This symposium was a different one for me. The sessions dedicated to women and the session LED by women were truly inspiring. Also, I tried a different note-taking technique this year, sketchnoting. See my previous post. Here are my sketchnotes and some quick takeaways from each session:
The Cortex Engine: Process at Scale
“Cortex is to Sitecore processing like xConnect is to xDB.”
Cortex is a set of components used to gather large amounts of data and process it via machine learning into marketing-ready information. It uses tasks (distributed tasks and deferred actions–lower priority) to do the processing that is normally done manually by a marketing team.
A big takeaway from this session is that you’ll need a data scientist to provide direction to the developer to fine tune the Cortex model and then to be able to consume the processed data. Cortex will be available in Sitecore 9.1.
Where Machine Learning Meets Social #ThinkYouKnowMe
In an age where many details about individuals are at our fingertips, it’s important not to overrate what you have on hand.
In this session, my big takeaway is that the static demographic info provided by social media is not always the smartest dataset to be used for personalization. This creates a broad stroke reach which is the opposite purpose of personalization. Gather data only after the user converts on a goal and look at keywords and tags, not the demographics of the person.
.NetCore and Sitecore 9.1 architecture
In this session, we learned the goal of the Sitecore 9.1 architecture, which has components built in netcore, is to make Sitecore have smaller, testable components that leverage netcore whenever possible (like for diagnostics and logging … why re-invent the wheel?)
The new Sitecore Host lays the groundwork for a single way to start Sitecore applications. It’s lean, versatile and has a low-hosting cost.
Sitecore Host is currently the base for the following three 9.1 components … Sitecore Identity (which controls everything auth-related including federated auth features), Horizon (drag-n-drop tool to eventually replace our friend the Experience Editor), and Universal Tracker (which gathers and quickly processes large amounts of mobile data before it eventually ends up on xDB).
Universal tracker and mobile analytics
Sitecore Universal Tracker – a new approach for tracking interactions in mobile.
Sitecore Universal Tracker is built to quickly process the huge amounts of data coming from mobile devices prior to it eventually going into xDB. It alleviates some of the processing that xConnect does and does not use Web Tracker. You can configure channels that have a pre-filter (get rid of garbage data), enrichment (where the action is), and post-filter (further filtering). Performance/pass rate of interactions/second goes up with DTU units.
Sitecore 9.1 Universal Tracker will include the SDK and Analytics recording. Personalization will be included in a future release.
How to go faster: When Sitecore squadrons feel the need for speed
How to structure your dev squads to maximize collaboration and productivity.I had another session in mind for this timeslot but the speaker of this session, Adam Simmonds, was wonderfully complimentary on my sketchnotes so I simply had to attend his session. And I’m glad I did!
It was great to see what was accomplished on Open Universities Australia’s site to speed up deployments. My biggest takeway was the documenting done in the value stream mapping session that reveals the bottlenecks. I can apply that today.
Clean up -> Reduce -> Automate