After a few days of sunny and picturesque touring of San Francisco , I somehow pulled away to attend probably the best produced digital analytics optimization conference, eMetrics. I was especially keen on this trip as I had not attended last year, so the anticipation was high! …and I wasn’t disappointed….
Firstly, as a long-time supporter and exhibitor at eMetrics, Unilytics always tries to attract good foot traffic and conversation to our booth; we decided against the overused iPad giveaway with thoughts of “well, we should just give the winner of our contest cash then they can do whatever they want with it.” Far be it for us to tell you how to spend the money or to give you a ubiquitously available device. So we gave away a barrel of cash, literally! It was a huge hit and by far the best prize according to many attendees. Just ask the winner, Krista Seiden!! Essentially, the winner was determined by the closest guess to the amount in the barrel ($366). Krista’s guess was $365, one dollar for every day of the year. The average guess was $178.
I should also mention that we got to engage in some great conversations on analytics measurement as many of the show-goers came from diverse analytics backgrounds whether in their role, their product of choice or sophistication. Much of the talk was around adequate business analysis and ultimately arriving at the holy grail of digital analytics – optimization – rather than stopping at the requisite measurement. Something Eric Tobias blogged about here: http://bit.ly/wD6SAS.
In many of the sessions, the most common question was “do I have the right tool working for us?” We contend that the configuration of a given tool is more important than buying a specific product. All web analytics tools try to provide the same information and with proper set-up they deliver similar results. Still, there are differences in implementation and architecture and for many users there needs to be consideration given to things like:
- Do you want to host and control your own data? If so, then having a solution like Webtrends On Premise is an excellent choice.
- Is cost an issue? In this case Google Analytics is a viable option but remember you still need to make an investment in training and optimization!
- Are you interested in tracking users on a 1:1 basis? Then GA is out of the question.
- Is having a robust, all-in-one platform for analytics, warehousing, marketing automation, etc. significant? Think of Adobe’s breadth of digital marketing platforms.
The point is that there are many implications to evaluate before one can say that only the concepts matter.
At the last eMetrics I attended in Toronto, the most common pain point faced by digital analytics analysts was indeed the collection and management of data originating from web analytics, databases and various internal data stores (read here: http://bit.ly/lMl9Kj). That did not change at this show. This year we posed the question, “So what takes up most of your time and causes the most aggravation in your role?” Invariably, the answer was collecting disparate data from multiple sources into one place and spending three to four business days making sense of it. At the risk of self-promotion, we have a solution that addresses this challenge called Montage Automated Dashboards.
All in all, it was a great show in a great city. Hope to see you at #eMetrics Toronto in a few weeks!