Registration is now open for ACCELERATE 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia on September 18th. Reserve your spot today at Eventbrite — tickets are only $99 USD!


ACCELERATE 2013 is better than ever!

Now that Summer is here I personally am getting increasingly excited about Web Analytics Demystified’s upcoming ACCELERATE event in Columbus, Ohio September 26th. This year we will be at Columbus’s Center for Science and Industry (COSI) and have what I believe is our “best ever” lineup of speakers including Matt Jauchis, Chief Marketing Officer at Nationwide Insurance, and representatives from Google, Nestle Purina, Home Depot, Best Buy, Experian, FedEx, and many, many more.

» You can see our current lineup at the ACCELERATE site.

One small change this year is that we are charging a nominal fee for ACCELERATE ($99 USD). We decided to do this for one simple reason — our analysis of past events revealed that attendees who paid even a small fee were far more likely to attend the event! We set the fee low so that nobody would be excluded, and if you’d like to attend and really cannot pay please let me know and we will work something out.

As with years past we have limited seating at ACCELERATE so I would encourage you to visit EventBrite and sign up today!

» Sign up to attend ACCELERATE 2013!

What’s more, we have added two days of special “Advanced Analytics Education” on September 24th and 25th — classes taught by the Web Analytics Demystified staff. These half- and full-day sessions are provided at our best possible rate and promise to be intimate opportunities to learn from and get to know the Web Analytics Demystified team. Course descriptions are provided below and you can learn more and sign up for classes via our ACCELERATE Advanced Analytics Education page.

If you have questions about the conference please let us know via email or comments below. We look forward to seeing you in Columbus!

Advanced Analytics Education Class Descriptions for ACCELERATE 2013

If you have any questions about our classes or would like to register via phone please contact Web Analytics Demystified directly. We do offer discounts for multiple registrations.

Adam Greco’s “Adobe SiteCatalyst Top Gun”
Full-day class offered on September 24th and 25th

Adobe SiteCatalyst, while being an extremely powerful web analytics tool, can be challenging to master. It is not uncommon for organizations using SiteCatalyst to only take advantage of 30%-40% of its functionality. If you would like your organization to get the most out its investment in Adobe SiteCatalyst, this “Top Gun” training class is for you. Unlike other training classes that cover the basics about how to configure Adobe SiteCatalyst, this one-day advanced class digs deeper into features you already know and also covers many features that you may not have used.

Michele Kiss and Tim Wilson “Building Analytics Teams”
Half-day class offered September 24th

During this half-day session, Web Analytics Demystified Partner Michele Kiss will share best practices for developing a world-class analytics practice, including recruiting, training and structuring a team, communication and presentation methods and hands-on tips and tricks. If you are challenged with developing, hiring, and managing web analytics teams of any size, this class if for you!

Key topics will include:

  • Team structure and career path for digital analytics teams
  • Optimizing digital analytics recruiting
  • Strategies for training, up-skilling and analyst development
  • Communication and presentation best practices
  • Digital analytics in practice: tips and tricks

Brian Hawkins “Testing Demystified”
Half-day class offered September 24th

Brian Hawkins will cover the full range of requirements for testing, optimization, and personalization in the Enterprise.  Everything from the basics (implementation), approaches to test design, profiling, segmentation, and targeting will be covered.  Integrations with third party tool sets will also be covered.

Participants in this course will receive optimization best practices that they can apply to organization no matter what testing platform is being used.  Participants will walk away with a list of action items that will allow them to make a big impact on their optimization efforts.

Kevin Willeitner “Adobe Discover Secrets”
Half-day class offered September 24th and September 25th

Kevin Willeitner has worked with Discover for 6 years, acted as the Discover Subject Matter Expert at Adobe, and has presented on Discover at conferences. During this training students will gain hands-on experience with Discover and will learn how your company can super-charge their analysis capabilities beyond SiteCatalyst. This session will give you a practical understanding of how Discover works and you will learn the tricks necessary to get the most out of the tool.

During this session we will cover the following topics and more:

  • Basic and advanced segmentation scenarios
  • Proficiency with table builder for scalable analysis
  • Advanced segmented metrics
  • Discover-specific reports and metrics
  • Report types and what goes beyond SiteCatalyst
  • Managing analysis assets
  • Comparison methodology
  • Scenario-based exercises

Kevin Willeitner “Adobe ReportBuilder Secrets”
Half-day class offered September 24th and September 25th

Kevin Willeitner has long been recognized as a Report Builder expert and wrote the Report Builder chapter of Adam Greco’s book The Adobe SiteCatalyst Handbook. This ReportBuilder training will provide attendees an intimate knowledge of ReportBuilder’s functionality as well as the Excel skills needed to take full advantage of Report Builder’s most advanced features.

During this training students will gain a working experience in how to:

  • Fully utilize all of Report Builder’s features
  • Create scalable reports
  • Learn the tips to creating reports more quickly
  • Apply Excel techniques to make more dynamic and impressive dashboards
  • Learn approaches for creating analytics tools (not just reports)
  • Leverage publishing lists for sophisticated report distribution

Josh West and Michele Kiss “Advanced Google Analytics”
Half-day class offered September 25th

The team at Web Analytics Demystified is helping some of the best-known companies on the Internet get the most out of Google Analytics and we will be sharing our tips-and-tricks at ACCELERATE 2013. Josh West and Michele Kiss will be leading this half-day class covering:

  • Basic and advanced implementation tips
  • The use of cookies in Google and Universal Analytics
  • Event tracking
  • Debugging and the use of modern debuggers
  • Custom Google Analytics features
  • Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager together

John Lovett “Advanced Social Analytics”
Half-day class offered September 25th

During this half-day session, Web Analytics Demystified Senior Partner John Lovett will share his tested secrets for developing a social media measurement program that aligns corporate goals with social analytics measures of success. If your organization is participating in social media today, this is a must-attend workshop for quantifying the success of your social initiatives. All workshop attendees will receive a copy of John’s book Social Media Metrics Secrets.

Key topics will include:

  • Strategic alignment of corporate objectives and social success
  • Social media metrics that matter to your business
  • Recommendations for social media data collection and analysis
  • Business user training on the value of measuring social
  • Developing a scalable social analytics framework

Published on July 7, 2013 under ACCELERATE, Web Analytics Demystified Partners, Web Analytics Wednesday

Help me welcome our newest Demystifier, Tim Wilson!


I am delighted to announce that Web Analytics Demystified has grown our analysis group again, this time adding a long-time friend of the firm and extraordinary Web Analytics Wednesday coordinator, Tim Wilson. Tim will be working with Michele Kiss to build out our analysis and analyst mentoring practice, focusing on helping clients establish internal best practices, governance, and recruiting strategies to build Enterprise-class digital analytics teams. He will be officially on-board and ready to work with clients in July of this year — and of course a big part of September’s ACCELERATE event in Columbus, Ohio — so let me know if you’d like to discuss how Tim can help you accelerate your use of analytics!

In case you don’t already know Tim, here is a little bit about him:

“Tim Wilson has been working in digital analytics for over 12 years in a diverse range of environments and with a wide range of analytics platforms. He has been a consistent contributor of pragmatic thinking on digital analytics topics for almost six years through his highly regarded blog at gilliganondata.com, and, for the past year, as a monthly contributor to practicalecommerce.com. He has become a regular and sought after speaker at industry events, including ACCELERATE, eMetrics, and Digital Analytics Association (DAA) Symposiums, and he started and continues to run monthly Web Analytics Wednesdays in Columbus, Ohio, one of the country’s most active and engaged analytics social networks.

Tim has also worked client side, both at Nationwide Insurance and at National Instruments, a high tech B2B company, where he led the Business Intelligence group and was the business owner and lead analyst for the web analytics platform (Webtrends). He holds a B.S. in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin.”

Those of you who are paying attention will likely note that Web Analytics Demystified is growing like crazy. I’m proud to say that Adam, John, and I have managed this growth fully in the spirit of the firm — only hiring the best, most qualified individuals who provide our clients access to a depth of experience unmatched in the digital analytics space. At last count we were eight Partners with over 150 clients, poised to author our sixth and seventh books, and helping our clients deliver hundreds of millions of incremental dollars annually though great analysis and optimization.

Tim is on Twitter as @tgwilson so I hope you will help me welcome him to Team Demystified! His blog will be online soon, and I suspect if you visit him over at gilliganondata.com he will have something to say.

Published on June 21, 2013 under ACCELERATE, Web Analytics Demystified Business

Welcome Josh West, Adobe, and Google!

I am delighted to announce three big additions to the Web Analytics Demystified family today! The first is our newest Partner and lead for tag management, platforms, and technology, Mr. Josh West. Josh is an incredibly experienced developer and has been working in the digital measurement space for years, both at Omniture and more recently Salesforce.com. Josh adds additional depth to our expanding team, complimenting all of our work, and Josh will be working directly with Adam Greco, John Lovett, and I on a variety of custom analytics and integration projects. More importantly, Josh will be be the Demystified lead for tag management system (TMS) vendor selection and integration projects, adding capacity in what is one of the hottest and most active components of Demystified’s business.

We will be adding Josh’s blog and content to the web site in the coming days, and of course you will be able to meet Josh in person at the Web Analytics Demystified ACCELERATE event in September in Columbus, Ohio.

Secondly, we are excited to announce that we have become certified partners with both Adobe and Google, adding to our existing agreement with Webtrends. Both companies are giving us great access and insight into their analytics and optimization product families, and we are delighted to be formalizing such great, long-standing relationships. Additionally, we are joining Google’s Premium Analytics reseller program, allowing our firm to be even more creative in how we help Enterprise-class clients make the switch to Google’s most powerful analytics solutions.

You can read the press release about Josh West and our expanded partnerships here. If you have any questions about Josh or either partnership, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly.

Published on April 9, 2013 under Vendors, Web Analytics Demystified Business, Web Analytics Demystified Partners, Web Analytics People

New White Paper on Tag Management from Demystified!

Lately it seems like nearly every conversation I have with a client or prospect touches on Tag Management Systems (TMS). If it’s not a client or prospect, it’s a Venture Capitalist asking who they should throw money at, or it’s a new TMS firm pitching us on why they are the “easiest, fastest, most best-est TMS in the Universe …” Were I a less patient man I would probably stop answering the phone; were I more patient, I would probably author Tag Management Demystified …

Turns out I fall somewhere in the middle.

In the midst of spending hours every day talking about TMS with a variety of interested parties, and while helping our clients select and deploy a wide range of tag management solutions, I have somehow managed to find the time to do two really great things. The first was to attend the Ensighten Agility conference a few weeks back in San Francisco, the second, to assist Demystified Partner Brian Hawkins in authoring a great new white paper on Testing and Tag Management.

Ensighten Agility was a treat to attend. I had missed the event the last two years due to a variety of schedule constraints, but it was amazing to see how Ensighten’s presence, team, and customer base has grown in such a short amount of time. Josh Manion and his team are to be applauded for putting together such a wonderful event and for getting great speakers, ranging from my personal favorite Brandon Bunker (Sony) to the always popular Joe Stanhope (formerly of Forrester Research, now at SDL) and a very funny presenter from Microsoft who’s name I will omit since she shared perhaps a little more than her corporate handlers may have liked.

At Agility, Web Analytics Demystified Partner Brian Hawkins had the opportunity to speak and present a technical perspective on how TMS like Ensighten are being used to dramatically accelerate the testing and optimization process within the Enterprise. Brian is our lead for Testing, Optimization, and Personalization at Demystified, and his tactical chops were on full display during his speech. In a nutshell, if you’re not leveraging TMS for testing … you’re missing a HUGE opportunity.

Interested? You should be!

Fortunately for you, just in case you missed Agility, Brian has teamed up with Ensighten to author what we believe to be the definitive piece on testing and tag management. Even more fortunately, the nice guys at Ensighten are making the white paper freely available for download via their web site!

Download “Empowering Optimization with Tag Management Solutions” now from Ensighten

If you’re interested at all in tag management, especially if you’re interested in tag management and testing, reach out and let us know. We have a ton of experience with the former … and have more experience than anyone with the latter … and we’re always happy to help.

Published on March 13, 2013 under General Web Analytics, Tag Management Systems, Web Analytics Demystified Partners, White Papers

Social media is like coffee …

Last week was an awesome week for digital measurement, especially if you were in San Francisco. The week started with a resurgent Webtrends, kicking off their Streams product at their annual Engage user conference, and ended with what is undoubtedly the largest gathering of tag management users and wonks in the industry at Ensighten Agility. Both were great events, exceptionally well run throughout, and my team and I were honored to be invited to present and participate in both.

While both conferences had great speakers, and I certainly learned a ton throughout the week, one of the most interesting presentations I saw was from Charlene Li of the Altimeter Group. I have never met Charlene but knowing a few of her analysts and her reputation I have a profound respect for both her knowledge and her business acumen. Demystified and Altimeter are alike in many ways — we even collaborated on a measurement piece a few years back — and so I find myself watching Mrs. Li and the growth of her firm for clues about what Demystified should do next.

One thing that Charlene said last week really stuck with me for a few days after her talk — the idea that “Social is like air”. I won’t do Charlene justice but you can read her thoughts in the Washington Times and the relevant piece is this (emphasis mine):

“I believe that in the future, social media will be like air – it will be anywhere and everywhere we want and need it to be. We’ve already seen the progression of this over the past five years, with Facebook Platform and APIs enabling social media features and content to be embedded in any application, in any mobile device application.”

Now I certainly don’t disagree that social media has and will continue to explode, becoming near ubiquitous from a platform perspective. Based on the past five years growth in social networks, and especially if you live in or near the Silicon Valley, one gets the sense that if you’re not investing like crazy in social that, well, something is simply wrong with you. So yes, I can definitely see how Mrs. Li would think that “social media will be like air” sometime in the coming future …

But for today, social media is like coffee.

Coffee? But that’s crazy, right? Not everyone likes coffee … some people drink tea, some prefer soda, some folks don’t drink anything but water. What’s more, coffee is an acquired taste, one that more often than not simply does not work for your palette, preference, or state of mind.

Exactly.

Social media is like coffee, which is to say that it’s great if you love it, but that social media is simply not for everyone. Nor every business.

Here I should point out that I do not disagree with Charlene or any other analyst, pundit, or business leader who believes that social media is A) transformational for business and B) tremendously important to our digital futures. At Web Analytics Demystified I have certainly seen (and more importantly, measured) amazing successes driven in large part by social media marketing and social campaigns; that said, I have also seen (and measured) an amazing amount of churn, thrash, and outright waste associated with “trying to leverage social media.”

For instance:

  • What if you are a marketer leading a Fortune 100 company whose primary focus is B2B … how should you leverage Twitter to drive leads?
  • What if you are a billion dollar hardware manufacturer whose name is virtually unknown to the public … do you need a Facebook page?
  • How about if you are a slow moving governmental organization … do you need a presence on YouTube?

The list goes on and on … and note that it will probably never include “retail, direct to consumer” anything as social has clearly (and measurably) transformed marketing in this sector, likely forever. But at the same time there is an awful lot of money being spent in the B2B and CPG space on “marketing” that is eying social media as if it is the only possible hope for the future …

… but it’s not, because companies can live without social media, just like you and I can live without coffee*.

The good news is this: You don’t have to take my or anyone’s word for it — go ahead and invest as much money as you want into social media. Buy traffic and followers on Twitter, build elaborate Facebook pages, and post “why Acme is great” videos to your YouTube channel to your heart’s content — so long as you have a clear, concise, and pre-agreed plan to A) measure the impact of your investment and B) determine whether said investment is “air” or “coffee” for your firm.

Yeah, you knew I’d bring it back to measurement, didn’t you?

I am confident in saying “social media is like coffee” because I have seen the proof. Social media is not for every business. Social media is not for every business plan. Social media is not the end-all-be-all that will save your company … neither is analytics for that matter. In much the same way that I eschew the silly notion of “data driven decision making” I encourage my clients to balance the things they hear with the things they know on the fulcrum of objective, trustworthy business analysis.

What do you think? Am I crazy? Am I missing something profoundly important or obvious? Am I just some redneck heretic from Oregon who doesn’t understand how Silicon Valley (or the Internet for that matter) works and thusly am doomed to failure? Or, like you, am I a business person and marketer who enjoys coffee profoundly …

… just not as much as air.

* Footnote: I cannot live without coffee, nor would I try … but I know some people who can.

Published on February 4, 2013 under General Web Analytics

 


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

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