Sunday, January 4, 2009

My Web Analytics 2008 Top 5

My Web Analytics Top 5 - 2008In my seasonal end-of-the-year greetings,  I did not really want to spend much time writing about 2008. However, someone I know quite well asked me if I could at least give my "Analytics" top 5. So what would be for me, little Web Analytics practictioner, the 5 things that I would definitely remember from 2008, regarding Web Analytics and my work?

I spent some time thinking about it between two glasses of champaign. Globally I think I have been more impressed by people and their work rather than technology itself. So here is my personal Web Analytics top 5 for 2008:
  1. Increasing maturity & adoption of Web Analytics at my workplace
  2. The Web Analytics community
  3. The Nokia Methodology
  4. Immeria's WASP
  5. Google
Let me detail these:

1. Increasing maturity & adoption of Web analytics at my workplace
Increasing organization maturity leads to successThe efforts of previous years finally delivered great results: business-driven KPI's that are used to not only measure business performances of our marketing websites but also to drive the global online strategy with the ultimate goal of continuously improving results & customer expericence. It was not just about measurements but analysis and actions. The participation level to our pan-European analytics program was quite high and with rather good results. And it is just the beginning, there is still lot of room for improvements & developments. 

I was also very impressed by the increasing maturity of many of our national companies where Web data have become crucial (some even became really addicted! :-)) and are used in a broader scope, not just for the online business. 

This is really motivating as such people - I tend to call them my local heroes - are pushing me further, giving me new challenges to tackle, new opportunities to learn and develop my skills and expertise. 

2. The Web Analytics community
Web Analytics community - you will never feel aloneFew years ago, when I discovered the Web Analytics community  - blogs, Yahoo forum, Web Analytics Association and more - I was amazed by its collaborative and open mindset. People are helping each others, sharing experience, best practices and tips - whether they are top experts (like Avinash Kaushik, Eric T. Peterson, Dennis R. Mortensen) or humble practioners (like me :-)).

In 2008, the WA community just kept growing and got stronger - very professional & many great posts on blogs, interesting threads on the Yahoo forums (too many to be able to point a particular post or article).

I am also very thankful to the folks of LBi-OX2 for their on-going support but also for the opportunity they gave me to participate to London 2008 eMetrics summit as speaker. An unforgettable experience. 

Finally, the Web Analytics Assocation achievements in 2008 were also very impressive - improved promotion & communication, better organization and many great initiatives like the Web Analytics competition (unfortunately I did not have the time to participate), Webcasts, new industry standards and more...

3. The Nokia methodology
Nokia vision on Web AnalyticsFirst version of the Nokia methodology (from Vincent Kermorgant) on how to define business-driven KPI's was already great. The second version released in 2008 was even better. I am not just a big fan of it, I really used it in several opportunities and it worked very well. I am so enthusiastic about it that I even wrote a post on it (that became the most popular post of my little blog!). 

It is part of my Top 5 as it was much more than just an interesting reading - it is something that really changed the way I work and it helps me in my daily job. So I am really thankful to Vincent Kermorgant and Nokia for sharing this great methodology with the rest of the WA community (you see another example of why I really think that the WA community is so great).

For more details on this methodology, I invite you to read my last year post on this topic.

4. WASP (Web Analytics Solution Profiler)
Web Analytics Solution Profiler by ImmeriaIn 2008, I discovered Stephane Hamel's great tool: the Web Analytics Solution Profiler aka WASP. Anyone using it knows how useful it is for quality check and tagging testing. I quickly adopted it for my own work but also proposed it as support tool for our national companies and agencies for testing tag implementation. It makes such task much easier and much more user-friendly. In the end, it reduces testing on our side and contributes to better tagging quality in externally developed content.

The tool has been constantly evolving during the year - Stephane Hamel is listening closely to all feedback sent by the community. And I am sure that WASP has a lot more to bring - I still have to use more advanced features - this is on my agenda in 2009!

It is also a good tool to do some "researches" on what tools are used in other (competitor) websites and industries. I even used for my own little research on Web Analytics usage in the European automotive websites.

5. Google
Google has released some really great tools in 2008 such as Google Trends for websites or Google Insights for Search - providing basic but good competitive intelligence tools for free and many markets. These are good tools to complement exisiting Web Analytics framework any company may have. It is really useful and can provide interesting insights to anyone who can use it in the right way. Avinash Kaushik provided the WA community with a excellent series of posts on these tools - really recommended reading (see related resources at the end of the post).

Google also released some great improvements to Google Analytics like "custom" reporting, event tracking, customized segmentation and the "over-hyped" motion charts. While I am not using Google Analytics for my work - I started using it for my own blog and I must admit I was very impressed by the tool. It is still lacking several features that entreprise-level tools are offering but I am sure that Google will continue to close the gap.

I am really curious to see what other surprises Google will bring  in 2009.

Runner-up: my blogging experience
As I said, I really enjoyed it and I am sure I will continue to do so. It has been really exciting - confirming that I am definitely a Web Analytics geek! I really learned a lot of things I would not have learned at work: blogging, social media, Google Analytics and other aspects of Web 2.0. I was also very happy to bring my little contribution to the Web Analytics.

I hope that 2009 will continue to bring great surprises and experience. The future may look quite difficult but I want to see it as a challenging and unique opportunity to strenghten my skills and experience. To conclude, I will reuse Enstein's quote from Steve Jackson's excellent post "Thoughts about Analytics in the recession of 2009":

"At the heart of every difficulty is an opportunity" 

And you, what would be your Web Analytics top 5 for 2008?

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Related resources:


  1. Happy new year to you! :)
    Despite the state of the economy, we can always wish for health, love and personal development.

    2009 will be challenging and I agree with your quote of Steve Jackson: there can be great opportunities.

    I also took some time to "look back, peak ahead" and 2009 will be a continuation of my interests for consulting, teaching/speaking, R&D for WASP (and other surprises!) and personal development such as completing my eBusiness MBA.

    Thanks for the great comment about WASP!

    Stéphane Hamel

  2. You are welcome Stephane! :-)

    I just started a thread on Yahoo WA forum on this topic (WA top 5 for 2008). It seems that I am not the only one to mention WASP.




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