Look Mom, I Caught A Thousand-Leg Beast!

On from Web Analytics

I was about to post, when I got Avinash’s new post about living, or rather not living, in a perfect world, i.e. the world of Web Analytics. This is of course in the context of the much discussed new comScore’s research about cookie deletion. It’s all over the place… again.

I have often compared the Web to a kind of animal with lots of legs. We put it in a cage, and it quickly finds a way to get a few legs out. Then we put those legs back in the cage, and the little bugger manages to get other legs out. I mean, you just can’t tame the darn little beast!!

Well, isn’t the Web like that? We try to make it secure, we try to put it into boundaries, hey! we want to measure it! The Internet is by nature an open structure, something that was meant to still be functioning even if you destroyed a part of it (you got to give those military guys credit for that). Its openness was, and is its most beautiful strength.

It just won’t let itself to be put in a cage.

Of course, one day someone realized that a LOT could done on that network, heck! even money! And when money is involved, things evolve quickly, very quickly. Think where it all was just 15 years ago. Everyday, we make it safer, more structured, organized; we build boxes, and soon need to add patches.

Are we to say then that, well, sorry, can’t give you a perfect world, a perfect bean-counting system, and live as meteorologists? Maybe. As Avinash points out, there is a lot of good insights we can get, and it is by far much, much better than doing nothing. I just wonder how long we will be able to justify measuring imperfectly because of the nature of what we measure, especially when we will have to connect all that with those other systems (ERP, SFA, etc.).

And if I can quote from a book that’s not out yet:

Even if the pursuit of perfection is futile on the web, it is possible to make massively impactful decisions that will change your business and improve customer experience.

I definitely believe that. We all see those improvements everyday.

But there are days, I confess, I would rather count beans…

Tags: , web+analytics+reliability

One response to “Look Mom, I Caught A Thousand-Leg Beast!

  1. But there are days, I confess, I would rather count beans…

    I admit me too! 🙂

    But there is so much about this medium that fascinates me, it more than makes up for these “minor” issues.

    Thanks for a great post Jacques.


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