More thoughts from Emetrics 2006
Phew, home again, at least for a few days. Now that I’ve had some time to digest the presentations and conversations from Santa Barbara, here are some of my personal highlights:
- Clint Ivy from Disney’s presentation on “Instant Cognition” and dashboard design. Frankly, despite knowing Clint for nearly five years, I was blown away by his direct approach to dashboard design. Clint provided sage advice about how to get higher-ups to grok key performance indicators and metrics. If you’re not reading Clint’s blog, you should be.
- Amanda Kahlow, one of my co-worker’s at Visual Sciences, gave a great presentation about how she’s helped Cisco do web analytics and included a handful of interesting case studies including an overview of how Cisco uses Visual Sciences to measure their first-party cookie deletion rate. While some people irresponsibly call for the end of unique visitors as a relevant business metric, Amanda followed the best practices guidance and helped Cisco actually measure their deletion rate so they could better understand the uniqueness of their audience.
- Avinash Kausik from Intuit gave another powerful but funny presentation about how Intuit uses the “Trinity” approach to measuring their web sites in the context of business data and the voice of the customer (VOC). Of all the folks I’ve seen present on the subject of web analytics, Avinash is one of the best. Watching him rip on the notion of “Daily Unique Visitors” from the stage nearly brought tears to my eyes …
- Josh Manion from Stratigent gave a great presentation on how he’d helped Peapod implement a sophisticated multi-channel analytics system that incorporated web data with customer data and data collected in their physical stores (from GPS units mounted on shopping carts no less!) Josh’s style is pretty laid back but he managed to get the audience thinking about the multiple sources of data they have throughout their enterprise.
- Jim Novo from The Drilling Down Project gave a thoughtful presentation on recency and how to better connect with your customers. While I’d seen this presentation before, again I found myself wondering why I don’t do more to sell books to people who have just either A) bought another book or B) requested something from my site.
- Bob Page from Yahoo! talked about Web Analytics Ethics and managed to scare us all by forcing us to consider what it would be like for the Federal Government to mandate how we collected data via the Internet and how that data could be used. Scary stuff indeed!
Aside from these great presentations, I was pretty much floored by the quality of conversations I had with attendees. Whether I was waxing philosophical about the marketplace with the guys from ZAAZ by the pool, getting an earful from some members of the Yahoo! group about how I only wear tan shirts when I present or explaining the “Don’t Be a Fred” pins that I’d passed out to a handful of good friends, I was absolutely amazed at how the web analytics community has evolved over just the past year.
One thing worth mentioning, our host Jim Sterne gave me a few minutes to address the conference before dinner on Wednesday night (a special “Web Analytics Wednesday” event!) and I told the crowd there that the Yahoo! group was being transfered to the Web Analytics Association so that I could focus my time on other things that will support the larger web analytics community. If you’re a member of the group, expect to see some messaging from the groups new moderators in the next few days about guidelines for participation and a brief introduction to the moderators.
All in all this year’s Emetrics was easily the best for me and for pretty much everyone I talked to. If you were there, what did you think?