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Re: What applications are other people using?

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  • quibble12345
    I work for Resource Interactive. We create web sites for Fortune 500 clients. ... for? ... webanalytics@yahoogroups.com ... [webanalytics] Re: What
    Message 1 of 15 , Jul 1, 2004
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      I work for Resource Interactive. We create web sites for Fortune 500
      clients.

      --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, michael_tyrrell@f... wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Forgive me if you've said this already, but what firm do you work
      for?
      >
      >
      >

      > quibble12345

      > <aablank@hotmail. To:
      webanalytics@yahoogroups.com

      > com> cc:

      > Subject:
      [webanalytics] Re: What applications are other people using?

      > 06/30/2004 05:43

      > PM

      > Please respond to

      > webanalytics

      >

      >

      >
      >


      >
      >
      > Certainly I can't commit to any vendor, as my firm helps many
      clients
      > with analytics packages of their own choice. I have to be adept at
      a
      > number of tools that is growing all of the time. I agree with Matt,
      > Omniture is really good. But I can't say that it's best.
      >
      > In my previous message, I was relaying my frustration with the
      > communication about and marketing of these tools. There is a big
      > silence about who to use because of a lack of experience in the
      market.
      >
      > Matt is right about the opportunity to educate. There seems to be
      > downright fear from the vendors regarding showing too much of a
      sample
      > report on a web site (some offline dataminers do it too). A lot of
      > the claims all sound the same. The differences are not sharply
      apparent.
      >
      > If there's a lack of experience in the market, put up a demo to let
      > people try it out. The way I see it, if a company really thinks its
      > product is the best in the market, show it off (take a look at
      > http://www.spss.com/clementine/, they do). Don't worry about the
      > competition, they'll see it anyway. Worry about getting the target
      > users interested in your tool. Right now the market is wide open.
      >
      > Granted, it's not like buying a fries and a Coke. I know it
      requires
      > explanation, but in what analogous market does it make sense to hide
      > the actual product?
      >
      >
      > --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, Matt Belkin <mbelkin@m...>
      wrote:
      > > The "feature/function" wars are definitely not over. What we've
      > seen thus
      > > far is just the tip of iceberg for Web Analytics. As John Mellor
      notes,
      > > "web analytics is in its infancy". This is unquestionably true.
      But I
      > > think the whole notion of "feature/function" wars is sort of
      > misplaced. The
      > > future of Web Analytics is really much deeper than just the top
      vendors
      > > adding similar features in each product rev. It's about expanding
      > customer
      > > needs, how vendors can meet those needs, and the web analytics
      adoption
      > > lifecycle.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > While it's true that many Web Analytics vendor appear very similar
      > on paper,
      > > if you actually use the products, you'll realize just how
      different they
      > > are. There are fundamental architecture differences that allow
      > companies
      > > like Omniture to perform better than say, coreMetrics.
      > Unfortunately, while
      > > this competitive advantage (among many others) allows Omniture to
      > remain the
      > > market leader, they must also step up to that opportunity and help
      > prospects
      > > like "quibble1235" understand why they are better. That is not a
      > > "feature/function" issue - it is a question of educating the
      market and
      > > moving customers along the adoption lifecycle.
      > >
      > >
      > > This is no small issue - on one end of the spectrum (the
      laggards),
      > I still
      > > hear people talk about "how many hits their website gets".
      Fortune 500
      > > companies are still using log files to track IP addresses (unaware
      > that log
      > > files are worthless). These folks are months if not years away
      from
      > > realizing the capabilities available in Web Analytics packages
      like
      > > Omniture.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > At the other end of the spectrum, companies like Macromedia are
      > constantly
      > > pushing the envelope of Web Analytics. We're focused on how we
      can
      > leverage
      > > Web Analytics to fill the enormous void in Marketing and Customer
      > Analytics.
      > > This means not just website traffic, but any online activities
      where we
      > > communicate with customers. Virtual seminars, customer support,
      blogs,
      > > eLearning, etc. And we're not just talking about online. This
      also
      > means
      > > offline as well. Take a look at companies like Cognos, SAS, and
      > epiphany.
      > > These folks provide critical offline customer intelligence
      > capabilities -
      > > mostly on the back-end with data warehouses. Direct sales,
      customer
      > > service, finance, events, public relations - these are all
      customer
      > > touchpoints that we care about, but that Web Analytics has no view
      into.
      > > True, vendors like Omniture, WebSideStory, and CoreMetrics are
      > making some
      > > in-roads here, but we're still way off.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Success in this market will be defined by how well vendors address
      these
      > > expanding customer needs - that's the reality. And as long as
      those
      > needs
      > > change and evolve, the "feature/function" wars will never be over.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Finally, "quibble12345", I would advise you to do a little more
      hands-on
      > > research before arbitrarily committing to a vendor because they
      are
      > > allegedly the "BEST for eCommerce". Customer retention is a good
      > place to
      > > start.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > - Matt.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > _____
      > >
      > > From: Eric Peterson [mailto:eric.peterson@g...]
      > > Sent: Tuesday, June 29, 2004 7:52 PM
      > > To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
      > > Subject: [webanalytics] Re: What applications are other people
      using?
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > This is an interesting trend that comes up more and more often -
      the
      > > idea that the feature/function wars are now nearly over and nobody
      > > won. While not necessarily true today - I can think of several
      > > vendors that I personally believe still have competitive
      advantages
      > > from a feature/function standpoint (and no, I'm not going to name
      > > them by name, sorry) - vendors do appear to be heading rapidly in
      > > that direction.
      > >
      > > So is this a good thing or a bad thing?
      > >
      > > Me, I'm not 100% sure. While one one hand I'm in favor of feature
      > > parity because it will force vendors to differentiate themselves
      > > along more substantial lines - service, training and
      > > implementation/installation support. I also fear parity because
      it
      > > will likely cause further price erosion in a market that has
      already
      > > seen a substatial decline in gross profitability in the last
      handful
      > > of years. While surely this will be the impetus of the shake-up
      > > that "quibble12345" mentioned, and I certainly believe that the
      > > analytics market is dangerously close to being polluted with
      vendors
      > > unlikely to succeed, some of my best friends are vendors and I'd
      > > hate to see them fail ;-)
      > >
      > > I'm interested to hear what the vendors have to say. Those of you
      > > on the list, if you care to speak up, make a case for why the
      > > feature/function wars aren't over and how you're gonna continue to
      > > innovate and stay ahead of the pack. I dare ya. I double-dog
      dare
      > > ya.
      > >
      > > Eric
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, "quibble12345" <aablank@h...>
      > > wrote:
      > > > It seems as if all of the services are starting to offer all of
      the
      > > > same features (albeit some better than others). How can one
      offer
      > > a
      > > > feature that isn't immediately copied by the others? Eventually
      > > there
      > > > will be a shake out.
      > > >
      > > > Currently we use Omniture for some clients. It is pretty good,
      > > > especially compared to WebTrends. We will be using Coremetrics
      in
      > > the
      > > > future. It has the reputation for being the BEST for
      e-commerce.
      > > > Why? I can't tell a difference from the literature.
      > > >
      > > > The Jupiter Research study mentioned G2 as the ultimate.
      > > Coremetrics
      > > > has external hooks as well. So ...
      > > >
      > > > I've heard that Double Click could be the 800lbs gorilla in the
      > > future
      > > > given their resources. So I'm not so sure what to think.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > --- In webanalytics@yahoogroups.com, "Eric Peterson" <eric@w...>
      > > > wrote:
      > > > > Hey folks,
      > > > >
      > > > > So I've seen some support on the list recently for
      WebSideStory's
      > > > HBX
      > > > > application which is nice, good to see people asking about
      these
      > > > > applications - especially from overseas. I'm wondering, are
      any
      > > of
      > > > you
      > > > > folks using less traditional applications -- apps from vendors
      > > like
      > > > Urchin,
      > > > > SPSS, Visual Sciences, ClickTracks or perhaps Visitor Village
      > > (ok,
      > > > I'm
      > > > > kidding about the latter, really ;-)
      > > > >
      > > > > It's hard for me to believe that we're all using the same set
      of
      > > > > applications given the diversity of the competitive landscape
      ...
      > > > >
      > > > > Also, Bryan Eisenberg sent me a link to a humorous blog
      focused
      > > on
      > > > Web
      > > > > analytics (at times). Check this out:
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > <http://persuasion.typepad.com/architect/2004/
      06/its_not_like_ba.html
      > > <http://persuasion.typepad.com/architect/2004/
      06/its_not_like_ba.html>
      > > >
      > > > > http://persuasion.typepad.com/architect/2004/06/
      > > <http://persuasion.typepad.com/architect/2004/06/>
      > > > its_not_like_ba.html
      > > > >
      > > > > Cheers,
      > > > >
      > > > > Eric
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > ---------------------------------------
      > > Web Metrics Discussion Group
      > > Moderated by Eric T. Peterson
      > > Author, Web Analytics Demystified
      > > http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com
      > > <http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com>
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > ADVERTISEMENT
      > >
      > >
      > <http://us.ard.yahoo.com/SIG=129vp561t/M=295196.
      4901138.6071305.3001176
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      > >
      >
      oups/S=1705005582:HM/EXP=1088650339/A=2128215/R=0/
      SIG=10se96mf6/*http:/compa
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      > > nion.yahoo.com> click here
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      > >
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      > > :HM/A=2128215/rand=625682295>
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > _____
      > >
      > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > >
      > > * To visit your group on the web, go to:
      > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/webanalytics/
      > > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/webanalytics/>
      > >
      > > * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      > > webanalytics-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      > > <mailto:webanalytics-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.c
      om?subject=Unsubscribe>
      > >
      > > * Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo!
      Terms of
      > Service
      > > <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> .
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ---------------------------------------
      > Web Metrics Discussion Group
      > Moderated by Eric T. Peterson
      > Author, Web Analytics Demystified
      > http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
    • Braden Hoeppner
      Hi Eric, Any chance you can post that information about the cost of switching vendors? I believe that this is an important feature of an analytics vendor:
      Message 2 of 15 , Jul 2, 2004
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        Hi Eric,
         
        Any chance you can post that information about the cost of switching vendors?
         
         I believe that this is an important 'feature' of an analytics vendor: how easy is it to get your data if you decide to switch? Not only a problem with web analytics, but as software companies move online, and packages move to a subscription based approach, it becomes difficult to 'get your data' out in a usable form should you decide to switch vendors at some point. If you switch vendors and they have a different methodology of tracking, or do not have a good export tool, your historic data could be useless.
         
        I understand that offering a good export package seems to be something that would promote churn, but as the market becomes more competitive I don't think people will put up with the inability to have full control over there data - this is probably even more true as web analysts become more adept and manipulating data to produce important metrics for their businesses needs.
         
        Cheers,
        Braden


        From: Eric Peterson [mailto:eric@...]
        Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2004 8:43 PM
        To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: RE: [webanalytics] What applications are other people using?

        Interesting points, all, Matt.  While I am inclined to agree with you regarding customer-centric organization I'm slightly more pessimistic about the ultimate depths current and future vendors will take their feature sets.  Your comments about companies like Cognos, SAS and epiphany providing critical insights into customer intelligence are well put but do you think that "Web analytics" should be bounded somehow?  I guess what I'm asking is, if the current analytics vendors start to analyze the multitudes of data types currently available to the realm of "marketing" and "customer analytics" how will we know that they are Web analytics applications vendors anymore?
         
        Certainly it's an open question, what features and functions should be included in the toolsets provided by companies like WebTrends, WebSideStory and Omniture (just to name a few).  As we see each of the top-tier vendors, as well as a handful of the so-called "mid-tier" vendors, expanding into new realms - WebTrends acquires Web Position Gold, Coremetrics partners with ATG, WebSideStory partners with Atomz, etc. - we as relative outsiders are forced to sit back and adopt a "wait and see" attitude regarding their likelihood to succeed with these endeavours.  To this end, and my point about the feature/function wars, we can be fairly sure that if any one vendor gains traction in a new market that the rest of the pack will follow.  Think about the analytics vendors recent interest in search (site search, bid management, SEO, SEM) and ask yourself how long it will be before the entire top-tier has some significant investment/partnership in online search capabilities.
         
        Finally, I strongly agree with Mr. Belkin regarding his advice to "quibble12345" taking a closer look at each vendor before making a decision to switch vendors.  Data we've collected in my day job indicates that the costs associated with switching are much higher than often thought -- both in terms of retraining and reimplementation/reinstallation -- and thusly companies should look for better criteria to drive vendor change than any claims that a vendor, a company, or even an analyst makes ;-)
         
         

      • Eric Peterson
        Braden, Excellent comments! While I cannot share specific data regarding the cost of switching, these costs generally emerge from three specific areas: IT
        Message 3 of 15 , Jul 2, 2004
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          Braden,

          Excellent comments! While I cannot share specific data regarding the cost of switching, these costs generally emerge from three specific areas: IT resources, training and relationship development.

          IT resources is pretty obvious - if you're moving from a log-based solution, ala WebTrends, to a tag-based method there is the cost of tagging pages. I mention this since this is a pretty common direction for companies to move, away from log files. Some of the hidden costs here include the time it takes to devise a hierarchy and implementation plan for data collection, establishment of custom variables, segmentation strategy (if the application does not allow ad hoc, historical segmentation).

          Training is also fairly obvious - your company is likely pretty used to the kinds of reports they've been getting and now you need to retrain them to use different reports/language/concepts/etc. Providing your new provider has an experienced team to provide training support this is less of an issue but I caution my clients to be careful when examining training options. Analytics training is not a "one size fits all" endeavour - different levels of training should be offered, from "basic training" on the interface all the way up to "expert user" and "business objective" focused training programs (typically delivered by analysts, less often by CSR or training teams).

          Relationship development is the cost that is usually overlooked - the time it will take you to establish a strong relationship with your new vendor of choice. The top-tier players in analytics all have a slightly different approach to customer support and some of these approaches work better than others. While I obviously cannot advise anyone about which vendor has a strategy that would work for them, I can say this. It's not a bad idea to ask to talk to/meet the person or team that will be responsible for your relationship after the ink dries DURING the pre-sale process. Time and time again we see that companies that have a strong relationship with their vendor - software or services, does not matter - are more likely to make good use of the application.

          Regarding your comment about portability of data, this is tricky. If you're tied to historicals then I recommend you examine "why" this is the case. Companies that place too heavy a reliance on historical data are often not taking advantage of the tactical value of said applications. Switching data collection devices - even from tags to tags or logs to logs - almost always concern about comparison to historical data. My advice is to focus more on recently collected data, take advantage of emerging tools for A/B testing and site/marketing optimization, and select the best tool for the job NOW, not year over year.

          Eric

          P.S. I do hear rumors that one of the vendors has devised a way to either import data from other applications/data formats and/or co-opt competitors tags and collect partial data without massive re-tagging. If anyone has more details about this rumor I'd love to know!




          ---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
          From: "Braden Hoeppner" <braden.hoeppner@...>
          Reply-To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Fri, 2 Jul 2004 09:23:34 -0700

          >---------- Original Message ----------------------------------

          >Hi Eric,
          >
          >Any chance you can post that information about the cost of switching vendors?
          >
          > I believe that this is an important 'feature' of an analytics vendor: how easy is it to get your data if you decide to switch? Not only a problem with web analytics, but as software companies move online, and packages move to a subscription based approach, it becomes difficult to 'get your data'
          >out in a usable form should you decide to switch vendors at some point. If you switch vendors and they have a different methodology of tracking, or do not have a good export tool, your historic data could be useless.
          >
          >I understand that offering a good export package seems to be something that would promote churn, but as the market becomes more competitive I don't think people will put up with the inability to have full control over there data - this is probably even more true as web analysts become more adept and
          >manipulating data to produce important metrics for their businesses needs.
          >
          >Cheers,
          >Braden
          >
          > _____
          >
          >From: Eric Peterson [mailto:eric@...]
          >Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2004 8:43 PM
          >To: webanalytics@yahoogroups.com
          >Subject: RE: [webanalytics] What applications are other people using?
          >
          >
          >Interesting points, all, Matt. While I am inclined to agree with you regarding customer-centric organization I'm slightly more pessimistic about the ultimate depths current and future vendors will take their feature sets. Your comments about companies like Cognos, SAS and epiphany providing
          >critical insights into customer intelligence are well put but do you think that "Web analytics" should be bounded somehow? I guess what I'm asking is, if the current analytics vendors start to analyze the multitudes of data types currently available to the realm of "marketing" and "customer
          >analytics" how will we know that they are Web analytics applications vendors anymore?
          >
          >Certainly it's an open question, what features and functions should be included in the toolsets provided by companies like WebTrends, WebSideStory and Omniture (just to name a few). As we see each of the top-tier vendors, as well as a handful of the so-called "mid-tier" vendors, expanding into new
          >realms - WebTrends acquires Web Position Gold, Coremetrics partners with ATG, WebSideStory partners with Atomz, etc. - we as relative outsiders are forced to sit back and adopt a "wait and see" attitude regarding their likelihood to succeed with these endeavours. To this end, and my point about the
          >feature/function wars, we can be fairly sure that if any one vendor gains traction in a new market that the rest of the pack will follow. Think about the analytics vendors recent interest in search (site search, bid management, SEO, SEM) and ask yourself how long it will be before the entire
          >top-tier has some significant investment/partnership in online search capabilities.
          >
          >Finally, I strongly agree with Mr. Belkin regarding his advice to "quibble12345" taking a closer look at each vendor before making a decision to switch vendors. Data we've collected in my day job indicates that the costs associated with switching are much higher than often thought -- both in terms
          >of retraining and reimplementation/reinstallation -- and thusly companies should look for better criteria to drive vendor change than any claims that a vendor, a company, or even an analyst makes ;-)
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
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