Unlocking the Power of Audit Trails in SegMetrics

In this guide, you'll discover how to harness the potential of audit trails within SegMetrics. We'll delve into the why and how of using audit trails, from accountability and data security to compliance and operational efficiency. Learn how to utilize this essential feature to its fullest extent for a more transparent, secure, and efficient marketing attribution process.

Main Topics Covered:

1. Introduction to Audit Trails

2. Why Audit Trails Matter

3. Who can see Audit Trails

4. Accessing Audit Trails in SegMetrics

5. Interpreting Audit Trail Entries

6. Exporting Audit Trails

7. FAQ / Gotchas

1. Introduction to Audit Trails

Audit trails are an indispensable feature within SegMetrics that provide a comprehensive record of all changes made within the platform. This documentation will guide you through the why and how of using audit trails to enhance your experience.

2. Why Audit Trails Matter

Audit trails play a crucial role in your SegMetrics experience for several reasons:

- Accountability and Responsibility: An audit trail meticulously logs who made what changes and when. This ensures that all team members are accountable for their actions within the platform. If an error or significant change occurs, it can be traced back to a specific user, fostering a culture of responsibility.

- Data Integrity and Security: Audit trails provide a reliable and chronological record of changes, which helps in maintaining the integrity of data. If unauthorized or erroneous changes are made, the audit trail will show what was altered, allowing for rapid identification and rectification. This is critical for the security and integrity of the data that agencies and marketers rely on.

- Compliance and Reporting: For agencies that need to adhere to various industry regulations (such as GDPR, HIPAA, or other data protection laws), an audit trail is often a mandatory requirement. It provides a transparent record that can be used to prove compliance with various standards during audits or inspections.

- Enhanced Client Trust and Transparency: Agencies can use the audit trail feature to create transparent reports for their clients, showing exactly what actions have been taken on their accounts and when. This fosters trust between the agency and its clients, as clients can clearly see the work that is being done on their behalf.

- Operational Efficiency and Improvement: By maintaining a detailed record of changes, agencies and digital marketers can analyze the audit trail to identify patterns, efficiencies, or areas for improvement. For example, if certain types of changes are consistently leading to better campaign performance, this insight can be used to inform future strategies. Conversely, if certain actions often precede errors or issues, they can be flagged for further training or process refinement.

3. Who can see Audit Trails

Only owners and admin roles can see audit trails, the users role cannot. If you want a user to have access, their permissions would have to be upgraded to admin. 

4. Accessing Audit Trails in SegMetrics

As an owner or admin, to access audit trails in SegMetrics, follow these simple steps:

-On any page within SegMetrics, click the gear icon in the top right corner, then select “Account Settings”

-On the left side below “Billing” select “Audit Trail”

-Here you can see action, type, record, user, and modified date within the audit trail. 

5. Interpreting Audit Trail Entries

Each entry in the audit trail provides valuable information, including the user responsible for the action, the date and time of the change, and a brief description of what was modified. Understanding the following entries is key to leveraging audit trails effectively:

-Action: The action description is a concise summary of the change made. This description is often written in plain language, making it easy to understand even for non-technical users.

- Example: "updated report” or “created filter” the updated and created are the action

-Type: What was changed. This will notify if it was a widget, integration, dashboard etc. that was modified 

- Example: “Widget" or “Dashboard” 

-Record: In some cases, the entry may specify the exact element or data that was affected by the change. This helps you pinpoint precisely what aspect of your marketing attribution setup was modified.

- Example: "Affected Element: Budget of XYZ Campaign."

-Modified: The timestamp indicates the date and time when the action was performed. It's essential for tracking the chronological order of changes, helping you understand the sequence of events.

- Example: "Timestamp: September 15, 2023, 10:30 AM."

-User: This section identifies the user who initiated the change. It provides accountability by showing who made the alteration, which can be particularly useful in team environments.

- Example: "User Responsible: John Smith."

-Previous and Current Values: To understand the change in context, audit trail entries include both the previous (old) and current (new) values of the modified element. This allows you to see the before-and-after picture of the alteration. You can find this by clicking on the rewind clock symbol next to the timestamp. 

- Example: "Previous Value: $1,000, Current Value: $1,500."

6. Exporting Audit Trails

You can export or download audit trail data from SegMetrics. This feature allows you to save and analyze audit trail entries externally, create reports, or maintain a separate record for compliance purposes. Click the blue “export” button in the top right corner. You now have a CSV file of your Audit records. 

7. FAQ / Gotchas

Q: Does every account have access to Audit Trails?

A: Audit Trails is only available at the business plan level. If you don’t currently have it you can upgrade your plan in your account settings or reach out to our support and we will do so for you.

Q: What actions are recorded in the Audit Trail?

A: The audit trail in SegMetrics records various actions, and is currently tracking any changes to users, reports, filters, widgets, dashboards, and segments. Anytime someone makes a change, it’s logged what the change was, which item they changed, and who changed it. You can review the specific actions by accessing the audit trail in your SegMetrics account.

Q: Can I customize the audit trail to only track specific actions or events?

A: Not currently. Please see above for what is being tracked. Feel free to reach out to our support if there is a use case we don't support

Q: How far back does the audit trail retain data?

A: The retention period for audit trail data in SegMetrics can vary based on your account settings and subscription level. Generally, SegMetrics retains audit trail data for a specified period, which can range from several months to a year or more, depending on when you signed up for a business account. Be sure to check your account settings or contact SegMetrics support for precise details on data retention.

Q: Can I revert a change and where do I do so?

A: Because of the interconnected nature of many of the reports, users find that it is better to reproduce the changes manually rather than using an automatic revert. 

Q: Are audit trails secure and tamper-proof?

A: Yes, audit trails within SegMetrics are designed to be secure and tamper-proof. They provide an immutable record of changes made within the platform, which means that once an entry is recorded, it cannot be altered or deleted by users. This ensures the integrity and reliability of the audit trail data for accountability and compliance purposes.

With this guide, you'll unlock the full potential of audit trails in SegMetrics, ensuring a smoother, more accountable, and secure marketing attribution process.

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