully be found.

I hope this helps to expand your horizons on Activation Center! Please feel free to ask questions below.
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