Some things in Life make us go “Holy Crap!” the first time we encounter them: The Pacer, the fax machine, the Mac, the Web, the iPhone, David Blaine, my wife, the Matrix. After some time, they become normal and cease to awe us (except David Blaine). Our world now changes so fast, that what wowed us a year ago is as ordinary today as flossing (OK, that one still feels ackward to me). But before things get to be lame, and stop exciting us, we go through a stage of amazement, with deep down a feeling of touching the magical.
Today we finally learned a little more about NextStage Analytics’ paradigm-changing technology in a short whitepaper. Not that we’re finally getting a peak, not yet, but they announced that their now mythical approach to analyzing Web site visitors had been very thoroughly audited by external firms. In a well-constructed test (scientific paper to be published), their application could predict visitors’ gender and age, based only on their navigation patterns (if I understand correctly). How well did they score? Rather well (!): 98% for age, and over 99% for gender !
One can only imagine what else they’ll be able to come up with! Imagine detecting, on the spot, with similar accuracy, that a visitor is a hot prospect! We don’t know yet if they will be able to achieve that, but I guess this is in some form or another on the agenda.
I’ll admit, I’m a bit skeptical. Well, I know they’ve got audited and all, but how can they do it?? This is one company I will definitely keep under my radar.
For now, without asking your visitors, you will be able to know their age and their gender.
I wish angels used the Web; that would finally solve a very old debate…