A. Clinton Ivy examines the limitations of traditional web analytics in a Web 2.0 world
Clint is asking hard questions again. This morning we find him exploring the boundaries of how traditional web analytics applications are able (or rather, unable) to effectively measure the emerging Web 2.0 world.
The essence of his post is that currently available web analytics technology is limited in what can be known and what can be reported, leaving you in a “you don’t know what you don’t know” situation. This is further aggravated by a lack of definitions and standards, which Clint wisely points out: You think varying definitions of “unique visitors” is a problem? Try figuring out how to accurately measure which weblog post should be counted from a page that has dozens of posts …
Clint’s complaint echos Xavier Casanova’s post from Monday about the gap between what traditional web analytics providers are able to provide and what he needs to gague success at Perenety. While I disagree with Xavier about his thesis that product issues are tied to financial performance in publicly traded web analytics vendors, the notion that a more flexible measurement framework is necessary in the emerging Web 2.0 world is spot on.
“Right now, I think that one of the most important steps that web analytics providers can take is to open up their platforms/architectures so that I, as a customer, can define new metrics as-I-go and have them show up where I want, how I want, when I want in the vendor’s various reporting tools.”
Since Clint lives in Southern California I offer this response:
Clint, call me. We’ll do lunch.