Joseph Carrabis replied with a really detailed and thought provoking point of view on his blog: I’m going to zero in on the bits that energized me the most: I also offer that it’s not a losing battle, nor do we need to sensationalize or exaggerate, or resort to fear tactics. Definitely not fear. Not with a pioneering mentality and not as is suggested (the competition is doing it). The response to that would be “Really? Good, let’s see what happens and if they really absolutely positively get an advantage that we can’t duplicate or approximate without going through everything they went through, we’ll do it. But only then. Maybe.” I’m also quite sure logic (at least as we’re using[…]

Joseph Carrabis, on his blog replied to June Li’s and our vexing problem. Here’s the main body of the quote: Howdy, Thanks to June Li for calling me and asking me to take part in this discussion (for those who don’t know, you can reach me far quicker and more easily by phone or Skype than email). Okay. First question: “Why are Canadians so reluctant to embrace data driven strategy?” … I’ll offer an opinion based on lots of research (from others as well as NextStage’s). Canada is still a pioneering society, the US isn’t. Nor is much of the EU…I’m sitting here wondering where else pioneering…probab…Oh, Australia. Duh! I don’t have any direct data and I’m willing to bet[…]

June Li of ClickInsight, matriarch of the Toronto Web Analytics community, is indulging in some pot stirring. 🙂 She made a really thoughtful reply, referenced here., and I’m going to quote from it. Liberally. Thank you Mike Spaeth of Coremetrics for sponsoring the evening and patrick glinski of Critical Mass for organizing (Yet again! This is the 8th WAW T.O patrick has organized). I’ll echo that. 🙂 Mike is so damn likable. Thanks to Patrick to continuing to host it, and continuing to put up with my constant badgering over it. I was part of the conversation with Chris. And I don’t know if it’s fair to blame the schools. Probably something more systemic and complex. I’m well known in[…]

Web Analytics Wednesday was a huge success. Kudos to Patrick Glinski for setting it up, and hats off to Coremetrics for actually sponsoring the event. I had a particularly good time talking with June Li from ClickInsight and Mike Sukmanowsky from Rogers, among many others. Here’s the vexing problem that came up last night: Why are Canadians so reluctant to embrace data driven strategy? Is there something cultural about us? Is there something in our DNA that makes us inherently skeptical of a marketing science approach? Is there something in our school system that turns people off and away from statistics? What’s the deal there? And what’s the deal with airline food? Do they call it food?

Patrick Glinski, as always, is the catalyst behind Toronto’s Beer Camp. The even tomorrow at the Bier Mrkt promises to be one of the largest ever. There are going to be a number of breakout groups so that everybody gets a chance to learn something and share some knowledge, and it’ll be a great chance for the broader web analytics community to get together and compare notes. (It’s been a few month months since our conference. If you’re in Toronto and in data mining, IA, or interactive more broadly, you should come on out. 🙂

Frequent readers of my work emails know that I’m inspired by somebody. Thelen (2004) in “How Institutions Evolve” argues a strong form of what public policy theorists call “lock in”. It made me realize just how easy it is for a single politician to set a country on a path towards greatness, or towards demise. For instance, Chretien’s decision to turn towards a hyper-university and research policy in 1996, and the pursuit of the Millennium Scholarship Grants to ensure accessibility to the lower quintiles, has already had a resounding success for Canada. And it’s only 2008. I’m especially sensitive to labour policy because it’s such a critical ingredient in the success of a nation. On this point, I take the[…]

Sowrey, fellow Tweeterer and friend of the blog, posted a very good letter today conveying mild disappointment with some Conservative copyright legislation. Dear “Honourable” Jim Prentice, Allow me to express my sincerest feelings when I say you are responsible for fucking over the Canadian people. This bill you are introducing this morning — likely as I write this very post — is not for the benefit of the Canadian people. Not one bit. This is purely to support two things: Archaic business models that have not yet woken up to the new economy, and to the United States government. You are blatantly ignoring the wishes of the informed Canadian public, who (thanks to the grassroots efforts of Michael Geist) have[…]

I had a great time listening and speaking at the Toronto Data Mining Forum at SAS this morning. I think that there are some pretty exciting opportunities for web analytics folk to get together with data mining folk over the next three of four years. Three key points I wanted to express: -Businesses increasingly want web data combined with business intelligence-We’re going to have to get along (Las Vegas eloping or shot-gun wedding, it’s our choice)-We need to start getting to know one other now, (because the differences are quite substantial) Three key points I took away from the forum: -The perils of significance and Type I error in segmentation abound. Watch your confidence intervals folks!-The BUMP algorithm, while greedy,[…]

I apologize in advance for the lengthy post: I’ve been in business plan purgatory for what feels like 6 months. One of the greatest challenges to any web analytics practice over the short and medium runs is the base skillset of interactive statistics. First, a definition of interactive statistics. Interactive statistics is the body of knowledge that is based around the derivation of insights out of web analytics and/or business intelligence software. A brief rant. I only really got into statistics in high school math honors. The New Brunswick honors curriculum emphasize practical applications of statistics (as opposed to traditional LaPlace style urns and cards) to the real world. Those who really know me well frequently chortle that I’m capable[…]

According to the WAA website: “The WAA is hosting a Web Analytics Championship where Web Analysts will be able to review the site and traffic data for Analysts can submit their analytics reports, insights and observations about the site to the WAA, where the most insightful presentations will win prizes!” And what’s the goal? “Our intention is to create an opportunity where Web Analysts can interact and share their professional knowledge with their fellow analysts in the Web Analytics community. As part of our efforts to promote the Web Analytics field, the WAA choose to launch the Web Analytics Championship on the official WAA Web site. We believe that this will be a wonderful opportunity for Web Analysts[…]