More color on Adobe + Omniture

Published by Eric T. Peterson on September 16, 2009 All posts from Eric T. Peterson

Wow, everyone seems to have an opinion about this acquisition. Some people think Microsoft will ride in at the 11th hour and out-bid Adobe because Microsoft and Adobe compete, and because Google has Google Analytics. On this point I am inclined to agree with Joe Davis, CEO of Omniture competitor Coremetrics, who comments that Omniture has been shopping the company around for some time and it is unlikely that Redmond hasn’t already had the opportunity to play (given the significant investment Microsoft has in Omniture.)

Other folks appear to be worried that Adobe will be integrating Omniture into Flash and this raises privacy concerns. While certainly folks have concerns about tracking and the possibility of embedding tracking into Flash Local Shared Objects (LSO) I just have to believe that management at Adobe is smart enough not to risk Flash’s dominance by subjecting the technology to the scrutiny, navel-gazing, and paranoia of the “privacy police.”

Their customers, at least the ones I am talking to, are more or less 2 to 1 against the acquisition at this point citing a variety of concerns (transition, failure to execute on stated product plans, talent flight, Adobe is not adept at services, etc.) Far be it from me to tell anyone’s customers they are wrong when expressing concerns, especially since this is an out-of-sector acquisition and Omniture is now more or less a medium-sized cog in a very big machine. Arguments for include loving Adobe (I love Adobe!), being relieved that Adobe is a big, grown-up company, and hopes that Adobe will focus on fundamentals like customer support, product execution, and global expansion.

Another customer complaint is that Omniture is now losing the (thin, pasty) veneer of third-party objectivity and that some companies may not actually want Adobe to have access to their site’s data.  I think this may be the same boondoggle that Omniture (and others) have used to explain why “the Enterprise wouldn’t use Google Analytics” — except there is more and more (and more) evidence that the Enterprise does use Google Analytics — but it will be interesting to see how the “free-standing” analytics vendors work to make Omniture eat their own words now that they too are part of something larger.

The comment that has me most concerned is one best detailed by Carter Malloy from Stephens, Inc. Research Analyst who I have known for years and who I know to be pretty level headed regarding the sector.  Carter sent me this, which I am simply repeating with his permission:

“I don’t understand the strategic rationale on adobe’s part. Different end market buyers. Very different products. No real cost savings or integration between the two products. OMTR is very capital intensive vs. adobe not much at all. Seems like Adobe is buying growth with hopes for cross sells. I would be surprised to find out that OMTR did not shop the business around before accepting the bid from Adobe – we should find out soon in public filings required by the SEC. Omniture will still have to report 3Q09 earnings in October, but I think the deal will get closed before Q4 in Jan/Feb. I also think Adobe will show Omniture’s revenue performance on an informal basis going forward. It will be <10% of Adobe’s total revs, but I still think they will give analysts at least some idea of what growth looks like.”

This was in response to my comment detailing a thesis that I have heard from several of Carter’s peers: that Omniture was about to blow Q3 earnings and that the result would be a dramatic dip in OMTR share price as investors head for the exit. The rationale is, apparently, that the company has over-promised and under-delivered for too long, both to investors and customers, and the economy has been the “last straw” for many who have opted to look elsewhere for web analytics technology. This, combined with slower-than-hoped adoption of non-core solutions (data warehouse, Test & Target, Search Center, Survey, etc.) resulted in a “company who’s greatest days are behind them” (direct quote, and I begged to attribute but was told “no” due to company policy.)

Don’t get me wrong: This is not my thesis, at least not yet.

While I have seen evidence of larger Omniture customers switching, increasingly to Unica, I have not seen enough evidence of the kind of massive shift away from SiteCatalyst that would warrant a sudden exit. The good news is that Carter’s thesis can easily be tested: Either Omniture will make expectations for Q3 or they won’t. I’m sure this will make for an interesting Q3 call, at least for those investors who are taking a bath on the acquisition price.

My concern is this: If the investment banker thesis is correct, if Omniture was about to report a second quarter of, um, disappointing results, then what does that mean for the larger industry? Is Adobe really evidence that the larger market is taking an interest in digital analytics? Or was the company thrashing about looking for something new to cover for recent declines and this really isn’t about Omniture or web analytics at all?

Again, I don’t know, at least not yet, and I don’t think any of us do. But given the very mixed reviews about the acquisition I think we as an industry should take a step back and consider the larger ramifications. Personally I don’t think web analytics is going ANYWHERE — hell, I’m recruiting at Web Analytics Demystified — but we can all admit we collectively haven’t done the best job explaining what we do and what the data we live and die by means.

This interesting acquisition will certainly get more interesting as the days pass. Congrats again to all involved.

Share this blog post ...
  • Jiri Brazda

    Wow, is this getting scary? Adobe certainly is not interested in some parts of the Omniture Suite, esp. those touching on integration with Business Intelligence so guess, they will chop up the suite, keep something that fits their product portfolio and the vision they have for this acquisition and sell the rest. But then, Unica will surely take the lead?

  • Adam Greco

    I too am surprised that Microsoft did not make a play. I think Omniture would have helped them get into the SAAS business in a bigger way. I wonder if Adobe bought Omniture thinking that the combined entity would push MSFT over the edge and force them to buy Adobe?

  • Christopher Berry

    Well said and reasoned, Eric.

    I’m scratching my head on this one.

    It might be because I’m a battle-hardened practitioner so I have a bit of a different point of view about the offering.

    The web analytics vendor that will gain dominance in the end will be the one that goes customer-centric, not product-centric.

  • Tom

    Doesn’t flash + Omniture integration mean that every flash ad can be delivered on the fly depending on who the viewer is and where they were last?

  • tom

    MS seems like it would be a much better fit. I think SiteCatalyst, Test and Target are bothbest in class tools, but without increasing the install base somehow (probably by reducing price or having a limited free option), every update to GA and Website Optimizer makes it harder to justify the expensive products for all but the most advanced utilizations of web analytics.

  • Andrés Flores

    Maybe Adobe has plans for an extreme makeover on another company they acquired 2 weeks ago…

    Perhaps.. their is more in common to Omniture product offer than the name. From their website, what they do:

    * Build and manage their website
    * Write a blog and build a forum
    * Run an online shop and accept payments
    * Create email marketing campaigns
    * Build a customer database
    * Analyze and improve results

    Transform the software with FLASH/FLEX/AIR technology and add measuring capacities through Omniture and maybe they have an interesting SaaS offer.

    I’m thinking of Lyris product offer after buying hotbanana and clicktracks.



  • Jacques Warren

    Does anybody remember that Josh called his WA competitors “a nuisance” during an analyst call some time ago? They’re was an air of “we’re the frigging best, and can kick any of those loser’s ass”.


  • Dan Auns

    I think that most in our space are too busy looking up at this transaction. Have a quick look down from an ADBE stakeholders perspective, and it should make a lot more sense. Adobe is (By in large) a package software company, this move provides a huge step to the (very desirable) SAAS model, and diversifying your revenue streams is +++ from a stakeholders view.

    Moreover, Adobe OWNES all verticals that they compete in – where is the predictable quarter over quarter growth that being a public entity demands going to come from when you own +90% of each market that your products compete in? A quick look at the ADBE ticker provides the answer, you look elsewhere.

    Omniture is significantly large company, making great strides in an entirely new discipline, let alone a new product/service vertical. At the same time, their product strategy and roadmap has been less than perfect, with a lot (my opinion) of room for improvement. The digital create/deploy/test/measure workflows are close enough for arguments sake, some elbow grease and creativity will provide the much needed polish to go to market – with a workflow that can’t be found anywhere else.

    There are synergies here, diversities, as well as some glaring opportunities.

  • nik7k7

    Like so many others, I am still baffled by Adobe’s acquisition of Omniture. I don’t think anyone saw that coming.

    The more I think about it however, the more I am starting to see Adobe’s rationale. Omniture provides something very powerful to a company who provides multimedia products – measuring, insights, ROI. In an economy where return on investment and accountability for every dollar spent is de riguer, perhaps Adobe wants to give its media heavy empire a much needed accountability.

    Several sites have pursued flash, video, and other “cutting-edge” visual technology, often hoping to be bigger and better than their competitors. Perhaps the Omniture acquisition will help justify these decisions and the software’s high costs. The web seems to be moving towards more tech-heavy / engineering websites than graphical – databases, ruby on rails, etc. Maybe the Omniture aquisition is just an attempt to remain competitive in light of this?

  • Darren Shafae

    I am really perplexed by Adobe’s acquisition of Omniture. I have several friends who have worked for Omniture in the past, and currently work for them today. It is my understanding that Google Analytics had crushed their margins, and the company was failing. Omniture, the Cadillac of analytic software products, was becoming more like a late model SUV. The pricing model was expensive and did not match today’s market place. It does not surprise me that Omniture was sold, but what is surprising is who made the purchase. I do not see a fit between Adobe and Omniture. I am assuming that Omniture services will now be incorporated into Dreamweaver and that their advanced analytics will be available for moderately priced monthly fees.

    However, I am not convinced that small business users and startups rely on Adobe/Macromedia products as much as they did during the dot com boom. More and more, applications are moving to cloud environments, and those applications are built on Ruby on Rails or Django. Analytic applications are not difficult to build using a database, IP address verification/matching, browser detection, and Google Charts, all for under $2,000. In addition, collecting these metrics and coupling them with your own sales numbers, plus removing the not-so-reliable JavaScript tags is not as difficult as Omniture sales representatives would make you believe. In addition, a proprietary analytic application is more reliable and accurate.

    Having said that, collecting the data and actually applying it in a useful way is a different story. Either way, I do not understand Adobe’s decision to purchase Omniture. I thought a better fit would have been Microsoft, especially since they are shutting down their analytics program at the end of the year. Then again, I guess they have access to Indextools.

  • John Bastone


    Nice observations on this deal. Like many in our space, we at SAS have been observing the news of the Omniture acquisition with interest. The integration of those 2 businesses will no doubt bring some benefits to the company, as they should be in a better position to understand the user experience of the Adobe platform.

    But the big question is what value this acquisition affords Adobe and Omniture’s own customers. Many of our customers are moving away from segregated reporting capabilities that center around each communications channel, in favor of an integrated analytic framework that revolves around the customer.

    We’ll continue to be agnostic on the technologies driving the interactive customer experience. Whether the front end is driven by Flash, Java, HTML, or for that matter, a point of sale system, and whether it is accessed via Webpage, Mobile Device or Social Networking site, we believe more businesses are moving to an integrated view of the customer across all customer touch points. If that trend holds, then the benefits of this merger might not extend to marketers that have concerns about what their customers are also doing outside of the rich media applications on their Web sites.


    John Bastone
    SAS Global Product Marketing, Customer Intelligence

  • Pingback: This Week in Search for 9/17/09 | Best Traffic Tips

  • Pingback: This Week in Search for 9/17/09 -

  • Alec Cochrane

    I am going to disagree with Dan Auns on this one – from an Adobe shareholder point of view, I’m not convinced this is the best option.

    As I stated on my blog, Adobe have paid $1.8b for a company that has an annual revenue of $400m and an annual loss of $80m. I think Eric has this one right – Omniture have sold out before Q3 results show that revenue isn’t growing and they still need major investment to keep the company going. A lack of refinancing packages because of the economy have meant they’ve had to hawk themselves out based on future revenue and profit predictions.

    Personally I don’t think I’d be paying 5 times the revenue of a company that hasn’t made profit in a long time, unless I was thinking that the assets would increase in value so that I could sell them on at a profit in the future. Or if Adobe think that having Omniture might make the difference when they sell themselves out to a larger company (eg Microsoft).

    All of which means this move probably won’t be of any benefit to the Omniture customer in the short term. And if Adobe are intending to strip the company to make it profitable for resale, the in might result in poorer customer service. Although the alternative was Omniture not getting refinancing and having to do an even bigger job of that themselves.

  • Mark Patron

    One thing that is missing from the debate so far is Abobe’s lack of a data and database culture, making execution of the “create, deliver, user engages, analyse and optimise” vision a challenge. Omniture may have the neccessary data smarts but Adobe is ten times Omniture’s size so it may be lost. I only wish them well, it is certainly a grand project.

  • Pingback: This Week in Search for 9/17/09 – 106th Edition | Munster Web Design

  • Pingback: - Technology Related News, Product Reviews, and How To's

  • eric

    Jiri: Wow, I would hate to speculate about what Adobe will or won’t do with the Omniture suite at this point. I know some HBX customers who are pretty nervous given that they’re basically on a “dead” platform but who knows what else will happen.

    Funny you mention Unica. I talked to their CEO this week and he seems pretty encouraged by the acquisition, almost strangely so. Apparently they have been getting a lot of traction vs. Omniture in competitive situations lately. I have considered them to be a “sleeping giant” this past year — they are so quiet from a sales and marketing perspective — perhaps with this shakeup the giant will awaken?

    Adam: Interesting thought. Why would Microsoft be “forced” to buy Adobe? Are they really that competitive? Silverlight perhaps, but Adobe’s core applications have always struck me as a great compliment to Windows applications, not competition.

    I do agree, Omniture would have helped MSFT get into SaaS but I suspect their focus on the office suite as an online offering is where the company is making their bet — not with a (relatively) tiny company in a niche market with revenues that are a rounding error for Redmond.

    Oracle on the other hand … ;-)

    Christopher: … at least you didn’t say “the winner will be the one that is easiest to use ;-)”

    Tom: I have to admit, I have no idea what you are talking about. How does Omniture change Flash? We have been measuring Flash for years using Omniture, Google, WebTrends, Core, Unica, etc. All this talk about how the acquisition will make Flash easier to measure … I just don’t see that.

    Measuring Flash has been an implementation issue, a process issue … not a technology issue.

    Tom: Giving Omniture away to the masses would be the worst possible idea in my humble opinion. Have you installed it recently? It is a massive undertaking. Trying to get the same type of critical mass that Google has gained with a tag many multiples more complicated than Google Analytics is unlikely at best.

    I see this as the core risk to Yahoo Web Analytics, although their deployment strategy can mitigate some of that risk. Maybe what you’re saying is that MSFT, had they acquired OMTR, could have used the same strategy?

    Jacques: Ah, the irony. Based on what I’m hearing Josh has a different definition of “nuisance” than the rest of us. Such is life.

    Dan: A step, I agree, but a huge step? My understanding is that Omniture doubles their recurring revenue from 10% to 20% of total revenue but growing that number is dependent on an awful lot of things, don’t you agree?

    Also, if this is a +++ from the stakeholders view, how do you interpret the ** shareholders ** beating the stock is getting?

  • eric

    Darren: I don’t have access to the same information about Google Analytics “crushing Omniture’s margins” that you do but I have been hearing about some of the losses they have suffered to competition, free and fee-based. That said you can’t win them all and Omniture is still a substantial force in the market, regardless of who owns them.

    Regarding building your own — what a disastrous idea that is! In an era where great free analytics are at your fingertips why would any business waste time trying to solve the long-list of problems the vendors deal with every day? And your statement about “more reliable and accurate” is, at least in my experience, 100% wrong. I have worked over my decade in the industry with dozens of companies that tried to “roll their own” and ** every ** instance was met with mistrust in the data, misuse of the system, and more or less outright failure.

    Sorry to rant, but I disagree pretty strongly. Web analytics is hard, why make it harder?

    Everyone: Thanks so much for your comments. Whether we agree or disagree it is a nice reminder what a great and tight community we all work in. I don’t get the fawning and hero worship in my blog that some folks do — I get smart, critical thinkers who are concerned about the fate of our industry.

    I prefer that.

    Again, congratulations to the team at Adobe and Omniture and best of luck with the acquisition and integration.

  • Pingback: Just How “Engaging” is Adobe’s Acquisition of Omniture? « NewDigitalCafé

  • Pingback: Hypothèses sur le rachat d’Omniture par Adobe >

  • Pingback: VisualRevenue | the Adobe Omniture marriage is a pipe dream

  • Darren Shafae

    I respect your opinion, and I can understand your position. I also agree that Omniture is still a substantial force in the market place, but their business model will need to evolve in order for their business to survive. I have used several analytics packages, and I would disagree with your assessment that an in-house analytics deployment is less accurate. I have used $20,000/year and free analytics software packages that reported inaccurate sales numbers. In some instances, the paid analytics packages reported that one keyword contributed $92,233,720,368,547,760.00 in one day. I can send you the screen shots; they are highly entertaining. I believe that is $92 quadrillion; for a frame of reference, the US GDP was $14.26 trillion and the world GDP was $61.07 trillion (according to the –

    Obviously, I failed to clarify my thoughts. Analytics packages are a great barometer, but using one is similar to using an iPhone to produce a feature-length movie. At the end of the day, you need to match each sale with a source. You can do that in several ways. We use a combination of our in-house analytics and direct communication with our clients (we use Google Analytics as a barometer). We have the luxury of being a smaller firm, which allows us to follow up with a large percentage of our clients. That feedback is invaluable, and no analytics package can replicate verbal communication.

    Building a complete analytics package would be a dangerous and expensive undertaking. However, if you are after critical data that is proven to increase conversion, I do not believe you can use a free or paid analytics package as the only arrow in your quiver. I have yet to find an analytics package that solves the issue of re-acquired paid search clients. It is an issue I brought up previously with Judah Phillips (

    I would agree that Web analytics is hard, and it is not wise to make it harder. I would re-iterate that you cannot blindly trust numbers out of a software application. If you do not understand where these numbers are coming from and you cannot tie them to unique session identification numbers, you have no idea of whether those figures are accurate. We have determined the numbers in our analytics application to be accurate because they match dollar for dollar that which has been processed by our merchant service provider. Again, this is a feature that is not available from any analytics package, free or paid.

    I appreciate your feedback (and rant) and I look forward to your next post!

    Darren Shafae

  • Katie

    “Omniture customers switching, increasingly to Unica” – that links to a website called musiciansfriend that sells instruments. I’m assuming this was not your intention?!

  • Mark

    How could it possibly get worse? To anyone who has actually managed an Omniture account, you probably know how they extort money out of you for anything as minuscule as simple phone support with their “minimum 10 consulting hours” you have to purchase for over $2k. Their over-ambitious salesmen promised the world in regard to solutions, and we never saw a single one. Absolutely terrible service, and a horrible experience from day one. At my full time job, we have already decided to let the contract expire, and go back to Google Analytics for the time being.

    Of course, this is just my/our experience!

    I figure that with Adobe (who actually knows how to do business correctly), there’s a chance of Omniture shaping up.

  • Pingback: Just How “Engaging” is Adobe’s Acquisition of Omniture? | NewDigitalCafé


Recent Blog Posts

Is On-Demand Radio the Next Big Digital Channel?
Tim Wilson, Partner

No, I’m not referring to SecondLife (which, BTW, is still around and, apparently, still has life in it). I’m referring to the fact that podcasts just turned ten, and there are a lot of signs that they might be one of the "next big things" in digital. Earlier this year, when I wrote a post announcing the launch of the Digital Analytics Power Hour podcast, I listed three examples as to how it seemed like podcasts were making a comeback ...

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Tim Wilson

The Right Use for Real Time Data
Michele Kiss, Senior Partner

Vendors commonly pitch the need for “real-time” data and insights, without due consideration for the process, tools and support needed to act upon it. So when is real-time an advantage for an organization, and when does it serve as a distraction? And how should analysts respond to requests for real-time data and dashboards?

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Michele Kiss

Using Excel to Count Text Occurrences
Tim Wilson, Partner

I had this come up a couple of weeks ago with a client, and I realized it was something I’d done dozens of times…but had never written down the “how” on doing. So, here we go. This is a post about one very specific application of Excel, but it is also implicitly a post about how, with an intermediate level of knowledge of Excel, with a little bit of creativity, and a strong aversion to manually parsing/copying/pasting anything, a spreadsheet can accomplish a lot! And very quickly!

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Tim Wilson

The Curse of Bounce Rate and 'Easy' Metrics ...
Michele Kiss, Senior Partner

One of the benefits of having a number of friends in the analytics industry is the spirited (read: nerdy) debates we get in to. In one such recent discussion, we went back and forth over the merits of "bounce rate." I am (often vehemently) against the use of "bounce rate." However, when I stepped back, I realized you could summarize my argument against bounce rate quite simply ...

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Michele Kiss

Happy New Year from Web Analytics and Team Demystified
Eric T. Peterson, Senior Partner

Happy belated new year to everyone reading this blog — on behalf of everyone at Web Analytics Demystified and Team Demystified I sincerely hope you had a wonderful and relaxing holiday season and that you’re ready to wade back into the analytical and optimization fray! Since I last wrote a few cool things have happened ...

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Eric T. Peterson

Introducing the Digital Analytics Power Hour Podcast
Tim Wilson, Partner

Happy New Year! Reflecting on 2014, I have to give it high marks from a personal and professional fulfillment front, and I’m looking to outperform those results in 2015 ... by podcasting!

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Tim Wilson

Every Analyst Should Follow
Tim Wilson, Partner

I’ll admit it: I’m a Nate Silver fanboy. That fandom is rooted in my political junky-ism and dates back to the first iteration of back in 2008. Since then, Silver joined the New York Times, so migrated to be part of that media behemoth, and, more recently, Silver left the New York Times for ESPN — another media behemoth.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Tim Wilson

Demystified's Data Governance Principles
John Lovett, Senior Partner

In digital analytics, "Governance" is a term that is used casually to mean many different things. In our experience at Web Analytics Demystified, every organization inherently recognizes that governance is an important component of their data strategy, yet every company has a different interpretation of what it means to govern their data. In an effort to dispel the misconceptions surrounding what it means to truly steward digital data, Web Analytics Demystified has developed seven data governance principles that all organizations collecting and using digital data should adhere to.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from John Lovett

Three Foundational Tips to Successfully Recruit in Analytics
Michele Kiss, Partner

Hiring in the competitive analytics industry is no easy feat. In most organizations, it can be hard enough to get headcount – let alone actually find the right person! These three foundational tips are drawn from successful hiring processes in a variety of verticals and organizations.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Michele Kiss

Slack Demystified
Adam Greco, Senior Partner

Those of you who follow my blog have come to know that when I learn a product (like Adobe SiteCatalyst), I really get to know it and evangelize it. Back in the 90′s I learned the Lotus Notes enterprise collaboration software and soon became one of the most proficient Lotus Notes developers in the world, building most of Arthur Andersen’s global internal Lotus Notes apps. In the 2000′s, I came across Omniture SiteCatalyst, and after a while had published hundreds of blog posts on Omniture’s (Adobe’s) website and my own and eventually a book! One of my favorite pastimes is finding creative ways to apply a technology to solve everyday problems or to make life easier.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Adam Greco

Profile Website Visitors via Campaign Codes and More
Adam Greco, Senior Partner

One of the things customers ask me about is the ability to profile website visitors. Unfortunately, most visitors to websites are anonymous, so you don't know if they are young, old, rich, poor, etc. If you are lucky enough to have authentication or a login on your website, you may have some of this information, but for most of my clients the "known" percentage is relatively low. In this post, I'll share some things you can do to increase your visitor profiling by using advertising campaigns and other tools.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Adam Greco

A Primer on Cookies in Web Analytics
Josh West, Partner

Some of you may have noticed that I don't blog as much as some of my colleagues (not to mention any names, but this one, this one, or this one). The main reason is that I'm a total nerd (just ask my wife), but in a way that is different from most analytics professionals. I don't spend all day in the data - I spend all data writing code. And it's often hard to translate code into entertaining blog posts, especially for the folks that tend to spend a lot of time reading what my partners have to say.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Josh West

Excel Dropdowns Done Right
Tim Wilson, Partner

Do you used in-cell dropdowns in your spreadsheets? I used them all the time. It's both an ease-of-use and a data quality maneuver: clicking a dropdown is faster than typing a value, and it's really hard to mis-type a value when you're not actually typing!

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Tim Wilson

The Downfall of Tesco and the Omniscience of Analytics
Michele Kiss, Partner

Yesterday, an article in the Harvard Business Review provided food for thought for the analytics industry. In Tesco's Downfall Is a Warning to Data-Driven Retailers, author Michael Schrage ponders how a darling of the "analytics as a competitive advantage" stories, British retailer Tesco, failed so spectacularly - despite a wealth of data and customer insight.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Michele Kiss

Creating Conversion Funnels via Segmentation
Adam Greco, Senior Partner

Regardless of what type of website you manage, it is bound to have some sort of conversion funnel. If you are an online retailer, your funnel may consist of people looking at products, selecting products, and then buying products. If you are a B2B company, your funnel may be higher-level like acquisition, research, trial and then form completion.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Adam Greco

10 Tips for Building a Dashboard in Excel
Tim Wilson, Partner

This post has an unintentionally link bait-y post title, I realize. But, I did a quick thought experiment a few weeks ago after walking a client through the structure of a dashboard I'd built for them to see if I could come up with ten discrete tips that I'd put to use when I built it. Turns out…I can!

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Tim Wilson

Exploring Optimal Post Timing ... Redux
Tim Wilson, Partner

Back in 2012, I developed an Excel worksheet that would take post-level data exported from Facebook Insights and do a little pivot tabling on it to generate some simple heat maps that would provide a visual way to explore when, for a given page, the optimal times of day and days of the week are for posting.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Tim Wilson

What I Love: Adobe and Google Analytics*
Tim Wilson, Partner

While in Atlanta last week for ACCELERATE, I got into the age-old discussion of "Adobe Analytics vs. Google Analytics." I'm up to my elbows in both of them, and they're both gunning for each other, so this list is a lot shorter than it would have been a couple of years ago.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Tim Wilson

Top 5 Metrics You're Measuring Incorrectly ... or Not
Eric T. Peterson, Senior Partner

Last night as I was casually perusing the days digital analytics news - yes, yes I really do that - I came across a headline and article that got my attention. While the article's title ("Top 5 Metrics You're Measuring Incorrectly") is the sort I am used to seeing in our Buzzfeed-ified world of pithy "made you click" headlines, it was the article's author that got my attention.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Eric T. Peterson

Bulletproof Business Requirements
John Lovett, Senior Partner

As a digital analytics professional, you've probably been tasked with collecting business requirements for measuring a new website/app/feature/etc. This seems like a task that's easy enough, but all too often people get wrapped around the axle and fail to capture what's truly important from a business users' perspective. The result is typically a great deal of wasted time, frustrated business users, and a deep-seated distrust for analytics data.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from John Lovett

Welcome to Team Demystified: Nancy Koons and Elizabeth Eckels!
Eric T. Peterson, Senior Partner

I am delighted to announce that our Team Demystified business unit is continuing to expand with the addition of Nancy Koons and Elizabeth "Smalls" Eckels. Our Team Demystified efforts are exceeding all expectation and are allowing Web Analytics Demystified to provide truly world-class services to our Enterprise-class clients at an entirely new scale.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Eric T. Peterson

When to Use Variables vs SAINT in Adobe Analytics
Adam Greco, Senior Partner

In one of my recent Adobe SiteCatalyst (Analytics) "Top Gun" training classes, a student asked me the following question: When should you use a variable (i.e. eVar or sProp) vs. using SAINT Classifications? This is an interesting question that comes up often, so I thought I would share my thoughts on this and my rules of thumb on the topic.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Adam Greco

5 Tips for #ACCELERATE Exceptionalism
Tim Wilson, Partner

Next month's ACCELERATE conference in Atlanta on September 18th will be the fifth - FIFTH!!! - one. I wish I could say I'd attended every one, but, sadly, I missed Boston due to a recent job change at the time. I was there in San Francisco in 2010, I made a day trip to Chicago in 2011, and I personally scheduled fantastic weather for Columbus in 2013.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Tim Wilson

I've Become Aware that Awareness Is a #measure Bugaboo
Tim Wilson, Partner

A Big Question that social and digital media marketers grapple with constantly, whether they realize it or not: Is "awareness" a valid objective for marketing activity?

I've gotten into more than a few heated debates that, at their core, center around this question. Some of those debates have been with myself (those are the ones where I most need a skilled moderator!).

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Tim Wilson

Advanced Conversion Syntax Merchandising
Adam Greco, Senior Partner

As I have mentioned in the past, one of the Adobe SiteCatalyst (Analytics) topics I loathe talking about is Product Merchandising. Product Merchandising is complicated and often leaves people scratching their heads in my "Top Gun" training classes. However, many people have mentioned to me that my previous post on Product Merchandising eVars helped them a lot so I am going to continue sharing information on this topic.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Adam Greco

Team Demystified Update from Wendy Greco
Eric T. Peterson, Senior Partner

When Eric Peterson asked me to lead Team Demystified a year ago, I couldn't say no! Having seen how hard all of the Web Analytics Demystified partners work and that they are still not able to keep up with the demand of clients for their services, it made sense for Web Analytics Demystified to find another way to scale their services. Since the Demystified team knows all of the best people in our industry and has tons of great clients, it is not surprising that our new Team Demystified venture has taken off as quickly as it has.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Eric T. Peterson

SiteCatalyst Unannounced Features
Adam Greco, Senior Partner

Lately, Adobe has been sneaking in some cool new features into the SiteCatalyst product and doing it without much fanfare. While I am sure these are buried somewhere in release notes, I thought I'd call out two of them that I really like, so you know that they are there.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Adam Greco

Hello. I'm a Radical Analytics Pragmatist
Tim Wilson, Partner

I was reading a post last week by one of the Big Names in web analytics…and it royally pissed me off. I started to comment and then thought, "Why pick a fight?" We've had more than enough of those for our little industry over the past few years. So I let it go.

Except I didn't let it go.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Tim Wilson

Competitor Pricing Analysis
Adam Greco, Senior Partner

One of my newest clients is in a highly competitive business in which they sell similar products as other retailers. These days, many online retailers have a hunch that they are being "Amazon-ed," which they define as visitors finding products on their website and then going to see if they can get it cheaper/faster on This client was attempting to use time spent on page as a way to tell if/when visitors were leaving their site to go price shopping.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Adam Greco

How to Deliver Better Recommendations: Forecast the Impact!
Michele Kiss, Partner

One of the most valuable ways to be sure your recommendations are heard is to forecast the impact of your proposal. Consider what is more likely to be heard: "I think we should do X ..." vs "I think we should do X, and with a 2% increase in conversion, that would drive a $1MM increase in revenue ..."

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Michele Kiss

ACCELERATE 2014 "Advanced Analytics Education" Classes Posted
Eric T. Peterson, Senior Partner

I am delighted to share the news that our 2014 "Advanced Analytics Education" classes have been posted and are available for registration. We expanded our offering this year and will be offering four concurrent analytics and optimization training sessions from all of the Web Analytics Demystified Partners and Senior Partners on September 16th and 17th at the Cobb Galaria in Atlanta, Georgia.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Eric T. Peterson

Product Cart Addition Sequence
Adam Greco, Senior Partner

In working with a client recently, an interesting question arose around cart additions. This client wanted to know the order in which visitors were adding products to the shopping cart. Which products tended to be added first, second third, etc.? They also wanted to know which products were added after a specific product was added to the cart (i.e. if a visitor adds product A, what is the next product they tend to add?). Finally, they wondered which cart add product combinations most often lead to orders.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Adam Greco

7 Tips For Delivering Better Analytics Recommendations
Michele Kiss, Partner

As an analyst, your value is not just in the data you deliver, but in the insight and recommendations you can provide. But what is an analyst to do when those recommendations seem to fall on deaf ears?

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Michele Kiss

Overcoming The Analyst Curse: DON'T Show Your Math!
Michele Kiss, Partner

If I could give one piece of advice to an aspiring analyst, it would be this: Stop showing your "math". A tendency towards "TMI deliverables" is common, especially in newer analysts. However, while analysts typically do this in an attempt to demonstrate credibility ("See? I used all the right data and methods!") they do so at the expense of actually being heard.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Michele Kiss

Making Tables of Numbers Comprehensible
Tim Wilson, Partner

I'm always amazed (read: dismayed) when I see the results of an analysis presented with a key set of the results delivered as a raw table of numbers. It is impossible to instantly comprehend a data table that has more than 3 or 4 rows and 3 or 4 columns. And, "instant comprehension" should be the goal of any presentation of information - it's the hook that gets your audience's brain wrapped around the material and ready to ponder it more deeply.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Tim Wilson

Automating the Cleanup of Facebook Insights Exports
Tim Wilson, Partner

This post (the download, really - it's not much of a post) is about dealing with exports from Facebook Insights. If that's not something you do, skip it. Go back to Facebook and watch some cat videos. If you are in a situation where you get data about your Facebook page by exporting .csv or .xls files from the Facebook Insights web interface, then you probably sometimes think you need a 52" monitor to manage the horizontal scrolling.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Tim Wilson

The Recent Forrester Wave on Web Analytics ... is Wrong
Eric T. Peterson, Senior Partner

Having worked as an industry analyst back in the day I still find myself interested in what the analyst community has to say about web analytics, especially when it comes to vendor evaluation. The evaluations are interesting because of the sheer amount of work that goes into them in an attempt to distill entire companies down into simple infographics, tables, and single paragraph summaries.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Eric T. Peterson

Funnel Visualizations That Make Sense
Tim Wilson, Partner

Funnels, as a concept, make some sense (although someone once made a good argument that they make no sense, since, when the concept is applied by marketers, the funnel is really more a "very, very leaky funnel," which would be a worthless funnel - real-world funnels get all of a liquid from a wide opening through a smaller spout; but, let's not quibble).

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Tim Wilson

Reenergizing Your Web Analytics Program & Implementation
Adam Greco, Senior Partner

Those of you who have read my blog posts (and book) over the years, know that I have lots of opinions when it comes to web analytics, web analytics implementations and especially those using Adobe Analytics. Whenever possible, I try to impart lessons I have learned during my web analytics career so you can improve things at your organization.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Adam Greco

Registration for ACCELERATE 2014 is now open
Eric T. Peterson, Senior Partner

I am excited to announce that registration for ACCELERATE 2014 on September 18th in Atlanta, Georgia is now open. You can learn more about the event and our unique "Ten Tips in Twenty Minutes" format on our ACCELERATE mini-site, and we plan to have registration open for our Advanced Analytics Education pre-ACCELERATE training sessions in the coming weeks.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Eric T. Peterson

Current Order Value
Adam Greco, Senior Partner

I recently had a client pose an interesting question related to their shopping cart. They wanted to know the distribution of money its visitors were bringing with them to each step of the shopping cart funnel.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Adam Greco

A Guide to Segment Sharing in Adobe Analytics
Tim Wilson, Partner

Over the past year, I've run into situations multiple times where I wanted an Adobe Analytics segment to be available in multiple Adobe Analytics platforms. It turns out…that's not as easy as it sounds. I actually went multiple rounds with Client Care once trying to get it figured out. And, I've found "the answer" on more than one occasion, only to later realize that that answer was a bit misguided.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Tim Wilson

Currencies & Exchange Rates
Adam Greco, Senior Partner

If your web analytics work covers websites or apps that span different countries, there are some important aspects of Adobe SiteCatalyst (Analytics) that you must know. In this post, I will share some of the things I have learned over the years related to currencies and exchange rates in SiteCatalyst.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Adam Greco

Linking Authenticated Visitors Across Devices
Adam Greco, Senior Partner

In the last few years, people have become accustomed to using multiple digital devices simultaneously. While watching the recent winter Olympics, consumers might be on the Olympics website, while also using native mobile or tablet apps. As a result, some of my clients have asked me whether it is possible to link visits and paths across these devices so they can see cross-device paths and other behaviors.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Adam Greco

The 80/20 Rule for Analytics Teams
Eric T. Peterson, Senior Partner

I had the pleasure last week of visiting with one of Web Analytics Demystified's longest-standing and, at least from a digital analytical perspective, most successful clients. The team has grown tremendously over the years in terms of size and, more importantly, stature within the broader multi-channel business and has become one of the most productive and mature digital analytics groups that I personally am aware of across the industry.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Eric T. Peterson

Ten Things You Should ALWAYS Do (or Not Do) in Excel
Tim Wilson, Partner

Last week I was surprised by the Twitter conversation a fairly innocuous vent-via-Twitter tweet started, with several people noting that they had no idea you could simple turn off the gridlines.

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Tim Wilson

Omni Man (and Team Demystified) Needs You!
Adam Greco, Senior Partner

As someone in the web analytics field, you probably hear how lucky you are due to the fact that there are always web analytics jobs available. When the rest of the country is looking for work and you get daily calls from recruiters, it isn't a bad position to be in! At Web Analytics Demystified, we have more than doubled in the past year and still cannot keep up with the demand, so I am reaching out to you ...

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Adam Greco

A Useful Framework for Social Media "Engagements"
Tim Wilson, Partner

Whether you have a single toe dipped in the waters of social media analytics or are fully submerged and drowning, you've almost certainly grappled with "engagement." This post isn't going to answer the question "Is engagement ROI?" ...

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Tim Wilson

It's not about "Big Data", it's about the "RIGHT data"
Michele Kiss, Partner

Unless you've been living under a rock, you have heard (and perhaps grown tired) of the buzzword "big data." But in attempts to chase the "next shiny thing", companies may focus too much on "big data" rather than the "right data."

Continue reading this article ... ... more from Michele Kiss

Eric T.








Contact Us

You can contact Web Analytics Demystified day or night via email or by reaching out to one of our Partners directly.

» Contact Information

Web Analytics Demystified, Inc.
P.O. Box 13303
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 282-2601

Useful Links