Archive for 'The Engagement Project'

Our Engagement Metric in use at

Those of you who have read my blog for long know that I have written a tremendous amount about measures of visitor engagement online. In addition to numerous blog posts we have published a 50 page white paper describing how to measure visitor engagement and every year I give a half-dozen presentations on the subject. Unlike some people who seem to fear new ideas and others who disapprove of anything they themselves do not create I have long been a champion for evolving our use of metrics in web analytics to satisfy business needs.

But don’t take my word for it, read about how the nice folks at are using a near complete version of my calculation to better understand their audience.

Cool, huh?

The thing I love about this article is that is openly talking about their use of my engagement metric.  What’s better is that their sharing prompted another super-great organization (PBS) to comment that they too have been using my engagement metric for years.


I have been honored to work with several companies in the past three years who have implemented my metric and variations thereof but most treat the metric as a competitive secret. Given that most are in the hard-pressed and hyper-competitive online media world I understand, but I’m certainly happy to see and Chris Meares share their story with the world.

Anyway, check out the article and, if you’re brave, download our white paper on visitor engagement and give it a read. If you are in media and are stuck trying to figure out how to get web analytics to work for you (instead of the other way around) give me a call. I’m more than happy to discuss how our measure of engagement might be able to help your business grow.

Published on October 26, 2010 under Articles, Engagement, Presentations, Research, The Engagement Project

Visitor Engagement + comScore = Audience Engagement!

About six months ago the management team at comScore approached me with some questions about my Visitor Engagement calculation and the Web Analytics Demystified engagement framework. Their Chief Research Officer, Josh Chasin, had taken an interest in my work and wondered how it may be extensible across multiple properties using the comScore dataset.

It was an excellent question, and today I’m happy to give readers a preview of what we believe to be an excellent answer. Today we’re announcing a measure of Visitor Engagement that, thanks to comScore, can be used to compare levels of engagement across multiple properties in a similar category.

Brand Marketing’s New Measure: Audience Engagement

Audience Engagement is a simple modification of Web Analytics Demystified’s Visitor Engagement calculation that focuses on the core site behavioral attributes, measured through the comScore panel. If you remember, the Visitor Engagement calculation is:

Σ(Ci + Di + Ri + Li + Bi + Fi + Ii)

The components of the Visitor Engagement calculation are:

  • Click Depth Index: Captures the contribution of page and event views
  • Duration Index: Captures the contribution of time spent on site
  • Recency Index: Captures the visitor’s “visit velocity”—the rate at which visitors return to the web site over time
  • Brand Index: Captures the apparent awareness of the visitor of the brand, site, or product(s)
  • Feedback Index: Captures qualitative information including propensity to solicit additional information or supply direct feedback
  • Interaction Index: Captures visitor interaction with content or functionality designed to increase level of Attention the visitor is paying to the brand, site, or product(s)
  • Loyalty Index: Captures the level of long-term interaction the visitor has with the brand, site, or product(s)

(More information about the measure of Visitor Engagement, including the details behind the calculation and several example use cases, can be obtained by reading the white paper that Joseph Carrabis and I recently published, Measuring the Immeasurable: Visitor Engagement which is freely available on this web site.)

The Audience Engagement simplifies Visitor Engagement by applying a “zero weighting” to the Brand, Feedback, and Interaction indices. By removing these values from the core calculation we are left with Click-Depth, Duration, Recency, and Loyalty:

Σ(Ci + Di + Ri + Li)

In English:

“Audience Engagement is a function of the number of clicks a visitor generates at a site, the amount of time they spent at the site, the frequency at which they return to the site, and their loyalty to the site as a member of the category for all of the sessions to that site during the reporting period.”

We’ve selected these four indices for one very simple reason: When scored using category-level thresholds (with the exception being the Loyalty Index, see below) comScore is able to automatically generate Audience Engagement values and engagement distributions across all of the sites they track.

The result is unique view into the relationship visitors have with the thousands of web sites comScore tracks around the globe. Now, for the first time ever, marketers and advertisers are able to gain insights into the level of engagement using a much more robust measure than session duration, page views, or recency alone.

Using Audience Engagement we can say with a high level of certainty that a greater percentage of Internet users find CNN more engaging than MSNBC and Yahoo! News:

More importantly we can also say that CNN has a larger population of “highly engaged” visitors to their site (22.5% of visitors at CNN versus 15% at MSNBC and less than 10% at Yahoo! News.) We believe that assessment of the audience distribution will provide advertisers an entirely new way to evaluate sites, focusing on audience quality over more simplistic measures of quantity.

This same type of analysis applied to popular network sports sites yields similarly interesting insights:

Here we can see that ESPN, while trailing Yahoo! Sports across all traditional measures (page views, sessions, minutes spent, active days) dominates Yahoo! from an Audience Engagement perspective. A closer examination of these two sites shows that ESPN’s dominance is driven largely by the frequency at which their audience members return to the site (Recency Index of 47.2% versus Yahoo! Sports at 27.0%) — an insight that has clear value to advertisers looking to create brand awareness and drive brand impressions across a sports-minded audience.

While comScore and Web Analytics Demystified are still working on how this data will be packaged and presented, another way of visualizing the relationship between two sites or a site and the category average is using a spider chart:

This chart visually tells the same story as the table above — ESPN has a higher level of Audience Engagement (bigger footprint) that is largely driven by Loyalty and Recency.

We believe that brand advertisers, advertising planners, and marketing managers will be able to use this data to make better decisions during the ad planning and media buying process. The whole debate over the definition of engagement manifest largely from advertisers desire to find more engaged audiences juxtaposed against a lack of faith in the simple measures being proposed as proxies for engagement. Thanks to comScore, these simple measures are about to become a thing of the past, giving way to a significantly more robust measure of the level of Attention audiences are paying at advertising powered sites around the world.

Interpreting Individual Data Points

In case you don’t want to spend the time reading the 50 page white paper I wrote recently on the subject with the mathematician and cultural anthropologist Joseph Carrabis, I’ll provide a brief summary of how the data comScore is reporting can be used.

Here is a sample of sites from comScore’s automotive category:

The first line in this table says that 42.8% of the audience to is appreciably engaged with the web site. Engagement at is largely driven by visitors clicking deeply into the site and spending an appreciable amount of time doing so, with nearly 85% of audience members exceeding the category Click Depth threshold and over 60% exceeding the duration threshold. Finally, using the distribution data, we can also see that 63% of the audience is highly engaged versus less than 3% who are only poorly engaged.

Audience Engagement data provided by comScore can also be used in a comparative context. Looking at the most and least engaging sites in this group, the data suggests that the audience going to is over 400% more engaged than the audience going to Autos (42.8% versus 8.5%.)  This is not to say that advertising at Autos is a bad idea — over 90 percent of the site’s audience appears to be moderately engaged and in some instances a moderate level of engagement may be exactly what the campaign is looking for.

A Technical Note about Audience Engagement’s Loyalty Index

In the Audience Engagement calculation, the Loyalty Index is calculated differently than in the Visitor Engagement calculation because of an advantage conferred by the comScore system. Instead of simply counting the number of times a visitor has returned to the site as we’re forced to do using a site-centric data model, comScore allow us to better approximate loyalty as more commonly used: a measure of your likelihood to prefer a single site or brand over all others in the category. This model is essentially a “share of requirements” model used traditionally in the brand advertising industry and is calculated as:

Li(AE) = Visits to Site / Visits to All Sites in the Category

So, for example, if a comScore panelist is going only to eBay in comScore’s “Auctions” category, their Loyalty Index for eBay would be 100%:

Li(AE) = 10 visits to eBay / 10 visits in the “Auctions” Category

Conversely, if another visitor goes to eBay half the time and half the time, their Loyalty Index for eBay would be 50%:

Li(AE) = 5 visits to eBay / 10 visits in the “Auctions” Category

The result is a distribution of Loyalty Index scores for auction sites tracked by comScore in September that looks like this:

As you can see, eBay’s Audience Engagement component indices are higher than those of their competitors, but their Loyalty Index is much higher and tells us that nearly visitors in this category strongly prefer eBay to their competitors.

One of the challenges comScore and Web Analytics Demystified face regarding the Loyalty Index is the refinement of categories. Some categories like “Auctions” are well defined and represent logical competitors in a sector; others, like “News/Information” include diverse sites like,, and Court TV Online. Over time we hope to refine these categories in partnership with comScore clients to provide the most accurate view of category loyalty possible. If you’re interested in participating in this work, please contact me directly.

Next Steps for comScore and Web Analytics Demystified

This is the first time we’ve been able to apply the Web Analytics Demystified Engagement construct to a syndicated audience data base.  We’re just announcing this work today, but we can already see possibilities for the measure’s evolution. Potential next-generation enhancements could include:

  • Allowing comScore clients to provide a set of branded search terms to support the inclusion of Visitor Engagement’s Brand Index (Bi)
  • Allowing comScore clients to provide a set of key site interactions designed to promote visitor Attention, supporting the inclusion of Visitor Engagement’s Interaction Index (Ii)
  • Incorporating third-party data sources measuring more qualitative aspects of the audience relationship with the site, supporting the inclusion of Visitor Engagement’s Feedback Index (Fi)
  • Allowing comScore clients to define their own competitive set in order to drill down into a more specific engagement profile in support of the advertising sales process
  • Providing comScore clients access to the details behind the Audience Engagement calculation for their site and category
  • Providing comScore clients custom access to Audience Engagement data, to provide a measure of Visitor Engagement in situations where the web analytic technology deployed does not support direct measurement

These are just a handful of examples of where this data offering can go. We’re presenting this model and starting the conversation because we want to hear from you. Regardless of whether you’re a current comScore or Web Analytics Demystified client, we would love your feedback regarding the calculation, the data, and the type of insights Audience Engagement is likely to provide to your organization.

Want to Know More about Audience Engagement?

Any reader of this blog knows that I have a passion for talking about the new measures of success on the Internet. I’m tremendously excited about this announcement and happy to talk if you’re interested in how you might be able to leverage Audience Engagement data.

Also, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have concerns about how we measure Audience Engagement or, in the extreme case, don’t think engagement can be measured at all. I firmly believe that the measures of Visitor and Audience Engagement I have proposed and the work I’ve done with Mr. Carrabis and now with comScore are only the beginning of the search for more useful measures of success on the Internet. Because these measures attempt to approximate something we agree is difficult to quantify, we believe that these measures will evolve over time; nothing is set in stone.

But we also believe that Visitor and Audience Engagement are better measures than “page views” and “average time spent” and far more useful to the measurement industry as a whole than simply sticking our head’s in the sand and exclaiming “engagement is an excuse” or worse, taking a Luddite’s view and declaring that complex measures are destined to fail.

For the time being, comScore is previewing additional details on the measure of Audience Engagement with their clients selectively.  If you’d like more information about how to be added to comScore’s list, or would like to discuss the measure of Audience Engagement with me, please email me directly and we can arrange a time to chat.

Published on October 19, 2008 under Engagement, Research, The Engagement Project, Vendors, White Papers

Our white paper on Visitor Engagement is now available

A lot of you have been following the thread in my blog about measures of engagement on the Internet. Over the past year we have certainly had a spirited discussion about the topic, and for the most part people’s interest in the subject has not apparently subsided. About six months ago I started working with Mr. Joseph Carrabis from NextStage Global on the engagement calculation and the byproduct of our work is now available as a somewhat lengthy white paper on the subject freely available to all.

You can download the white paper from the Research > Published Research section of this web site:

The white paper includes a great deal of information about the calculation including background on it’s derivation, the calculation itself, it’s use in a business context, and the underlying mathematics.  I welcome your feedback on the paper and am more than happy to discuss the contents via phone or email.

The direct measure of a Visitor’s Engagement with a web site or set of properties is still a work in progress to be sure.  And despite some naysayers, I believe that all of us working with this or similar calculations are quite excited about the possibilities associated with moving on from more simple measures and beginning to combine metrics to create a more interesting (and potentially more valuable) view of visitor interaction on the Internet.

Let the debate begin again!

Published on September 16, 2008 under Engagement, The Engagement Project, White Papers

European webcast on measuring visitor engagement

Since I am on the record as being supportive of the web analytics community around the world I wanted to make European readers aware of a webcast I will be doing next week.  Coremetrics has asked me to reprise the presentation I did on measuring visitor engagement that I did at their client summit last Fall.  The good news (for Europeans) is that the webcast is open to everyone and will be presented at 10 AM London time!

You can register for this free event at WebEx.

For those of you who can’t make the event because of holiday, or because like me the presentation will happen while you would normally be asleep, I am told that Coremetrics will be recording the presentation.  Assuming I am coherent at 2 AM my time and the recording comes of well, you should be able to download the webcast within the next few weeks at the Coremetrics web site.

I hope those of you in the European web analytics community will be able to join us next week.  I will try and leave plenty of time for questions and answers as well.

Published on July 8, 2008 under Engagement, Presentations, The Engagement Project

Measuring Online Engagement: Step One

Following up on my post from Monday of this week announcing that Joseph Carrabis of NextStage Evolution will be joining “The Engagement Project” and bringing his mathematical expertise to the table, Mr. Carrabis has summarized what he’ll initially be doing for the chef in all of us.

According to Mr. Carrabis:

“Eric’s already posted that I’ll be working with him to make the formula more applicable to a wider variety of interfaces with greater general use features. I also know that I can always use help and have repeatedly and publicly stated that I don’t know web analytics.

So, first steps? A semantically exact statement of what we’re hoping to measure. I suggest this step because it’s much easier to know if your variables will result in the desired solution if you are exact in what the solution looks like and what you have to put into that solution.

Think of it this way; You want to make some chicken soup and you use your grandmother’s recipe. I want to make some chicken soup and I use my grandmother’s recipe. But your grandmother is Irish and mine is Italian. I’ll bet we’d use different spices, different vegetables, different noodles (if indeed we both did).

But I’d bet we both use chicken stock as a base. And is your chicken stock from the leftovers of a roast chicken? What spices did you use there? Or is your stock from bullion?

So the first step is to decide what we all mean by “chicken soup”. One of my mentors was a genius of an author who use to write “speculative fiction”. I would ask, “What is speculative fiction?” and he’d reply “It’s what I’m pointing at when I say it.” This is a great anecdote and an undefensible statement (except in cultural anthropology). If one person “owns” the definition of “speculative fiction”, “chicken soup” or “engagement” then that definition is only valid so long as there exists a market for that definition.

However, a definition that says something like “Basic Chicken Soup”, that is something I can start with to make “Italian Chicken Soup” and allows my Irish friend to extend it to “Irish Chicken Soup”? Now that’s a good definition.

I snuck the concept of “extendable” into the above. “Extendable” means the definition accommodates special cases (Italian, Irish, etc). Think of a recipe for Italian Chicken Soup that begins “Step 1: Make the Basic Chicken Soup. Step 2: Now add garlic, oregano, …” That “Step 2″ part means that the original definition isn’t limited, that it can be extended to incorporate specific features to make it unique to a given environment (Italian, Irish, …).

The concept of “extensible” has two parts; First, you can substitute one thing for another if they share some basic properties. For example, you can substitute a glass of wine for a glass of water in the recipe because they’re both liquids. You can’t substitute a lamb chop for a glass of water, though. Mathematically, this means that if we want to include “clickthroughs” we can use whatever product A calls clickthroughs, whatever product B calls clickthroughs, etc., so long as they all meet some definition of “clickthroughs” (I’ll let the WAA worry about things like that).

Second, “extensible” means new spices, new vegetables, new types of noodles, etc., can be used to make the chicken soup better. This means that you can add a new spice to your recipe in addition to the existing spices already in it. Extensible (in this sense) means you’re doing what you already do to make your style chicken soup and now you’ve discovered something more you can add to it to make even more “your style”. You’re not watering it down or adding more vegetables to make the soup go further. That’s scalability and the equation should be scalable without needing to define it as such.

The sum of these two concepts of “extensible” translates to “the equation is valid across all interfaces including those we haven’t thought of yet.” Mathematically extendability and extensibility form the axes of a very rich solution space.”

Joseph says “Basic Chicken Soup” and I say “a measure of the depth and degree of visitor engagement online” … clearly he and I both have our work cut out for us. If you’d like to join us in our quest for a better measure of visitor engagement online, please let me know.

Published on March 11, 2008 under Engagement, The Engagement Project, Web Analytics Demystified Business


Recent Blog Posts

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