About Profiles and Pattern Cards

Profiles and Pattern Cards are features that have been introduced with the Sitecore Analytics module. This page teaches you the differences between both.



A Profile is a category used to define the criteria by which visitors are recognized. Profiles are typically defined under /sitecore/system/Marketing Center/Profiles.

Under a specific profile, you can find Profile Keys, Profile Cards, and Pattern Cards.


In the above example, there are five profiles: Focus, Function, Persona, Score, and Visit Profile. The first four of these profiles are the default ones defined in Sitecore. The example below uses the Visit Profile.

Profile Key

Profiles are a combination of different keys. Each Profile Key value is typically in a range of 0 to 5.


When you define a profile key, you must set the Minimum Value and Maximum Value fields. If these values aren’t defined properly, Coveo will be unable to rank search results as expected.


In this example, the Visit Profile is a combination of the following keys : Business, Couples, Duration, Family, Nightlife, Repeat Visits, and Tourism.

Profile Cards

Profile Cards are a preset combination of profile key values gathered in one card. This is what you will assign to your Sitecore items.


As you can see, in this example, there are six profile cards: Business, Family, Partying, Romantic, Sightseer, and Sun Bather. If you select Business, you can see the following in the item content:


This graphic shows the preset collection of keys in the Business Profile Card. As you can see, this profile card has high values in the Business and Duration dimensions, while Family and Repeat Visits aren’t important.

Profile Cards - Persona

Those are a special kind of Profile Cards, with specific details used for visitors.

Pattern Cards

Pattern Cards are also a combination of keys, but they’re used to match a visitor profile to its closest pattern. Those aren’t assigned to your content; Sitecore automatically assigns one to the current visitor.


There are six pattern cards here: Bob the Business Traveler, Patty the Party Animal, Peter the Parent, Ronda the Romantic, Sam the Sightseer, and Sandy the Sun Bather. As you can see, the pattern cards usually match the profile cards closely.

If you click on Bob the Business Traveler, you can see the following in the item content:


A Pattern Card is also a pre-defined combination of keys, using the same keys as the Profile Cards.


The main concept that must be understood is that Profiles are related to your content (i.e. they’re statically assigned to your Sitecore items) and Pattern Cards are related to your visitors (i.e. they’re dynamically assigned to visitors). Sitecore assigns a pattern card to the visitor according to the content they see on the website.

Assigning Profile Cards to Your Sitecore Items

When the Analytics module is installed, when viewing a Sitecore item in the Content Editor, you have the following icon at the top right:


This button is used to assign a Profile Card on your item. If you click on it, the following window opens:


You can click on Edit, next to Visit Profile; the following window opens:


There, you have the Profile Cards listed. Selecting one of them displays a graph representing the different key values associated with the profile card.

Otherwise, you can click on Customize to define a specific combination of keys for this particular item. Then, you can assign values to the keys you want.


In this example, you can assign the Business Profile Card to our Test item. When clicking OK and closing the popups, the newly assigned profile is displayed like this:


Use Case

Here is a simple use case to understand how Profiles and Pattern Cards interact with each other:

  1. The Profile Card Business was assigned to the Test item.

  2. A visitor enters the site. They visit the page associated with the Test item.

  3. Since this item has a profile card assigned, Sitecore saves the Profile Keys values in the Analytics module.

  4. Sitecore then tries to compute the visitor pattern. Since they only visited one item with the Business Profile Card, the closest matching pattern is 'Bob the Business Traveler'.

  5. Sitecore assigns the Pattern Card 'Bob the Business Traveler' to the current visitor.


In Sitecore 8, you need to visit at least two pages with the same profile card to have a Pattern card assigned to a user.

Use in Coveo for Sitecore

When assigning a Profile Card to an item, the Coveo Search Provider indexes the values of the keys on this item, as well as the Profile Card name and GUID.

If you assign a customized Profile Card, only the key values are indexed.