Much more than the news of the new Google Analytics version (which, as any other application upgrade, has its share of improvements and mistakes), the one of Eric T. Peterson leaving Visual Sciences to start his own practice grabbed my undivided attention. There is someone who is telling something very important to the market; heck, he believes that it is a market in itself! Eric says:
His company is built around a series of fundamental principles that he calls The Truth About Web Analytics.
- Web analytics is not easy for most organizations.
- Technology cannot replace the need for talented professionals.
- Web analytics is actually a series of identifiable business processes.
- People, technology, and process are all required to create repeatable successes.
- All companies can be very successful provided they’re committed to understanding the process of “doing” web analytics.
Point 1: yep! and focus on applications and vendor pitches hasn’t made it easier, since WA is too often sold as something easy to do (most probably because that is exactly what clients want to hear).
Point 2: I definitely hope so!!
Point 3: ah ha! Reread that phrase, let it sink in. It’s a business process?? You mean it’s not WebTrends, not Omniture, not Google Analytics (gulp!)? Nope! Where did you think the continuous improvement would come from? Isn’t what Web Analytics, heck!, plain analytics are all about? It’s there to make you a better marketer, however nicely it packages the metrics (kudo to GA by the way).
Point 4: Repeat it! Make it a mantra! Buy the T-shirt!
Point 5: VoilÃ ! And if I understand correctly, this is going to be exactly Eric’s new company USP. Do you realize? This guy is going to make a living telling companies how to organize Web Analytics. As a long time practioner, I guess he has (I know I have!) seen too many times companies complaining that WA was not coming too much after all, that all those investments in applications and implementation services were not bringing the expected enlightment. In all those cases, the main reasons were: 1) lack of true senior management commitment to analytics, 2) lack of serious KPI definition work, and 3) lack of truly setting up the human resources necessary (internal or external) to drive the whole process of analyzing and improving.
Web Analytics Demystified Inc. will focus, as I understand, on the business process of WA. What is nice with BPM (Business Process Management) is the opportunity to model how things should be done by, and for whom. It relies a lot on visual aids for modelization, but especially for communications purposes. It will make it clear as to how companies should get organized around Web Analytics. Wait! In order to make all those investments pay back, you mean to say that we need to rethink how we work, at least when it comes to interactive marketing? Oh yes! You need to change in order to truly integrate web analytics: you have to adopt an analytics culture.
Once more, I’ll ask you to read what Jim Novo announced some time ago. Eric’s new venture, I believe, will be an agent of change, and for that, I for one will most certainly follow very closely how things evolve in Portland, OR.