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@SimoAhava
The Data Layer
MeasureCamp
@SimoAhava
Typically, there are three
definitions
of Data Layer that we use in
the digital world.
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
1. Set of business
requirements

for tracking
digital assets,

visits, and
visitors.
2. Encoded, global
data structure,
accessed and
modified by
connected
platforms.
2. Data model of a
connected
platform, which
copies or digests
information in the
global structure.
dataLayer.push({
'pageType' : 'home'
});
google_tag_manager['GTM-123']

.dataLayer
.set('pageType', 'home');
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
Across all three definitions,
the purpose of a Data Layer
is simple:
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
DMP / DWH / TMS / etc.
X X
Actions Presentation
Data Layer
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
DMP / DWH / TMS / etc.
X X
Actions Presentation
Data Layer
The purpose of a Data Layer is to provide a bilateral layer on the digital
asset, which decouples, normalises, and uniformly encodes semantic
information passed through and stored within.
As a set of business
requirements, the Data
Layer is a living document.
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
- Can be encoded into a spreadsheet, a text document, or even simply as an interface design
of the front-end
- Important thing is to identify the variables in the Data Layer, with context and ownership
explicitly stated — each variable needs to have business impact / tie-in
- It’s a living document, so it should be kept up-to-date when changes to the dataLayer are
implemented
- Usually the document only reflects variables that are produced server-side (upon page
render)
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
As a global data structure,
the Data Layer is a
repository of information.
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
GTM’s dataLayer is an Array-type structure, which has a proprietary .push() method
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
Interaction is done most commonly by pushing an {object literal}, which has keys and values
of any JavaScript type.
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
The only method that works with GTM is push. No other Array methods have an impact.
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
As an internal data model,
the platform utilizes data in
the global dataLayer.
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
When you push a key into dataLayer, it gets copied into the internal data model.
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
When the value is an object, a recursive merge takes place.
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
The data model has some special methods as well.
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
Key learnings about how
the Data Layer should could
be used:
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
Pre-container-snippet-dataLayer is available to Tags firing with "All Pages" or "Page View"
Triggers.
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
Still, it’s a good idea to always have the 'event' key in the push, so that you can always use a
Custom Event Trigger as well.
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
Never use var dataLayer = []; as you can unwittingly destroy your GTM implementation.
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
eventCallback can be used to execute a function after the event has completed (i.e. all
dependent Tags have fired).
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
Values in the data model can be accessed with the Data Layer Variable.
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
Version 2: 

- Dots can be used to access nested key names, and/or JavaScript properties:

—— someKey.nestedKey

—— someKey.parentElement.href
- Understands recursive merge, i.e. returns the full, merged object
Version 1:
- Dots have no function, i.e. they are interpreted as being part of the key name
- Does not understand recursive merge, so only returns the value that was most recently
pushed into this key
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
Square bracket notation does not work, replace with special dot notation to access Array
members (Version 2 only).
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
Values in the data model persist for the duration of the event. You can’t update values during
an event with dataLayer.push().
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
The Data Layer: http://goo.gl/9r4Ndw
Google Tag Manager’s Data Model: http://goo.gl/WhvSI9
@SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
FURTHER READING
@SimoAhava
@ReaktorNow
THANK YOU

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Data Layer - MeasureCamp VII 2015

  • 3. Typically, there are three definitions of Data Layer that we use in the digital world. @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 4. 1. Set of business requirements
 for tracking digital assets,
 visits, and visitors. 2. Encoded, global data structure, accessed and modified by connected platforms. 2. Data model of a connected platform, which copies or digests information in the global structure. dataLayer.push({ 'pageType' : 'home' }); google_tag_manager['GTM-123']
 .dataLayer .set('pageType', 'home'); @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 5. Across all three definitions, the purpose of a Data Layer is simple: @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 6. @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp DMP / DWH / TMS / etc. X X Actions Presentation Data Layer
  • 7. @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp DMP / DWH / TMS / etc. X X Actions Presentation Data Layer The purpose of a Data Layer is to provide a bilateral layer on the digital asset, which decouples, normalises, and uniformly encodes semantic information passed through and stored within.
  • 8. As a set of business requirements, the Data Layer is a living document. @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 9. - Can be encoded into a spreadsheet, a text document, or even simply as an interface design of the front-end - Important thing is to identify the variables in the Data Layer, with context and ownership explicitly stated — each variable needs to have business impact / tie-in - It’s a living document, so it should be kept up-to-date when changes to the dataLayer are implemented - Usually the document only reflects variables that are produced server-side (upon page render) @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 10. As a global data structure, the Data Layer is a repository of information. @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 11. GTM’s dataLayer is an Array-type structure, which has a proprietary .push() method @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 12. Interaction is done most commonly by pushing an {object literal}, which has keys and values of any JavaScript type. @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 13. The only method that works with GTM is push. No other Array methods have an impact. @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 14. As an internal data model, the platform utilizes data in the global dataLayer. @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 15. When you push a key into dataLayer, it gets copied into the internal data model. @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 16. When the value is an object, a recursive merge takes place. @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 17. The data model has some special methods as well. @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 18. Key learnings about how the Data Layer should could be used: @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 19. Pre-container-snippet-dataLayer is available to Tags firing with "All Pages" or "Page View" Triggers. @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 20. Still, it’s a good idea to always have the 'event' key in the push, so that you can always use a Custom Event Trigger as well. @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 21. Never use var dataLayer = []; as you can unwittingly destroy your GTM implementation. @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 22. eventCallback can be used to execute a function after the event has completed (i.e. all dependent Tags have fired). @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 23. Values in the data model can be accessed with the Data Layer Variable. @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 24. Version 2: 
 - Dots can be used to access nested key names, and/or JavaScript properties:
 —— someKey.nestedKey
 —— someKey.parentElement.href - Understands recursive merge, i.e. returns the full, merged object Version 1: - Dots have no function, i.e. they are interpreted as being part of the key name - Does not understand recursive merge, so only returns the value that was most recently pushed into this key @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 25. Square bracket notation does not work, replace with special dot notation to access Array members (Version 2 only). @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 26. Values in the data model persist for the duration of the event. You can’t update values during an event with dataLayer.push(). @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp
  • 27. The Data Layer: http://goo.gl/9r4Ndw Google Tag Manager’s Data Model: http://goo.gl/WhvSI9 @SimoAhava from @ReaktorNow at #MeasureCamp FURTHER READING