Rock • Analyst • Hard Place

October 6, 2011
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At iPerceptions, we live and breathe web analytics. The conferences and trade shows we attend all have an analytics focus. We position our analytics solution against other similar solutions. We partner with other analytics providers and interact with our clients’ analytics teams. It seems like everyone has analytics on the brain. But when you take a step back, you realize we’re all just drinking the same Kool-Aid.

At iPerceptions, we live and breathe web analytics. The conferences and trade shows we attend all have an analytics focus. We position our analytics solution against other similar solutions. We partner with other analytics providers and interact with our clients’ analytics teams. It seems like everyone has analytics on the brain. But when you take a step back, you realize we’re all just drinking the same Kool-Aid.

In reality, web analytics hasn’t permeated the greater corporate culture. It is still a niche discipline that very few companies have truly embraced. Sure, most companies have that one guy (or gal) generating reports based on clickstream data, but the reports don’t end up on the CEO’s desk and the results don’t often inform business decisions. It’s a cyclical process whereby analysts try to make sense of ambiguous numbers, end up producing limited insight, and consequently don’t receive the financial resources to acquire the sophisticated tools that could really make a difference.

The majority of analysts recognize the potential benefits of various tools such as Voice of Customer (VoC) analytics, session-replay data, multivariate testing, and the power of integrating these datasets, but they end up at the mercy of cautious executives and “more tangible investments”. Too many analysts see their role reduced to piecing together disparate data points, putting forward either too-broad or unsubstantiated conclusions, all the while trying to prove the value that analytics can bring to the company.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that most analysts don’t have it easy. There are the few that happen to work for a company that has come to realize to what extent a thorough web analytics program can boost conversion, build engagement, increase sales, lower costs and help them stay ahead of the competition. But for the most part, they are fighting traditional metrics and the status quo, which can be a daunting endeavor.