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You are willing to go to your upper managment with this sort of information?

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  • pbokan
    If you haven t already; please consider working with Coremetrics :), Omni, Webtrends or Unica. Each has different value propositions, but in the end... who
    Message 1 of 29 , May 15, 2008
      If you haven't already; please consider working with Coremetrics :),
      Omni, Webtrends or Unica.

      Each has different value propositions, but in the end... who wants
      to report in a board or investor meeting... or even to your
      supervisors, that you can't quite give visibility.

      The answer of "at least its free", won't cut it.

      Best,
      S. Crockett-

      ---
      Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 3:35 AM

      Subject: Google Alert - google analytics

      ---
      Google News Alert for: google analytics



      Google Analytics Admits Errors, Data Loss
      <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-analytics-
      admits-errors-data-loss>

      WebProNews - Lexington,KY,USA

      Yet following an admission that Google Analytics experienced errors
      for most of a week and permanently lost some data, users are taking
      the news rather well ...

      See all stories on this topic <http://news.google.com/news?
      hl=en&ncl=http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-
      analytics-admits-errors-data-loss>
    • ALEX BRASIL
      No, but the answer, our analytics tool had an issue that is being rectified as we speak, though some of the data may be permanently skewed for one week
      Message 2 of 29 , May 15, 2008
        No, but the answer, "our analytics tool had an issue that is being rectified as we speak, though some of the data may be permanently skewed for one week" might.

        With all due respect, this comes off as a little desperate. I agree the paid vendors have their niche/role to play, but GA is an excellent tool and I don't think an instance like this is going to persuade people to think otherwise.


        pbokan <pbokan@...> wrote: If you haven't already; please consider working with Coremetrics :),
        Omni, Webtrends or Unica.

        Each has different value propositions, but in the end... who wants
        to report in a board or investor meeting... or even to your
        supervisors, that you can't quite give visibility.

        The answer of "at least its free", won't cut it.

        Best,
        S. Crockett-

        ---
        Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 3:35 AM

        Subject: Google Alert - google analytics

        ---
        Google News Alert for: google analytics

        Google Analytics Admits Errors, Data Loss
        <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-analytics-
        admits-errors-data-loss>

        WebProNews - Lexington,KY,USA

        Yet following an admission that Google Analytics experienced errors
        for most of a week and permanently lost some data, users are taking
        the news rather well ...

        See all stories on this topic <http://news.google.com/news?
        hl=en&ncl=http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-
        analytics-admits-errors-data-loss>






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • pbokan
        Desperate, hardly. As you will note, I included all the premium vendors. So long as everyone is comfortible opting in their valuable business information for
        Message 3 of 29 , May 15, 2008
          Desperate, hardly. As you will note, I included all the premium
          vendors.

          So long as everyone is comfortible opting in their valuable business
          information for Google to use as they please; that's perfectly
          alright.

          Should an etail, travel, ad rev or finance operation be fearful of
          this sort of downtime and loss of information occurrence happening;
          yes.

          What sort of a support mechanism is in place when GA fails; nada.

          Premium vendors not only provide actionable data and accurate
          statistics (Google has been reported to have as large of a 20%
          variance in retail statistics compared to back end systems), but
          also have a support system in place to tend to the customers' needs.

          GA is a great free tool if you want to see number of hits. Now aside
          from a true brochureware site or plain information with little or no
          call to action, would you want to operate a multi-million dollar
          revenue producing machine on hope and inaccuracies?

          I've said it before, there was a gift delivered to the people of
          Sparta in the form of a wooden horse... and it was free also.

          --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, ALEX BRASIL <alexbrasil@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > No, but the answer, "our analytics tool had an issue that is being
          rectified as we speak, though some of the data may be permanently
          skewed for one week" might.
          >
          > With all due respect, this comes off as a little desperate. I
          agree the paid vendors have their niche/role to play, but GA is an
          excellent tool and I don't think an instance like this is going to
          persuade people to think otherwise.
          >
          >
          > pbokan <pbokan@...> wrote: If you
          haven't already; please consider working with Coremetrics :),
          > Omni, Webtrends or Unica.
          >
          > Each has different value propositions, but in the end... who
          wants
          > to report in a board or investor meeting... or even to your
          > supervisors, that you can't quite give visibility.
          >
          > The answer of "at least its free", won't cut it.
          >
          > Best,
          > S. Crockett-
          >
          > ---
          > Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 3:35 AM
          >
          > Subject: Google Alert - google analytics
          >
          > ---
          > Google News Alert for: google analytics
          >
          > Google Analytics Admits Errors, Data Loss
          > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-analytics-
          > admits-errors-data-loss>
          >
          > WebProNews - Lexington,KY,USA
          >
          > Yet following an admission that Google Analytics experienced
          errors
          > for most of a week and permanently lost some data, users are
          taking
          > the news rather well ...
          >
          > See all stories on this topic <http://news.google.com/news?
          > hl=en&ncl=http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-
          > analytics-admits-errors-data-loss>
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • William Devlin
          Not necessarily disagreeing with you, but your tone suggests an agenda that s going to set satisfied GA users off a little bit. Will ... -- * William Devlin*
          Message 4 of 29 , May 15, 2008
            Not necessarily disagreeing with you, but your tone suggests an agenda
            that's going to set satisfied GA users off a little bit.

            Will

            pbokan wrote:
            >
            > Desperate, hardly. As you will note, I included all the premium
            > vendors.
            >
            > So long as everyone is comfortible opting in their valuable business
            > information for Google to use as they please; that's perfectly
            > alright.
            >
            > Should an etail, travel, ad rev or finance operation be fearful of
            > this sort of downtime and loss of information occurrence happening;
            > yes.
            >
            > What sort of a support mechanism is in place when GA fails; nada.
            >
            > Premium vendors not only provide actionable data and accurate
            > statistics (Google has been reported to have as large of a 20%
            > variance in retail statistics compared to back end systems), but
            > also have a support system in place to tend to the customers' needs.
            >
            > GA is a great free tool if you want to see number of hits. Now aside
            > from a true brochureware site or plain information with little or no
            > call to action, would you want to operate a multi-million dollar
            > revenue producing machine on hope and inaccuracies?
            >
            > I've said it before, there was a gift delivered to the people of
            > Sparta in the form of a wooden horse... and it was free also.
            >
            > --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
            > <mailto:webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com>, ALEX BRASIL <alexbrasil@...>
            > wrote:
            > >
            > > No, but the answer, "our analytics tool had an issue that is being
            > rectified as we speak, though some of the data may be permanently
            > skewed for one week" might.
            > >
            > > With all due respect, this comes off as a little desperate. I
            > agree the paid vendors have their niche/role to play, but GA is an
            > excellent tool and I don't think an instance like this is going to
            > persuade people to think otherwise.
            > >
            > >
            > > pbokan <pbokan@...> wrote: If you
            > haven't already; please consider working with Coremetrics :),
            > > Omni, Webtrends or Unica.
            > >
            > > Each has different value propositions, but in the end... who
            > wants
            > > to report in a board or investor meeting... or even to your
            > > supervisors, that you can't quite give visibility.
            > >
            > > The answer of "at least its free", won't cut it.
            > >
            > > Best,
            > > S. Crockett-
            > >
            > > ---
            > > Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 3:35 AM
            > >
            > > Subject: Google Alert - google analytics
            > >
            > > ---
            > > Google News Alert for: google analytics
            > >
            > > Google Analytics Admits Errors, Data Loss
            > > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-analytics-
            > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-analytics->
            > > admits-errors-data-loss>
            > >
            > > WebProNews - Lexington,KY,USA
            > >
            > > Yet following an admission that Google Analytics experienced
            > errors
            > > for most of a week and permanently lost some data, users are
            > taking
            > > the news rather well ...
            > >
            > > See all stories on this topic <http://news.google.com/news?
            > <http://news.google.com/news?>
            > > hl=en&ncl=http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-
            > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google->
            > > analytics-admits-errors-data-loss>
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > >
            >
            >

            --
            *
            William Devlin*
            Internet Marketing Analyst/
            /

            *Overton's* <http://www.overtons.com/>
            111 Red Banks Rd
            Greenville, NC 27858
            *
            Work:* 252.355.7600 ext. 2422
            *Email:* wdevlin@... <mailto:wdevlin@...>



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Jared Huber
            I ve said it before, there was a gift delivered to the people of Sparta in the form of a wooden horse... and it was free also. Is this type of paranoia
            Message 5 of 29 , May 15, 2008
              "I've said it before, there was a gift delivered to the people of Sparta
              in the form of a wooden horse... and it was free also."



              Is this type of paranoia surrounding Google's use of analytics data
              common? If so, how has this group combatted it?



              Doesn't Google have too much to lose to risk it? Any whiff of
              impropriety would send Google's stock price into a tumble...



              Thoughts?



              Thanks,

              Jared



              From: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com [mailto:webanalytics@yahoogroups.com]
              On Behalf Of William Devlin
              Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 3:53 PM
              To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [webanalytics] Re: You are willing to go to your upper
              managment with this sort of information?



              Not necessarily disagreeing with you, but your tone suggests an agenda
              that's going to set satisfied GA users off a little bit.

              Will

              pbokan wrote:
              >
              > Desperate, hardly. As you will note, I included all the premium
              > vendors.
              >
              > So long as everyone is comfortible opting in their valuable business
              > information for Google to use as they please; that's perfectly
              > alright.
              >
              > Should an etail, travel, ad rev or finance operation be fearful of
              > this sort of downtime and loss of information occurrence happening;
              > yes.
              >
              > What sort of a support mechanism is in place when GA fails; nada.
              >
              > Premium vendors not only provide actionable data and accurate
              > statistics (Google has been reported to have as large of a 20%
              > variance in retail statistics compared to back end systems), but
              > also have a support system in place to tend to the customers' needs.
              >
              > GA is a great free tool if you want to see number of hits. Now aside
              > from a true brochureware site or plain information with little or no
              > call to action, would you want to operate a multi-million dollar
              > revenue producing machine on hope and inaccuracies?
              >
              > I've said it before, there was a gift delivered to the people of
              > Sparta in the form of a wooden horse... and it was free also.
              >
              > --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
              <mailto:webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com>
              > <mailto:webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com>, ALEX BRASIL <alexbrasil@...>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > No, but the answer, "our analytics tool had an issue that is being
              > rectified as we speak, though some of the data may be permanently
              > skewed for one week" might.
              > >
              > > With all due respect, this comes off as a little desperate. I
              > agree the paid vendors have their niche/role to play, but GA is an
              > excellent tool and I don't think an instance like this is going to
              > persuade people to think otherwise.
              > >
              > >
              > > pbokan <pbokan@...> wrote: If you
              > haven't already; please consider working with Coremetrics :),
              > > Omni, Webtrends or Unica.
              > >
              > > Each has different value propositions, but in the end... who
              > wants
              > > to report in a board or investor meeting... or even to your
              > > supervisors, that you can't quite give visibility.
              > >
              > > The answer of "at least its free", won't cut it.
              > >
              > > Best,
              > > S. Crockett-
              > >
              > > ---
              > > Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 3:35 AM
              > >
              > > Subject: Google Alert - google analytics
              > >
              > > ---
              > > Google News Alert for: google analytics
              > >
              > > Google Analytics Admits Errors, Data Loss
              > > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-analytics-
              > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-analytics->
              > > admits-errors-data-loss>
              > >
              > > WebProNews - Lexington,KY,USA
              > >
              > > Yet following an admission that Google Analytics experienced
              > errors
              > > for most of a week and permanently lost some data, users are
              > taking
              > > the news rather well ...
              > >
              > > See all stories on this topic <http://news.google.com/news?
              > <http://news.google.com/news?>
              > > hl=en&ncl=http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-
              > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google->
              > > analytics-admits-errors-data-loss>
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > >
              >
              >

              --
              *
              William Devlin*
              Internet Marketing Analyst/
              /

              *Overton's* <http://www.overtons.com/>
              111 Red Banks Rd
              Greenville, NC 27858
              *
              Work:* 252.355.7600 ext. 2422
              *Email:* wdevlin@... <mailto:wdevlin%40overtons.com> <mailto:
              wdevlin@... <mailto:wdevlin%40overtons.com> >

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Steve McInerney
              HAHAHAHHAHAHahahahahahahahahha! And therein lies a proper risk analysis??? Or more accurately a perfect example of a strawman argument! 1 week s trouble and
              Message 6 of 29 , May 15, 2008
                HAHAHAHHAHAHahahahahahahahahha!

                And therein lies a proper risk analysis???
                Or more accurately a perfect example of a strawman argument!

                1 week's trouble and *some* data loss in 2 years is the sort of Risk
                I'm prepared to live with. The cost ratio is so overwhelming in the
                favour of GA.


                But can I ask you a few (rhetorical) questions?
                How much traffic do you get as natural search from Google? How much
                harm would befall you if that went off the air?
                What about via Yahoo!? or Live or any of the others?
                What about the Internet's ROOT DNS servers, or the CCTLDs? They run
                via *free* software (that'd be one of those wooden trojans...) you
                know. BIND or NSD usually. Are THEY a critical part of your Internet
                presence?
                You are aware your business to business critical email is also
                dependant on *free* software??? if only for the dependence on the
                above DNS servers???
                And plenty *plenty* more examples where they came from.

                Being ignorant of the above doesn't stop you from being *business
                critical* dependant on them.


                Suppose "your" so called "premium vendor" goes bust? Then what? This
                isn't a hyperbolic question, I've seen it happen. And had to help deal
                with the fallout to a major corporation when a major Telco here in Oz
                went bust a few years back. Here yesterday, gone today. All comms
                *totally* switched off. Wheee.


                So in answer to the question? Yes I would go to the Elected Minister
                of this Department or before a Senate Committee hearing and say "Yes.
                We did lose some data. This is how much it cost us. This is how much
                we have saved by not going with someone else who, coincidentally could
                just as easily have the same problems anyway. The savings incurred are
                still of far greater value to the risk incurred."

                etc etc etc


                Cheers!
                - Steve
                PS Google Analytics can't measure hits. </pedantic> :-)

                On Fri, May 16, 2008 at 3:32 AM, pbokan <pbokan@...> wrote:
                > If you haven't already; please consider working with Coremetrics :),
                > Omni, Webtrends or Unica.
                >
                > Each has different value propositions, but in the end... who wants
                > to report in a board or investor meeting... or even to your
                > supervisors, that you can't quite give visibility.
                >
                > The answer of "at least its free", won't cut it.
                >
                > Best,
                > S. Crockett-
                >
                > ---
                > Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 3:35 AM
                >
                > Subject: Google Alert - google analytics
                >
                > ---
                > Google News Alert for: google analytics
                >
                > Google Analytics Admits Errors, Data Loss
                > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-analytics-
                > admits-errors-data-loss>
                >
                > WebProNews - Lexington,KY,USA
                >
                > Yet following an admission that Google Analytics experienced errors
                > for most of a week and permanently lost some data, users are taking
                > the news rather well ...
              • Julien Coquet
                *cough* Troy, not Sparta Sent from my iPhone ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                Message 7 of 29 , May 16, 2008
                  *cough* Troy, not Sparta

                  Sent from my iPhone

                  On 16 mai 08, at 01:23, "Jared Huber" <jared@...> wrote:

                  > "I've said it before, there was a gift delivered to the people of
                  > Sparta
                  > in the form of a wooden horse... and it was free also."
                  >
                  > Is this type of paranoia surrounding Google's use of analytics data
                  > common? If so, how has this group combatted it?
                  >
                  > Doesn't Google have too much to lose to risk it? Any whiff of
                  > impropriety would send Google's stock price into a tumble...
                  >
                  > Thoughts?
                  >
                  > Thanks,
                  >
                  > Jared
                  >
                  > From: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com [mailto:webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                  > ]
                  > On Behalf Of William Devlin
                  > Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 3:53 PM
                  > To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: Re: [webanalytics] Re: You are willing to go to your upper
                  > managment with this sort of information?
                  >
                  > Not necessarily disagreeing with you, but your tone suggests an agenda
                  > that's going to set satisfied GA users off a little bit.
                  >
                  > Will
                  >
                  > pbokan wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Desperate, hardly. As you will note, I included all the premium
                  > > vendors.
                  > >
                  > > So long as everyone is comfortible opting in their valuable business
                  > > information for Google to use as they please; that's perfectly
                  > > alright.
                  > >
                  > > Should an etail, travel, ad rev or finance operation be fearful of
                  > > this sort of downtime and loss of information occurrence happening;
                  > > yes.
                  > >
                  > > What sort of a support mechanism is in place when GA fails; nada.
                  > >
                  > > Premium vendors not only provide actionable data and accurate
                  > > statistics (Google has been reported to have as large of a 20%
                  > > variance in retail statistics compared to back end systems), but
                  > > also have a support system in place to tend to the customers' needs.
                  > >
                  > > GA is a great free tool if you want to see number of hits. Now aside
                  > > from a true brochureware site or plain information with little or no
                  > > call to action, would you want to operate a multi-million dollar
                  > > revenue producing machine on hope and inaccuracies?
                  > >
                  > > I've said it before, there was a gift delivered to the people of
                  > > Sparta in the form of a wooden horse... and it was free also.
                  > >
                  > > --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                  > <mailto:webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com>
                  > > <mailto:webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com>, ALEX BRASIL
                  > <alexbrasil@...>
                  > > wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > No, but the answer, "our analytics tool had an issue that is being
                  > > rectified as we speak, though some of the data may be permanently
                  > > skewed for one week" might.
                  > > >
                  > > > With all due respect, this comes off as a little desperate. I
                  > > agree the paid vendors have their niche/role to play, but GA is an
                  > > excellent tool and I don't think an instance like this is going to
                  > > persuade people to think otherwise.
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > pbokan <pbokan@...> wrote: If you
                  > > haven't already; please consider working with Coremetrics :),
                  > > > Omni, Webtrends or Unica.
                  > > >
                  > > > Each has different value propositions, but in the end... who
                  > > wants
                  > > > to report in a board or investor meeting... or even to your
                  > > > supervisors, that you can't quite give visibility.
                  > > >
                  > > > The answer of "at least its free", won't cut it.
                  > > >
                  > > > Best,
                  > > > S. Crockett-
                  > > >
                  > > > ---
                  > > > Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 3:35 AM
                  > > >
                  > > > Subject: Google Alert - google analytics
                  > > >
                  > > > ---
                  > > > Google News Alert for: google analytics
                  > > >
                  > > > Google Analytics Admits Errors, Data Loss
                  > > > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-analytics-
                  > > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-analytics->
                  > > > admits-errors-data-loss>
                  > > >
                  > > > WebProNews - Lexington,KY,USA
                  > > >
                  > > > Yet following an admission that Google Analytics experienced
                  > > errors
                  > > > for most of a week and permanently lost some data, users are
                  > > taking
                  > > > the news rather well ...
                  > > >
                  > > > See all stories on this topic <http://news.google.com/news?
                  > > <http://news.google.com/news?>
                  > > > hl=en&ncl=http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-
                  > > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google->
                  > > > analytics-admits-errors-data-loss>
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  > --
                  > *
                  > William Devlin*
                  > Internet Marketing Analyst/
                  > /
                  >
                  > *Overton's* <http://www.overtons.com/>
                  > 111 Red Banks Rd
                  > Greenville, NC 27858
                  > *
                  > Work:* 252.355.7600 ext. 2422
                  > *Email:* wdevlin@... <mailto:wdevlin%40overtons.com> <mailto:
                  > wdevlin@... <mailto:wdevlin%40overtons.com> >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  >


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Marcos Richardson
                  Mmm how about this:- The board of directors has asked you to come in and explain the loss of data. Here are a few key questions that that might pop-up. 1. What
                  Message 8 of 29 , May 16, 2008
                    Mmm how about this:-



                    The board of directors has asked you to come in and explain the loss of
                    data.



                    Here are a few key questions that that might pop-up.



                    1. What selection process did you undertake?



                    Answer- 'little or none Google is Free'



                    2. Free you say? What is it costing us in terms of staffing?



                    Answer- Well, we implemented the basic code but admittedly we have had to
                    tag up any external campaigns and continually working on bettering the
                    system for campaigns, event tracking, goal setting, funnel reporting etc.
                    So, one full time technical staff member at approx $60k per year. (this does
                    not include deeper set-up such as integration with email systems, CRM, CMS
                    DM etc)



                    3. That's not bad what are we getting out of the system?



                    Answer- That's up to us to define our KPIs and use the data for decision
                    making



                    4. Oh! What's the cost of that in staffing terms?



                    Answer- We need someone who can look at the data and make informed
                    recommendations. So, a WA optimisation and usability consultant approx $60k
                    per year. And of course we need the full buy-in from the organisation so
                    that we can act on those recommendations, approx $60k for the various heads
                    of department and your time.



                    5. Can we rely on this data?



                    Answer- I am afraid its not audited (ABCe) but we can use it for bench
                    marking



                    6. We lost a bit of data, what sort of contract have we got with them?



                    Answer- Because it's free we just have their Ts&Cs. No SLA, and the data
                    belongs to them.



                    In conclusion, we have spent a lot of money so far and although this small
                    loss of data is not critical it does bring up a lot of other more important
                    questions. Either we take our website and Analytics seriously as a business,
                    or we toy around with free solutions.



                    Regards



                    Marcos Richardson

                    Director

                    www.webtraffiq.com





                    NB-- Google Web Analytics is a good back up system and of course you always
                    have your logs to fall back on if a WA vendor goes bust!













                    From: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com [mailto:webanalytics@yahoogroups.com] On
                    Behalf Of Steve McInerney
                    Sent: Friday, May 16, 2008 12:24 AM
                    To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [webanalytics] You are willing to go to your upper managment
                    with this sort of information?



                    HAHAHAHHAHAHahahahahahahahahha!

                    And therein lies a proper risk analysis???
                    Or more accurately a perfect example of a strawman argument!

                    1 week's trouble and *some* data loss in 2 years is the sort of Risk
                    I'm prepared to live with. The cost ratio is so overwhelming in the
                    favour of GA.

                    But can I ask you a few (rhetorical) questions?
                    How much traffic do you get as natural search from Google? How much
                    harm would befall you if that went off the air?
                    What about via Yahoo!? or Live or any of the others?
                    What about the Internet's ROOT DNS servers, or the CCTLDs? They run
                    via *free* software (that'd be one of those wooden trojans...) you
                    know. BIND or NSD usually. Are THEY a critical part of your Internet
                    presence?
                    You are aware your business to business critical email is also
                    dependant on *free* software??? if only for the dependence on the
                    above DNS servers???
                    And plenty *plenty* more examples where they came from.

                    Being ignorant of the above doesn't stop you from being *business
                    critical* dependant on them.

                    Suppose "your" so called "premium vendor" goes bust? Then what? This
                    isn't a hyperbolic question, I've seen it happen. And had to help deal
                    with the fallout to a major corporation when a major Telco here in Oz
                    went bust a few years back. Here yesterday, gone today. All comms
                    *totally* switched off. Wheee.

                    So in answer to the question? Yes I would go to the Elected Minister
                    of this Department or before a Senate Committee hearing and say "Yes.
                    We did lose some data. This is how much it cost us. This is how much
                    we have saved by not going with someone else who, coincidentally could
                    just as easily have the same problems anyway. The savings incurred are
                    still of far greater value to the risk incurred."

                    etc etc etc

                    Cheers!
                    - Steve
                    PS Google Analytics can't measure hits. </pedantic> :-)






                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • alexbrasil489
                    Thankfully it is not common, and in this case it s FUD aimed at promoting paid for products. It s sad really in that, as I intimated before, paid products
                    Message 9 of 29 , May 16, 2008
                      Thankfully it is not common, and in this case it's FUD aimed at
                      promoting paid for products. It's sad really in that, as I intimated
                      before, paid products have their place in the market and I presume
                      most of those vendors do not share this one individual's opinion, but
                      statements like this just make me shake my head.

                      What sort of support mechanism is available when GA fails? I don't
                      know, server logs or the multitude of other free analytics packages
                      one can run? If anything this may be a lesson in building redundancy
                      into ones analytics programs, but your insinuation that it need be
                      with a paid vendor is, well, incorrect. What may I ask do you do when
                      your system crashes and burns? Note I don't even know which vendor
                      you represent and I don't care-- something tells me you fall back on
                      logs, which are not exclusive to you.

                      As for the FUD around Google's management of my data, I pray that none
                      of said individuals' clients host any part of their infrastructure.
                      I'm sure every one of their servers, particularly their web servers,
                      are hosted locally.

                      As for using GA to run sites that do millions of dollars of business.
                      Yes, I am/would be fully comfortable doing so, for a number of reasons.

                      First, you overestimate analytic's current place in the market. It is
                      growing in importance, but it is not at the point yet, at least from
                      the ground level, where a week of tweeked data will bring enterprises
                      to their respective knees.

                      Second, the data cannot be taken at face value anyways for a number of
                      reasons that everyone should be aware of and should acknowledge. I
                      look at trends, not specific values.

                      Finally, the insinuation that GA is only good for tracking page hits
                      is, well, a joke.



                      --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, "Jared Huber" <jared@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > "I've said it before, there was a gift delivered to the people of Sparta
                      > in the form of a wooden horse... and it was free also."
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Is this type of paranoia surrounding Google's use of analytics data
                      > common? If so, how has this group combatted it?
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Doesn't Google have too much to lose to risk it? Any whiff of
                      > impropriety would send Google's stock price into a tumble...
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Thoughts?
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Thanks,
                      >
                      > Jared
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > From: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com [mailto:webanalytics@yahoogroups.com]
                      > On Behalf Of William Devlin
                      > Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 3:53 PM
                      > To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                      > Subject: Re: [webanalytics] Re: You are willing to go to your upper
                      > managment with this sort of information?
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Not necessarily disagreeing with you, but your tone suggests an agenda
                      > that's going to set satisfied GA users off a little bit.
                      >
                      > Will
                      >
                      > pbokan wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Desperate, hardly. As you will note, I included all the premium
                      > > vendors.
                      > >
                      > > So long as everyone is comfortible opting in their valuable business
                      > > information for Google to use as they please; that's perfectly
                      > > alright.
                      > >
                      > > Should an etail, travel, ad rev or finance operation be fearful of
                      > > this sort of downtime and loss of information occurrence happening;
                      > > yes.
                      > >
                      > > What sort of a support mechanism is in place when GA fails; nada.
                      > >
                      > > Premium vendors not only provide actionable data and accurate
                      > > statistics (Google has been reported to have as large of a 20%
                      > > variance in retail statistics compared to back end systems), but
                      > > also have a support system in place to tend to the customers' needs.
                      > >
                      > > GA is a great free tool if you want to see number of hits. Now aside
                      > > from a true brochureware site or plain information with little or no
                      > > call to action, would you want to operate a multi-million dollar
                      > > revenue producing machine on hope and inaccuracies?
                      > >
                      > > I've said it before, there was a gift delivered to the people of
                      > > Sparta in the form of a wooden horse... and it was free also.
                      > >
                      > > --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                      > <mailto:webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com>
                      > > <mailto:webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com>, ALEX BRASIL <alexbrasil@>
                      > > wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > No, but the answer, "our analytics tool had an issue that is being
                      > > rectified as we speak, though some of the data may be permanently
                      > > skewed for one week" might.
                      > > >
                      > > > With all due respect, this comes off as a little desperate. I
                      > > agree the paid vendors have their niche/role to play, but GA is an
                      > > excellent tool and I don't think an instance like this is going to
                      > > persuade people to think otherwise.
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > pbokan <pbokan@> wrote: If you
                      > > haven't already; please consider working with Coremetrics :),
                      > > > Omni, Webtrends or Unica.
                      > > >
                      > > > Each has different value propositions, but in the end... who
                      > > wants
                      > > > to report in a board or investor meeting... or even to your
                      > > > supervisors, that you can't quite give visibility.
                      > > >
                      > > > The answer of "at least its free", won't cut it.
                      > > >
                      > > > Best,
                      > > > S. Crockett-
                      > > >
                      > > > ---
                      > > > Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 3:35 AM
                      > > >
                      > > > Subject: Google Alert - google analytics
                      > > >
                      > > > ---
                      > > > Google News Alert for: google analytics
                      > > >
                      > > > Google Analytics Admits Errors, Data Loss
                      > > > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-analytics-
                      > > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-analytics->
                      > > > admits-errors-data-loss>
                      > > >
                      > > > WebProNews - Lexington,KY,USA
                      > > >
                      > > > Yet following an admission that Google Analytics experienced
                      > > errors
                      > > > for most of a week and permanently lost some data, users are
                      > > taking
                      > > > the news rather well ...
                      > > >
                      > > > See all stories on this topic <http://news.google.com/news?
                      > > <http://news.google.com/news?>
                      > > > hl=en&ncl=http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-
                      > > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google->
                      > > > analytics-admits-errors-data-loss>
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      > > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                      > --
                      > *
                      > William Devlin*
                      > Internet Marketing Analyst/
                      > /
                      >
                      > *Overton's* <http://www.overtons.com/>
                      > 111 Red Banks Rd
                      > Greenville, NC 27858
                      > *
                      > Work:* 252.355.7600 ext. 2422
                      > *Email:* wdevlin@... <mailto:wdevlin%40overtons.com> <mailto:
                      > wdevlin@... <mailto:wdevlin%40overtons.com> >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                    • ALEX BRASIL
                      GA in no sane world requires a technical individual full time. The basic tagging is a trivial exercise, and if the site in question uses CSS in a non-half
                      Message 10 of 29 , May 16, 2008
                        GA in no sane world requires a technical individual full time. The basic tagging is a trivial exercise, and if the site in question uses CSS in a non-half baked way, you can tag the majority of the site as quickly as you can cut and paste or use echo with a redirect.

                        The other details can take some time, but in no way shape or form would require a 24 hour effort. The analyst is a given, but that analyst will be required regardless of the solution. I'll even grant more than 60K for their salary.

                        "Answer- I am afraid its not audited (ABCe) but we can use it for bench
                        marking"

                        I'm not sure if you're doing this intentionally, but you are aware that the data CAN be audited if you so choose right? It's trivial to add GA data to your own log files, and then send it out for auditing if you so desire. Interestingly enough, this also debunks your argument that Google owns your data, since you now have a copy on your local/host's machine.

                        I take exception to the idea that using GA is "toying" around and that by paying a vendor, you're somehow getting serious and I have no particular affinity for Google. I would take equal exception to an attack on any of the other free vendors which was unsubstantiated.


                        Marcos Richardson <marcos.richardson@...> wrote:

                        Mmm how about this:-

                        The board of directors has asked you to come in and explain the loss of
                        data.

                        Here are a few key questions that that might pop-up.

                        1. What selection process did you undertake?

                        Answer- 'little or none Google is Free'

                        2. Free you say? What is it costing us in terms of staffing?

                        Answer- Well, we implemented the basic code but admittedly we have had to
                        tag up any external campaigns and continually working on bettering the
                        system for campaigns, event tracking, goal setting, funnel reporting etc.
                        So, one full time technical staff member at approx $60k per year. (this does
                        not include deeper set-up such as integration with email systems, CRM, CMS
                        DM etc)

                        3. That's not bad what are we getting out of the system?

                        Answer- That's up to us to define our KPIs and use the data for decision
                        making

                        4. Oh! What's the cost of that in staffing terms?

                        Answer- We need someone who can look at the data and make informed
                        recommendations. So, a WA optimisation and usability consultant approx $60k
                        per year. And of course we need the full buy-in from the organisation so
                        that we can act on those recommendations, approx $60k for the various heads
                        of department and your time.

                        5. Can we rely on this data?

                        Answer- I am afraid its not audited (ABCe) but we can use it for bench
                        marking

                        6. We lost a bit of data, what sort of contract have we got with them?

                        Answer- Because it's free we just have their Ts&Cs. No SLA, and the data
                        belongs to them.

                        In conclusion, we have spent a lot of money so far and although this small
                        loss of data is not critical it does bring up a lot of other more important
                        questions. Either we take our website and Analytics seriously as a business,
                        or we toy around with free solutions.

                        Regards

                        Marcos Richardson

                        Director

                        www.webtraffiq.com

                        NB-- Google Web Analytics is a good back up system and of course you always
                        have your logs to fall back on if a WA vendor goes bust!

                        From: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com [mailto:webanalytics@yahoogroups.com] On
                        Behalf Of Steve McInerney
                        Sent: Friday, May 16, 2008 12:24 AM
                        To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [webanalytics] You are willing to go to your upper managment
                        with this sort of information?

                        HAHAHAHHAHAHahahahahahahahahha!

                        And therein lies a proper risk analysis???
                        Or more accurately a perfect example of a strawman argument!

                        1 week's trouble and *some* data loss in 2 years is the sort of Risk
                        I'm prepared to live with. The cost ratio is so overwhelming in the
                        favour of GA.

                        But can I ask you a few (rhetorical) questions?
                        How much traffic do you get as natural search from Google? How much
                        harm would befall you if that went off the air?
                        What about via Yahoo!? or Live or any of the others?
                        What about the Internet's ROOT DNS servers, or the CCTLDs? They run
                        via *free* software (that'd be one of those wooden trojans...) you
                        know. BIND or NSD usually. Are THEY a critical part of your Internet
                        presence?
                        You are aware your business to business critical email is also
                        dependant on *free* software??? if only for the dependence on the
                        above DNS servers???
                        And plenty *plenty* more examples where they came from.

                        Being ignorant of the above doesn't stop you from being *business
                        critical* dependant on them.

                        Suppose "your" so called "premium vendor" goes bust? Then what? This
                        isn't a hyperbolic question, I've seen it happen. And had to help deal
                        with the fallout to a major corporation when a major Telco here in Oz
                        went bust a few years back. Here yesterday, gone today. All comms
                        *totally* switched off. Wheee.

                        So in answer to the question? Yes I would go to the Elected Minister
                        of this Department or before a Senate Committee hearing and say "Yes.
                        We did lose some data. This is how much it cost us. This is how much
                        we have saved by not going with someone else who, coincidentally could
                        just as easily have the same problems anyway. The savings incurred are
                        still of far greater value to the risk incurred."

                        etc etc etc

                        Cheers!
                        - Steve
                        PS Google Analytics can't measure hits. </pedantic> :-)

                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Jim
                        Alex, You realize that your comments could be equally be applied to ANY analytics vendor. There is nothing particular to SiteCatalyst, Hitbox, etc. that make
                        Message 11 of 29 , May 16, 2008
                          Alex,

                          You realize that your comments could be equally be applied to ANY
                          analytics vendor. There is nothing particular to SiteCatalyst, Hitbox,
                          etc. that make them substantially more difficult to set up and tag
                          than GA, or necessitate a full-time technical person. If the site has
                          a robust CMS solution and well-documented site structure, the
                          individual choice of vendor makes little difference in how difficult
                          it is to tag. Personally, I have found that for complex installations
                          GA often takes LONGER to set up and tag, simply because
                          its reporting and analysis capabilities are so much less robust that
                          the enterprise-class vendors'; in those cases the analyst needs to use
                          lots of customization to correctly pull and report data in a way that
                          comes configured out-of-the-box with other tools.

                          I'll throw some fuel on this fire by seconding the notion that using
                          GA is indeed toying around, at least compared to the premium paid
                          vendors, in cases were serious data mining and analysis need to be
                          done. Like most things in a market economy, you get what you pay for.



                          --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, ALEX BRASIL <alexbrasil@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > GA in no sane world requires a technical individual full time. The
                          basic tagging is a trivial exercise, and if the site in question uses
                          CSS in a non-half baked way, you can tag the majority of the site as
                          quickly as you can cut and paste or use echo with a redirect.
                          >
                          > The other details can take some time, but in no way shape or form
                          would require a 24 hour effort. The analyst is a given, but that
                          analyst will be required regardless of the solution. I'll even grant
                          more than 60K for their salary.
                          >
                          > "Answer- I am afraid its not audited (ABCe) but we can use it for bench
                          > marking"
                          >
                          > I'm not sure if you're doing this intentionally, but you are aware
                          that the data CAN be audited if you so choose right? It's trivial to
                          add GA data to your own log files, and then send it out for auditing
                          if you so desire. Interestingly enough, this also debunks your
                          argument that Google owns your data, since you now have a copy on your
                          local/host's machine.
                          >
                          > I take exception to the idea that using GA is "toying" around and
                          that by paying a vendor, you're somehow getting serious and I have no
                          particular affinity for Google. I would take equal exception to an
                          attack on any of the other free vendors which was unsubstantiated.
                          >
                        • ALEX BRASIL
                          My apologies if this discussion is annoying anyone else (I by no means wish to spam this list). Jim I was merely countering the argument that GA requires a
                          Message 12 of 29 , May 16, 2008
                            My apologies if this discussion is annoying anyone else (I by no means wish to spam this list).

                            Jim I was merely countering the argument that GA requires a 24/7 technical resource (and did it poorly by mentioning CSS which is not what I had intended).

                            As for throwing fuel on the fire, could you be a bit more specific? What serious data mining/analysis can not be accomplished via free tools, with the provision that other items, say logs, need be utilized to fill in some minor gaps?

                            It's true that in many cases you get what you pay for, but for many things in the world of computers, this is not the case, but I wont lie, I am a FOSS nut.

                            Also, for the sake of transparency, do you happen to represent a vendor? Don't need to name which one, but I'm curious.

                            Jim <jim@...> wrote: Alex,

                            You realize that your comments could be equally be applied to ANY
                            analytics vendor. There is nothing particular to SiteCatalyst, Hitbox,
                            etc. that make them substantially more difficult to set up and tag
                            than GA, or necessitate a full-time technical person. If the site has
                            a robust CMS solution and well-documented site structure, the
                            individual choice of vendor makes little difference in how difficult
                            it is to tag. Personally, I have found that for complex installations
                            GA often takes LONGER to set up and tag, simply because
                            its reporting and analysis capabilities are so much less robust that
                            the enterprise-class vendors'; in those cases the analyst needs to use
                            lots of customization to correctly pull and report data in a way that
                            comes configured out-of-the-box with other tools.

                            I'll throw some fuel on this fire by seconding the notion that using
                            GA is indeed toying around, at least compared to the premium paid
                            vendors, in cases were serious data mining and analysis need to be
                            done. Like most things in a market economy, you get what you pay for.

                            --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, ALEX BRASIL <alexbrasil@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > GA in no sane world requires a technical individual full time. The
                            basic tagging is a trivial exercise, and if the site in question uses
                            CSS in a non-half baked way, you can tag the majority of the site as
                            quickly as you can cut and paste or use echo with a redirect.
                            >
                            > The other details can take some time, but in no way shape or form
                            would require a 24 hour effort. The analyst is a given, but that
                            analyst will be required regardless of the solution. I'll even grant
                            more than 60K for their salary.
                            >
                            > "Answer- I am afraid its not audited (ABCe) but we can use it for bench
                            > marking"
                            >
                            > I'm not sure if you're doing this intentionally, but you are aware
                            that the data CAN be audited if you so choose right? It's trivial to
                            add GA data to your own log files, and then send it out for auditing
                            if you so desire. Interestingly enough, this also debunks your
                            argument that Google owns your data, since you now have a copy on your
                            local/host's machine.
                            >
                            > I take exception to the idea that using GA is "toying" around and
                            that by paying a vendor, you're somehow getting serious and I have no
                            particular affinity for Google. I would take equal exception to an
                            attack on any of the other free vendors which was unsubstantiated.
                            >






                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Jim
                            ... with the ... some minor ... vendor? Don t need to name which one, but I m curious. No, I definitely don t work for a vendor. I work on behalf of clients
                            Message 13 of 29 , May 16, 2008
                              >As for throwing fuel on the fire, could you be a bit more specific? What
                              >serious data mining/analysis can not be accomplished via free tools,
                              with the
                              >provision that other items, say logs, need be utilized to fill in
                              some minor
                              >gaps?

                              > Also, for the sake of transparency, do you happen to represent a
                              vendor? Don't need to name which one, but I'm curious.

                              No, I definitely don't work for a vendor. I work on behalf of clients
                              who need analytics tools to help run their businesses.

                              Here's a basic list of customization and analysis capabilities that
                              the free Google Analytics lacks in comparison with serious (not free)
                              enterprise tools:

                              -- No ad-hoc statistical analysis (not really any statistical analysis
                              capabilities, actually)
                              -- No custom variables
                              -- No custom visitor segmentation
                              -- No importing of non-Adwords cost data
                              -- No integration with non-Google adserving platforms such as Atlas,
                              DART, etc.
                              -- No integration with email delivery tools (Cheetahmail, etc.)
                              -- No integration with call center applications
                              -- No integration with enterprise marketing planning tools
                              -- No integration with CRM platforms
                              -- No data warehousing
                              -- No support, other than the ungrammatical help pages online

                              And ... the most serious limitation, in my view:

                              -- Can't re-process data if you change a filter or profile

                              To illustrate just how big of a limitation this really is, and why
                              it's a main reason I NEVER recommend GA to our clients, here's a
                              little dramatization of an analytics scenario (the names have been
                              changed to protect the guilty):

                              Marketing/Business Boss Guy:
                              -- We need an analytics tool to help determine how our online business
                              is doing. I heard how great this Google Analytics thing is, and it's
                              free! That means I can spend my IT budget on hair gel and a trip to
                              St. Barts. So, Analytics Guy, go install it so I can start my vacation.

                              Analytics Guy:
                              -- Um, sure, but you realize that GA has some serious limitations,
                              right? Such as the inability to re-run filters on historical data, so
                              we'll need to set up everything EXACTLY right from the beginning, got
                              it? Maybe we should try Hitbox or Omniture or Coremetrics just to be safe.

                              Marketing/Business Boss Guy:
                              -- Yeah, yeah, whatever. It's free, baby! You can't beat the ROI on
                              FREE! And Google's stock is worth, like, lots of money, so it must be
                              the best. Go hook that Google Analyzator bad boy up, and here's the
                              list of conversion funnels we'll need.

                              Analytics Guy:
                              -- Um, ok, are you sure these funnels won't change, because if they do
                              the changes will only be reflected going forward?

                              Marketing/Business Boss Guy:
                              -- Yeah, yeah, I know what I'm doing. The conversion thingers won't
                              change. Now go do it, I'm late for my plane.

                              Three months later ...

                              Marketing/Business Boss Guy:
                              -- So Analytics Guy, the CEO and I were talking over drinks on the
                              yacht, and we decided we want the main conversion funnels to start
                              with a different landing page. So I'm gonna need to you plug that
                              different landing page in the Google analyzerator and show me the
                              updated funnel numbers for the last three months, m'kay? It's really
                              important.

                              Analytics Guy:
                              -- But I told you that you can't change any views of historical data
                              in Google Analytics. We can can only change how it reports on data
                              from now into the future.

                              Marketing/Business Boss Guy:
                              -- Ha, ha, ha, very funny, now quit screwing around and go do it. I
                              need the updated conversion rates pronto.

                              Analytics Guy:
                              -- No, I'm serious, you can't update a funnel or filter and have the
                              change affect prior data in Google Analytics. I tried to tell you this
                              earlier ...

                              Marketing/Business Boss Guy:
                              -- What!? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. This can't be
                              right. Nobody would be stupid enough to make software that can't
                              reprocess its own data. I thought the people at Google were smart. Go
                              call Google Support. They will tell you how to do it.

                              Analytics Guy:
                              -- (Wincing) Um, there is no such thing as Google Support. There is no
                              one to call or email. It's free software, remember? They can't afford
                              to support free software, or are not willing to, anyway...

                              Marketing/Business Boss Guy:
                              -- (Murders Analytics Guy right there in office; jury refuses to
                              convict on grounds of temporary insanity. Gets promoted to CMO after
                              ditching GA and fixing "metrics problem.")

                              That's just what I can think of off the top of my head. I'm sure the
                              list of limitations could be significantly expanded with a little more
                              thought. And yes, you can help minimize some of GA's limitations by
                              coupling it with logfile analysis tools, but the fact that you'd need
                              to do that at all tells me GA is just not ready for prime time for
                              larger businesses, so to speak. "Free" isn't exactly free after you
                              spend hours jury-rigging alternatives to get only partially towards
                              the data you need. Any employee's time has a cost associated with it.

                              Jim


                              --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, ALEX BRASIL <alexbrasil@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > My apologies if this discussion is annoying anyone else (I by no
                              means wish to spam this list).
                              >
                              > Jim I was merely countering the argument that GA requires a 24/7
                              technical resource (and did it poorly by mentioning CSS which is not
                              what I had intended).
                              >
                              > As for throwing fuel on the fire, could you be a bit more specific?
                              What serious data mining/analysis can not be accomplished via free
                              tools, with the provision that other items, say logs, need be utilized
                              to fill in some minor gaps?
                              >
                              > It's true that in many cases you get what you pay for, but for many
                              things in the world of computers, this is not the case, but I wont
                              lie, I am a FOSS nut.
                              >
                              > Also, for the sake of transparency, do you happen to represent a
                              vendor? Don't need to name which one, but I'm curious.
                            • Coskun Tasoluk
                              Alex and Steve, I agree with you guys, 100%. Here is an actual conversation between two techies, one is an insider, the other an outsider: - So, you are guys
                              Message 14 of 29 , May 16, 2008
                                Alex and Steve, I agree with you guys, 100%. Here is an actual conversation
                                between two techies, one is an insider, the other an outsider:

                                - So, you are guys using a paid vendor for web analytics...
                                - Yeah, management decided that way.
                                - How are you guys utilizing web analytics, so far?
                                - Basically, we monitor daily page views, visitors. We monitor impact of our
                                advertisement campaigns on our website, that sort of thing...
                                - What you are saying, it seems that you do NOT really need to pay for huge
                                licensing fee every year, do you think the management will let me handle WA
                                for free...?
                                - I agree with you we do NOT need to, but I do not think they would let you
                                do it either.
                                - Why not?
                                - Because, 1) if someone questions their decision, they want to assure they
                                pick what is the best in the market, 2) if they have a problem, they would
                                like point to fingers to some else, like the vendor. Basically, they want to
                                cover their backs....
                                ......

                                I think, it is the same analogy why people need a Hummer? Seriously, why do
                                people need a Hummer?

                                Cheers,
                                c.t.

                                P.S. I do NOT mean to lower WA importance. I think, WA offers great value to
                                any company as long as you put effort and time in it. At the end, you are
                                trying to analyze the human behavior with real data. That's good stuff...





                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: "ALEX BRASIL" <alexbrasil@...>
                                To: <webanalytics@yahoogroups.com>
                                Sent: Friday, May 16, 2008 11:12 AM
                                Subject: RE: [webanalytics] You are willing to go to your upper managment
                                with this sort of information?


                                > GA in no sane world requires a technical individual full time. The basic
                                > tagging is a trivial exercise, and if the site in question uses CSS in a
                                > non-half baked way, you can tag the majority of the site as quickly as you
                                > can cut and paste or use echo with a redirect.
                                >
                                > The other details can take some time, but in no way shape or form would
                                > require a 24 hour effort. The analyst is a given, but that analyst will
                                > be required regardless of the solution. I'll even grant more than 60K for
                                > their salary.
                                >
                                > "Answer- I am afraid its not audited (ABCe) but we can use it for bench
                                > marking"
                                >
                                > I'm not sure if you're doing this intentionally, but you are aware that
                                > the data CAN be audited if you so choose right? It's trivial to add GA
                                > data to your own log files, and then send it out for auditing if you so
                                > desire. Interestingly enough, this also debunks your argument that Google
                                > owns your data, since you now have a copy on your local/host's machine.
                                >
                                > I take exception to the idea that using GA is "toying" around and that by
                                > paying a vendor, you're somehow getting serious and I have no particular
                                > affinity for Google. I would take equal exception to an attack on any of
                                > the other free vendors which was unsubstantiated.
                                >
                                >
                                > Marcos Richardson <marcos.richardson@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Mmm how about this:-
                                >
                                > The board of directors has asked you to come in and explain the loss of
                                > data.
                                >
                                > Here are a few key questions that that might pop-up.
                                >
                                > 1. What selection process did you undertake?
                                >
                                > Answer- 'little or none Google is Free'
                                >
                                > 2. Free you say? What is it costing us in terms of staffing?
                                >
                                > Answer- Well, we implemented the basic code but admittedly we have had to
                                > tag up any external campaigns and continually working on bettering the
                                > system for campaigns, event tracking, goal setting, funnel reporting etc.
                                > So, one full time technical staff member at approx $60k per year. (this
                                > does
                                > not include deeper set-up such as integration with email systems, CRM, CMS
                                > DM etc)
                                >
                                > 3. That's not bad what are we getting out of the system?
                                >
                                > Answer- That's up to us to define our KPIs and use the data for decision
                                > making
                                >
                                > 4. Oh! What's the cost of that in staffing terms?
                                >
                                > Answer- We need someone who can look at the data and make informed
                                > recommendations. So, a WA optimisation and usability consultant approx
                                > $60k
                                > per year. And of course we need the full buy-in from the organisation so
                                > that we can act on those recommendations, approx $60k for the various
                                > heads
                                > of department and your time.
                                >
                                > 5. Can we rely on this data?
                                >
                                > Answer- I am afraid its not audited (ABCe) but we can use it for bench
                                > marking
                                >
                                > 6. We lost a bit of data, what sort of contract have we got with them?
                                >
                                > Answer- Because it's free we just have their Ts&Cs. No SLA, and the data
                                > belongs to them.
                                >
                                > In conclusion, we have spent a lot of money so far and although this small
                                > loss of data is not critical it does bring up a lot of other more
                                > important
                                > questions. Either we take our website and Analytics seriously as a
                                > business,
                                > or we toy around with free solutions.
                                >
                                > Regards
                                >
                                > Marcos Richardson
                                >
                                > Director
                                >
                                > www.webtraffiq.com
                                >
                                > NB-- Google Web Analytics is a good back up system and of course you
                                > always
                                > have your logs to fall back on if a WA vendor goes bust!
                                >
                                > From: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com [mailto:webanalytics@yahoogroups.com]
                                > On
                                > Behalf Of Steve McInerney
                                > Sent: Friday, May 16, 2008 12:24 AM
                                > To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                                > Subject: Re: [webanalytics] You are willing to go to your upper managment
                                > with this sort of information?
                                >
                                > HAHAHAHHAHAHahahahahahahahahha!
                                >
                                > And therein lies a proper risk analysis???
                                > Or more accurately a perfect example of a strawman argument!
                                >
                                > 1 week's trouble and *some* data loss in 2 years is the sort of Risk
                                > I'm prepared to live with. The cost ratio is so overwhelming in the
                                > favour of GA.
                                >
                                > But can I ask you a few (rhetorical) questions?
                                > How much traffic do you get as natural search from Google? How much
                                > harm would befall you if that went off the air?
                                > What about via Yahoo!? or Live or any of the others?
                                > What about the Internet's ROOT DNS servers, or the CCTLDs? They run
                                > via *free* software (that'd be one of those wooden trojans...) you
                                > know. BIND or NSD usually. Are THEY a critical part of your Internet
                                > presence?
                                > You are aware your business to business critical email is also
                                > dependant on *free* software??? if only for the dependence on the
                                > above DNS servers???
                                > And plenty *plenty* more examples where they came from.
                                >
                                > Being ignorant of the above doesn't stop you from being *business
                                > critical* dependant on them.
                                >
                                > Suppose "your" so called "premium vendor" goes bust? Then what? This
                                > isn't a hyperbolic question, I've seen it happen. And had to help deal
                                > with the fallout to a major corporation when a major Telco here in Oz
                                > went bust a few years back. Here yesterday, gone today. All comms
                                > *totally* switched off. Wheee.
                                >
                                > So in answer to the question? Yes I would go to the Elected Minister
                                > of this Department or before a Senate Committee hearing and say "Yes.
                                > We did lose some data. This is how much it cost us. This is how much
                                > we have saved by not going with someone else who, coincidentally could
                                > just as easily have the same problems anyway. The savings incurred are
                                > still of far greater value to the risk incurred."
                                >
                                > etc etc etc
                                >
                                > Cheers!
                                > - Steve
                                > PS Google Analytics can't measure hits. </pedantic> :-)
                                >
                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >
                                >
                                > ------------------------------------
                                >
                                > ---------------------------------------
                                > The Web Analytics Forum
                                > Founded by Eric T. Peterson (www.webanalyticsdemystified.com)
                                > Moderated by the Web Analytics Association
                                > (www.webanalyticsassociation.org)
                                > Email moderators at: webanalytics-moderators@yahoogroups.comYahoo! Groups
                                > Links
                                >
                                >
                                >
                              • mbchoe
                                the wooden horse was given to the people of troy who lost the trojan war. odysseus came up with the idea and after the war, he got lost on a 10 year odyssey.
                                Message 15 of 29 , May 16, 2008
                                  the wooden horse was given to the people of troy who lost the trojan
                                  war. odysseus came up with the idea and after the war, he got lost on
                                  a 10 year odyssey.

                                  --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, "Jared Huber" <jared@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > "I've said it before, there was a gift delivered to the people of Sparta
                                  > in the form of a wooden horse... and it was free also."
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Is this type of paranoia surrounding Google's use of analytics data
                                  > common? If so, how has this group combatted it?
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Doesn't Google have too much to lose to risk it? Any whiff of
                                  > impropriety would send Google's stock price into a tumble...
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Thoughts?
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Thanks,
                                  >
                                  > Jared
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > From: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com [mailto:webanalytics@yahoogroups.com]
                                  > On Behalf Of William Devlin
                                  > Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 3:53 PM
                                  > To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                                  > Subject: Re: [webanalytics] Re: You are willing to go to your upper
                                  > managment with this sort of information?
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Not necessarily disagreeing with you, but your tone suggests an agenda
                                  > that's going to set satisfied GA users off a little bit.
                                  >
                                  > Will
                                  >
                                  > pbokan wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > Desperate, hardly. As you will note, I included all the premium
                                  > > vendors.
                                  > >
                                  > > So long as everyone is comfortible opting in their valuable business
                                  > > information for Google to use as they please; that's perfectly
                                  > > alright.
                                  > >
                                  > > Should an etail, travel, ad rev or finance operation be fearful of
                                  > > this sort of downtime and loss of information occurrence happening;
                                  > > yes.
                                  > >
                                  > > What sort of a support mechanism is in place when GA fails; nada.
                                  > >
                                  > > Premium vendors not only provide actionable data and accurate
                                  > > statistics (Google has been reported to have as large of a 20%
                                  > > variance in retail statistics compared to back end systems), but
                                  > > also have a support system in place to tend to the customers' needs.
                                  > >
                                  > > GA is a great free tool if you want to see number of hits. Now aside
                                  > > from a true brochureware site or plain information with little or no
                                  > > call to action, would you want to operate a multi-million dollar
                                  > > revenue producing machine on hope and inaccuracies?
                                  > >
                                  > > I've said it before, there was a gift delivered to the people of
                                  > > Sparta in the form of a wooden horse... and it was free also.
                                  > >
                                  > > --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                                  > <mailto:webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com>
                                  > > <mailto:webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com>, ALEX BRASIL <alexbrasil@>
                                  > > wrote:
                                  > > >
                                  > > > No, but the answer, "our analytics tool had an issue that is being
                                  > > rectified as we speak, though some of the data may be permanently
                                  > > skewed for one week" might.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > With all due respect, this comes off as a little desperate. I
                                  > > agree the paid vendors have their niche/role to play, but GA is an
                                  > > excellent tool and I don't think an instance like this is going to
                                  > > persuade people to think otherwise.
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > pbokan <pbokan@> wrote: If you
                                  > > haven't already; please consider working with Coremetrics :),
                                  > > > Omni, Webtrends or Unica.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Each has different value propositions, but in the end... who
                                  > > wants
                                  > > > to report in a board or investor meeting... or even to your
                                  > > > supervisors, that you can't quite give visibility.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > The answer of "at least its free", won't cut it.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Best,
                                  > > > S. Crockett-
                                  > > >
                                  > > > ---
                                  > > > Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 3:35 AM
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Subject: Google Alert - google analytics
                                  > > >
                                  > > > ---
                                  > > > Google News Alert for: google analytics
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Google Analytics Admits Errors, Data Loss
                                  > > > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-analytics-
                                  > > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-analytics->
                                  > > > admits-errors-data-loss>
                                  > > >
                                  > > > WebProNews - Lexington,KY,USA
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Yet following an admission that Google Analytics experienced
                                  > > errors
                                  > > > for most of a week and permanently lost some data, users are
                                  > > taking
                                  > > > the news rather well ...
                                  > > >
                                  > > > See all stories on this topic <http://news.google.com/news?
                                  > > <http://news.google.com/news?>
                                  > > > hl=en&ncl=http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-
                                  > > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google->
                                  > > > analytics-admits-errors-data-loss>
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  > > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  > --
                                  > *
                                  > William Devlin*
                                  > Internet Marketing Analyst/
                                  > /
                                  >
                                  > *Overton's* <http://www.overtons.com/>
                                  > 111 Red Banks Rd
                                  > Greenville, NC 27858
                                  > *
                                  > Work:* 252.355.7600 ext. 2422
                                  > *Email:* wdevlin@... <mailto:wdevlin%40overtons.com> <mailto:
                                  > wdevlin@... <mailto:wdevlin%40overtons.com> >
                                  >
                                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  >
                                • mbchoe
                                  what ad-hoc statistical analysis are you referring to? i haven t seen this in any web analytic application, GA or otherwise... most of the integration
                                  Message 16 of 29 , May 16, 2008
                                    what ad-hoc statistical analysis are you referring to? i haven't
                                    seen this in any web analytic application, GA or otherwise...

                                    most of the integration scenarios you outline below do not apply to
                                    most companies and probably unnecessary.

                                    most companies will benefit from GA's dashboard despite its
                                    simplicity. people talk about getting to the 'next level' when they
                                    really should focus on establishing a level. must learn to crawl
                                    before you walk, walk before you run, etc.


                                    --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <mega9tron@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > >As for throwing fuel on the fire, could you be a bit more specific?
                                    What
                                    > >serious data mining/analysis can not be accomplished via free tools,
                                    > with the
                                    > >provision that other items, say logs, need be utilized to fill in
                                    > some minor
                                    > >gaps?
                                    >
                                    > > Also, for the sake of transparency, do you happen to represent a
                                    > vendor? Don't need to name which one, but I'm curious.
                                    >
                                    > No, I definitely don't work for a vendor. I work on behalf of clients
                                    > who need analytics tools to help run their businesses.
                                    >
                                    > Here's a basic list of customization and analysis capabilities that
                                    > the free Google Analytics lacks in comparison with serious (not free)
                                    > enterprise tools:
                                    >
                                    > -- No ad-hoc statistical analysis (not really any statistical analysis
                                    > capabilities, actually)
                                    > -- No custom variables
                                    > -- No custom visitor segmentation
                                    > -- No importing of non-Adwords cost data
                                    > -- No integration with non-Google adserving platforms such as Atlas,
                                    > DART, etc.
                                    > -- No integration with email delivery tools (Cheetahmail, etc.)
                                    > -- No integration with call center applications
                                    > -- No integration with enterprise marketing planning tools
                                    > -- No integration with CRM platforms
                                    > -- No data warehousing
                                    > -- No support, other than the ungrammatical help pages online
                                    >
                                    > And ... the most serious limitation, in my view:
                                    >
                                    > -- Can't re-process data if you change a filter or profile
                                    >
                                    > To illustrate just how big of a limitation this really is, and why
                                    > it's a main reason I NEVER recommend GA to our clients, here's a
                                    > little dramatization of an analytics scenario (the names have been
                                    > changed to protect the guilty):
                                    >
                                    > Marketing/Business Boss Guy:
                                    > -- We need an analytics tool to help determine how our online business
                                    > is doing. I heard how great this Google Analytics thing is, and it's
                                    > free! That means I can spend my IT budget on hair gel and a trip to
                                    > St. Barts. So, Analytics Guy, go install it so I can start my vacation.
                                    >
                                    > Analytics Guy:
                                    > -- Um, sure, but you realize that GA has some serious limitations,
                                    > right? Such as the inability to re-run filters on historical data, so
                                    > we'll need to set up everything EXACTLY right from the beginning, got
                                    > it? Maybe we should try Hitbox or Omniture or Coremetrics just to be
                                    safe.
                                    >
                                    > Marketing/Business Boss Guy:
                                    > -- Yeah, yeah, whatever. It's free, baby! You can't beat the ROI on
                                    > FREE! And Google's stock is worth, like, lots of money, so it must be
                                    > the best. Go hook that Google Analyzator bad boy up, and here's the
                                    > list of conversion funnels we'll need.
                                    >
                                    > Analytics Guy:
                                    > -- Um, ok, are you sure these funnels won't change, because if they do
                                    > the changes will only be reflected going forward?
                                    >
                                    > Marketing/Business Boss Guy:
                                    > -- Yeah, yeah, I know what I'm doing. The conversion thingers won't
                                    > change. Now go do it, I'm late for my plane.
                                    >
                                    > Three months later ...
                                    >
                                    > Marketing/Business Boss Guy:
                                    > -- So Analytics Guy, the CEO and I were talking over drinks on the
                                    > yacht, and we decided we want the main conversion funnels to start
                                    > with a different landing page. So I'm gonna need to you plug that
                                    > different landing page in the Google analyzerator and show me the
                                    > updated funnel numbers for the last three months, m'kay? It's really
                                    > important.
                                    >
                                    > Analytics Guy:
                                    > -- But I told you that you can't change any views of historical data
                                    > in Google Analytics. We can can only change how it reports on data
                                    > from now into the future.
                                    >
                                    > Marketing/Business Boss Guy:
                                    > -- Ha, ha, ha, very funny, now quit screwing around and go do it. I
                                    > need the updated conversion rates pronto.
                                    >
                                    > Analytics Guy:
                                    > -- No, I'm serious, you can't update a funnel or filter and have the
                                    > change affect prior data in Google Analytics. I tried to tell you this
                                    > earlier ...
                                    >
                                    > Marketing/Business Boss Guy:
                                    > -- What!? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. This can't be
                                    > right. Nobody would be stupid enough to make software that can't
                                    > reprocess its own data. I thought the people at Google were smart. Go
                                    > call Google Support. They will tell you how to do it.
                                    >
                                    > Analytics Guy:
                                    > -- (Wincing) Um, there is no such thing as Google Support. There is no
                                    > one to call or email. It's free software, remember? They can't afford
                                    > to support free software, or are not willing to, anyway...
                                    >
                                    > Marketing/Business Boss Guy:
                                    > -- (Murders Analytics Guy right there in office; jury refuses to
                                    > convict on grounds of temporary insanity. Gets promoted to CMO after
                                    > ditching GA and fixing "metrics problem.")
                                    >
                                    > That's just what I can think of off the top of my head. I'm sure the
                                    > list of limitations could be significantly expanded with a little more
                                    > thought. And yes, you can help minimize some of GA's limitations by
                                    > coupling it with logfile analysis tools, but the fact that you'd need
                                    > to do that at all tells me GA is just not ready for prime time for
                                    > larger businesses, so to speak. "Free" isn't exactly free after you
                                    > spend hours jury-rigging alternatives to get only partially towards
                                    > the data you need. Any employee's time has a cost associated with it.
                                    >
                                    > Jim
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, ALEX BRASIL <alexbrasil@> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > My apologies if this discussion is annoying anyone else (I by no
                                    > means wish to spam this list).
                                    > >
                                    > > Jim I was merely countering the argument that GA requires a 24/7
                                    > technical resource (and did it poorly by mentioning CSS which is not
                                    > what I had intended).
                                    > >
                                    > > As for throwing fuel on the fire, could you be a bit more specific?
                                    > What serious data mining/analysis can not be accomplished via free
                                    > tools, with the provision that other items, say logs, need be utilized
                                    > to fill in some minor gaps?
                                    > >
                                    > > It's true that in many cases you get what you pay for, but for many
                                    > things in the world of computers, this is not the case, but I wont
                                    > lie, I am a FOSS nut.
                                    > >
                                    > > Also, for the sake of transparency, do you happen to represent a
                                    > vendor? Don't need to name which one, but I'm curious.
                                    >
                                  • Steve McInerney
                                    On Fri, May 16, 2008 at 7:03 PM, Marcos Richardson ... I d immediately be resigning. Any board of directors that is so focused on micromanaging is not a place
                                    Message 17 of 29 , May 17, 2008
                                      On Fri, May 16, 2008 at 7:03 PM, Marcos Richardson
                                      <marcos.richardson@...> wrote:
                                      > Mmm how about this:-
                                      >
                                      > The board of directors has asked you to come in and explain the loss of
                                      > data.

                                      I'd immediately be resigning. Any board of directors that is so
                                      focused on micromanaging is not a place I want to work at - speaks to
                                      *major* problems within that organisation.
                                      And any board that asked the sorts of questions you raised would
                                      immediately lose any and all respect I had for their role and vision
                                      for and within said organisation. :-)


                                      > Here are a few key questions that that might pop-up.
                                      > 1. What selection process did you undertake?
                                      > Answer- 'little or none Google is Free'

                                      Marcos if you're going to raise strawmen, red herrings, arguing via
                                      analogy and other methods of "argument" vs discussion, please expect
                                      to get called on it.

                                      The correct answer that would be more like:
                                      GA was compared with a range of products. From 300K per year ones down.
                                      Quite clearly any savings we made were considerable compared to a
                                      recurring fee of 300K per year.
                                      There was a sliding scale of increased functionality (for which we
                                      don't have the staffing to do anything with), ease of use and other
                                      intangibles.

                                      Given our needs and ability as an organisation and budget we can
                                      trivially show that this solution clearly gave us the best bang for
                                      buck.


                                      I'm not going to answer the rest of your strawmen as I suspect we're
                                      heading into pointless territory all too rapidly.

                                      But I did find the questions you *DIDN'T* ask quite fascinating. :-)
                                      It's always the ... silences that are most telling.

                                      Cheers!
                                      - Steve
                                    • Steve McInerney
                                      ... Certainly! But is this WANT or NEED? There is a difference. If NEED, then if you don t have ANY ONE of the above, you re stuck twiddling your thumbs
                                      Message 18 of 29 , May 17, 2008
                                        On Sat, May 17, 2008 at 11:18 AM, Jim <mega9tron@...> wrote:
                                        > Here's a basic list of customization and analysis capabilities that
                                        > the free Google Analytics lacks in comparison with serious (not free)
                                        > enterprise tools:
                                        >
                                        > -- No ad-hoc statistical analysis (not really any statistical analysis
                                        > capabilities, actually)
                                        > -- No custom variables
                                        > -- No custom visitor segmentation
                                        > -- No importing of non-Adwords cost data
                                        > -- No integration with non-Google adserving platforms such as Atlas,
                                        > DART, etc.
                                        > -- No integration with email delivery tools (Cheetahmail, etc.)
                                        > -- No integration with call center applications
                                        > -- No integration with enterprise marketing planning tools
                                        > -- No integration with CRM platforms
                                        > -- No data warehousing
                                        > -- No support, other than the ungrammatical help pages online
                                        >
                                        > And ... the most serious limitation, in my view:
                                        >
                                        > -- Can't re-process data if you change a filter or profile


                                        Certainly!

                                        But is this WANT or NEED?


                                        There is a difference. If NEED, then if you don't have ANY ONE of the
                                        above, you're stuck twiddling your thumbs waiting for that
                                        functionality to be (re-)enabled.
                                        If you can still do valuable and useful stuff than it's only a WANT.

                                        It might be a valuable want, but it's still only a want.


                                        As for the toy argument?
                                        Well the bad workman does blame his tools... ;-)

                                        But I do find it a bit unfair that your implying that this entire
                                        forum of ~ 5000 people are nothing more than button pushers for
                                        expensive machinery and software. I've always found that the only NEED
                                        in doing any Analysis/Analytics of raw data, was a brain.

                                        With a good brain, any tool can draw useful information.
                                        And isn't that what we're about? *Analysis*? Not arguing over who has
                                        the biggest keyboard?


                                        Cheers!
                                        - Steve
                                      • Julien Coquet
                                        Odysseus then jumped out of the horse, yelling This is Spartaaaaaaaaa! He then realized he was really king of Ithaca and he was making a fool of himself.
                                        Message 19 of 29 , May 17, 2008
                                          Odysseus then jumped out of the horse, yelling
                                          "This is Spartaaaaaaaaa!"
                                          He then realized he was really king of Ithaca and he was making a fool
                                          of himself.
                                          (true story :P)

                                          To the OP's defense, the Trojan war was initiated by the "kidnapping"
                                          of Helen, trophy wife of Agamemnon, king of Sparta. This prompted the
                                          10-year siege of Troy.

                                          Julien

                                          On 17 mai 08, at 07:44, "mbchoe" <mbchoe@...> wrote:

                                          >
                                          > the wooden horse was given to the people of troy who lost the trojan
                                          > war. odysseus came up with the idea and after the war, he got lost on
                                          > a 10 year odyssey.
                                          >
                                          > --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, "Jared Huber" <jared@...> wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > "I've said it before, there was a gift delivered to the people of
                                          > Sparta
                                          > > in the form of a wooden horse... and it was free also."
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > Is this type of paranoia surrounding Google's use of analytics data
                                          > > common? If so, how has this group combatted it?
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > Doesn't Google have too much to lose to risk it? Any whiff of
                                          > > impropriety would send Google's stock price into a tumble...
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > Thoughts?
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > Thanks,
                                          > >
                                          > > Jared
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > From: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com [mailto:webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                                          > ]
                                          > > On Behalf Of William Devlin
                                          > > Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 3:53 PM
                                          > > To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                                          > > Subject: Re: [webanalytics] Re: You are willing to go to your upper
                                          > > managment with this sort of information?
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > Not necessarily disagreeing with you, but your tone suggests an
                                          > agenda
                                          > > that's going to set satisfied GA users off a little bit.
                                          > >
                                          > > Will
                                          > >
                                          > > pbokan wrote:
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Desperate, hardly. As you will note, I included all the premium
                                          > > > vendors.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > So long as everyone is comfortible opting in their valuable
                                          > business
                                          > > > information for Google to use as they please; that's perfectly
                                          > > > alright.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Should an etail, travel, ad rev or finance operation be fearful of
                                          > > > this sort of downtime and loss of information occurrence
                                          > happening;
                                          > > > yes.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > What sort of a support mechanism is in place when GA fails; nada.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Premium vendors not only provide actionable data and accurate
                                          > > > statistics (Google has been reported to have as large of a 20%
                                          > > > variance in retail statistics compared to back end systems), but
                                          > > > also have a support system in place to tend to the customers'
                                          > needs.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > GA is a great free tool if you want to see number of hits. Now
                                          > aside
                                          > > > from a true brochureware site or plain information with little
                                          > or no
                                          > > > call to action, would you want to operate a multi-million dollar
                                          > > > revenue producing machine on hope and inaccuracies?
                                          > > >
                                          > > > I've said it before, there was a gift delivered to the people of
                                          > > > Sparta in the form of a wooden horse... and it was free also.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                                          > > <mailto:webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com>
                                          > > > <mailto:webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com>, ALEX BRASIL <alexbrasil@>
                                          > > > wrote:
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > No, but the answer, "our analytics tool had an issue that is
                                          > being
                                          > > > rectified as we speak, though some of the data may be permanently
                                          > > > skewed for one week" might.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > With all due respect, this comes off as a little desperate. I
                                          > > > agree the paid vendors have their niche/role to play, but GA is an
                                          > > > excellent tool and I don't think an instance like this is going to
                                          > > > persuade people to think otherwise.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > pbokan <pbokan@> wrote: If you
                                          > > > haven't already; please consider working with Coremetrics :),
                                          > > > > Omni, Webtrends or Unica.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Each has different value propositions, but in the end... who
                                          > > > wants
                                          > > > > to report in a board or investor meeting... or even to your
                                          > > > > supervisors, that you can't quite give visibility.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > The answer of "at least its free", won't cut it.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Best,
                                          > > > > S. Crockett-
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > ---
                                          > > > > Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 3:35 AM
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Subject: Google Alert - google analytics
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > ---
                                          > > > > Google News Alert for: google analytics
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Google Analytics Admits Errors, Data Loss
                                          > > > > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-analytics-
                                          > > > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-analytics->
                                          > > > > admits-errors-data-loss>
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > WebProNews - Lexington,KY,USA
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Yet following an admission that Google Analytics experienced
                                          > > > errors
                                          > > > > for most of a week and permanently lost some data, users are
                                          > > > taking
                                          > > > > the news rather well ...
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > See all stories on this topic <http://news.google.com/news?
                                          > > > <http://news.google.com/news?>
                                          > > > > hl=en&ncl=http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-
                                          > > > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google->
                                          > > > > analytics-admits-errors-data-loss>
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          > > > >
                                          > > >
                                          > > >
                                          > >
                                          > > --
                                          > > *
                                          > > William Devlin*
                                          > > Internet Marketing Analyst/
                                          > > /
                                          > >
                                          > > *Overton's* <http://www.overtons.com/>
                                          > > 111 Red Banks Rd
                                          > > Greenville, NC 27858
                                          > > *
                                          > > Work:* 252.355.7600 ext. 2422
                                          > > *Email:* wdevlin@... <mailto:wdevlin%40overtons.com> <mailto:
                                          > > wdevlin@... <mailto:wdevlin%40overtons.com> >
                                          > >
                                          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          > >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >


                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • ALEX BRASIL
                                          Jim, thank you for that list, I was unaware of a number of them, and while I don t think any of them come even close to meriting the label of toy , I ll grant
                                          Message 20 of 29 , May 17, 2008
                                            Jim, thank you for that list, I was unaware of a number of them, and while I don't think any of them come even close to meriting the label of "toy", I'll grant most of them, primarily through ignorance either way.

                                            "> And ... the most serious limitation, in my view:
                                            >
                                            > -- Can't re-process data if you change a filter or profile"

                                            I was wondering, and someone can correct me if I'm wrong here, but could our wonderful friend grep help us get around this limitation? It may not be the cleanest of solutions, but if we pass the data through to our server logs, and then utilized grep on such logs, could we not apply retroactive filters to our data?






                                            Jim <mega9tron@...> wrote: >As for throwing fuel on the fire, could you be a bit more specific? What
                                            >serious data mining/analysis can not be accomplished via free tools,
                                            with the
                                            >provision that other items, say logs, need be utilized to fill in
                                            some minor
                                            >gaps?

                                            > Also, for the sake of transparency, do you happen to represent a
                                            vendor? Don't need to name which one, but I'm curious.

                                            No, I definitely don't work for a vendor. I work on behalf of clients
                                            who need analytics tools to help run their businesses.

                                            Here's a basic list of customization and analysis capabilities that
                                            the free Google Analytics lacks in comparison with serious (not free)
                                            enterprise tools:

                                            -- No ad-hoc statistical analysis (not really any statistical analysis
                                            capabilities, actually)
                                            -- No custom variables
                                            -- No custom visitor segmentation
                                            -- No importing of non-Adwords cost data
                                            -- No integration with non-Google adserving platforms such as Atlas,
                                            DART, etc.
                                            -- No integration with email delivery tools (Cheetahmail, etc.)
                                            -- No integration with call center applications
                                            -- No integration with enterprise marketing planning tools
                                            -- No integration with CRM platforms
                                            -- No data warehousing
                                            -- No support, other than the ungrammatical help pages online

                                            And ... the most serious limitation, in my view:

                                            -- Can't re-process data if you change a filter or profile

                                            To illustrate just how big of a limitation this really is, and why
                                            it's a main reason I NEVER recommend GA to our clients, here's a
                                            little dramatization of an analytics scenario (the names have been
                                            changed to protect the guilty):

                                            Marketing/Business Boss Guy:
                                            -- We need an analytics tool to help determine how our online business
                                            is doing. I heard how great this Google Analytics thing is, and it's
                                            free! That means I can spend my IT budget on hair gel and a trip to
                                            St. Barts. So, Analytics Guy, go install it so I can start my vacation.

                                            Analytics Guy:
                                            -- Um, sure, but you realize that GA has some serious limitations,
                                            right? Such as the inability to re-run filters on historical data, so
                                            we'll need to set up everything EXACTLY right from the beginning, got
                                            it? Maybe we should try Hitbox or Omniture or Coremetrics just to be safe.

                                            Marketing/Business Boss Guy:
                                            -- Yeah, yeah, whatever. It's free, baby! You can't beat the ROI on
                                            FREE! And Google's stock is worth, like, lots of money, so it must be
                                            the best. Go hook that Google Analyzator bad boy up, and here's the
                                            list of conversion funnels we'll need.

                                            Analytics Guy:
                                            -- Um, ok, are you sure these funnels won't change, because if they do
                                            the changes will only be reflected going forward?

                                            Marketing/Business Boss Guy:
                                            -- Yeah, yeah, I know what I'm doing. The conversion thingers won't
                                            change. Now go do it, I'm late for my plane.

                                            Three months later ...

                                            Marketing/Business Boss Guy:
                                            -- So Analytics Guy, the CEO and I were talking over drinks on the
                                            yacht, and we decided we want the main conversion funnels to start
                                            with a different landing page. So I'm gonna need to you plug that
                                            different landing page in the Google analyzerator and show me the
                                            updated funnel numbers for the last three months, m'kay? It's really
                                            important.

                                            Analytics Guy:
                                            -- But I told you that you can't change any views of historical data
                                            in Google Analytics. We can can only change how it reports on data
                                            from now into the future.

                                            Marketing/Business Boss Guy:
                                            -- Ha, ha, ha, very funny, now quit screwing around and go do it. I
                                            need the updated conversion rates pronto.

                                            Analytics Guy:
                                            -- No, I'm serious, you can't update a funnel or filter and have the
                                            change affect prior data in Google Analytics. I tried to tell you this
                                            earlier ...

                                            Marketing/Business Boss Guy:
                                            -- What!? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. This can't be
                                            right. Nobody would be stupid enough to make software that can't
                                            reprocess its own data. I thought the people at Google were smart. Go
                                            call Google Support. They will tell you how to do it.

                                            Analytics Guy:
                                            -- (Wincing) Um, there is no such thing as Google Support. There is no
                                            one to call or email. It's free software, remember? They can't afford
                                            to support free software, or are not willing to, anyway...

                                            Marketing/Business Boss Guy:
                                            -- (Murders Analytics Guy right there in office; jury refuses to
                                            convict on grounds of temporary insanity. Gets promoted to CMO after
                                            ditching GA and fixing "metrics problem.")

                                            That's just what I can think of off the top of my head. I'm sure the
                                            list of limitations could be significantly expanded with a little more
                                            thought. And yes, you can help minimize some of GA's limitations by
                                            coupling it with logfile analysis tools, but the fact that you'd need
                                            to do that at all tells me GA is just not ready for prime time for
                                            larger businesses, so to speak. "Free" isn't exactly free after you
                                            spend hours jury-rigging alternatives to get only partially towards
                                            the data you need. Any employee's time has a cost associated with it.

                                            Jim

                                            --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, ALEX BRASIL <alexbrasil@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > My apologies if this discussion is annoying anyone else (I by no
                                            means wish to spam this list).
                                            >
                                            > Jim I was merely countering the argument that GA requires a 24/7
                                            technical resource (and did it poorly by mentioning CSS which is not
                                            what I had intended).
                                            >
                                            > As for throwing fuel on the fire, could you be a bit more specific?
                                            What serious data mining/analysis can not be accomplished via free
                                            tools, with the provision that other items, say logs, need be utilized
                                            to fill in some minor gaps?
                                            >
                                            > It's true that in many cases you get what you pay for, but for many
                                            things in the world of computers, this is not the case, but I wont
                                            lie, I am a FOSS nut.
                                            >
                                            > Also, for the sake of transparency, do you happen to represent a
                                            vendor? Don't need to name which one, but I'm curious.






                                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          • Stephane Hamel
                                            Fascinating! This whole conversation is fascinating! I haven t seen such a heated discussion in a very long while, especially in a forum about web analytics.
                                            Message 21 of 29 , May 17, 2008
                                              Fascinating! This whole conversation is fascinating!

                                              I haven't seen such a heated discussion in a very long while,
                                              especially in a forum about web analytics. Aren't we passionate or
                                              what!? :)

                                              My take: GA (or other low-end solutions) and high-end tools are like
                                              comparing strawberries and oranges... still fruits and you can still
                                              get pretty good juice out of them, but not quite the same. Some will
                                              even mix both juices to make pretty good cocktails (in fact, around
                                              10% of the sites use both GA and another solution).

                                              If you start by looking at your web analytics maturity level, and
                                              consciously decide where you want to be on that scale. You will pretty
                                              easily find out if GA is a good fit or a high-end tool such as
                                              Omniture would be better. I'm referring to Gartner's 5 levels of
                                              maturity presented by Bill Grassman at eMetrics SF 2007:
                                              1) web metrics: "feel good" information, top 10's, page views, visits,
                                              etc.
                                              2) behaviour optimization: funnels, A/B tests, KPI, dashboards
                                              3) e-marketing: merchandising, segmentation, SEO & campaign opt.
                                              4) CRM: multichannel, personalization, process analytics
                                              5) corporate performance management: predictive analytics, strategic
                                              planning, activity-based costing

                                              GA is a level 1, most of level-2 and some of level-3. Omniture will
                                              cover you up to most of level 4 if you use Test & Target, Discover,
                                              Genesis and imports/exports. Level 5 is serious BI with multiple
                                              platforms that go beyond web analytics (think Davenport's "Competing
                                              on analytics").

                                              GA, Coremetrics, Omniture and a bunch of others each have very unique
                                              characteristics that makes them better fits in some situations.

                                              GA has significantly increased the awareness about web analytics, the
                                              problem we now face is setting the expectations for companies aiming
                                              at the higher levels of the scale with a tool that is appropriate for
                                              some of it, but not all.

                                              An orange juice in the morning is fine, a Pina Colada in the afternoon
                                              has a little more power :)

                                              (I have re-edited this text on my blog and added a chart for the Web
                                              analytics maturity model)

                                              St├ęphane Hamel
                                              http://blog.immeria.net
                                            • pbokan
                                              Love the passion, people. The Sparta comment was a little human error on my part; apologies, crow to eat. Human error is a given, statistical variance is a
                                              Message 22 of 29 , May 17, 2008
                                                Love the passion, people.

                                                The Sparta comment was a little human error on my part; apologies,
                                                crow to eat.

                                                Human error is a given, statistical variance is a whole different
                                                story... again, is it in the best interest of an ad rev model or
                                                transactional/etailer, to rely on potentially bad data? Over arching
                                                trends are important, but they spring from granularity.

                                                Client acquisition/b2b is another conversation all together,
                                                although I would argue the same point. Qualified leads being
                                                delivered to a sales team is the end result from site optimization.
                                                There are anomalies but it is normally a constant, to be successful,
                                                you need to make business decisions based on accurate information
                                                and accountability.

                                                Not saying there isn't a place for freeware, it just depends need.


                                                --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, Julien Coquet
                                                <julien.coquet@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > Odysseus then jumped out of the horse, yelling
                                                > "This is Spartaaaaaaaaa!"
                                                > He then realized he was really king of Ithaca and he was making a
                                                fool
                                                > of himself.
                                                > (true story :P)
                                                >
                                                > To the OP's defense, the Trojan war was initiated by
                                                the "kidnapping"
                                                > of Helen, trophy wife of Agamemnon, king of Sparta. This prompted
                                                the
                                                > 10-year siege of Troy.
                                                >
                                                > Julien
                                                >
                                                > On 17 mai 08, at 07:44, "mbchoe" <mbchoe@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > >
                                                > > the wooden horse was given to the people of troy who lost the
                                                trojan
                                                > > war. odysseus came up with the idea and after the war, he got
                                                lost on
                                                > > a 10 year odyssey.
                                                > >
                                                > > --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, "Jared Huber" <jared@>
                                                wrote:
                                                > > >
                                                > > > "I've said it before, there was a gift delivered to the people
                                                of
                                                > > Sparta
                                                > > > in the form of a wooden horse... and it was free also."
                                                > > >
                                                > > >
                                                > > >
                                                > > > Is this type of paranoia surrounding Google's use of analytics
                                                data
                                                > > > common? If so, how has this group combatted it?
                                                > > >
                                                > > >
                                                > > >
                                                > > > Doesn't Google have too much to lose to risk it? Any whiff of
                                                > > > impropriety would send Google's stock price into a tumble...
                                                > > >
                                                > > >
                                                > > >
                                                > > > Thoughts?
                                                > > >
                                                > > >
                                                > > >
                                                > > > Thanks,
                                                > > >
                                                > > > Jared
                                                > > >
                                                > > >
                                                > > >
                                                > > > From: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                                                [mailto:webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                                                > > ]
                                                > > > On Behalf Of William Devlin
                                                > > > Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 3:53 PM
                                                > > > To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                                                > > > Subject: Re: [webanalytics] Re: You are willing to go to your
                                                upper
                                                > > > managment with this sort of information?
                                                > > >
                                                > > >
                                                > > >
                                                > > > Not necessarily disagreeing with you, but your tone suggests
                                                an
                                                > > agenda
                                                > > > that's going to set satisfied GA users off a little bit.
                                                > > >
                                                > > > Will
                                                > > >
                                                > > > pbokan wrote:
                                                > > > >
                                                > > > > Desperate, hardly. As you will note, I included all the
                                                premium
                                                > > > > vendors.
                                                > > > >
                                                > > > > So long as everyone is comfortible opting in their valuable
                                                > > business
                                                > > > > information for Google to use as they please; that's
                                                perfectly
                                                > > > > alright.
                                                > > > >
                                                > > > > Should an etail, travel, ad rev or finance operation be
                                                fearful of
                                                > > > > this sort of downtime and loss of information occurrence
                                                > > happening;
                                                > > > > yes.
                                                > > > >
                                                > > > > What sort of a support mechanism is in place when GA fails;
                                                nada.
                                                > > > >
                                                > > > > Premium vendors not only provide actionable data and accurate
                                                > > > > statistics (Google has been reported to have as large of a
                                                20%
                                                > > > > variance in retail statistics compared to back end systems),
                                                but
                                                > > > > also have a support system in place to tend to the
                                                customers'
                                                > > needs.
                                                > > > >
                                                > > > > GA is a great free tool if you want to see number of hits.
                                                Now
                                                > > aside
                                                > > > > from a true brochureware site or plain information with
                                                little
                                                > > or no
                                                > > > > call to action, would you want to operate a multi-million
                                                dollar
                                                > > > > revenue producing machine on hope and inaccuracies?
                                                > > > >
                                                > > > > I've said it before, there was a gift delivered to the
                                                people of
                                                > > > > Sparta in the form of a wooden horse... and it was free also.
                                                > > > >
                                                > > > > --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                                                > > > <mailto:webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com>
                                                > > > > <mailto:webanalytics%40yahoogroups.com>, ALEX BRASIL
                                                <alexbrasil@>
                                                > > > > wrote:
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > No, but the answer, "our analytics tool had an issue that
                                                is
                                                > > being
                                                > > > > rectified as we speak, though some of the data may be
                                                permanently
                                                > > > > skewed for one week" might.
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > With all due respect, this comes off as a little
                                                desperate. I
                                                > > > > agree the paid vendors have their niche/role to play, but GA
                                                is an
                                                > > > > excellent tool and I don't think an instance like this is
                                                going to
                                                > > > > persuade people to think otherwise.
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > pbokan <pbokan@> wrote: If you
                                                > > > > haven't already; please consider working with Coremetrics :),
                                                > > > > > Omni, Webtrends or Unica.
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > Each has different value propositions, but in the end...
                                                who
                                                > > > > wants
                                                > > > > > to report in a board or investor meeting... or even to your
                                                > > > > > supervisors, that you can't quite give visibility.
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > The answer of "at least its free", won't cut it.
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > Best,
                                                > > > > > S. Crockett-
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > ---
                                                > > > > > Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 3:35 AM
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > Subject: Google Alert - google analytics
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > ---
                                                > > > > > Google News Alert for: google analytics
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > Google Analytics Admits Errors, Data Loss
                                                > > > > > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-
                                                analytics-
                                                > > > > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-
                                                analytics->
                                                > > > > > admits-errors-data-loss>
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > WebProNews - Lexington,KY,USA
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > Yet following an admission that Google Analytics
                                                experienced
                                                > > > > errors
                                                > > > > > for most of a week and permanently lost some data, users
                                                are
                                                > > > > taking
                                                > > > > > the news rather well ...
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > See all stories on this topic <http://news.google.com/news?
                                                > > > > <http://news.google.com/news?>
                                                > > > > >
                                                hl=en&ncl=http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-
                                                > > > > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google->
                                                > > > > > analytics-admits-errors-data-loss>
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > >
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                                                > > > --
                                                > > > *
                                                > > > William Devlin*
                                                > > > Internet Marketing Analyst/
                                                > > > /
                                                > > >
                                                > > > *Overton's* <http://www.overtons.com/>
                                                > > > 111 Red Banks Rd
                                                > > > Greenville, NC 27858
                                                > > > *
                                                > > > Work:* 252.355.7600 ext. 2422
                                                > > > *Email:* wdevlin@ <mailto:wdevlin%40overtons.com> <mailto:
                                                > > > wdevlin@ <mailto:wdevlin%40overtons.com> >
                                                > > >
                                                > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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                                              • Brian Clifton
                                                Marcos - we had the discussion about ABCe last year, so I am surprised you bring this up again. For those who missed it, here is a reference link:
                                                Message 23 of 29 , May 18, 2008
                                                  Marcos - we had the discussion about ABCe last year, so I am surprised
                                                  you bring this up again.

                                                  For those who missed it, here is a reference link:
                                                  http://www.advanced-web-metrics.com/blog/2007/09/12/what-is-abce

                                                  The point from that post is, ABCE is not (repeat not) and accuracy
                                                  audit. It cannot take into account implementation errors or
                                                  mis-configurations. ABCE is simply an audit report that verifies your
                                                  analytics tool is reporting the same numbers as logged by your
                                                  logfile/page beacon.

                                                  Essentially it is used by publishers to give confidence in their
                                                  advertising rate card. That is a valuable service for them. However if
                                                  you do not sell advertising on your web site it is unlikely you need
                                                  an ABCE audit.

                                                  HTH, Brian Clifton



                                                  > 5. Can we rely on this data?
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Answer- I am afraid its not audited (ABCe) but we can use it for bench
                                                  > marking
                                                • Brian Clifton
                                                  That s a great list Jim. I just wanted to correct you on some of your points wrt to Google Analytics... ... I have to say that GA was not built for statistical
                                                  Message 24 of 29 , May 18, 2008
                                                    That's a great list Jim. I just wanted to correct you on some of your
                                                    points wrt to Google Analytics...

                                                    > -- No ad-hoc statistical analysis (not really any statistical analysis
                                                    > capabilities, actually)

                                                    I have to say that GA was not built for statistical analysis - it is
                                                    aimed at digital marketers and web designers who need to understand what
                                                    works on their web site and what doesn't.

                                                    If needed, probably best to pull the data out of the UI to acheive
                                                    statistical analysis. There are export facilities including scheduled
                                                    email, though I would have thought the xml export would be most
                                                    appropriate. I number of GA Partners have also used PHP Cake to extract
                                                    data in an automated way. Email me directly if interested in this.


                                                    > -- No custom variables

                                                    There is a custom variable available. Try _utmSetVar (urchin.js) or
                                                    _setVar (ga.js). I use this to label visitors e.g. customer v subscriber
                                                    or purchaser v browser.

                                                    > -- No custom visitor segmentation

                                                    Same as above

                                                    > -- No importing of non-Adwords cost data

                                                    That's correct. Essentially Yahoo will not play ball and provide Google
                                                    with access to their YSM API. I would suggest using Urchin (server-side
                                                    analytics software) to full-fill this need. You can even run both
                                                    together:
                                                    http://www.advanced-web-metrics.com/blog/2007/10/17/backup-your-ga-data-\
                                                    locally/

                                                    > -- No integration with non-Google adserving platforms such as Atlas,
                                                    > DART, etc.

                                                    Well DoubleClick/DART is now owned by Google so I guess that is not too
                                                    far away... same as Website Optimiser and Feedburner. Lots of
                                                    possibilities...

                                                    > -- No integration with email delivery tools (Cheetahmail, etc.)

                                                    You can track email marketing with the use of campaign variables
                                                    appended to URLs. I am not sure what else Cheetahmail can give you other
                                                    than emails sent. As you know, tracking open rates is pretty worthless
                                                    these days with 3rd party images blocked by default in most email
                                                    clients.

                                                    > -- No integration with call center applications
                                                    > -- No integration with enterprise marketing planning tools
                                                    > -- No integration with CRM platforms

                                                    You can pull in campaign paramters of your visitors into a backend CRM
                                                    system. Its in Chapter 9 of the book :)

                                                    > -- No data warehousing

                                                    What do you mean by this? I have heard this term used to describe many
                                                    different things.

                                                    > -- No support, other than the ungrammatical help pages online

                                                    Well there is a comprehensive book out there if you want DIY help and
                                                    plenty of forums/groups such as this. However if you need professional
                                                    services, try one of the GA Authorised Consultants
                                                    (http://www.advanced-web-metrics.com/blog/what-is-a-gaac/). They are all
                                                    independent and most consult with multiple vendors so you know you are
                                                    getting good advice.

                                                    > And ... the most serious limitation, in my view:
                                                    >
                                                    > -- Can't re-process data if you change a filter or profile

                                                    In that case you really need Urchin - then you can reprocess to your
                                                    heart's content.
                                                    http://www.advanced-web-metrics.com/blog/2007/10/16/what-is-urchin/

                                                    HTH, Brian Clifton

                                                    Disclaimer: Author of Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics, Google
                                                    Analytics Authorised Consultant and former Head of Web Analytics for
                                                    Google EMEA.
                                                  • Gareth Hebbron
                                                    S, In front of the board? What board...? If You r using GA then you r prob an SME, You r Web Analytics is not business critical for SCM or eCRM, so the data
                                                    Message 25 of 29 , May 20, 2008
                                                      S,

                                                      In front of the board? What board...? If You'r using GA then you'r
                                                      prob an SME, You'r Web Analytics is not business critical for SCM or
                                                      eCRM, so the data processing errors are not that much of big of a
                                                      deal. Worst case scenario you lost a couple of bucks in Ad purchasing
                                                      or wasted some time on SEO efforts cause I got the wrong info :'(

                                                      If you're a large enterprise with a business critical web presence
                                                      then maybe you should be using a high quality and capacity vendor...

                                                      Not for the reasons of quality of service; I have heard of and
                                                      encountered all sorts of problems, errors and failures, clients have
                                                      had with vendors such as those that you listed.

                                                      Accountability? Yes if you're paying for a supplier then you can
                                                      always phone them up and yell at them, which I guess is fun? You can
                                                      ask for your money back I'm sure. But then GA will give you your money
                                                      back too ($0.00). I wouldn't hold your breath if you hoping for
                                                      compensation for losses from an analytics vendor, have you seen their
                                                      contracts?!?

                                                      If you want to start doing real serious analysis and/or need greater
                                                      capacity the yes get a real metrics supplier, one that goes beyond
                                                      just web analytics. Maybe even a customised service rather than some
                                                      off the shelf out of the box tat.

                                                      I'll acknowledge the potability that Google might well be using GA
                                                      data in its page ranking or that its just a vehicle for peddling Ad
                                                      Words, I will even listen to the other GA conspiracy stories with
                                                      interest. But if this is the only problem we have ever encounter with
                                                      them, I would still recommend it to any SME web site owner.

                                                      G.


                                                      --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, "pbokan" <pbokan@...> wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      > If you haven't already; please consider working with Coremetrics :),
                                                      > Omni, Webtrends or Unica.
                                                      >
                                                      > Each has different value propositions, but in the end... who wants
                                                      > to report in a board or investor meeting... or even to your
                                                      > supervisors, that you can't quite give visibility.
                                                      >
                                                      > The answer of "at least its free", won't cut it.
                                                      >
                                                      > Best,
                                                      > S. Crockett-
                                                      >
                                                      > ---
                                                      > Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2008 3:35 AM
                                                      >
                                                      > Subject: Google Alert - google analytics
                                                      >
                                                      > ---
                                                      > Google News Alert for: google analytics
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > Google Analytics Admits Errors, Data Loss
                                                      > <http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-analytics-
                                                      > admits-errors-data-loss>
                                                      >
                                                      > WebProNews - Lexington,KY,USA
                                                      >
                                                      > Yet following an admission that Google Analytics experienced errors
                                                      > for most of a week and permanently lost some data, users are taking
                                                      > the news rather well ...
                                                      >
                                                      > See all stories on this topic <http://news.google.com/news?
                                                      > hl=en&ncl=http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/14/google-
                                                      > analytics-admits-errors-data-loss>
                                                      >
                                                    • Jim
                                                      ... Potability? You GA fanboys keep saying it s the greatest thing since sliced bread, and now you claim I can drink it along with that bread? I ll admit it s
                                                      Message 26 of 29 , May 20, 2008
                                                        > I'll acknowledge the potability that Google might well be using GA
                                                        > data in its page ranking or that its just a vehicle for peddling Ad
                                                        > Words, I will even listen to the other GA conspiracy stories with
                                                        > interest. But if this is the only problem we have ever encounter with
                                                        > them, I would still recommend it to any SME web site owner.

                                                        Potability? You GA fanboys keep saying it's the greatest thing since
                                                        sliced bread, and now you claim I can drink it along with that bread?
                                                        I'll admit it's a useful tool, but there is absolutely no way I'm going
                                                        to drink it, no matter what anybody on the interweb says.





                                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                      • Marcos Richardson
                                                        Hi Brian, We did not discuss, you presumed! So, in reply to your post and blog. 1.) It is an audit of compliance to industry-agreed standards, and it does
                                                        Message 27 of 29 , May 21, 2008
                                                          Hi Brian,



                                                          We did not discuss, you presumed!



                                                          So, in reply to your post and blog.



                                                          1.) It is an audit of compliance to industry-agreed standards, and it does
                                                          check for accuracy within agreed thresholds. But its driver is
                                                          comparability.



                                                          2.) It can take into account implementation errors or mis-configurations.



                                                          With regards to your blog there are quite few factual errors.



                                                          It is true that ABCe checks that the analytics tool reports numbers that can
                                                          be traced back to a log file or page beacon, but that is not an "audit".
                                                          ABCe auditors do indeed seek to verify that the pageview and visitor numbers
                                                          reported in a client's analytics tool as matching (to within error bars)
                                                          their manual counts of the data. BUT, importantly, they seek to gain
                                                          confidence that [a] the activity is real (and one way it does that is by
                                                          checking for the presence of the "seed" requests that ABCe has put into the
                                                          log file data) and [b] the data complies with industry-agreed standards for
                                                          validity - so (within standard tolerances) no robots, no internal activity,
                                                          and nothing reported as a page view that didn't appear to come from a human
                                                          or wasn't an actual page.



                                                          As a minimum, ABCe checks at least a 10% sample of the whole data set (we at
                                                          WebtraffIQ typically provide them with the lot, in fact), not just the seed
                                                          records. There is a lot of detailed analysis and diagnostics of 'all'
                                                          sampled activity that takes place in an ABCe audit, and publishers find the
                                                          insights that this gives very valuable. Quite often, ABCe CAN detect
                                                          mis-configurations in analytics tools such as double-tagging or missing
                                                          parts of a site, since a process of continuous dialogue with the publisher
                                                          during the audit regarding their expectations takes place.



                                                          The one thing ABCe can't do is explain why data *isn't* there without
                                                          consultation with the publisher, but they CAN certainly tell you what the
                                                          top URLs on your site were and it would then be up to you to work out why
                                                          the one you expected to be at no. 2 isn't there at all.





                                                          NB: Tim Rodda (Omniture) would you like to add anything?





                                                          Regards



                                                          Marcos Richardson

                                                          Director

                                                          WebtraffIQ







                                                          _____

                                                          From: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com [mailto:webanalytics@yahoogroups.com] On
                                                          Behalf Of Brian Clifton
                                                          Sent: 18 May 2008 13:39
                                                          To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                                                          Subject: [webanalytics] Re: You are willing to go to your upper managment
                                                          with this sort of information?



                                                          Marcos - we had the discussion about ABCe last year, so I am surprised
                                                          you bring this up again.

                                                          For those who missed it, here is a reference link:
                                                          http://www.advanced
                                                          <http://www.advanced-web-metrics.com/blog/2007/09/12/what-is-abce>
                                                          -web-metrics.com/blog/2007/09/12/what-is-abce

                                                          The point from that post is, ABCE is not (repeat not) and accuracy
                                                          audit. It cannot take into account implementation errors or
                                                          mis-configurations. ABCE is simply an audit report that verifies your
                                                          analytics tool is reporting the same numbers as logged by your
                                                          logfile/page beacon.

                                                          Essentially it is used by publishers to give confidence in their
                                                          advertising rate card. That is a valuable service for them. However if
                                                          you do not sell advertising on your web site it is unlikely you need
                                                          an ABCE audit.

                                                          HTH, Brian Clifton

                                                          > 5. Can we rely on this data?
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          > Answer- I am afraid its not audited (ABCe) but we can use it for bench
                                                          > marking



                                                          __________ NOD32 3107 (20080518) Information __________

                                                          This message was checked by NOD32 antivirus system.
                                                          http://www.eset.com



                                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                        • Craig Sullivan
                                                          Oh dear, I think the point here should be that I ve seen people get better data from GA implementations than Omniture or Webtrends etc. It isn t the tool - its
                                                          Message 28 of 29 , May 21, 2008
                                                            Oh dear,



                                                            I think the point here should be that I've seen people get better data
                                                            from GA implementations than Omniture or Webtrends etc.



                                                            It isn't the tool - its what ya do with it that counts. If you find
                                                            you've exhausted GA functionality then yes, you deserve an upgrade path.



                                                            C.



                                                            <http://www.lovefilm.com/>

                                                            Craig Sullivan

                                                            Product Manager - Digital and Usability
                                                            LOVEFiLM.com <http://www.lovefilm.com/>

                                                            No.9 | 6 Portal Way | London | W3 6RU
                                                            T: (020) 8896 8050 | M: (0)7711 657315 | F: 0208 896 8110
                                                            craig.sullivan@...





                                                            ________________________________

                                                            From: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com [mailto:webanalytics@yahoogroups.com]
                                                            On Behalf Of Jim
                                                            Sent: 20 May 2008 20:02
                                                            To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
                                                            Subject: [webanalytics] Re: You are willing to go to your upper
                                                            managment with this sort of information?



                                                            > I'll acknowledge the potability that Google might well be using GA
                                                            > data in its page ranking or that its just a vehicle for peddling Ad
                                                            > Words, I will even listen to the other GA conspiracy stories with
                                                            > interest. But if this is the only problem we have ever encounter with
                                                            > them, I would still recommend it to any SME web site owner.

                                                            Potability? You GA fanboys keep saying it's the greatest thing since
                                                            sliced bread, and now you claim I can drink it along with that bread?
                                                            I'll admit it's a useful tool, but there is absolutely no way I'm going
                                                            to drink it, no matter what anybody on the interweb says.

                                                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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                                                          • Gareth Hebbron
                                                            Oups. potability... by which I mean possibility. However a google brand beverage would be interesting, I imagine it would taste smiler to red bull or jolt. Fan
                                                            Message 29 of 29 , May 22, 2008
                                                              Oups.

                                                              potability... by which I mean possibility.
                                                              However a google brand beverage would be interesting, I imagine it
                                                              would taste smiler to red bull or jolt.

                                                              Fan Boy?!? Were not talking about XBox V's Playstation here, I am from
                                                              a professional standpoint a GA competitor, and like I said a
                                                              professional analyst needs more than GA has to offer, but I still
                                                              maintain it's an ideal solution for JoesGardenGnomes.com

                                                              G.

                                                              --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, "Jim" <mega9tron@...> wrote:
                                                              >
                                                              > > I'll acknowledge the potability that Google might well be using GA
                                                              > > data in its page ranking or that its just a vehicle for peddling Ad
                                                              > > Words, I will even listen to the other GA conspiracy stories with
                                                              > > interest. But if this is the only problem we have ever encounter with
                                                              > > them, I would still recommend it to any SME web site owner.
                                                              >
                                                              > Potability? You GA fanboys keep saying it's the greatest thing since
                                                              > sliced bread, and now you claim I can drink it along with that bread?
                                                              > I'll admit it's a useful tool, but there is absolutely no way I'm going
                                                              > to drink it, no matter what anybody on the interweb says.
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                              >
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