As data is recorded or updated against a contact the the value of a trait may or may not appear to change and it is important to understand why this might happen.
There are three types of trait:
- Fixed traits are simple; when a contact was first seen or if they are registered or not would be good examples, these traits have a single value and are only changed by certain actions.
- A transient trait is a calculated value that is true at that moment in time, for example if the contact’s date of birth is available, then an age trait can be also be calculated. Once the contact’s birthday is reached the age will increment.
- The rated trait is the most complex. Populo will store multiple values against a trait and the best fit value will be returned. This value is based on a confidence level, the number of instances the value is used, and the date the information was provided.
This is best demonstrated with an example.
Example of rated behaviour
Let’s take the following situation. A website contains three white papers to download, in order to download the white papers the visitor is asked to supply their email address.
This data is captured and recorded against the Personal.Email trait, with a medium confidence level.
Scenario 1 - instance count
On the first and second downloads the visitor enters the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. When the contact was queried the email address was email@example.com as expected.
On the third download the visitor enters firstname.lastname@example.org. This time when the contact is queried the original value of email@example.com is returned. This is due to firstname.lastname@example.org having a count of two as they entered the twice and only entered email@example.com once.
Scenario 2 - instance count / date provided
On the first download the visitor enters the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. When the contact was queried the email address was email@example.com as expected.
On the second download the visitor enters the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
When the contact is queried the email address is now email@example.com as there are two different email addresses stored, the most recently provided is returned.
On the final download the visitor again enters firstname.lastname@example.org. When the contact is queried there are two instances of email@example.com so that email address is returned.
Scenario 3 - high confidence level
The visitor has now registered with the site and given their email address as firstname.lastname@example.org. At this point any email addresses entered by the visitor when they downloaded a pdf will not be returned because data captured through registration has a high confidence level and so will be returned.
When a high confidence level trait is changed the given value will always be returned, regardless of how many times a value has been set.
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