Meteor Hits Napa! Web Analytics Set Back a Decade! Wine Saved!

Meteor.jpgWeb analytics may not be for everyone in the high tech world, but those that are into it can really be passionate about it, if my experience this morning at SEMphonic’s X Change Web Analytics conference in Napa, Ca., is any indicator.

For the opening keynote of the event, Eric Peterson, the CEO and principle consultant for his recently launched Web Analytics Demystified firm, knew he was preaching to a well-school bunch of analytics professionals. He pointed around the room at Matt Belkin of Omniture, Rand Schulman of Unica, Terry Cohen of Digitas, Clint Ivy of Visual Sciences and others, and proclaimed “If a meteor hit this room right now, Web analytics would be set back ten years!”

The comment elicited a laugh, but there were also nods of agreement when Peterson announced the demise of the “good ol’ days” of Web 1.0 style of analytics that used cookies and page views, in favor of Web 2.0 communications.

“Now sessions start in a widget, then go to a blog, and then to a reader… how do we do the measurement?” he said. “The old measurement model is about to crack and we need to get ahead of the curve with 2.0.”

Peterson touted his idea of R.A.M.P., or Resources, Analysis, Multivariate testing and Process. He said resources can be more than software, but also the people who make recommendations about what they see, while analysis is more than just issuing reports that no one reads. He also said that testing is essential for analysis of results, and that having a process is necessary in case employees leave your business and take an entire analysis system with them. He also admitted that no one has all the analytics answers when it comes to Web 2.0, but “You’re going to have to cobble this together with what you have and new tools that are coming. Cause Web analytics 3.0 is the problem.”

And that’s mobile, Peterson said. As mobile devices can’t be as easily tracked, or have cookies installed or other standard analytic tools “It’s going to be a mess,” he said. “But it’s also going to be an opportunity. This device doesn’t have cookies, but it does have a phone number, and a GPS address. It’s going to be great for an advertising perspective, but we have to measure it and we’re woefully unprepared.”

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