Analytics Philosophy

Recent Posts
The Quadfurcation of Web Analytics
05/02/2014 | Written by | Categories: Analytics Philosophy
Again and again over the past few years I have referred people to Eric Peterson’s blog post on “The Coming Bifurcation in Web Analytics Tools”, written back in Feb 2010.  This blog post describes a potential future where the majority of people in companies use Google Analytics to answer day to day business questions while a very powerful data warehousing tool such as Adobe Insights is used by the analysts to answer the hard ...
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What came first, the content or the search term?
24/09/2013 | Written by | Categories: Analytics Philosophy
Ok, I get it, the sky is falling.  Google is now switching to 100% secure search which will mean that we will not receive any search term data, it will all be (Not Provided).  Cue mass panic and comments on related blog posts such as "Officially time to look for a new career.  It was lucrative while it lasted." "How on earth are we to serve clients now without this data?" I don't work in SEO so not as much direct impact on me.  ...
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Is it Engagement or Likelihood to Convert?
26/10/2012 | Written by | Categories: Analytics Philosophy
As is frustratingly typical, Avinash says it better than I can.  Engagement is one of those jargon words which are used very freely (including by myself) within Digital Analytics without really meaning much.  I did go so far as to include Engagement as one of the MeasureCamp swear words. According to Eric Peterson, “engagement is an estimate of the degree and depth of visitor interaction on the site against a clearly defined set ...
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With great power comes great complexity
13/10/2012 | Written by | Categories: Analytics Philosophy
Digital Analytics vendors are constantly releasing new features, enhancing their tools, making them more powerful for end users.  Google Analytics alone has released Shortcuts, Real-Time, Multi-Channel Funnels, Experiments and Visitor Flow reports in the past year (or so).  Upgrading to SiteCatalyst v15 gives you access to a whole swath of improved features (not forgetting Processing Rules).  And apparently WebTrends is bringing ...
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My hopes for Web Analytics in the Future
26/01/2012 | Written by | Categories: Analytics Philosophy
As usual at this time of year, there have been numerous blog posts with predictions for the next year.  I jotted down a couple of thoughts and this post was the result.  It is not the same as most of the others in that while I would love to be able to call these predictions, they are more my hopes for the future.  Some are near future, others further away but just some ideas about how I would like our industry/community to ...
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The 5 C Requirements for a Web Analyst
21/06/2011 | Written by | Categories: Analytics Philosophy
This post was partially inspired by Avinash’s post on the path to web analytics glory and partially as I have been frustrated by comments there and previously that you must have SQL skills, statistics skills, used these tools, done those courses, etc in order to be a real Web Analyst.  I don’t believe there is a definite list of skills required.  But I do believe there are attributes required, in line with my belief that web ...
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Is Google Analytics bad?
06/04/2011 | Written by | Categories: Analytics Philosophy
This is a tweet from Abigail Harrison, the MD of the specialist PR agency thebluedoor during a session at GeeknRolla.  It was flagged up to me by a friend in common (via Twitter) as something I would disagree with.  But I find myself unable to disagree with the sentiment that Abigail is expressing. Business owners and managers don’t need lots of data.  They need insights, intelligence and recommendations.  They don’t need to ...
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Why a paid version of Google Analytics makes sense
08/02/2011 | Written by | Categories: Analytics Philosophy
The story of the hour appears to be that Google will be releasing a paid version of Google Analytics at some stage in the future.  I used to work for a Google Analytics Certified Partner and thought a few times while there about the benefits of a paid version with these ideas re-triggered by the new speculation.  Having read Adam Greco’s excellent piece on the pros and cons of a paid version of Google Analytics, I wanted to add ...
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Enhanced reporting for numerical custom variables
03/11/2010 | Written by | Categories: Analytics Philosophy
Whichever web analytics tool you are using, you can only capture so much information within the page name, standard variables, ecommerce code, etc.  For everything else, you need to use custom variables, whether these are the SiteCatalyst eVars or s.props, Google Analytics custom variables, Sitestat labels or equivalent with other tools. Usually custom variables are used to store text values - examples include: The site section for ...
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