Phil Kemelor - Authors & Columnists - InformationWeek

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 Phil Kemelor

Profile of Phil Kemelor

News & Commentary Posts: 34
Articles by Phil Kemelor

Google Opt-Out: Another Blow to Web Analysts?

A few months ago, Google promised to make it easier for Web site visitors to opt out of tracking by Web sites that employ their free Google Analytics service. Their announced solution last week strikes me as a bit of grandstanding on one hand, and potentially damaging to the future value of Web analytics on the other.

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Omniture and Adobe: A First Take

Omniture's business model has been suffering as companies delay purchases of add ons such as Test & Target, Search Center, Discover and Genesis integrations... Finding a "sugar daddy" certainly makes sense... but this deal could also signal how the future of Web content shapes up and how it will be analyzed.

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Will NYC Go with Google Analytics?

I have to say, the idea of government Web sites using Google Analytics makes me a bit uneasy from a privacy perspective. I just can't get comfortable with the idea of the government passing data to GA so Google can come up with new ways to advertise and market...

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Will .Gov Sites Nix Cookies for Analytics?

We may be on the verge of significant changes to US Federal government policy on the use of persistent cookies. The White House blog is inviting comment on how a new cookie policy should be shaped... My recommendations for a new policy are fairly straightforward...

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Has Omniture's Analytics Push Stalled?

Omniture has created a great vision of how analytics should be the common thread among all Web marketing. But if you're an Omniture customer, are you ready?... I think Web analytics software has evolved more quickly than the ability of most people to use it effectively -- or justify paying for it.

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What Can Google's Analytics API Do For You?

Unless you're one to hack around with Google Analytics, you might have missed last month's announcement regarding the release of a Data Export API... Lots of folks who do like hacking have started to come up with products that will present data more clearly than what's available within Google Analytics itself.

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Microsoft Kills adAnalytics (a.k.a., Gatineau)

Like the month of March, software vendors often will go in like a lion and out like a lamb. Such was the case with Microsoft's adAnalytics project (originally codenamed "Gatineau"). The beta launched with great expectations of duking it out with Google Analytics -- only to be quietly shelved earlier this month.

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Google Analytics eMetrics Surprise

In my last post I mentioned that I'd be curious how Web analytics vendors might respond to Yahoo! Web Analytics at last month's eMetrics Summit in Washington DC. In fact it was Google Analytics that "stole the show" with the introduction of a host of long-awaited features, including an API and Advanced Segmentation. The buzz was overwhelmingly positive, and from what I've seen, I agree for the most part...

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Yahoo! Web Analytics Hits Omniture Stock Price

Omniture's share price tanked last week after it was downgraded by a Wall Street analyst who found that companies consider web analytics to be a discretionary cost, as well as "an increasingly competitive environment for OMTR."... This was borne out in even starker terms by the launch later in the week of Yahoo! Web Analytics, a no-cost solution geared to serious Web analysts...

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Google Addresses Web Analytics Standards

It was with some measure of satisfaction that I saw Justin Cutroni's blog on Google Analytics compliance with Web Analytics Association metrics standards. Cutroni works for EpikOne, a Google Analytics Authorized Partner... Now that Google Analytics has taken the step to "go public," perhaps the other vendors will soon follow.

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Tagging Drives Web Analytics Accuracy

There are many steps to creating a successful Web analytics initiative - such as developing a strong organization, and creating processes to ensure that analytics get integrated into the mainstream of a company's operations. One of the biggest challenges you likely face in creating enterprisewide standards for Web analytics is data collection.

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Nedstat Bows 'Live Segmentation'

Last week, European Web analytics vendor Nedstat announced a new feature called "Live Segmentation," which enables you to develop customized behavioral analysis across unaggregated Web data. This missing capability was a downside for an offering that competes in Europe with the likes of Omniture, and WebTrends - two vendors already providing a data-warehouse-like features that enable deeper and more customizable analysis.

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The Challenge of Mobile Analytics: Part II

For those who've read my first post on The Challenge of Mobile Analytics, if you are hoping for a silver-bullet solution that will give you razor-sharp accuracy and provide more robust metrics than the "traditional" vendors, you may be disappointed. To recap: some new analytics vendors market themselves as purveyors of mobile analytics... Let's look at a sampling of these vendors.

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The Challenge of Mobile Analytics

Last year everyone was talking about Web 2.0; this year it's all about the Mobile Web. Let's take a look at what this means for mobile analytics... The bottom line: Mobile analytics are relatively new; beyond infancy, but certainly not for the faint of heart. The biggest challenges are...

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Are Web Analytics Tools Past Their Prime?

Omniture's product strategy is focused on providing options and services on integrating Web data to both marketing and offline data - the logical next step for Web analytics. Yet, how much of the potential marketplace for analytics is actually going down the integration path?

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Thought On Y! IndexTools As Free Service

Now that the dust is settling on Microsoft's failed Yahoo! bid, let's turn our attention to the announcement (burried under the hostile-takeover talk) that Yahoo! will make IndexTools a free service. Coming so quickly on the heels of the acquisition, it would seem to serve notice to Omniture, Google Analytics, and other Web analytics vendors about the seriousness of Yahoo!'s intentions.

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Who's Number One in Web Analytics?

It's a question people ask a lot in many domains, but especially in software. As such, it regularly pops up within the Web analytics community. You can rank them crudely by how many customers they have - or rather, how many they say they have...

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Omniture's SiteCatalyst 14 Catches Up

Web Analytics vendor Omniture used its recent annual summit to announce the release of SiteCatalyst 14... Certainly the new Ajax interface jumped out as a big improvement...13.5 was getting tiresome to look at, especially when compared to Google Analytics, IndexTools, and Nedstat...

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Is Your Web Analytics Tool Next-Level Ready?

If your enterprise is ready to get to the "next level" in analytics - to have it help you drive decision support - you'll want to learn more about the Web analytics' vendors ability to integrate with other data and systems. This is the how web analytics can provide real business value for your enterprise.

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What's an HBX Analytics Customer to Do?

Omniture completed its acquisition of Visual Sciences last week. So where does that leave HBX customers? For the party line, you can check out the HBX migration FAQ. After reading through it, my guess is that you'll have a bunch of questions. Well, here are some of the questions I'd ask if I were in your position...

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Microsoft Web Analytics Does Demographics

Microsoft finally announced Gatineau, the beta release of its free Web analytics solution, at the end of October. Focused primarily on those who use Redmond's AdCenter service, Gatineau will draw comparisons with Google Analytics, but it offers some interesting differentiation, such as the ability to derive demographic data from site visitors who have signed up for a Live ID through Microsoft's Hotmail or Messenger.

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What Does Web Analytics Consolidation Mean to You?

There has been plenty of discussion over the last few days about "consolidation" in the Web analytics marketplace due to the Omniture/Visual Sciences deal... In fact, the marketplace is not consolidating; it is in fact fragmenting, and there are plenty of options to consider if you are purchasing Web analytics solutions... Much of the consolidation discussion is based on vendors that adhere to the SaaS/page-tag collection model.

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Web Analytics Group Releases Report Definitions

The Web Analytics Association (WAA) recently released its definitions of 26 common terms used for reporting and metrics. The standards are meant primarily for neophytes, but here's how veterans can use the document: First, determine how the vendor you're evaluating calculates and displays certain reports and metrics... Second, ask the vendors how their definitions map to WAA standards.

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WebTrends Upgrade: The Price is Wrong!

What troubles me is how pricing based on "unique requirements" has become the standard operating procedure among the largest Web analytics firms - not just WebTrends. Perhaps this is just a reflection of a software space maturing and coming up with more enterprisey licensing models - "whatever you've got is what you'll pay" - but for you, the customer, this is not a good thing. I rarely meet a customer who completely understands their license or contract agreement.

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WebTrends Release Boosts Scoring, Segmentation

Web analytics vendor WebTrends released Marketing Lab 2 early this month, an ambitious effort that seeks to raise the analytics value of the product while improving usability... A new "WebTrends Score" feature lets you set values on events in order to measure engagement. Also new is "Visitor Intelligence," which makes it easier to create segments and multi-dimensional reporting from the product's Marketing Warehouse.

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Europe Drives Omniture's Growth

Omniture added 300 customers to its rolls in Q2 2007, including some high-profile European companies such as Siemens AG Medical, British Sky Broadcasting Group and FD Mediagroup. It's certainly in Omniture's best interest to get new customers up and running as soon as possible, but as a customer, you should carefully plan and manage implementations so they're not rushed. Be sure to...

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Packet Sniffing for Web Analytics: Not Dead Yet

You could be excused for thinking that packet sniffing-based data collection for Web Analytics was long gone. Like log file analysis, packet sniffing fell out of favor with the advent of page tag-based data collection. Proponents argue that packet sniffing is superior because data collection becomes "hands off" once the collection appliance is installed between the router and network switch. There are no tags to maintain, nor log files to administer. On the other hand...

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Whole Lotta Shaking Going On at Visual Sciences

If you're a Visual Sciences customer (i.e., HBX and Visual Site analytics, Publish CMS, or the former Atomz Search), you'd have to be a bit concerned by yesterday's report that the company is actively considering "unsolicited inquiries" to be acquired... the company's earnings failed to meet its earlier guidance, despite top-line revenue growth.

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Get Real About Marketing Performance Management

Nick Sharp, a VP and general manager at WebTrends, recently wrote a piece for entitled "Web Analytics is dead!" The gist of the article is that Web marketers should not look at Web analytics data in a vacuum, but rather, use it to drive campaigns and solutions. No disagreement with the premise... but then I came across the term term "Marketing Performance Management." What is MPM exactly?

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Why Isn't Your Web Analytics Tool Working?

In presentations at conferences, I always ask how many people use Web analytics tools. A vast majority of attendees raise their hands. But in follow up with individuals, conversations often go like this: Me: Are you getting real business value from your analytics solution? Frustrated Web manager: No, the tool doesn't work. We're thinking of getting something else…

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Web 2.0 Changes Web Analytics Pricing Models

Most hosted Web Analytics vendors charge you according to page views -- not unreasonable since each view is a call to their server and a new record in their database. But what happens when Ajax and other rich applications eliminate the notion of a "page"? Well, vendors are now talking about pricing in terms of "events" or "server calls," rather than page views.

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Google Analytics Suffers Outage

Last week Google Analytics customers reported service outages that affected some for more than 24 hours. Worse, Google issued no official comment until Tuesday. As "Web Analytics Report" readers know, Google's official support partners fare no better than users, and in this case received no communications on the outage. As a free service, perhaps the offering is not supposed to be enterprise-class, but let's compare marketing hype to real functionality.

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Why Are Customers Frustrated With Web Analytics?

I spoke to customers and vendors at the recent Emetrics Summit to find some answers. Customers generally underestimated the level of effort required of them -- for example the tagging required to collect "basic" data, such as downloads of PDFs, Excel and Word files. Not understanding the need to develop a process for data collection, page tagging, and analysis, customers often assume that once the Web analytics solution is in place, it will run itself.

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