Data Layer FAQ

What is a data layer?
A data layer is a Javascript object that’s used to house information about the page and user. It is implemented to store contextual data you would like to pass from the page to other applications.

What are the benefits of a data layer?
The utilization of a data layer affords an efficient, agile approach to pass data from your website to other devices. It’s more stable and secure than individual ‘scraper’ commands, and is less susceptible to modifications rendered to the html markup. When using Salesforce Audience Studio, the data layer grants a streamlined framework to send data about your site pages, users, and content into the data management platform.

How do you recommend a UserID appear in the dataLayer?

If the value is a hashed email in SHA256 format, we recommend the dataLayer attribute be "email_sha256". This will set you up for future success with the Marketing Cloud integration.

Generally, the userID attribute should be all lowercase in the dataLayer which will allow it to appear in the first party usermatch report in the UI.

What happens to pre-existing DTC if a Client implements a data layer post-implementation?
Once the client has implemented a data layer on their site pages, Salesforce will modify its scripts to pull in information from the new object and pass the values into the existing attributes within the Audience Studio Konsole. There will be no interruption to the collected data.

If the naming convention does change during the implementation of the data layer, the client should provide Salesforce with a document indicating the updated names for each attribute. Salesforce will map the prior and current values to ensure all historical data associated with the attribute is available.

What is required on the client’s side to move to a data layer?
Clients will need to leverage their internal technical resources to define and populate a universal object on their sites, which carries all of the page and user-level information they would like to communicate to other applications. This information needs to be “hard-coded” on the page and will be up to the respective personnel to determine how each element is propagated.

What is required on Salesforce’s side?
For Salesforce to update its first-party data collection methodology from standard DTC to pull from a client’s data layer, Salesforce has to modify dedicated collection scripts to pull from the correct place. Salesforce will also need to test this to ensure the respective values are being collected in Konsole as expected.

How long does it take to implement?
Since the data layer is a component of the client’s pages, the majority of the work resides with the client’s technical personnel. Timing will vary based on their availability and efficiency.

How will it impact the client’s use of Salesforce Audience Studio?
A data layer is designed to be dynamic, and its adoption will help to provide a more fluid integration with Audience Studio. Once deployed, you can introduce new data points to the data layer at any time, submit a ticket to Salesforce asking to activate that value, and within 48-hours you will see the attribute populate in the Konsole (presuming the daily population exceeds the 100-user threshold). There is no longer a need for Salesforce to write a dedicated script to collect each value - vastly diminishing the activation time for new attributes.

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