March 18, 2016 by Olga Kogan

(Squared Euclidean) Distance and going the extra mile to get it

In my previous blog post I touched on the concept of Squared Euclidean Distance between patterns. So what is this Distance and why do we care? It is the numerical representation of a difference between two Sitecore patterns. Going back to an example from Persona Tool let's look at several patterns: Charts

The yellow one almost maxes out on Analytics but quite low on Customer Relations and Campaigns and Targeting keys. The pink one is obviously very different: high on Innovation and Customer Relations and very low on Technology and Analytics. If we were to find out how we can measure this difference we would use Sitecore's GetDistance method from Sitecore.Analytics.Patterns namespace in Sitecore.Analytics assembly. I decompiled this method and this is what it looks like:

Distance Code

Pattern's Space.Dimensions is a number of Profile Keys. In our case it would be 6. Following the logic we see that each Profile Key value is compared between the two patterns and this result is multiplied by itself. Then added to a cumulative value which is our distance. Here's a snapshot from watching two keys and how they compare to each other. The first key ([0]) happens to be Analytics.


Here's a great blog post on visualizing pattern cards by Adam Conn. You can download his module and watch the current visit's pattern change before your eyes! Hedgehog Persona Tool takes this process of pattern matching to a whole new level. As previously discussed, Sitecore patterns are preset, and may not accurately reflect visitor behavior. You can compare this process to a conference planning: you expect visitors from certain states and prepare badges (Pattern Cards) for them with state names. But as visitors come you might realize that some of them arrive from totally different areas and your badges (Pattern Cards) are irrelevant. The Hedgehog Persona Tool allows us to see the accurate visitor behavior in real time. Each visit stored in Mongo is turned into a pattern, matched against other patterns and then assigned to a cluster with similar patterns for a much more detailed and accurate analysis. If you'd like more information about persona development and marketing strategy, reach out to Hedgehog Digital Marketing Innovation Team.

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