Friday, July 25, 2008

What the hell are we talking about?

I guess I got your attention! :)

The Voice of Web Analytics Thought Leaders

iPerceptions is known for their voice of customer and satisfaction intelligence flagship product and 4Q satisfaction polling tool. They had the brilliant idea to use their open text analysis capabilities to look at the posts of 30 of the thought leaders in the web analytics industry. They don't state who are those 30, but names like Kaushik, Sterne, Jasra, and Thomas should ring a bell... and Hamel too, since I got an email from Sarah-Jane Morris, Marketing Manager at iPerceptions:
"Using our proprietary text analysis algorithm, our researchers have quantified the top themes and the dominant concepts that 30 of the leading lights in the web analytics community are blogging about. One of those leading lights is your blog. :)"

Themes and Concepts

The approach reminds me of the research project called Swammer I talked about more than a year ago: leverage the amazing richness of the web content to extract what would typically require human interpretation: themes, concepts, and with Swammer, feelings and emotions. For that mather, if you are interested about the feelings and emotions emanating from blog posts, check out, it's really cool.

Not surprisingly, the first themes and concepts that comes out largely revolve around websites, analytics and visits. Then metrics, convert, track, navigate, interesting, engagement, integration and satisfaction. What's also interesting is to dig one level deeper and see how each of those concepts relates with others. Again, I'm not falling off my chair... But wait, there's more!
"the top concepts found in a representative sample of web analytics sites have now been established and in future reports monthly trends will appear"

Wisdom of the crowd or wisdom of the lights?

At first, when I looked at it yesterday, I mistakenly thought the constant flow of people beginning in the web analytics field would make the concepts gravitate around the same topics over and over. Drowning the more advanced discussions in the noise of the crowd. But now I realize this won't be the case since they picked "30 of the leading lights".

Read about Top Concepts in the Web Analytics Blogosphere - May and June 2008 and get the report!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Omniture Mobile Analytics: answers from Matt Langie

Yesterday's post about Omniture mobile analytics raised some questions and Matt Langie, Senior Director of Product Marketing was kind enough to comment on my post.

Is mobile analytics an option? Any fees?

The mobile reporting is now available to all SiteCatalyst customers. When they login to SiteCatalyst today, they will see the new Mobile menu selection with all the relevant reports including Mobile Devices, Device Manufacturer, Screen Size, Cookie Support, Video Format Support, Audio Format Support, and more reports.

What kind of reports can I expect?

SiteCatalyst mobile analytics allows reporting on display ads, click-throughs, conversions, path fallout, A/B compare and more. Essentially, you have all the power of SiteCatalyst on mobile data.

Review: Semphonic Omniture Toolkit

I have contributed to several web analytics implementations, including SiteCatalyst as well as HBX, Coremetrics, WebTrends and Google Analytics. I was awaiting my copy of the Semphonic Omniture Implementation Toolkit with impatience. It took me a couple of days to realy digest and gather my thoughts around this toolkit which encompass the following topics:

  • Implementation guide

  • Rich Internet Applications: AJAX, Flash and DHTML

  • Coding standards and Best Practices

  • HBX to SiteCatalyst Migration

Furthermore, Phil Kemelor announced today the HBX to SiteCatalyst challenge: submit your most challenging question and you could win a free copy of the toolkit!

It's a toolkit, not a template

As a senior architect I often had to contribute to business requirements, functional specs and implementation guidelines. After a while, writing a new document is a matter of stitching already well written sections, adjusting a couple of words here and there and making slight contextual adaptations. I think the toolkit is exactly that: experience from the field; tips & tricks gathered and structured in a set of documents. However, it's made for people who know what they are talking about, neophytes will likely get lost.

Don't expect a "template" for defining your process, KPIs, dashboards, custom metrics & reports or a special magic recipe to do your implementation. The toolkit should really be viewed as a quicker way to gain the knowledge others have taken months to learn. That's where the value is.

Semphonic Omniture Toolkit vs. Omniture Fusion Playbook

The Semphonic Toolkit covers implementation management, project planning, data collection and implementation, reporting and dashboarding as well as quality assurance considerations. The Fusion Playbook focus much more on what Omniture consider to be best practices. Both angles are important to the success of your implementation.

My take

If you are trying to implement SiteCatalyst by yourself, for the first time, without the help of an experienced consulting firm such as Semphonic, at least get the Implementation Toolkit and the Fusion Playbook. But before that, you should get trained, attend local Web Analytics Wednesdays and go to at least one eMetrics conference... Even then, it won't do any magic, SiteCatalyst an the Omniture business optimization platform are very powerful environments with tons of different ways to leverage their capabilities.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Omniture's latest addition: mobile analytics

Omniture is (again) expending by adding mobile analytics to the already long list of powerful features their online business optimization platform offers.

The announcement in 3 points

Once we remove the marketing schmoozing and clutter typical of any press release, here's the highlights:
  • Metrics: Typical mobile metrics such as device type, location, video and audio formats and of course, visits, page views, paths, time on site, etc.
  • Availability: There is no word as if this will be turned on for all their customers or if it's an additional module (I expect the former)
  • Integration: The integration of mobile analytics to SiteCatalyst is much better than using specific tools for all our different needs

What's important in mobile analytics

The Omniture offering is interesting but certainly not ground breaking and honestly, that was kind of expected since many other services also offer mobile analytics. Coincidentally, Bango, a leader in mobile analytics, was announcing Bango Analytics v3.0 on the same day. Their press release also shows the results of a survey they conducted:

Results of a recent survey of more than 550 mobile website owners, commissioned by Bango, showed that the “most important” data point for them is unique visitor count. Respondents gave the following answers to the question: “Which of the following mobile web metrics are important to you?”

  • The daily/weekly/monthly number of unique visitors to your mobile website - 80%
  • Conversion rates/effectiveness of mobile marketing - 71%
  • New/repeat visitors - 58%
  • Information about the handsets your visitors use - 54%
  • Location - 50%
  • The mobile networks used by visitors to your mobile website - 41%
(Note: you can use the latest release of WASP to validate Bango tags by pointing your browser to the mobile version of the site. Other mobile analytics vendors are invited to contact me if they want their tags to be detected by WASP.)

Beyond "typical" mobile analytics

As I was saying in an earlier post, I'm on the product advisory board of a Montréal startup called Neuralitic. If your company heavily depend on mobile (such as games, weather, news or traffic content providers) or if you are a carrier, you should take a look at Neuralitic. While mobile analytics current focus is strictly on mobile web browsing, Neuralitic can provide statistics about the applications being used (SMS, email, video, games, etc.), the contacts being made (through email, SMS or voice) and all the data being communicated by hooking up directly with the carrier infrastructure. In theory, the mobile data could even be merged with carrier customer database to get demographics information.

This is amaizingly powerful and I leave it to you to imagine the possibilities not only for ad serving and marketing on the mobile web, but for optimizing mobile applications and services, for carriers optimization of their packages, or even leveraging mobile-to-web behavioural targetting.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Quebec 2008: Paul McCartney, I was there!

In case you don't know, I live in Lévis, just on the other side of the St-Lawrence river, in front of Québec city. Québec city is celebrating its 400th anniversary this year. The party is going, events are one after the other, and the latest one was...

Sir Paul McCartney!

He does four shows per year, and we were over 200,000 to hear him sign 36 songs in a non-stop 2 hour and 45 minutes show. Amazing!

The amateur video of "Hey Jude" shown bellow (or follow the link) gives an idea of the ambiance. I have the chills just looking at it. This will remain among my best souvenirs for the rest of my life.

It's still time to come visit what a lot of people consider to be the nicest city in the world (nothing less!) and "Canada's European jewel". If you can by, let me know!

Friday, July 18, 2008

WASP v0.53: crawler & reporting bug fixes

It's been about two weeks since the last update. This time the changes are mostly around the crawling & reporting.

Bug fixes

  • Report output: Fixed failure when no parameter title was found or when the parameter was of the form (WebTrends)
  • Item select: clicking on a specific item in the sidebar tree was not always updating the details at the bottom.


  • Mobile analytics: I'm starting to add detection of mobile tags. If you use Firefox to visit the mobile version of a site, it will detect the mobile tags (only Bango for now).
  • Post-processing: The last step of the crawling process includes some post-processing of the data. I added a progress indicator so you know it's doing something.

I'm working on...

  • Enhanced UI: Switching from the complex and constraining (but native to Firefox) XML User Interface Language (XUL) to the more powerful and portable Yahoo! UI library
  • Analyst view: providing a non-technical view of the tags logically grouped into "Page information", "Campaigns", "Events", "eCommerce", etc.
  • Crawler performance: tweaks & enhancements to speed up the crawler, including the use of the lite weight SQLite database to store the state of the crawl and be able to continue a stopped crawl.
  • Reporting tool: add easy filtering of data and default views, including a dashboard view for quality assurance
  • Poweful sitemap generator: generate a Google compatible sitemap.xml file with automated optimization of the parameters
  • Licensing and ecommerce: preparation toward the v1.0 commercial release

Getting it or upgrading

Two ways to upgrade or get WASP:
  1. Get it NOW! Easiest/Recommended: Visit and click on the "Add to Firefox" green button.
  2. Wait some a long time...: If you already have WASP installed, Firefox will eventually trigger an automatic update and prompt you to confirm. But... is getting an amazingly long time to approve extensions...


You like WASP? You want the new features to come out faster?

>>> Contribute now! <<<

... and get twice that amount as a discount when v1.0 comes out!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"Check Engine" KPI: Engagement and quality metrics

There's a lot of buzz lately around "visitor engagement" and "mashup metrics". It's hard to argue that "the basic premise of measurement is that you want to measure something so you can improve it", however, I can't agree that a mashup metric is "the antithesis of all that measurement stands for ".

Some theory of "quality metrics"

One of the element we cover in the Web Analytics for Site Optimization class I'm tutoring for the UBC Award of Achievement is the definition of a "quality visit metric" and how it will be measured. If we want to understand what are the set of conditions and rules we, as a business, consider to be a successful visit, those conditions and rules can necessarily be converted into a single indicator (be it a red/yellow/green indicator, a trend or a number). In my opinion, this is an essential part of "process optimization": when you can simplify a complex task to the point of its simplest activities in the form of input-transformation-output, each of those sub-tasks can be measured. Regrouping those measures into what some call a "mashup metric" or "uber metric" makes sense. We are talking about "process theory" and "goal setting".

Quality Control concepts

There's a Quality Control class by Prof. Trout, Associate Professor of Management at Saint Martin's University. In chapter 4 of his class, prof. Trout talks about "measurement" and "metrics". Please allow me to grab a couple of slides from his great lecture notes:

Can a "mashup metric" be accurate and precise?

To continue with the target analogy, Belkin seems to say "no" because the distance, the size of the target and the circumference of the circles are mostly subjective and arbitrary. So you could end up with an accurate and precise bow, but the target wouldn't be reliable. I must say that viewed this way, there's some logic to this argument.

If each task can be gauged and provide a "Measured Value", then a "mashup metric" is the sum (or factor or whatever formula you want to use) of all the "Measured Values" of each sub-tasks leading to a measurable process. The "Measured Value" themselves are not subjective, it's the weighting and tresholds that could be. But again, if we look at each individually measured value, we can easily define the lower/upper control limits, standard deviation and averages and use them in our mashup formula.

Now lets look at two other slides:

Does a "mashup metric" satisfy the conditions of an effective metric? 
Again, Belkin says "no" arguably because the mashup metric by itself can't tell you which underlying value went out of wack. But I disagree, for a mashup metric, the "actionable" aspect is "raising the red flag so it gets your attention". A red light is actionable.

Again, some important points here: spot, compare and predict. But also a) "collecting" doesn't lead to anything unless you act on it and b) higher quality companies use fewer metrics... interesting isn't it?

Some practical use of "mashup metrics"

Check the image below:

I often say "it's not about the numbers, it's about the story you can tell about them". So here's what goes with this picture:

"the fuel delivery system broke. Kaput.


Luckily, they were able to get the car in drivable condition by fixing up some wires so that there wouldn't be any sparking to cause fires, and fuel delivery was working fine.... we just couldn't tell how much gas we had in the tank. So, we just used the trip meter to tell when to fill up.


However, seeing the "empty" gauge every time you look at the dashboard (along with the check engine light) was a tad distracting, so our friend Kristine drew up a little card to stick in front of the fuel gauge"

The small handwritten note that hides the gas gauge says "It's OK. There is PROBABLY gas! :)"

Credits for picture & story: Peter Norby, AKA Driver

Read again: one metric down is very different from a broken gauge + check engine light. The Check Engine we have on all our cars is an amazingly complex mashup of metrics... Yet we don't see it lighten up because our tank is empty... It's quite accurate, and very actionable!

My take

Web analytics being such a young discipline, I think we should look more often into concepts that have been studied for decades. At first glance, Quality Management concepts and cars have not much to do with web analytics... Be it for measuring engagement or something else, mashup metrics have their merit and their use. That is, of course, like so many other things in web analytics, if you know and understand what you are doing!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Selecting a web analytics solution: top criteria and a hint

I met John Lovett from Jupiter Resarch a couple of times and we had a few email exchanges about the state of the web analytics market. One of the discussion point was around the use of WASP for market and competitive research.

In his most recent post, "It's not the tool, it's the craftman", John's choice for the title stresses two important points:
  1. People are more important than the technology
  2. Craftsmanship marries the "science" and the "art" of doing web analytics

Top three criteria for selecting a web analytics solution

Based on John's research:
"Only one-third of analytics clients surveyed listed standard features and functionality as a priority when selecting vendors. Flexibility of reporting, ability to service business needs and accuracy of information all outweigh features in the buying deliberation process." John Lovett, JupiterResearch
1. Flexibility of reporting
2. Ability to service business needs
3. Accuracy of information

Accuracy of information!!!

This is among the top 3 criteria, yet vendor don't provide very good tools, and not much help, in making sure the data being collected is accurate in the first place. Of course we can trust their data warehouse and their tags to be of topmost quality. The issue is not there.

The issue is in all the implementations that are improvised or overly simplified. The implementations that are done by people who were just introduced to web analytics and read the vendor implementation guide, believing and hoping everything will work without a glitch. That's probably one of the factor why some people say "web analytics is hard" (ok, I hear you: don't go there again! one hot topic at a time - "engagement" - is enough! But read Jim Novo's friction model for a more down to hearth view).

Well known analytics practitioners have commented on the challenges of web analytics tagging. But what I'm witnessing usually revolve around the tagging itself:
  1. Missing tags, especially in transactional areas of a site (often non-template based)
  2. Improper values being assigned (special characters, duplicate page names, etc.)
  3. Polluting valid data with tests (development vs production and all kinds of tests)
  4. Lack of standardized taxonomies/domain of values
That's exactly the challenge WASP is gradually addressing, and this, regardless of the tool you are using. Other alternatives exists: use very technical tools with weird names like "proxies" and "debuggers" along with some black magic IT skills or put your hand in your pocket and get Maxamine hire Accenture. (BTW, looks like they should eat more of their own dog food, the link "Learn more about Accenture Digital Diagnostics" on the Maxamine Accenture Digital Diagnostic home page is broken! - sorry... I could not resist!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

WASP: introduction video

I just made an intro video for WASP. It highlights the following:
  • What is WASP
  • Installation
  • Status bar icon & browsing
  • Sidebar tabs
  • Toggling the sidebar and disabling WASP

If the video doesn't show below, go to the WASP website to view it!

I will create two other videos, one showing the use of WASP for Quality Assurance (including the use of the crawler feature) and another one for Market Research.

Send in your comments!

Monday, July 14, 2008

WASP: call for developers & designers

You like WASP? You have some extra time or want to earn some side money? Read on!


Hire The BestI will gradually sub-contract some work through the Elance service. I will post small bits & pieces of job that can be done easily as small projects ranging from junior developers to more advanced concepts using JavaScript and DHTML, Yahoo! UI Toolkit, XML, PHP programming, user interface design, branding and even copywriting.

Job #1: License check

The first item is a bit of a trial of the Elance service. Your mission, if you accept it, is to develop a client-side component in JavaScript that will call a web service developed in PHP. Given two values, you will look into a mySQL database for the corresponding match, check a few details and return the available feature set for this license. Get more info on Elance.

Job #2: Logo design & branding

The second item is the design of a corporate logos for immeria and WASP, along with proposed color palette, font style and general web page layout. The WASP logo is a bit tricky as it needs to scale from a normal web page logo down to 64x64 icon and 16x16 status bar active/inactive indicator. Get more on Elance.

Copyrights and more

Contrary to what some people believe, WASP is not open source and is not public domain. The fact that it is being distributed as an addon to an open source browser, namely Firefox, as nothing to do with the licensing model of WASP itself. It is a copyrighted material and the user agreement explicitly state the code can not be reverse engineered, altered, resold or otherwise modified.

That being said, the sub-contracted work will not be on the core component of WASP (the generic detection algorithm) so although some people have offered help in this area and it's appreciated, this won't happen.

XiTi: robust mid-range alternative

I met Fehmi, XiTi's local rep for Québec, a couple of months ago at a Web Analytics Wednesday I organized in Montréal. I've known XiTi as a long time web analytics player in Europe, and as my friend Jacques Warren said "The French have landed!". Last week I spent some time with Dennis Varganyi, country manager (Canada), a guy with a long term experience in web analytics who showed me what XiTi has to offer.

The base is covered, and more...

XiTi offers the full range of reports you would expect from any web analytics solution: page, visit and visitors analytics, but also external/internal search, podcasts, mobile, video, RSS and rich-media sites. Campaign management, dashboarding, custom reports, custom metrics, security, exports, are all there.

Great features

Some tidbits worth highlighting:
  • Affinities: Xiti's unique capability of defining "groups of sites" into affinity reports, then sites, sections, chapters and sub-chapters, sub-sub... makes it especially well geared for media sites.
  • Segmentation & filtering: XiTi is very powerful in this respect! Some competitors should look more closely at the way XiTi does it, which is much more powerful and still very easy to use than a lot of the solutions I've seen.
  • Dashboarding and vizualisation: I recently read Stephen Few's de facto reference "Information Dashboard Design". It's clear XiTi spent a lot of time on visualization. One example of that is dial graphs: they show min/max, average, standard deviation and the actual value in a very well designed way.
  • Campaigns: allocation, allocation, allocation... isn't it a nightmare in most cases? Which event or campaign should really get credited? Should it get 100% or just a fraction of the credit?
  • Security is managed at the group or individual level. This level of granularity is often found only in the high-end solutions.
  • Date range selection goes beyond the day/week/month/year and allows you to pick things like "All Mondays". Something I haven't seen in other tools and is especially useful if you are looking at things like day parting.
  • Real time is often more of a buzzword than really usefull (my opinion), but it's there :)
  • Local or server time? Another interesting concept, which I haven't seen in other solutions, is the ability to view reports based on the user's local time or the server time. Clever: if you want to know the real peak time during the day, you need to use the user's time. If you want to know when to do maintenance, you should look at your lowest trafficed server time.
  • Custom variables & reports: I was surprised by the flexibility of the framework, which makes it easy to extend and customize metrics and reports.
  • Heat maps: think of CrazyEgg integrated to your web analytics (as it should be!)
  • and others!


We know how "Free!" is the buzzword of the week month year and Xiti has been an early adopter of the concept. You can start small with Xiti Free, which is especially suited for personal and small web sites, and grow up to Xiti Analyzer II for 395$/month (1M page views).

My take

I would consider XiTi to be a strong contender if you are looking for something with more guts than Google Anlytics without investing in a high-end suite like Omniture. If you are in Europe, you need to have Xiti on your short list. Now that Xiti has a presence in North America, it's worth to have a look before jumping to a conclusion.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

WaW Montreal, July 16th, Boris Bistro

A "[WAM] Web Analytics Wednesday in Montreal" in the middle of summer? Why not? You are stuck at work, not on vacation? Take a break and join us for a drink and good company!

When: July 16th, around 6:00pm
Location: Boris Bistro
Where: 465 McGill, Montréal, H2Y 2H1, 514-848-9575
RSVP: Space is limited, if we are less than 12 we can be outside, otherwise we will be inside.
>>> RSVP through WebAnalyticsDemystified service <<< Sponsor: None, everyone pay his own drinks (if you want to sponsor this event, send me a note)

WASP v0.51: minor but anoying bug fixes

The support through GetSatisfaction, the "people powered customer service", is working great! WASP v0.50 was launched just a couple of days ago and some users reported two annoying problems, so I fixed them :)

Bug fixes

  • Extension conflict: WASP wasn't working nicely with some other extensions, notably the one. With the feedback collected through GetSatisfaction I was able to find the issue pretty quickly.
  • Crawling step 2 hang: when the starting page for the crawl was already loaded, WASP was waiting forever trying to find which web analytics tools were on that page. The Crawl Wizard is looking for the tools on the first page to speed up the crawling process afterward.
I also fixed some minor aesthetic elements.

Getting it or upgrading

Two ways to upgrade or get WASP:
  1. Get it NOW! Easiest/Recommended: Visit and click on the "Add to Firefox" green button.
  2. Wait some a long time...: If you already have WASP installed, Firefox will eventually trigger an automatic update and prompt you to confirm. But... is getting an amazingly long time to approve extensions...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

What to do when you suspect your hard work is being stolen?

Update: the author of the blog I'm talking about apologized and made some changes to his site and post. The important is to learn from our mistakes :)
Tip of the hat to him for acting quickly and being honest.

I started working on the Web Analytics Solution Profiler (WASP) over a year ago, first as a personal challenge and proof of concept, and more recently as a true viable commercial product. I've spent countless hours on this, and even got a group of "angel advisers" who I am forever grateful for helping me out.

Thank you Avinash!

This morning, an email from my friend Avinash brought me to a new web analytics practitioner site working at a large company. I will not disclose that company name or link to the blog... This guy had good words for Avinash's style and his article on Benefits of blogging. Avinash is one of the greatest guy I have ever met and is rightfully highly respected in the industry, he has a chearful personality and he is always ready to help. But I think Avinash might be as disapointed as I am about what follows...


There are only 2 blog posts on this guy site, along with an About and a Tools list. Let's look at it more closely:
  • The first post, "What is web analytics", is a copy & paste from wikipedia and a PC Magazine article...
  • The second post could have been a great praise for WASP... except the guy called it differently and didn't link to the official source. He even went as far as actually ripping of the page code from so that the extension installer can be launched from his own site. There is no way he can have done all of this without knowing about the real name and about my site.
  • The tools list is a ripp off of my page at, which is generated from the WASP configuration file. For God's sake, even the wrong alphabetical ordering of the products and the imperfect HTML tags are the same! The minimum he could have done is to mention/link the original source.
When I grade students assignments, if I suspect a copying and pasting was done (and believe me, it's easy to spot!), I do a search on Google with those couple of phrases or even the whole paragraph. If there is no reference to the original article and the abstract is more than a phrase long, I consider it to be stupid plagiarism. Thankfully, it only happened once... (and the horror: she said she did that all the time!)

Credit where credit is due

Mitch Joel posted about "One thing you should never do as a blogger" this week. I guess the flip side is:
The other thing you should never do as a blogger:
Never use others work as if it was your own, without citing or linking back.
Several blogs mentioned WASP, and I appreciate it greatly. They all follow the unwritten rule of linking back. Some commercial sites offering downloadable files also manually or automatically scrape my content and re-distribute the installer on their own site. When they do this, people often end up downloading an older version of WASP, which might cause some frustration for the user and additional support on my side. But at least, they clearly state the author and the official site.

What about you?

Am I pissed off at this guy attitude? You bet! And I hope he will act quickly to correct this situation.

Did people copy your work? What did you do? What would you do?

Friday, July 4, 2008

WASP v0.50: Launched on a 4th of July

Another step toward the Web Analytics Solution Profiler/Debugger (WASP for short!) v1.0 milestone. This interim version includes some great enhancements!

  • Did you know support teams, implementation specialists and trainers working for the web analytics market leaders are using WASP? Vendors: read on for specific details on how to get involved!
  • Top consulting agencies from all around the world are also using WASP! Agencies: I'm looking for case studies, contact me to get involved!

In the coming days I will provide short feature/training videos explaining how to get the most of WASP.

Enhancements, new and fixed

  • Multi-tool tabs: some people complained the sidebar was becoming un-usable when multiple tools were found on a single page. Now the sidebar shows a two-level tabbing interface, the first one being the tool category, the second the specific tool. Check out Avinash Kaushik blog to see it in action, I think he has the most tools I have ever seen on a site!

  • Site crawling: the crawling feature, introduced in the previous release, now use a sophisticated wizard that makes it easy to crawl from any web page, a sitemap or use a list of URLs from a file. You can set the crawl depth and max pages, follow robots exclusion rules and even include/exclude specific pages. A status bar shows progress and you can pause/resume the crawling process. Important: the crawling is limited to 100 pages in this version.
  • Self-disclosure when crawling: WASP will report itself by modifying the user-agent string. WASP also makes it easy to exclude crawling trafic by showing the exact IP address being used.

  • Reporting: the CSV output has been improved and there is now a slick web-based reporting interface. The tags are now broken down by columns, making it very easy to spot pages with missing tags or invalid ones.
  • Save your sitemap! Once a site crawl is completed, you can save to a file compatible with the sitemap.xml standard.
  • Multivariate testing highlighter: if the sidebar is shown and a multivariate tool is found, the area will be highlighted with the distinctive WASP yellow & brown border!
  • Support: I'm relying on the great "Get Satisfaction" community-based support platform. So if you have ideas, feature requests, problems or find bugs (yep! there are some), visit
  • New tools: Now detects 112 web analytics, voice of customer, multivariate testing, behavioral targeting and other tags (beacon).
  • Of course, WASP is compatible with Firefox 3

Getting it or upgrading

Three easy ways to upgrade or get WASP:

  1. Get it NOW! Easiest: Visit and click on the "Add to Firefox" green button
  2. Upgrade: If you already have WASP, do "Tools/Add-ons" from the Firefox menu, then click on the "Find Updates" button. But be aware the version on the official Mozilla website is often updated several days later than what's on my official site.
  3. Wait some time...: If you already have WASP installed, Firefox will eventually trigger an automatic update and prompt you to confirm.

Coming up next

Here's some of what remain to be done for the full v1.0 release:

  • Provide a more "analyst friendly" mode
  • Improve the reporting feature
  • Higher limits for crawling and a "stealth" mode to avoid increasing ads impressions and web analytics page views
  • Specific implementation diagnostic for select vendors
  • Give the option to open WASP in a pop-up window or a bottom-bar
  • Option to enable/disable specific tools
  • Online purchase and licensing

Now is time to contribute!

There will always be a free, basic version of WASP available... however:

Any contribution received before the official release of v1.0 will be applied as a discount of 200% of the contribution amount.

That is, give 125$ now and get a $250 discount toward the licensing of WASP v1.0!

>>> Contribute now!

Licensing details

The more advanced features will be based on an annual license:

EditionCostMax pages/report

The "Corporate Edition", specifically suited for vendors, agencies and market/financial analysts will include unlimited users, the "Market Research" function and other exclusive features. Please contact me for additional details.

Vendors, get involved!

WASP is the most sophisticated web analytics tag debugger available on the market. Period.

If you are a vendor, you can make it even easier for your customers by becoming a WASP partner/sponsor. In the future, WASP will offer more specific features such as implementation diagnostic, best practices audit and enhanced reporting, for participating vendors.

The reward of tutoring for UBC's Web Analytics Award of Achievement

Take this as self-promotion or inflated ego, I though I would share some comments I received for the various UBC Web Analytics Award of Achievement classes I'm tutoring.

It basically took me 20 years of experience to strike a balance between my three main interests:
  • Teaching, coaching, speaking: helping out others through the UBC classes, speaking at various conferences, doing Web Analytics Wednesdays, etc.
  • Consulting: bringing valuable and recognized expertise to companies and agencies when it's needed
  • Research and Development: the fun of creating and solving challenging problems, mainly through WASP

Comments from students

Of course not all comments are THAT positive, those who know me well will understand that they represent a lot to me.

  • Very involved and clearly "living" his subject.
  • Excellent Tutor. Smart, insightful, very responsive!
  • Stephane was my tutor during my first course with UBC-WA, knowing someone prior helps. And it did. I should repeat in this course too... He is a great guy. And an amazing teacher too
  • Stephan is a very engaging, friendly and helpful instructor. I found the content very interesting and pertinent to what I am doing at work.
  • The tutor. Stephane Hamel was great!
  • Yes he was the best so far of all my classes he added a lot of value to the message board with discussion topics beyond the class work.
  • This way the best course so far of all 3 classes I have taken. Both in content and in tutor.
  • This instructor was the best I've had so far. He didn't just do the minimum. He continually tried to have discussion topics available and continually encouraged students to join them.
I'm passionate about web analytics, online business optimization and I love tutoring. So far I have tutored the first two classes, Introduction to Web Analytics and Web Analytics for Site Optimization. This fall I will add Measuring Marketing Campaigns Online and if I can tutor Creating and Managing the Analytical Business Culture I might become the first tutor to have made all four classes!