It was six months ago that I called on data miners to really unite with web analysts on the next generation of Internet marketing and web analytics. I’ll extend an invite to members of the Toronto Data Mining Forum to come out for a Web Analytics Wednesday in November. The reasons are multiple. Last week, Google announced a whole bunch of new data exploration functionality at eMetrics. I must say, much of that functionality is beautiful, and it certainly entices people to explore. It also struck an internal cord with just how much more vigorous we need to get with the application of the scientific method on web analytics data. Data exploration has its function – ideally, an individual would[…]

This posting is a continuation of themes found in the first mobile analytics post, and the second. Namely – mobile analytics is coming and it’s going to be really important before we really see it coming. The relatively light attendance at the mobile analytics sessions at eMetrics is fairly indicative of this. There are a number of mobile analytics providers out there, including Bango and Admob (Thanks Sarah!) Mobislim has a very good blog on the topic. One article in particular caught my eye. 79 people completed the survey And here are the results: 1) Is mobile advertising an important part of your marketing strategy? 73.4% said YES3.8% said NO22.8% said NOT AT THE MOMENT, BUT WILL BE IN THE[…]

eMetrics, day 3, was ‘lighter’ in terms of attendance, but heavier in terms of topics. Of particular interest, as always, was Neil Mason of Applied Insights, giving a very good overview of behavioral segmentation and the slog therein. It was quite possibly one of the most useful and interesting presentation of the entire summit. Gary Angel from Semphonic gave a very good talk on the slog of behavioral segmentation. The final presentation, on Mobile Analytics, by Sebastian Wenzel, was one of the most practical sort of ‘FYI’ sessions. For being in the tail end death slot, it was well attended by more than 25 people. I think his presentation actually should have happened earlier in the summit, given the nature[…]

eMetrics Day 2 had a few surprises. The first was an appearance by the Avinash Kaushik. He had a few new goody announcements to make about Google Analytics. (hooray, I’m no longer bound by NDA!). If you have an account, log on in and check them out. If you’re in the Hilton with me, don’t bother trying on the wireless network, as the awesome speed of 14.4k dialup connection just isn’t doing it for me. Another surprise was that fewer than 20 people showed up for mobile analytics, presented by Michael Bayle of Yahoo!. It was a very good presentation, very apt, and he had concrete answers to some very concrete questions. Next year, expect a turnout of 100 people.[…]

The first day of eMetrics here was indeed a productive one. The day began with fighting for Internet access, strategic planning, a meeting, and more strategic planning. Afterwards, we moved onto the social networking track and took in a very, very good presentation from a graph theory researcher. We moved onto lunch, and did the furious networking thing. Then took in two more presentations. One was on the PR of social media, and the final one was a a series of case studies on how to use social feedback and making decisions against it. It was certainly ‘actionable’. The evening was another round of furious networking, and accosting a number of vendors on just what their solutions can do, and[…]

The selection of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is, in a very small organization, a relatively rapid and efficient process. Typically, the web analyst or web consultant talks directly with the owner and manager, and an experienced web analyst should be able to select a series of KPIs, in real time, that align with what management is talking about. It can be, literally, a 6 hour engagement (when you include education, process, overview, and a few breaks). However, when the size of an organization, and stakeholders, scales – the intensity of the process also scales. In some organizations, the web analyst begins the process with their manager, and a number of peers. The first process, including education, and assuming that the[…]

The eMetrics Summit is taking place next week in DC. I’m excited. eMetrics is an opportunity to regroup with the diaspora that is the optimization industry. A recent WAA research committee study revealed that many members work in very small practices – typically, they’re only ones who do web analytics in their company. It’s also an opportunity to get together with directors from across North America and (hopefully) a few from Europe. It’s an important opportunity to interface with vendors and check out the latest developments with their offerings. Vendors are important part of our ecosystem. There’s also a very good opportunity to consult and get some heavy strategic planning done. Whenever portions of the Great Lakes School get together,[…]

The next Toronto Data Mining Forum is Oct 22. Our good friends at SAS show their ongoing support by providing a venue and logistical support. One or two members of my staff will be there to enjoy the experience and continue work on building a bridge between web analytics analysts, and data miners. It’s an important bridge.

Fooled by Randomness, authored by Taleb, is one of my favourite books. At the center of his thesis – Pareidolia – the tendency of humans to see patterns in random sequences. We’re programmed, all humans (with possible debilitating exceptions), with the ability to make sense out of randomness. How else would you be able to recognize faces or learn language from birth? One of my favourite passtimes is to sit at the roulette and craps tables and listen to the fantastic theories of how the wheel and dice behave. Paired with that, or almost implicit in that, is the tendency to under-estimate risk. In fact, so many of us are programmed with a case-study mentality that it becomes even harder[…]

It’s difficult to express the value of SEM Optimization because the mathematics / economics behind it is hard to express in a simple Y = mx + b format. The valuation of SEM Labor Input Optimization does not lend itself to that. The least controversial ‘law’ is that the cost of human administration increases as the SEM budget increases. For instance, a small budget of 10000 dollars a year wouldn’t require all that much human administration – by and large setting up a single platform. However, as SEM budgets expand, out to 30 grand up through 1 million and beyond, you need more platforms, and ultimately out into affiliate programs – programs that require a lot more human administration. Human[…]