TagDebugger: The Gateway to Real Tag Governance

March 13, 2020 Andrew Geddes

Building a tagging implementation is a complex process, especially if your website and the associated analytics implementation are large or you have extensive customer tracking needs. 

Luckily, there are several free browser tools available to help you spot-check individual tags on your site pages. A few of the most prominent options are Google Tag Assistant, Adobe Experience Cloud Debugger, and TagDebugger by ObservePoint. 

About Google Tag Assistant and the Adobe Experience Cloud Debugger

Both Google Tag Assistant and Adobe Experience Cloud Debugger are viable options, but the two solutions only function with tags associated with their own brand. 

For example, Google Tag Assistant can only help you troubleshoot tags associated with Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and other tech in the Google family. 

Google Tag Assistant

Adobe Experience Cloud Debugger can only help you inspect tags associated with Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, Adobe Launch, and other Adobe products.

Adobe Experience Cloud Debugger

If you’re looking for a solution that provides you with detail on Adobe and Google and various other vendor tags on your site, you’ll want to use ObservePoint’s TagDebugger.

ObservePoint’s TagDebugger

TagDebugger by ObservePoint is a helpful tool for spot-checking individual tags on your site. Here’s a breakdown outlining some of TagDebugger’s core benefits:

Benefits of using TagDebugger

  • Clear-cut tag inspection. The in-browser TagDebugger provides you with a straightforward way to browse your website’s code and inspect the associated tags. 
  • Comprehensive tag recognition. TagDebugger recognizes over 900 request signatures, making it easier to know which tag is which.
  • Coherent information layout. TagDebugger displays request data in a human-readable format, giving you a clear view of tag details.
  • Data layer inspection. (**New Feature**) TagDebugger allows you to easily view changes in your data layer. 

There are two sides to every coin. Let’s take a look at some of the limitations of the TagDebugger (and any other tag debugging extension).

Limitations of using TagDebugger

  • Inefficiencies of human/manual effort. Using any browser tool for tag inspection, including TagDebugger, requires human effort to manually inspect each tag. The manual process of in-browser tag inspection requires extensive time and resources, while also leaving room for human error.
  • Inability to manage increasing analytics complexity. Digital analytics complexity will continue to increase as you move forward with your business, and managing this complexity with manual effort will become harder and harder. 
  • Increased clarity around tagging issues but lacks automated functionality. Once you start using TagDebugger, you’ll likely realize how complex and extensive your tagging issues are and that manual effort alone won’t enable you to solve them. 

Using an in-browser tag inspector is a great place to start governing your tags, but you should keep in mind that these tools are created for quick, one-time checks, not long-term monitoring and maintenance. 

TagDebugger by ObservePoint

In order to monitor and validate your tags on an ongoing basis—as you should be doing if you have a robust website and analytics implementation—you will need an automated tag governance solution. 

Benefits of Moving to Automation

Implementing an effective tag governance strategy with an automated solution will allow you to plan, deploy, validate, and monitor your entire tagging implementation over time. Doing so will help you manage the ever-changing nature of websites and analytics implementations while maintaining accurate data and moving your business forward. 

Another benefit of using automation to govern your tags is the amount of time and resources you can save. By using a tag governance solution, you free up all the time and resources that would have been spent manually checking tags. Then you can use the newfound time and resources to either improve your data accuracy to an even greater extent or to focus on other important business initiatives. 

How does it work?

An automated tag governance solution will enable you to set up recurring tests that automatically audit the tags installed on your website. These audits would then run on an ongoing basis.

Part of running these audits is creating rules to test against your implementation. Whenever your tags fail to match up with specified rules during a test, you get notified of when and where the misconfiguration took place so you can fix it quickly. 

Using an automated testing solution will give you an efficient way to obtain a clear view of whether or not your tagging implementation is continually meeting your expectations. 

Start Taking Steps Toward Automated Tag Governance

Utilizing ObservePoint’s free TagDebugger is a great place to start improving tagging accuracy. But you will undoubtedly come to find there is so much more to tag governance than manually spot-checking tags. 

By moving beyond TagDebugger and implementing a full-on tag governance solution, you will be able to make leaps and bounds towards improving your tagging quality, and you will be able to shift your focus from worrying about individual tags to moving your business forward with what matters—improving customer experiences and driving revenue growth. 

To see how ObservePoint’s automated tag governance solution can help you improve tagging quality, schedule a demo.

About the Author

Andrew Geddes

Andrew helps ObservePoint customer's keep their data clean and accurate. As the manager of the consulting team he focuses on building processes to make data governance as easy as possible for the end users. Andrew has been with ObservePoint for nearly 5 years and has previous experience in the SaaS industry with companies like Workday and Gartner. As an avid sports fan you can often find Andrew watching sports or playing golf in his free time. Prior to jumping into the SaaS world he spent time in sports broadcasting at Brigham Young University, and local ESPN radio.

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