Wednesday, November 18, 2009

iPerceptions deep dive in behavioral and attitudinal data

As you might know, I'm now on the iPerceptions' Advisory Council. In this role, I had the opportunity to get an insider sneak peak at the new A&B Interactive Dashboard.

Real life example: airline flight booking

While Google Analytics provides valuable information such as source of traffic, campaign performance, visits, page views, goals and ecommerce data, it is up to the analyst imagination to figure out user intent and satisfaction. On the other end, voice of customer, iPerceptions webValidator enterprise-level solution in this case, offers a different angle on the same situation. Basically, behavioral data alone cannot accurately judge satisfaction, while attitudinal doesn't provide the event-driven data.

If someone books a flight, does it mean this customer was satisfied? If he or she didn't book it, does it mean he or she was dissatisfied? The Eye for Travel site, which offers specialized news & analysis of the travel industry, recently talked about this very topic: "Web analytics data alone cannot accurately judge satisfaction". Fellow Web Analytics Association Board member Vicky Brock puts it very simply: "context is everything and part of that context comes from the visitor themselves".

Let's deep dive in a real example.

1) KPI Tracker

The KPI Tracker view can easily be customized. In this example, the top-right area shows the Task Completions compared with Overall Experience (top left), Average Revenue per visit (bottom left) and Medium (type of traffic to site – CPC, Organic, Referral, etc). The dashboard shows two attitudinal and two behavioural metrics together. Whenever you apply a filter using the left-side controls, all KPIs are updated in real time. Really cool!

2) Data Miner: Task Completion by Purpose of Visit

Switching to the Data Miner view, we can quickly see Task Completion by Purpose of Visit

3) Data Miner: Focus on Purpose of Visit

At this step, we are more interested in the task "Purchase a ticket/Book a flight", so we simply click on it to drill-down. Note that we are still just looking at attitudinal data, that is, the Voice of the Customer survey answers.

4) Data Miner: Closing the loop: merging attitudinal and behavioral

Now, we want to look at task completion from a business perspective. In this scenario, Google Analytics was configured with specific Goals to track the important steps of the flight booking process. We are particularly interested  in "Step 2: List of Available Flights". Notice how Task Completion for "Not completed" and "Only partially" shrank from 39% to 20%.

What does it tell us? Basically, that 80% of those who reached Step 2 of our conversion process actually achieved their purpose of visit. Viewed this way, it's 80% conversion rate! Pretty good isn't it? Even if we didn't convert (from a financial perspective) this time, we helped our customer in his/her purchase decision process and the likelihood of conversion, even if not this time, is high.

5) Text Miner: listen, I'm talking to you!

So far, it's all good. But there's something all this data doesn't reveal: the humans behind the numbers. And that's exactly where real human feedback comes in. You can use the same slicing & dicing, segmenting and filtering to extract the most pertinent comments. You can even use regular expressions to filter the comments.

You can also turn high volume of contextualized comments into word clouds to get a different perspective!

A&B: Truly merging behavioral and attitudinal

A&B doesn't stand for the usual A/B testing acronym, but for "Attitudinal and Behavioral". That is, merging the "what" provided by traditional clickstream (behavioral) tools such as Google Analytics, and the "why" (attitudinal) expressing your visitors intent and satisfaction, such as provided by the free 4Q or the high-end enterprise webValidator solution.

You might say this has been done before, and you are certainly right. However, it has never been done in this way - with this level of insight. Basically, I think it's a game changer in the online analytics market.

Interactive Dashboard

The Interactive Dashboard is simply amazing:
  • live slicing & dicing of your data,
  • select your metrics, dimensions and visualization,
  • create segments on the fly,
  • single-click drill-down on specific data of interest,
  • easily merge specific metric values as one,
  • bookmark and share custom views

My take

iPerceptions isn't new to customer satisfaction surveys, before founding the company in 2000, they had years of experience in more traditional survey methodologies. Beside asking the right questions, there is also a significant methodological and scientific approach to interpreting and understanding the data. Until now, behavioral and attitudinal were two siloed set of data trying to explain the same phenomena.

The "multiplicity" put forth by Avinash and "persuasion architecture" from Bryan Eisenberg boils down to a pretty simple concept: matching user needs & expectations with online optimization and good business practices. Up until now, there was no simple way to combine behavioral and attitudinal data without a tremendous amount of effort. A&B Interactive Dashboard is very easy-to-use yet extremely powerful data exploration tool that gives an unified view of different datasets.

Job: SEM Specialist - - Montreal

Passionate about search engines and their technologies? You like to plan & provide recommendations? is an interactive e-marketing agency based in Montreal that specializes in search marketing, email marketing and media consulting on the web.

They are looking for a "Specialist in Google AdWords Campaigns Management", you know, the usual stuff: analyze client needs, set business objectives, manage and optimize the campaigns, analyze results and present recommendations...

Except at Skooiz you could do it for a whole bunch of cool clients and work with other geeks just like you! :)

gaAddons open source project: enhancing Google Analytics

Update: gaAddons v2 is available at
A while back I developed a script for Google Analytics and posted "Google Analytics: script to track outbound links and downloads". Those two features are not available out of the box with Google Analytics and lots of people using GA do not have the expertise nor the time to develop such automation.

gaAddons idea

The general idea of gaAddons is to develop a collection of useful enhancements and automation to extend and improve upon the default Google Analytics implementation. With the latest round of Google Analytics enhancements, especially events and custom metrics, the tool is becoming much more powerful. I already have a bunch of ideas to enhance GA, but I'll first see how the idea of gaAddons picks up.

Justin Cutroni, author of Google Analytics Short Cut and consultant at EpikOne, Brian Clifton, author of Advanced Web Analytics with Google Analytics, and John Hossack, from Vancouver-based VKI Studios have expressed interest to participate in the project. Also, thanks to Andy Edmonds and Damond Gudaitis who have already contributed to enhance the initial code.

gaAddons Open source project

gaAddons is an open source project, it's now up to GAACs, consultants and power users to contribute and collectively enhance the gaAddons features!

Source code managed through Google Code at
Discussion forum at Google Groups:

I'm trowing it out there, in the wild, and we'll see if there's enough interest and collaboration to get somewhere :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Q&A with Andrea Wood, Visionary Strategic Analyst

Andrea Wood moved from New York to Montréal a couple of years ago where she joined as Senior Advisor, Research & Sales Optimization. I rarely do Q&A and profile highlights on this blog, but I'm making an exception for Andrea: her career path  demonstrates the role of analytics in one's job and how she grown from technical writer to a top job in analytics.
Andrea is a seasoned market analyst with extensive experience in strategy development and sales optimization. An energetic visionary and articulate communicator with a talent for looking beyond the numbers to develop and sell ideas, concepts and projects to senior leaders. A dynamic leader and mentor, fostering a team of highly analytical and innovative marketers in a changing marketplace.
SH) You have an impressive CV please tell us a bit about yourself.
AW) I’m a Montreal-based Analyst with a passion for high-tech and innovation. My willingness to jump headlong into new opportunities has allowed me to get involved with some pretty intense challenges.

SH) What was your career path to become a Senior Research Advisor at
AW) I started my career as a Technical Writer while at the University of Waterloo. I discovered the world of Analytics while working as a Technical Editor shortly after graduation. Since then I’ve worked in many different research roles that have all relied on my love of painting a clear, concise picture based on quantifiable data points. I’ve been with Canoe for the past 2.5 years, and was completely new to web analytics when I came on board. My experience in research provided a foundation on which to develop a strong aptitude for web analytics – but the learning curve was steep. Learning the new industry terms and methodologies took real focus.

SH) What role does analytics play in this type of job?
AW) At Canoe I’m responsible for developing and managing data-driven marketing and sales strategies. Quebecor owns many web properties, which we track each month using a detailed set of KPIs and dashboards. My role is to advise the executive, product managers and sales on market position, target demographics, and opportunities for product/campaign improvements. All of these tasks rely both on my knowledge of web analytics and on my background in competitive intelligence.

SH) What are the skills you think are important in your role?
  • Organization: the ability to prioritize ideas and concepts into logical groups allows me to identify issues and present strategies with clear, quantifiable explanations.
  • Interpersonal skills: the ability to listen to client’s needs and ask relevant questions ensures that a project is planned and a strategy delivered with the utmost efficiency. So many possible paths exist when looking at traffic patterns within the Quebecor network – I really need to keep a clear mind to ensure I am meeting the client’s requirements.
  • Interpretation: To me, the ability to translate data into a clear story the client will understand is of the utmost importance. So often I see the client starring blankly at a spreadsheet full of data. Often all that is needed to communicate an issue and solution in a few simple, graphic slides with a prescriptive note for a heading. This is where my background in writing comes in handy – I’m still a pretty good wordsmith.
SH) If you had to name the 3 books, websites, blogs or persons that had the most influence on your career, which ones would they be?
  • I’ve spent hours reviewing JS tags, developing procedures and creating dashboards/KPIs for this site. I came on board shortly after we began to implement Omniture as our web analytics solution, and have learned so much about best practices, solution management and training users.
  • Joe Wilcox: Joe is a bright and outspoken journalist and a former colleague from JupiterResearch. His ability to deliver insight in an entertaining and charismatic way is unparalleled. I consider Joe to be my mentor for all the support he has provided me. (SH: Visit Joe's blog at Oddly Together)
  • Digital Capital: This book marked my transition from Tech Writer to Research Analyst. I was hired by the author, Don Tapscott, to validate research sources and technical information, and gradually became a full-fledged contributor to his projects. (SH: Digital Capital by Don Tapscott)
SH) As a Senior Advisor of Research, web analytics might be just one aspect of your job. How do you see your expertise evolving in the future?
AW) The next obvious step is enhancing my knowledge of SEO/SEM to round out the web analytics profile. A real web analytics practitioner doesn’t just look at the numbers on the inside, but concentrates on a holistic approach to traffic performance and management. Improving product strategy and attracting external traffic go hand-in-hand.

SH) I’m offering you your dream job, what would it be?
AW) My ideal position is a client-facing role combining research, strategy development and product commercialization. I’d love to get more involved in product development and market entry – a more product marketing orientation.

See Andrea's complete profile on LinkedIn.
If you liked this post and would like to see more exceptional profiles, please let me know and don't hesitate to give names!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Web Analytics Association Survey: Industry Outlook 2010

The Research Committee of the Web Analytics Association is conducting its annual survey on the outlook
for the Web Analytics Industry. The survey is open to all industry participants
and covers expected spending, priorities, and industry challenges.

By participating in the survey, you'll automatically receive an invitation to
the webcast in January 2010, as well as a complimentary survey report.

If you are a member of the WAA, you can get 2009 Outlook Survey: The Future of Web Analytics is Here webcast, slideshow and paper.

Not a member? What are you waiting for!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Job: Product Manager at iPerceptions (Montreal)

As you might know, I recently sold the WASP technology to iPerceptions, and I'm now a member of their Advisory Council. I'm happy to relay the information about a job opening that will certainly be very interesting: Product Manager. iPerceptions is in the business of "Voice of the Customer" with the famous free 4Q survey and their corporate-strength webValidator continuous listening solution, and now WASP. iPerceptions works with top brands such as Dell, Toshiba, Reebok, Intuit, BMW, Sony, Nissan, etc. and as offices in Montreal, New York and London.

Enough blabbing, here's the job!

Product Manager

The Product Manager is responsible for both product planning and product marketing. This includes managing the product throughout the product lifecycle, gathering and prioritizing product and customer requirements, defining the product vision, and working closely with engineering, to deliver winning products. It also includes working with sales, marketing and support to ensure revenue and customer satisfaction goals are met. The Product Manager's job also includes ensuring that the product and marketing efforts support the company's overall strategy and goals.

The Product Manager is expected to:
  • Define the product strategy and roadmap
  • Deliver Market Requirement Document and Product Requirement Document with prioritized features and corresponding justification
  • Work with external third parties to assess partnerships and licensing opportunities
  • Be an expert with respect to the competition
  • Develop the core positioning and messaging for the product
  • Perform product demos to customers
  • Set pricing to meet revenue and profitability goals
  • Deliver a monthly revenue forecast
  • Develop sales tools and collateral
  • Propose an overall budget to ensure success
  • Manage the Internet Sales channel (Web site, order process, payment process, sales inquiries, customer support, social networking)
  • Brief and train the sales force at quarterly sales meetings, if required
  • Brief press and analysts and go on press tours, if needed
  • Act as a leader within the company
Required experience and knowledge
  • Minimum of 2 years experience as a Product Manager or Product Marketing Manager
  • Knowledge of Web Analytics
  • Knowledge of Social Media (Facebook, Twitter and others)
  • Knowledge on how to manage a Web site (content management)
  • Demonstrated success defining and launching excellent products
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Technical background, with experience in using the Internet as a Sales Channel
  • Excellent teamwork skills
  • Proven ability to influence cross-functional teams without formal authority
  • Examples and at least one sample of an effective document delivered in the past
Interested? Contact Manager Job