A Solution Design Document is a complete blueprint of your web analytics implementation. It outlines where every variable is set and why. It can really be a lifesaver. You should start keeping a solution design document as soon as you begin your implementation. Every time you add a prop, an evar, an event or any other variable, make sure you add it in there. Every time you make a change to your implementation, make note of it in there. It’s an easy place to go to see what variables are being used for what where they are being set and which ones are still available.
“But do I really need to keep track of everything to that level of detail, just checking the Admin console has been working well for us.” Well have you ever opened a report and find information there that shouldn’t be there?
How did that get in there? It’s being set somewhere in our implementation, but where? What page sets that variable? What function could set it? A quick check of our solution design document and we can see every place were that particular prop is set, well where they should be set. If one of your developers decided to get the implementation and set a variable in a non traditional way, it can be a real nightmare trying to figure out what was done. Without that you could waste a lot of time hunting through code searching for where a random variable is being set.
Here is an example spreadsheet that you can use as a basis to start your Solution Design Document:
Sample Solution Design Document
If you have a large team that all have their hands in your web analytics implementation, it may be beneficial to could place the solution design document in a location where the different members of your team can have access and add to it, like for example Google Docs or some other shared folder or public drive.