TagDebugger™ and TagCompare Tutorial

In today’s data-driven world, companies frequently deploy and update their analytics and marketing tags, making website and tag performance somewhat unpredictable. Data governance is required, but manually spot-checking raw server requests is highly inefficient and tedious.

In such situations, using lightweight yet heavy-hitting tag validation tools for small sections of your site can be a lifesaver.

TagDebugger™ and TagCompare ObservePoint’s freemium microsolutions for spot-checking server requests and analyzing historical tag data.

When used together, these tools help data stakeholders efficiently:

  • Get a pulse on tag performance
  • Compare current and historical request data
  • Create a baseline for future data comparisons

View the step-by-step guide below, as well as the short tutorial videos, to see how TagDebugger™ and TagCompare streamline website spot-checks and comparison reporting.

Part 1: Record Tag Requests with TagDebugger™ and Upload into TagCompare

Step 1

Log in to TagCompare and go to the “Import” tab. Because there is no data by default, you will need to generate your data files with TagDebugger™ to later upload into TagCompare (see the following steps).

Step 2

  1. Open a new Incognito Chrome Browser tab.
  2. Open the developer console and select the ObservePoint TagDebugger™ tab (within developer tools).
  3. Click the setting “Clearing tags on navigation” to switch to “Tags persist through navigation,” allowing you to record server requests as you navigate from page to page. The button will turn red when enabled.

Step 3

  1. Visit the website you would like to analyze in the same incognito browser, without opening a new tab. You will see third-party tags being recorded once it loads. Refresh if no vendors appear.
  2. The debugger will record tag requests as you navigate from page to page. For links that open in a new tab, right click the link and select “copy link address” then paste the URL into the same browser tab. Copy-paste URLs one at a time.

Step 4

Additional pages and corresponding vendor requests populate in the console after you navigate to a new page.

Step 5

  1. After adding all the pages you would like to analyze, select “Export Data.”
  2. “Save” the file in the desired location using the pop-up window.

Step 6

  1. Go back to your ObservePoint TagCompare account window.
  2. Select “Choose File” and open the data file you just saved.
  3. Select or add a folder name for the file (optional, but recommended).
  4. Click “Upload.”

Step 7

You will automatically be taken to the “View File” tab where you can verify the data file has been generated successfully. Click on the data file you want to open.

Step 8

After you select the data file, you will see all third-party requests included in the file.

Part 2: Viewing Your Data Files

Step 1

From the “View File” tab in your ObservePoint console, select the file you would like to view.

Step 2

  1. A pie chart showing third-party vendors will open. The size of each pie slice depends on the ratio of vendor requests relative to the total number of requests.
  2. Select the pie slice or name of vendor from the list to see detailed information about the vendor requests.

Step 3

Review the URLs associated with each request for your selected vendor.

Tip: Use the “Back” button or dropdown arrow (outlined in red) to navigate back to the full pie chart and vendor list.

Step 4

Select a URL to see additional data about the server request, including Load Times, Status Codes, Evars, Props, etc.

Step 5

Edit, delete, and exclude data as desired, using the buttons on the far right.

Step 6

Add a variable at the end of the listed data as desired.

Step 7

Duplicate requests as desired.

Helpful Note: You will want to edit data to create a baseline or template for comparisons to execute in the future.

Comparing Your Files

Compare two files to see if there are any changes in your data that are unexpected, and to identify deviations from your template or baseline.

Step 1

  1. Select the “Compare” tab from your ObservePoint console.
  2. Select checkboxes next to the files you would like to compare.

Note: The tool will launch automatically after the second checkbox is selected.

Step 2

Review additional information at the vendor level, highlighting differences.

Step 3

After you select a vendor, you will see the number of different requests, as well as the number of different variables found between the two files being compared.

Step 4

Click request to view variable details.

Note: Requests are listed in reverse order. The first request made is listed last.

Step 5

Scroll to variable differences highlighted in red. Click “Exclude” to remove differences that aren’t relevant or are already expected, such as Load Times, Request Sizes, and Time Stamps.

Step 6

Click the “Refresh” button to apply excluded variables from the already selected third-party vendor request.

Step 7

Zero variable differences will be indicated in green when excluded variables are applied.

Helpful Note: When you apply excluded variables for a third-party vendor, they will automatically be applied to all data files for that same vendor, each time you upload their data files to your ObservePoint console. The variable exclusions are automatically saved at the account level.

Power Combo: TagDebugger™ and TagCompare

Combining the power of TagDebugger™ and TagCompare will allow data stakeholders to generate, view, and compare their data more efficiently, offering insight about and building confidence in their analytics and marketing tags.

Install TagDebugger™

Log in to TagCompare

ObservePoint automatically validates and monitors analytics and digital marketing tags across websites and apps, helping enterprises be more efficient and confident in their data-driven decisions.

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