Digital Behavior Analytics (DBA) Replay

Digital Behavior Analytics (DBA) Replay Overview

DBA Replay generates a playable recording of a user experience with your website. Using the Web-Based player you can analyze the user journey and gain relevant insights for improvements.

If DBA Replay is activated, the condition you define will trigger recording. There are two main modes you can use:

  • Sample Rate Recording
  • Local Buffer Recording

With Sample Rate Recording you set a sample rate defining how many users you want to record (in percent). This rate can be defined globally and on a per-page basis. User visits on your site are diced against this percentage. If the sample rate is hit, recording starts and a connection to our servers is opened. Not hitting the sample rate means the user will not be recorded. This information is stored in a browser cookie, so reloading or navigating to another page will not change this outcome.

With Local Buffer Recording recording starts regardless if a user hit the defined sample rate. Recorded data will not be sent to our servers immediately, instead it is recorded into the browser storage using the indexedDB feature. Local Buffer Recording has two modes: 1) rolling and 2) server offloading. With the rolling mode, older data is deleted once the storage limit is reached. When a survey is triggered, the connection to our servers is triggered and the collected data is sent, and all future recording data after this point. In the offload mode older data is not deleted, instead a server connection is established as soon as the limit is hit. This data will only be processed and a recording made available if a user triggers a survey at any point during their session. Using both combined, first the sample rate is checked and then local buffering will start if it was a miss.

Configuration Options

There are multiple options you can use to customize a recording to your needs. DBA Replay can be configured to record (or not record) certain pages of your website. You may also omit specific portions of a page (or the whole page) that may display Personal Identity Information (PII) as described in the Replay Masking article.

You can also configure Properties for your recordings. Properties are key-value pairs, that can be used to filter your recordings in the Digital Behavior Analytics Interface and improve the speed and quality of your analysis. For example, if you want to analyze how users interact with an element, that only exists under certain conditions, you don't have to check all recordings to find your specific case. You could configure a property for this element by using a CSS selector and future sessions will be easily filtered to find exactly what you want.

Additionally, you can configure page names to name specific pages and select/filter them inside the DBA Interface. By default the URL or the page title is used, but you can also configure custom names.

How Long Does It Take to Create a Replay?

Processing a recording will begin 30 minutes after the user left your site without coming back. The recording should take 16 hours as a maximum, but usually is much quicker.

What's Captured in a Replay

DBA Replays capture the initial DOM, DOM Mutations, dynamic HTML, SVG Elements and document iframes. Flash animation, videos, and canvas elements are not captured.

  • Note: iframes from another domain cannot be recorded

Does Replay Impact my Site's Performance

DBA Replay has been designed to have a very minimal performance impact to your site. The code is designed to load quickly and not interfere with the loading of other elements of your site.

Additionally, apart from the initial DOM Snapshot, DBA Replay captures only a minimal amount of information while a visitor is browsing your site, for example mouse movements, keyboard inputs and so on. By capturing other site elements outside of a user's visit, the amount of data that needs to be captured and transmitted is significantly reduced.

Accessing Replay Recordings

By default recordings are stored for a period of three months, at which time the files are purged from the database and are no longer available. Please talk to your CSM, if you need to extend this storage time.

The Web-Based Player, which is a user interface for viewing DBA Replay recordings, is accessed from within the Survey > View Responses in the Predictive Experience portal. Survey respondents that have a Replay asset show a clickable Replay Icon within the View Responses table (see image below).

Click on the respondent to open the Respondent Details page which displays the Replay Web-Based Player. Replay presents an added perspective on a survey respondent's experience and often highlights trouble spots where visitors are consistently experiencing issues with the site. With Replay, you can visually understand the user's session and follow the user intent, and compare this to the survey feedback.

Accessing Digital Behavior Analytics

If you want to use all the Digital Behavior Analytics features such as filtering, click maps and heatmaps, you can follow the link in the Predictive Experience portal's navigation sidebar.

Replay Capture Rate

The capture rate expectation for the Replay product is about 80%, which means that recordings are processed about 80% of the time. Processing depends on the data captured from a user. If the user has an older browser that is not on the supported list, their connection is too slow, or something has quickly disrupted the transfer of data, this data may be corrupt and cannot be processed. This capture rate is a global average across all DBA Replay customers; some clients experience much greater capture rates by simply not encountering the problems stated above.

Handling Website Changes after Launch

We never want to prevent our clients from making any changes to their website – so you will never have to coordinate changes to your website with us. Since we are, however, using the structure of the page (for example elements on the page, its URL) to set page names and custom properties, it is possible that these rules won’t work after changes to the websites. Those are typically the result of changes in functionality, not simply content changes. For example, we recommend you prepare in advance of a re-launch so that recording works smoothly and you can properly dissect the data after the re-launch right away. Note that if something doesn’t work anymore that doesn’t mean that we are not recording. The session data will still be there, but may not have the correct page name or a custom property might be missing.

With masking it’s important to be diligent. By default that shouldn’t be an issue since we are just masking everything with custom exceptions, if needed. However, if you want to unmask everything by default, or mask PII in a targeted fashion, we would need to know about changes in the structure of pages with PII ahead of time, to make sure that the custom masking rules won’t break.