Stephane Hamel on Web Analytics 2.0 and 3.0
Stephane at immeria has a blurb about Avinash Kaushik’s video on Web Analytics 2.0 and my post this week on Web Analytics 3.0 that I started responding to in a comment. But as typical of me the comment got really long so I will just publish it here and link it to Hamel’s blog.
Stephane, good point that I didn’t explicitly define Web Analytics 3.0 … something for a follow-up post to be sure.
To your point:
“The Web and Internet ecosystem encompass quantitative and qualitative elements, physical and virtual organisms, online and offline interactions that are functioning together within legal, ethical and technological constraints. From that angle, things like a website, competition or location can’t, by themselves, explain the complexity of what’s going on. They can merely improve the science of analysis that will eventually lead to better insight.”
While it is difficult to disagree with you, I think you’re making the same argument that Charlene Li of Forrester made regarding her definition of engagement — she commented that engagement can be indicated at a minute level, such as when a flashy print ad catches your eye. Sure, but how the hell do you MEASURE someone noticing Charlene’s flashy print ad? And how do you MEASURE your legal, ethical, and technological constraints?
Kaushik and I are in near complete agreement about Web Analytics 2.0, and I thought he did a pretty good job explaining it. A lot of people have been saying the same thing as Avinash and I for over a year (Larry Freed pops to mind). An important distinction is that both the Web Analytics 2.0 and Web Analytics 3.0 paradigms are focused on tangible, measurable aspects of our (online) lives. And, in my humble opinion, the measures we take should be practical to make.
So I agree with you, it’s not about “e” business but rather about simply doing business, you’re spot on there. But here is the problem:
Web Analytics 2.0 is also an after-thought, at least for the most part. I mean, we’ve had the qualitative data in systems like ForeSee Results and Tealeaf for years, so why is it only now that we’re actively talking about combining these data into a more holistic view of the visitor? We’ve had multivariate testing systems like Offermatica and SiteSpect for years, so why is it only now that we’re actively talking about using the combination of qualitative and quantitative data to drive action? (FYI, you can download my Web Analytics 2.0 presentation from my web site if you’re interested in more of my views on the subject …)
So I guess what I’m getting at by talking about Web Analytics 3.0 at this early stage is this:
Wouldn’t it be nice if the global solution to measuring the inevitable state of “digital ubiquity” wasn’t another after-thought?
Wouldn’t it be sweet if the platform providers and device manufacturers, the standards bodies and the compliance police, all came together now instead of 10 years from now and asked “How in the world will we measure all of this?” Personally, I think so, that’s why I’m starting the conversation more-or-less five years ahead of time, so that this time we’re not all standing around trying to figure out how to answer good business questions using incomplete and inaccurate data.
Call me crazy …
Thanks very much Stephane for offering up an opinion other than “Eric and Avinash are both brilliant!” The ego stroking is great but this kind of stuff needs to be debated, openly and honestly in my humble opinion. Beers are on me in D.C.