Thursday, December 30, 2010

Online Analytics Maturity Model: 2010 year end review

In his “web analytics year in review 2010” on, Garry Przyklenk wrote:
Although Stephane Hamel's Web Analytics Maturity Model is a product of 2009, he really garnered significant attention in 2010 as organizations took stock of their capabilities and enacted changes to transform themselves from "analytically impaired" to "analytically integrated.
This time of the year is ideal to look back, think, and start to plan for next year objectives.

eMetrics & Jim Sterne

I first wrote about the concept of online analytics maturity in November 2008. I was back from the “Industry Insight” day at eMetrics where Jim Sterne asked three simple questions:
  1. What’s the hard part?
  2. What do we need from the tools?
  3. How do we convince upper management?
Those questions remains, to this day, very relevant and pretty much untamed.

Looking back, I tried to address those questions in what would later become the proposal for the Web Analytics Maturity Model. My gratitude goes to Jim for lighting up the little spark in my head and allowing me to share my progress by speaking nearly twenty times at eMetrics.

"Web analytics is hard" - Peterson vs Kaushik

Back in 2008, Avinash Kaushik and Eric Peterson were debating whether web analytics was hard or easy. I was tired of hearing the “web analytics is hard” refrain – certainly not a good way to foster the growth and credibility of our discipline. I was very much into Avinash camp – with all due respect, not to the extent of oversimplifying things as he sometimes does…

Some diverging opinions, when respectful, are a great mean of mutual growth. I wish Peterson and I had never got to the point of "agreeing to disagree" because after all, it's not about any individual in our little field of expertise, it's about the growth of our community through constructive dialog, respect, and sharing. "It's not about you, it's about the community"... Who said that?

Anyway, I'm digressing... I spent months looking at other fields of expertise, listening to practitioners, consultants and vendors, asking questions, reading a lot, and looking into my own experience as a practitioner and consultant. Had it not been of this “debate”, maybe I would not have dug into this subject – so I'm grateful to both Avinash and Peterson!

An Online Analytics Maturity year in review

Fast forward to the end of 2010 – here’s a roundup of what I did in regard to the OAMM:
  • A keynote appearance at the Web Analytics Congress, Amsterdam
  • 8 workshops for a total of over 100 participants.
    • 97% satisfaction - when asked “where your expectations met?”
    • “understanding of the issue” rose from 57% before the workshop to 79% after – which means that participants are coming out of the workshop with a much better understanding of what are the weak points in their practice and how to overcome them.
  • 16 conference sessions in the USA, Canada, France, The Netherlands, Belgium and UK.
  • Taught 60 students in the newly launched graduate-level web analytics class at Laval University and the feedback is simply amazing!
  • Nearly 200 entries in the Online Analytics Maturity self-assessment tool.
  • Appearance in the Beyond web analytics podcast, a number of videos [and here] and mentions on numerous blogs
  • A number of clients, large and small, hired me to help them conduct a maturity assessment of their organization and make some unbiased, honest and realistic recommendations.
As I mentioned in a recent post, I was astonished at the level of interest for “models” and “maturity” at the last eMetrics. It is irrelevant if it is “my” model or someone else’s – as Bill Gassman, author of one of the early web analytics model once said “the first benefit of a maturity model is the conversation it sparks. It puts the team in a mindframe to imagine what could be and to measure where they are”.

Planning for 2011

Other than usual consulting, my new gaAddons project, tutoring UBC and teaching at ULaval, here's what I'll look into for OAMM in 2011:
  • Conferences:
  • A dedicated site for OAMM is coming up - I should have done it long ago!
  • I will publish a summary of the findings from the maturity self-assessment in a paper to be published in the coming weeks.
  • In the fall, the ULaval online, graduate-level web analytics class will be available in English
  • Expect a revision of the white-paper in the coming months
  • I’m working on a textbook – a very long process – to be published eventually… in the meantime, the content is being used in my workshops and the ULaval course.

It's your turn now

Have you applied some elements of OAMM at your workplace? Was it positive?
What do you think is the most beneficial in the OAMM concept?
Constructive feedback is welcome - what do you think should be improved?

For a model to work it needs to be used and abused - it needs to be put to the test of fire and be as widely accepted by the community as possible.