Hear – Listen – Communicate

May 17, 2011, 1:08 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

2011 – The year #measure will start to adopt ETL tools.
First, for the non data warehousing junkies, ETL stands for Extract, Transform and Load. The three things you as an analyst loathe the most.
Extract – This is the act of obtaining the data in it’s raw format to be played with in Excel, Google Spreadsheets or your tool de jur.
Transform – oh if only the data were ready to be used! Transforming is when you clean up URL’s, create calculated metrics like ROAS, or simply group pages or events together.
Load – While officially this is loading the data back into the analysis tool, for the sake of our roles I am going to stretch this into the final presentation of data. We will say loading the data into the HiPPO.

Now from a show of Retweets… how many of you do this on a daily basis! This is why I feel the ETL process will see the greatest change in 2010. The fundamentals are there and are beyond testing.
1)For the last few years we have seen open access via REST API’s from several vendors, none more utilized than Google Analytics.
2) The GA API has been so popular, and is such a good representation of obtaining raw data, that it has resurrected old-school data extraction tools such as NextAnalytics (formerly…), Analyst Canvas (formerly DataMartist), and even newer “spreadsheet” tools such as Blime.
This speaks to the power to having quick access to raw data. The analyst community must give a hand to all the developers contributing to making this job easier for all of us. However, the challenge has only just begun. If all we are getting is raw data quickly, that certainly won’t help us transform and then load it into the HiPPOs brain.
The Transform and Loading process is where these companies need our assistance. While many companies have been stuck in rut normalizing things such as customer lists, market territories or regional sales cycles…we have a whole new challenge. Completely unstructured, non-understood, at times ambiguous datasets. We all know the “transformation” this data takes to become actionable (or loadable).


All In One Stats (part of Your Analytics Site) 2010 March Madness Tourny tweeters
March 2, 2010, 3:12 pm
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All In One Stats (part of Your Analytics Site) 2010 March Madness Tourny tweeters

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Break through the numbers into Action
September 14, 2009, 8:10 am
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Break through the numbers into Action

The obstacles above can be overcome.  With a little bit of planning and a some more flexibility your team can be off to a running start.

Solution #1:  Build an Enterprise Analytics Framework

While you can acquire all the reporting tools you want, none of them will tell you how you are performing against your business goals.  In order to adopt analytics across your organizations you must adhere to the company’s corporate goals and objectives.  Then, they can be translated into the activities your company plans on performing.

What are your goals?

What are you trying to do to achieve them?

What do you want to prove/disprove/do? Reach More Visitors, Decrease Call Center Costs, Increase Advertising Income, Sell more products, Increase Visitor Retention

What do you need to track?

Once this is in place you can start to build the actual reporting around it.  Instead of just presenting data, you are proving or disproving activities.

Instead of the analyst running around performing one off requests they have a solid regime of reports.  In the fewer cases where that drill down reporting is needed the fact that it will be acted upon lights the fire.

Solution #2:  Define Accountability and Standardize data communication

Organizations that have a process in place on what happens under certain criteria (landing page bouce rate is low for a page with a high entry level) and who performs the change (Sally in design meets with Rich in Marketing) have a much greater chance of making changes that make the most impact.

Building out the framework further to include:

Who delivers the data?

How often is data delivered?

What signals a change request?

Who is responsible for improving the data?

Now, when the data comes in as planned, everyone knows what to do.  Those who simply use it as a sticker better start paying a little more attention to it.  The HIPPO now has a direct arrow to point fingers to.

Solution #3:  Automate report building and delivery

All this process without automatation just doesn’t make since.  Some of the key obstacles to automation in the past is the one off reporting and ill defined reporting led to a negative cost\benefit to automate the reporting.  It was much cheaper to buy your analyst lunch.

Define all your data sources and find out how to automate the data collection week over week or month over month.  (Beg them for a web service, ODBC, or easy extraction method, or switch to a provider that has one).

Sign-off on how the report will be displayed for everybody.  Decrease the report customizations across the organization and start formulating standard data views.

Some pretty good cases for VIA not RT
February 2, 2009, 10:44 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

This is a continuation of Anil Batra’s : ReTweet Demystified

I wanted to add to the discussion the following link describing the (via @orginal) syntax   retweeters-anonymous.org   Which is primarily used by Tweetie (iphone app).

The article made some good points in that RTs simply push the same message along, duplicating messages and congesting the network.  Tweetie (to my knowledge) is the only one promoting via, which allows for your own contributing comment along with the original tweet (which of course has the original URL).

 From Their Site:

Tweetie currently has a button called “Repost Tweet” that makes it easy to create “via” style posts. Because “via” and “RT” mean different things, perhaps there should be two buttons… one for “mentioning” a tweet (via) and one for “forwarding” a tweet (RT).

This also provides many advantages/disadvantages in tracking the effects of your web analytics and social media initiatives.  I think it is too early for a definitive answer but would be a great way to comment!:


  • Your original tiny URL is used.  The more twitter is monetized, the more RT’s may have revised Tiny Urls for tracking.
  • Reduced spam on hashtags where the same message is repeated with no added value.
  • I see this as a possible practice to decrease the spamming “RT’ing” that is starting to occur.  The “via” will allow for at least another ~100 char of added creativity. (or at least a different score for the effort)



  • All Referring traffic from twitter within Web Analytics tool.
  • There is definitely a lack of current support for via
  • With more traffic flowing back into twitter, this most likely changes many assumptions made in current (and improved) capacity planning.  I liked the whale as a novelty.


My $.02. and a little more than the 140char the following tweet would allow:

Our Tweet