Friday, December 28, 2007

A nice touch from the WAA

Just in time for Christmas, I received a small package with a Certificate of Recognition from the Web Analytics Association for my involvement in the field of web analytics. It's signed by the hand of His Honorable Mr. Jim Sterne himself, father or web marketing, founder and chairman of the Web Analytics Association and producer of eMetrics. A nice touch from an organization that is mostly run and energized by volunteers who get involved because they enjoy what they do and are fascinated by the field of web analytics.

By the way, did you know Jim Sterne will be in Montreal on February 6th?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Guy Kawasaki's web analytics prediction for 2008

First, I want to say I admire what Jeremiah Owyang is doing, great interviews, great insight. His latest piece is right from an ice ring, where he goes into a very open discussion with Guy Kawasaki. Jeremiah starts by asking "how is it going to be for marketers in 2008?". Kawasaki's answer is straight to the point:
"I think it's gon'a just be more and more pure stats and it's gon'a be like... really quantitative... people will really want to know. Especially with things going into a recession..."
Listen at least to the first minute or so of the interview. If Guy says that, we can be sure there's a huge crowd of marketers who will be looking at their stats much more seriously than before.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Web Analytics training: mix concepts and hands on

This morning, while taking my first coffee and making my daily round of blogs and emails, I noticed the Press Release from Omniture "More Than 5,000 Trained Through Omniture University As Demand for Online Marketing Skills Increases". There's this quote about me in it:
“Omniture University training goes way beyond Web Analytics 101,” said Stephane Hamel, a Canada-based Web analytics consultant and thought leader that recently attended Omniture University training in Montreal. “People who attended left the training armed with specific skills they could implement right away—from quick wins to longer-term, strategic areas that will lead to new revenue opportunities for their company.”
As a local web analytics enthusiast and events organizer, I helped Omniture set up this course in Montreal. We managed to get a full room of local Omniture clients and it really fostered communication and networking among participants. Feedback was absolutely great and people asked for more!

At the same time, I'm also tutoring the UBC Award of Achievement in Web Analytics. This 4 course curriculum is just amazing for anyone who wants to get broader knowledge about the concepts and expertise regardless of a specific product. In my opinion, what might be a perfect path to web analytics is to take the UBC courses and pursue and mix it with training specific to the tool you use. Attending events such as local web analytics get together or the upcoming breakfast and eMetrics is the cherry on top of the Sunday.

For 2008 I'm working on other types of local events that will address specific needs expressed by people who attended the "[WAM] Web Analytics in Montreal" and "[WAQ] Web Analytics in Quebec" events. I'll keep you posted!

P.S. If you would like to sponsor one of the future [WAM] or [WAQ], or are willing to present a business case, please contact me.

WAA & eMetrics Breakfast Series: Jim Sterne in Montreal

Those who came to the last "[WAM] Web Analytics in Montreal" were the first to hear about it: Jim Sterne will join us for breakfast in Montreal on February 6th, 7:30h-10:00h.

Jim Sterne: WAA & eMetrics

From the official WAA announcement:

"Jim Sterne will deliver insight into the current maturity of the web analytics industry sharing insight into the level of expertise among practitioners today; challenges faced; opportunities available; and the role web analytics practitioners, marketers and analysts play as companies adopt the continuous improvement method of marketing optimization and truly start listening, engaging and participating in a dialogue with customers."

If you are just slightly involved with Web Analytics or eMarketing and don't know Jim, let's just say that some people refer to him as "the father of web analytics". I met him for the first time at Internet World around 1996 and he was already speaking about eMarketing and measuring success. An amazing speaker, and THE industry thought leader.

Jonathan Levitt: iPerceptions

Following Jim, Jonathan Levitt of iPerceptions will showcase how the iPerceptions attitudinal analytic solutions captures and measures the perceptions and attitudes of actual web site visitors' online experience, allowing to predict the key drivers of customer satisfaction and loyalty; track trends; respond immediately and take action. iPerception has offices in New York and Montreal.

Stephane Hamel: immeria

The final case study will be presented by your own city host (yes, that's me). I will piggy back on Jim's presentation to present the realities facing our local market: our "distinctive" cultural environment, the scarcity of resources, and the scale factor of our web initiatives.

More info:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

immeria: small but highly experienced

"Small but highly experienced", that's what Forrester's Megan Burns says in the executive summary of "Where to get help with web analytics".

Firms looking to improve their use of Web analytics data to boost Web site performance should assign dedicated staff to the effort, then hire an
experienced professional services firm to jump-start the learning process and
establish a strong foundation on which to build a robust Web measurement

Small but highly experienced.

immeria might be a "company of 1", but with 20 years of field experience, the last 13 on the Web, I think I can bring breadth: having worked with numerous employers on countless projects of various size and industries, and depth: from the nitty gritty of web development and business intelligence up to ebusiness strategies.

What Forrester doesn't mention is the level of "coopetition" going on between those small firms. I spoke or met in person with most of the Canadian companies mentioned in the study and there's a general agreement that while we compete in some ways, we have much more opportunities and leverage if we help each other. Plus, it's even better value for our clients!

More focused on business than technology

While most people focus on the marketing aspect of web analytics, I'm much more interested in what happen once they get on the site. Here, my technological background and analytical skills helps me get the most out of the technology in order to support the business strategy, and even recommend actions to achieve the business objectives in a more efficient way.

Hiring web analytics consultants to jump start the efforts

Burns concludes that "Companies should use Web analytics consultants to help new Web analytics managers define roles, responsibilities, and requirements for the collection and use of Web data in their organizations." I can't agree more! What I have also seen are companies striving "to implement Web analytics platforms so they provide reliable, high-value data". Things that I especially like doing is coaching and helping out staff employees develop a process and a methodology to address the business needs by themselves: ad hoc requests, defining KPIs, doing analysis, communicating results, etc. I guess it's my UBC Award of Achievement in Web Analytics and conference speaker that transpire into my consulting practice!

A word about immeria

The company name stems from "an immersion in web analytics" and offers ebusiness strategy and web analytics consulting services, education & conferencing as well as some R&D with the Web Analytics Solution Profiler:
  • Web analytics needs assessment
  • Web measurement strategy
  • Web analytics vendor selection
  • Implementation planning
  • Platform customization/development
  • Dashboard & report design and creation
  • Data analysis & recommendations
  • eBusiness strategy
  • Web analytics education & conference speaking
If you would like to know more, don't hesitate to contact me!

Monday, December 17, 2007

eMetrics call for speaker

Relayed from the Yahoo! Web Analytics forum.

We're looking for presentations on the nitty gritty of measuring website success for the Spring eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summits in Toronto and San Francisco.

Measuring website success now includes a much broader range of methods. Optimizing your website now leads to optimizing all of your marketing.

We're looking for seriously Advanced sessions for those who have been at this for years. Search analytics, online campaign optimization, econometrics, email marketing, and more and more and more.

Submit your presentation before January 4 for consideration...

The following topics are merely suggestions. What do you find fascinating about measuring online marketing success?
  • Web Analytics (of course)
  • Affiliate Measurement
  • Behavioral Targeting
  • Brand Metrics
  • Business Intelligence
  • Buzz/Blog/Reputation Management
  • Campaign Measurement
  • Click Fraud Detection
  • Consumer Generated Content
  • Customer Loyalty
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Email Marketing
  • Internet Size & Behavior Metrics
  • Landing Page Optimization
  • Marketing Performance Dashboards
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Search Marketing Measurement
  • Usability Testing
  • Web Apps Performance Monitoring
  • And More
Just look over the agenda from the October DC show to see how diverse our industry has become.


Vendors are only permitted to present at specific times in conjunction with a sponsorship. If you are a vendor, you are encouraged to recommend a client as a speaker. If you have a client who will sing your praises while telling their story - congratulations! Send them to the links below - right now.

Choose the Summit to submit a speaker:

eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit Toronto
Summit: March 31 - April 2, 2008
Submission Deadline: January 4, 2008

eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit San Francisco
Summit: May 4-7, 2008
Submission Deadline: January 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Blog modification: DisqUS comments/forum

I have discovered DISQUS, from a startup offering better comments tracking and integrated forums into blogs. I will give it a try but the concept looks promising and enhance the basic commenting system offered by Blogger. In the coming weeks (and with the Holiday season coming up!) I will work on revamping my blog and offering new features for the Web Analytics community.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Web Analytics market analytics

WASP was primarily created to ease quality assurance of web analytics solutions tagging. But as often the case with innovations, the primary idea leads to a bunch of other possibilities. I also listened to your suggestions and 20% of the 120 respondents to my little poll about future WASP features said they would like to get market stats.

How does it work?

WASP was downloaded about 30,000 times and the latest version includes it's own analytics tags. This means that I can collect anonymous and aggregate information about the tools implemented on the sites visited while WASP is active. So as you browse, you not only get info about the tags on a page, but you also contribute to a global view of the web analytics market. A bit what like Alexa does for site rating, but especially made for web analytics. Cool isn't it? (And yes, this is stated in the EULA and no personal information is collected).

Here are some base metrics:
  • 30,000 downloads since the first version of WASP released in Feb. 2007,
  • 8,000 installs of the latests in a month,
  • 200,000 pages analyzed in a month,
  • 10,000 sites analyzed in a month
I think we now have enough data to look at!

Web Analytics market shares

Out of 10,016 sites visited by about 8,000 users over the last month:
  • Google Analytics was found on 64% of them
  • Omniture SiteCatalyst on 16%
  • WebSideStory/VisualSciences HBX on 8%
  • WebTrends on 7%
  • Coremetrics on 2%
But, when looking at the volume of traffic, we find this:
  • Google Analytics was found on 34% of the page viewed
  • Omniture SiteCatalyst on 20%
  • WebSideStory/VisualSciences HBX on 15%
  • WebTrends, 9%
  • Coremetrics, 2%

Analysis of web analytics vendors market share

Despite Google Analytics taking the lion share of the market in terms of installation (64% of visited sites), Omniture SiteCatalyst move to purchase VisualSciences is very wise. Not only it will give it nearly 25% of the market, it will also put Omniture at par with Google in terms of reach (as shown by the 20%+15% combined page views of SiteCatalyst and HBX). Simply put, Google Analytics might be very widely used, it is implemented on web sites that receives, overall, less traffic than Omniture and VisualSciences.

With the recent tsunami of changes at WebTrends, it will be interesting to see if their market shares will erode in the future. Coremetrics getting out at 2% seems a bit low, especially considering Forrester's most recent positioning put them with the Leaders, with a stronger strategy than Omniture and show a similar market presence. But that being said, Forrester also shows WebTrends with an even stronger market presence in the same quadrant, which I find a bit odd.

I'm curious to hear you about this first analysis. Does it make sense? Considering WASP looks at actual sites being visited instead of information provided by each vendor, could it reveal a more accurate market picture or be somehow biased?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Researcher or practitioner?

I was going through my backlog of emails and blogs and noticed a very interesting article from Human Factors International about the difference between the researcher approach and the practitioner approach to problem solving. Here's what I found most interesting and readily applicable to web analytics.

Seek for solutions

Clients are looking for solutions. Simple. While the details are important, and knowledge of (and benefits of) various analysis methods are core skills or a web analyst, you should convey the findings - better yet, the solution - rather than the analysis leading to it.

Key skills of a web analytics practitioner

HFI cites a study where key skills of a UX practitioners (designers) were identified. I took the liberty to slightly modify them so they can be applied to the field of web analytics:
  • Effective practitioners need to be able to identify, diagnose and execute a correct solution quickly.
  • Practitioners need to know which methods and tools are out there and when to apply which, and just do it.
  • Practitioners should be able to articulate the tradeoffs for favoring a specific method based on the business perspective. This means balancing the quality of the data against constraints like:
    • How much will the various approaches cost to deploy?
    • Which is fastest given our current state?
    • Which is the most powerful but least expensive data we can get to make the case (e.g., quantitative, qualitative)
  • Practitioners need to provide concrete recommendations, not problems and findings. And the earlier the recommendations come, the better. Here, we want to highlight the notion of "continuous improvement".
  • Conversely, practitioners need to set up and provide metrics on how a process or interface fares over subsequent updates and releases. That is the core concept of testing.

Business acumen

The HFI article concludes with this:
Practitioners need to sell in business terms. They suggest that practitioners (and training programs) should hone negotiation and audience monitoring skills, and the ability to recognize when there is a gap between what is being presented and what the audience is seeking. After all, the business wants answers: What do we do? How to do it? What is the projected business impact (ROI) of making such changes? They aren't always as interested in the method and data that lead up to that solution.
The complete HFI newsletter is available online, along with lots and lots of other insightful material.