Peripheral software to support analytics
- Hello all,
I was just wondering if anyone in the group had any suggestions for
peripheral software to support the analytics function -- aside from web
analytics software itself. Does anyone use mathematics software, for
example, for complex calculations? How about online marketing software,
such as for search engine positioning? Any suggestions or caveats would
Thanks so much,
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
- I use SPSS to perform statistical analyses on usage data, usually
tying in other data points like account information, advertiser info,
etc. SPSS will allow you to look at correlations between content and
user attributes, run affinity analyses, etc. It can also help to
eliminate outliers and anomoly data when calculating metrics.
The other piece of software I use a great deal is Microsoft SQL
server. It has the ability to extract and transform raw data which
can be very helpful. Also, in MSSQL 2005 there are many data mining
tools you can use such as fuzzy groupings/lookups of data, which can
be good for search term analysis and data cleansing (it helps because
user supplied data is never uniform), and data merging, sampling, etc.
But those two require that you can extract raw data from your
analytics system or that it has a data warehouse component. And both
of them require a substantial understanding of data, statistics, and
databases. MSSQL requires some database programming and scripting as
Search engine rankings can be tracked using something like WebTrends'
For competitive intelligence/audience measurement tools you have
these three major ones to choose from: Nielsen//NetRatings, ComScore
MediaMetrix, and Hitwise.
There is a tool for every task, and generally a competitive market
for every tool, so it's difficult to address your question without a
little more specificity about your needs.
Oh, and by the way, everything I've mentioned above is fairly pricey
(depending on your definition of pricey).
- I've been toying around with 'R' for doing various statistical
calculations and graphing recently. More so from a performance
tracking perspective, but with a goal towards using it elsewhere.
R is GPL'd and hence free. Aside to Stephane: One of your comments, I
think on Avinash's blog, mentioned box plots? R can do those quite
To give an idea of how easy R is to use, here's an article I wrote
back in October:
I make use of the various reports that Google allows one to pull out
of their "Webmaster Tools". While I've not yet written a summary
script, a goal is to grab the many months worth of accumulated data
and see if anything useful or interesting is in there.
We basically use these reports to identify those queries that users
should be coming to us for, but for whatever reason, aren't. Generally
it''s pretty obvious - slack copy.
Google Trends is also useful as a comparator. We're getting "10
#traffic" from word A, and 20 for phrase B, but trends shows A should
be triple that of B! What can we do to make A better? Style of thing.
Robbin's pointed me to the Overture keyword selector tool which I've
found very useful. I just keep forgetting about it.
You may have seen it already, but Avinash had (yet another.Ho Hum. ;-)
) great article on various external tools:
Otherwise much as Jerome, Database (in our case Oracle) and/or
spreadsheets. The spreadsheets more for the aggregation of data over
long periods of time.
As I tend to roll my own tools based on need as well, I'll use the
basic set of building blocks from a unix command line:
[ef]?grep, cut, sort, uniq, awk or perl for more complex cases.
There's a basic example of that in the aforementioned article in the
section marked "pre-analysis".
Disclaimer: Despite the above repeated references to Avinash, I derive
no financial kickbacks or other renumeration from any traffic sent to
his web site. I am merely a Blog-Groupie of his. :-)
- I've only downloaded a trial copy and haven't dug into to it much,
but I have a friend that has been using SAS's JMP software:
It has some good visualization/graphing tools, can connect to DBs,
and focuses on the reuse of setups.
And the cost is pretty low for something like that.
- Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions. Much appreciated!
--- In email@example.com, "Jenn" <jrlburke@...> wrote:
> Hello all,
> I was just wondering if anyone in the group had any suggestions for
> peripheral software to support the analytics function -- aside from
> analytics software itself. Does anyone use mathematics software,
> example, for complex calculations? How about online marketing
> such as for search engine positioning? Any suggestions or caveats
> be appreciated.
> Thanks so much,
> Jenn Burke
> Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada