ERIC T. PETERSON
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Just a quick note at the end of the Thanksgiving holiday to encourage those of you who are still using Google+ to go and circle our new brand page for Web Analytics Demystified:
Circle Web Analytics Demystified in Google+
We have been sharing lots of information about our recent ACCELERATE conference in San Francisco. Moving forward we hope to share more “quick takes” and multimedia content in Google+ as well as hosting Hangouts with greater and greater regularity to discuss the key topics of the day.
Anyway, I hope if you’re in the U.S. you had a relaxing Thanksgiving and if you’re elsewhere in the world you enjoyed the quiet that happens when the U.S. goes offline.
I suspect by now many of you have noticed but this week we made two pretty amazing announcements here at Web Analytics Demystified. Now that the dust is settling I have some time to take a step back and offer up some comments on the announcements and what I believe they mean for our clients, our prospects, and the web analytics industry in general.
On Tuesday we announced that respected industry veteran Adam Greco had joined John and I as a Senior Partner. Adam is well-known to many in our community thanks to his high-visibility work during his tenure at Omniture, his popular “Omni-Man” blog, and his fine, fine work on the Beyond Web Analytics podcast series.
For John and I bringing Adam on board was a no-brainer. The guy is as bright as they come, he is articulate, and most importantly he knows how to squeeze every last drop of value out of the most widely deployed digital measurement solutions in use today — Adobe SiteCatayst and Google Analytics. Adam is committed to extending that expertise to all of the popular platforms as quickly as possible, and our hope is that by mid-year he will be providing the same great insights he has for SiteCatalyst to Webtrends, Unica, Coremetrics, Nedstat, and other customers.
Adam will be running our Operational Use Audit and Framework Development practice as well as providing custom training and generally supporting the rest of the Demystified service offerings. Which brings me to our second announcement …
On Wednesday we announced an exclusive partnership with tactical and technical consulting practice leaders Keystone Solutions. Keystone is a slightly better-kept secret than Adam Greco, although their current clients certainly know who they are. Founded years ago by former Omniture super-star Matthew Gellis, Keystone has grown into a talent magnet comprable to, well, Web Analytics Demystified. Matt Wright from HP, Kurt Slater from Expedia, Rudi Schumpert from Ariba, and a host of other amazing analytics technicians.
We have doubled-down with Keystone for one simple reason: in our experience they are the best of the best when it comes to providing fundamental and foundational support for any digital measurement practice. Especially against those same two “most popular” solutions — Google Analytics and Adobe SiteCatalyst — Keystone delivers in a way that few others out there are capable, and that is the kind of talent we prefer to work with in the field.
Through this partnership Web Analytics Demystified clients will be able to benefit from a dramatically expanded set of web analytics consulting service offerings ranging from on-the-ground implementation support to ongoing reporting and analysis to some pretty amazing custom solutions. They will also be taking the lead on our Tag Management Systems Audit and Deployment practice, an offering I expect to be red-hot in 2011 and beyond.
Now, unfortunate as it is, we were not able to pursue this type of relationship with Keystone without some cost. The immediate fall-out is that Web Analytics Demystified will no longer be participating in the X Change conference. While this breaks my heart after having put three years of sweat equity into the event, relationships change and so it is time to move on.
I do, however, promise every one of the hundreds of consultants, vendors, and practitioners we have personally invited to this conference over the past three years that we will be back, live and in-person, with something far more “Demystified” in nature. Based on our work with Web Analytics Wednesday, the Analysis Exchange, and hundreds of other events around the globe, we have a pretty good idea of what is truly missing from the web analytics event landscape … and now, thanks to Adam and the team at Keystone, we have the means to deliver.
I welcome your comments and questions about both pieces of news, and I hope you’ll keep your eyes open in the coming few weeks for even more news from our growing company. It is exciting times, indeed.
Today I am really excited to announce the publication of our framework for mobile and multi-channel reporting, sponsored by OpinionLab. You can download the report freely from the OpinionLab web site in trade for your name and email address.
This paper builds on our “Truth About Mobile Analytics” paper we published with our friends at Nedstat last year and focuses on both measurement in mobile applications and, more importantly, a cross-channel measurement framework built around interactions, engagement, and consumer-generated feedback.
- Interactions occur in every channel, digital or not. Online and on mobile sites we call these “visits” (although that is a made up word for interactions); in mobile apps the interaction starts when you click the icon and ends when you click “close”; in SMS it starts when you receive the message; on the phone it starts when you dial, and in stores interactions start when you walk up to an employee.
- Engagement is simply “more valuable” interactions. Regardless of your particular belief about the definition of engagement, we all know it when we see it. Online it happens after some number of minutes, or clicks, or sessions, or whatever; in mobile apps it happens when you’ve clicked enough buttons; on SMS it happens when you respond to the message; on the phone it starts when you begin a conversation, and the same is true in a physical store. We say engagement is “more valuable” because without engagement, value is unlikely to manifest.
- Positive Feedback happens when you do a really, really good job. Measuring feedback is a critical “miss” for far too many organizations. Apples “app store” and the value of the star-rating system has essentially proven that there are massive financial differences associated with positive and negative experiences … but most companies still make the mistake of ignoring qualitative feedback altogether.
These three incredibly simple metrics can be applied to every one of your channels, your sub-channels, and your sub-sub-channels (if you like.) When applied you can create an apples to apples comparison between your web, mobile web, mobile apps, video, social, etc. efforts.
Then you can apply cost data, and you’re really in business.
I don’t want to say much more than that but I would really, really encourage you all to download and read this free white paper. When we put something like this out — something we believe has the power to really transform the way everyone thinks about the metrics they use to run their business, and something that has the potential to force dashboards everywhere to be scrapped and started over — we’d really like your collective feedback.
DOWNLOAD THE WHITE PAPER NOW
Thanks to Mark, Rick, Rand, and the entire team at OpinionLab for sponsoring this work. If you’re the one person reading my blog that hasn’t seen their application in action, head on over to their site and have a look.
Anyone who has read my blog for long knows that I am passionate about two things in web analytics: process and people. Process is the glue that holds all the hard work we do as analysts together and allows our effort to translate into tangible business value. But without a doubt it is the people who are absolutely critical to any businesses ability to compete and succeed on web analytics.
Unfortunately people, especially really good ones, are incredibly hard to find. So much so that my partners and I have invested heavily in creating an entirely new way for novice and veteran analytics practitioners alike to gain valuable “hand’s on” experience using data to answer business questions, The Analysis Exchange.
While the Analysis Exchange has exceeded every single short-term milestone we have established for the effort, it has long been clear to my partners and I that training alone is not enough to satisfy the immediate needs of businesses working to take advantage of their existing investment in web Analytics. Companies need analytical talent now, not a year from now, not in six months, right now.
Why the urgency? Myriad reasons. The money has been spent on technology, the clock is ticking, the promises have been made, offline revenues are in decline and the company’s digital channels are the hope and future and difference between profitability and not.
The web analytics promise is real — companies that have become adept at generating analytically-driven insights and then translating those insights into sound business decisions have staked a clear competitive advantage. The giants of our industry — brilliant people like Joe Megibow, Dylan Lewis, Shari Cleary, and Lynn Lanphier <plug>all of whom are coming to the X Change conference in September, are you?</plug> — have not only determined the value of people but have also figured out how to convince management of that value.
Have you? Most companies have not.
Most companies persist in their belief that web and digital analytics is something that they can do “part time” and still have the successes that Intuit, Expedia, MTV, Best Buy, and others gain by hiring brilliant people, giving them clear direction, and recognizing the value of the analytical output they produce. Despite being well-intentioned, far too many managers still believe that software alone will provide insights and make recommendations.
But I digress.
Because we at Web Analytics Demystified believe in people and process so strongly, and because we are pretty confident in our consulting as it relates to process, we have decided to put our money where our mouths are and start helping companies fill their open positions for “web analyst, senior.” Today we are extremely proud to announce our first-of-it’s-kind partnership with the web analytics community’s leading recruiting firm, IQ Workforce.
Working directly with Workforce CEO Corry Prohens and his team, Web Analytics Demystified has crafted a “one-two” punch to help speed the process of finding, vetting, and hiring the kind of deep talent and teams required to take complete advantage of any investment in digital measurement technology. The Demystified partners and IQ Workforce will help you determine exactly which roles you need to fill, what strengths the ideal candidate will have, and how hired resources will fit into the organization that both creates business value and a satisfying experience for the analyst (which has a surprisingly positive impact on retention!)
In essence Web Analytics Demystified with our 30+ years of experience in web analytics will sit on your hiring panel and help you find and hire the critical difference between “web analytics as a cost center” and “web analytics as a profit center.”
Did we mention we will do it for a fixed price and in a way that allows most companies to circumvent HR’s aversion to “outside help?”
If you’re looking for an analytics guru for your organization, give us a call. We are more than happy to explain how this partnership creates a dramatic advantage for most companies, and would love to talk with you about our business and our partners at IQ Workforce. In the meantime please have a look at our press release on the announcement and more details about the offering:
Thanks to Corry and his team for making this idea a reality. On behalf of IQ Workforce and the Demystified Partners we look forward to helping you with your staffing needs.
I have been so busy with clients, presentations, the launch of Twitalyzer version 3.0, and trying to enjoy the onset of summer I have been a very bad blogger. I have missed opportunities to follow-up on Steve Jobs mixed messages about analytics in the iOS platform, to talk about some really amazing Web Analytics Wednesday events that have been happening, … heck, I’ve even missed the chance to weigh in on a really interesting (albeit one-sided) flame war between Quantivo and Google.
Oh were there only 38 or perhaps 42 hours in every day.
Still as busy as I have been I have been amazed at some of the success folks are having in the Analysis Exchange so I wanted to drop a note and share some of what is going on:
- First, and perhaps coolest, is this article in Internet Retailer about how the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) are using Analysis Exchange to gain insights into their traffic data;
- Second, we have announced that our first-year goals are to leverage the Analysis Exchange community to produce free analysis for 1,000 nonprofits and non-governmental organizations, to train 500 “student” web analysts, and to create opportunities for participation for 150 “mentor” analytics practitioners;
- Thirdly, we have also announced that as an incentive to participate, we will be awarding a complimentary pass to this year’s X Change conference in Monterey, California to one (1) student and one (1) mentor who distinguish themselves as participants in the Analysis Exchange effort;
- Finally, we are just pleased as punch to get so much great feedback from participants, both via email and on Twitter. Folks really seem to be enjoying themselves which is awesome!
To keep track of Analysis Exchange I have created a pretty elaborate dashboard. I’ll spare you all the details but in an effort to be transparent in this work here is the top-line summary that I watch change and improve every day:
“Of our 529 members, 46% have completed a profile. Based on the number active and staffed projects our member participation rate is currently 7%. Of our 54 organizational members, 52% have created projects and 13% have completed projects. Of our 21 active projects, 62% are fully staffed and 100% of those have set a starting date for the work.”
We have work to do, but it is great work and we hope you will join us and participate!