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Yahoo Web Analytics data inflated by Bing and how to fix it

This article is thanks to Rudi Shumpert from Code by Numbers who picked up this issue earlier this month where the bot from Bing was artificially inflating Omniture Site Catalyst data.

Today I discovered that Yahoo! Web Analytics (YWA) is also being impacted by this bug, thankfully it was easy to discover this using the “Last Visitors” report. Interestingly this is a report I would rarely (if ever) use but after seeing increased traffic to my site over the last couple of weeks decided to drill into the strange traffic using this very granular report.

Fortunately being a reader of Rudi’s blog I immediately recognised a strange set of visitors from Washington, using IE6 with a low screen resolution from using an IP address beginning 65.55.*.*

When Rudi discovered this in Site Catalyst it was a relatively complex process to filter out the data using a coldfusion tag to prevent the JavaScript loading. I’m neither a developer, nor do I have access to server level code for Squarespace, but with YWA it’s easy to filter data using an IP Address filter:

Step 1: Go to settings, select “exclude your browser and edit report defaults”:

Step 2: Click “edit” in general settings:

Step 3: Go to Statistics Settings, enter an IP address range of 65.55.*.* then click update

As YWA is a real time analytics tool, the erroneous Bing bots will be excluded from forward looking reports. One more little issue dealt with.

Cheers, James.


Web Analytics Association comes to Singapore and South East Asia

Today we are happy to announce that James Dutton of Insightr Consulting is named the Regional Manager, South East Asia of the Web Analytics Association, and in doing so we offer our commitment to the growth of the digital measurement and strategy community in Asia Pacific.

The Web Analytics Association is a global community of web analytics professionals, with (currently) a much stronger membership base in the US than in Asia and so with today’s announcement Insightr Consulting will be working with agency professionals, consultants and end-users and consumers of digital measurement tools to promote, market and grow the association across South East Asia from our Singapore office.

Web Analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for the purposes of understanding and optimising Web usage.

For the WAA to effectively represent you and our industry your participation is invited. The WAA is actively seeking passionate and capable professionals to join the WAA and serve as committee members. Get involved at the ground level and offer your skills to help.

  • Help standardise the terms
  • Influence legislation
  • Develop and implement training and certification
  • Unite web analytic professionals, consultants, and end-users to discuss, combine forces and powerfully promote our common interests worldwide.

To support these activities we have been working hard over the last few weeks with analytics providers in the region to build up support for meetings and community meet ups, initially in Singapore that will enable the analytics community to get together and discuss what is happening in the industry.  

You may ask why join an organisation that has most of its members based in the US? There are a few reasons for this, but really it’s about making sure that professionals and experts in Asia get a say in the development of the industry. Here are some of the international objectives of the WAA:

  • Build consensus around issues that pertain to your regional area or country.
  • Create an international community to tap into world wide expertise.
  • Work with members to build a centralized area of resources for regional issues around the globe.
  • Get involved to determine how web analytics should comply with privacy issues unique to Europe, the U.S. and other countries.
  • Determine which standards require regional approaches.

If you are interested in Web Analytics Association membership please get in touch, and we’ll be happy to send you further information and to put you in touch with the membership team. You can learn more by visiting the membership page of the WAA.


Using Trendsmap to analyse local events on Twitter

Trendsmap is a great new tool from the folks who brought retailmenot to the US. What they have cleverly done is build a Google Maps and Twitter Geo-location mashup so that you can visualise tweets in a geographic location.

I used this service this afternoon to see what was going on in the Singapore / Malaysia / Indonesia region and picked up on a Starbucks event in Kuala Lumpur today where @StarbucksMY was giving away free coffee through a social media campaign. Very interesting tool for helping to understand what’s going on in a region.

I was also able to see what’s going on in the Philippines following the recent Typhoon related events:

It’s a very cool tool - but be warned Singapore readers: for some reason tweets in Singapore are not showing up…


Beta Testing a Web Analytics Expert System

I’ve been talking with Akin Arikan recently about the development of a web analytics expert system, following an interesting debate on his blog.

So far I’ve been interested from the consulting point of view - with the teams I’ve built over the last few years this kind of solution has been of interest to me, but so far has always been something I’ve kept in my head - intellectual property if you like, or a laziness to document best practice?

Initially I thought that a crowd-sourced solution would be great for web analytics practitioners (expert or novice, agency or client side) to participate in - this way we could use a solution like “Get Satisfaction” to allow people to post measurement questions, then have the crowd supply answers and use the voting system to solicit the best response. A key benefit of the Get Satisfaction solution is that anyone can participate and its built in Q&A content, meta tagging and voting provides a much more structured platform than the web analytics community currently has with, say the Yahoo Web Analytics group.

Here’s a site I developed in not more than 5 minutes on Get Satisfaction called “Analytics Help”, that’s waiting to be populated with great measurement questions and answers.

Longer term, I agree with Akin - and think an ‘expert system’ would be wonderful, but highly challenging to build. Today I came across a web based platform called SpicyNodes that allows such a system to be built manually very much like a mindmap (not a real AI solution that pulls solutions from a database) to act as a visual proof of concept for Unica, Omniture, Webtrends, Google, Yahoo, Coremetrics etc to fund.

I created this system based on some material Akin shared with me - I hope he doesn’t mind me using this content as a proof of concept here:

* the embed below may not be working as the SpicyNodes servers seem to be down quite a lot - click here to view the system on their site

What do you think about this? Would you be willing to participate in the Get Satisfaction “Analytics Help” site, or would you be keen to help develop nodes for the SpicyNodes solution? Are you from Unica, Omniture, Webtrends, Google, Yahoo, Coremetrics and would you be willing to open source, fund and build such a system for the good of the community?



Did you know ... almost 1% of American TVs are in the bathroom?

The Economist has released its latest version of the wonderful “Did you Know” video, for example did you know that:

  • The average American teen sends 2,272 text messages each month
  • Barack Obama raised $55m through social networks
  • 17% of large US companies have disciplined an employee for violating corporate blog / message board policies


Introducing InSite - The Insightr web analytics & governance process

I wanted to share some of our thinking with you. This time it’s our process for driving results in web analytics.

The question of how we do things is one of the first questions a client asks us, and our answer is always driven by a process we have developed through over a decade’s experience in developing web analytics programmes for businesses in Europe, Asia and the US. 

Our web analytics process is called InSite, a name designed to evoke the specialities of web measurement when dealing specifically with web content (we have additional processes to deal with CRM, Social Media, Search & Media). The timing for sharing this was triggered by a recent article in eMarketer which describes the “Web Analytics Headache” (expand thumbnail to the left to explore some of the measurement challenges marketers face).

This research (from Unica and eMedia) shares some of the common issues and challenges face when trying to (a) implement web analytics processes and (b) make sense of data and identify action plans from it.

At Insightr we have been developing and refining the InSite process to help organisations get out of the web analytics headache and (specifically for clients in Asia) to reduce the costs of analytics programmes to build strong ROI models. In other words your investment in web analytics is no longer a cost centre, but a profit generating centre. 

The presentation is designed to share what we do at a high level, if you want to learn more please feel free to contact us - we’ll be happy to talk about your business. For further information, please explore our service offering or learn more about us.

Insightr InSite Web Analytics Process




Anyone else notice that Twitalyzer looks like Measuremap

or Great UI’s shouldn’t die

Note: This is not a complimentary, not argumentative article!

I think Eric T Peterson has done a great job building the Twitalyzer product, I’ve used it a number of times and found it to be fun and useful.

But there was always something about it that I knew was familiar, so today as I was researching some of Google’s acquisitions over the past few years it hit me - the Twitalyzer user interface is very similar to the old interface developed by the Measuremap team (no longer live as the product has been archived).

Take a look for yourself:

Measuremap (screenshot from 2005):


Note: I am not bothered by this in the slightest, I was a big fan of the Measuremap tool and wish that Google hadn’t archived the product - the fun, simple user interface made measurement for bloggers a fun and easy task. So Google, when are you bringing Measuremap back (or if it is back where can I find it?).

I say kudos to Eric for making this fun UI live, after all “great UI’s shouldn’t die”!


Web Analytics Association (WAA) joins I-COM as Patronage Organisation

I-COM Press Release

Cologne, Germany, September 23rd 2009 - The I-COM (International Conference on Online Media Measurement) and the Web Analytics Association (WAA) today announced from the dmexco conference in Cologne that the WAA has become a Patronage Organisation of the upcoming I-COM Global Summit on Mar 10-13th in Lisbon.

The WAA will be joining 14 other leading associations in the Digital Advertising space in structuring the debate on the future of Online Measurement.

“Web Analytics is an important part of the measurement discussion in Digital Advertising and we are pleased that the WAA has come aboard”,
Andreas Cohen, Chairman of I-COM.

“As a discipline, ‘Web analytics’ lives within the ecosystem of online communication. From acquisition to persuasion and conversion, on through to retention, measuring what people actually do on a website is the end-game in understanding the value of an advertising campaign. We’re very pleased to join I-COM at this level of the conversation.”
Jim Sterne, Chairman of the WAA.

I was fortunate enough to meet with Andreas during his last trip to Singapore, during an interesting lunch meeting we discussed some of the challenges around multiple organisations (such as the WAA & IAB) and how there has been potential for conflict in describing measurement standards. 

With the WAA joining I-COM as a patronage organisation, I think there’s likely to be a better dialogue created between these two, and the other organisations who are members of I-COM - which will be great for the next conference happening in Lisbon, March 10 - 13th 2010. From an Asian perspective, the WAA joins the ADMA as a patronage organisation.

I’ll be attending the 3rd I-COM conference, and will be looking forward to some interesting debate around digital measurement. Topics to be covered at the event will include keynotes on the future vision and integration of online measurement, The True Value of Search, Multi-Channel Attribution Management, Three Screen Measurement, Cross-Channel Insights / Measurement Mashups and Social Media Measurement to name a few.


Web Analytics Wednesday events coming to Singapore

A few of us have been working hard over the past couple of months to find sponsors, event locations and carry out local research in Singapore to get us ready to announce that soon we’ll be launching the famous global event “Web Analytics Wednesday” here in Singapore.

We acknowledge that the analytics community in Singapore is relatively small, so we’re looking to extend invitations to the wider digital community in Singapore to share with us case studies, best practice and to generally have a nice chat over some food and drinks. We also acknowledge that there is another well established event called “Web Wednesday” in Singapore - we feel that the analytics event is not in conflict with the organisers of Web Wednesday, and will ensure that there is never a conflict between Web Wednesday in Singapore.

For those of you that don’t know, the Web Analytics Wednesday event has become a global affair with industry professionals from all corners of the world meeting on a regular basis to discuss the business we’re involved in. Originally setup by Eric T Peterson in the US, this event has been gathering momentum for a long time now!

I’ve attended events in New York and San Francisco in the past, and my partner Hugh Gage was an organiser of the event in London, here’s a comment from a typical event:

“As a beginner to the Web Analytics world, I found the WAW meeting informative and very useful. Its also interesting meeting experienced and not so experienced people in the industry as it opens the floor to many discussions.”
Meheraj Sultana 
MRM Worldwide

We’re looking forward to meeting analysts, strategists, information architects, designers, engineers,  media planners, project managers and account managers - we want the events to be fun so please invite your friends. We’ll be on Twitter @WAWSingapore posting updates, and if you’re interested - please get in touch through our form so we can be sure to reach out to you with invitations soon:

Web Analytics Wednesday Singapore

We’ll be hosting our first event soon, so please give us your details so we can get in touch with invitations closer to the date


Insightr take on Adobe's $1.8b purchase of Omniture

This morning I awoke to see over 3,800 messages in Nambu for my Omniture twitter feed so I knew something had happened, what I was amazed to see was the announcement by Adobe that it was to acquire Omniture for a staggering $1.8b. Big news indeed, and so far analyst response has been very positive for Omniture shareholders.

This represents a “considerable” win for Omniture shareholders
Scott Kessler, Analyst at Standard & Poor’s Equity Research.

Naturally as an Omniture shareholder I was delighted to see my in-the-red-for-so-long stock go up 26% in after hours trading.

Industry professionals are now wondering what this means. I am one of them. Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen has said of the deal:

Clearly, we believe this enables us to participate in a large, growing market opportunity and become even more mission critical to our customers

Personally and professionally I think this acquisition is a match made in heaven; I think the number one impact of this will be that designers loyal to their suite of Adobe products who might have not been quite so interested in measurement (*not everyone) will now have an opportunity to see measurement as part of their toolkit, one only needs to look to the target audience in Adobe’s community website to see this:

Equally nerdy analysts (*not everyone) looking purely at the numbers will now be able to connect with their creative brethren. I see this as a merging of left and right brain thinking, illustrated in my diagram below.

As I am sure most people will try and do, here are a couple of my thoughts on what this means from a business perspective and for an end user point of view:

  • Adobe to reinvigorate Omniture product innovation after current stagnant period by stepping up development of the Site Catalyst product and finish the dream of the “Omniture Suite” in the same way it has done for the “Creative Suite”. Omniture to get access to global community of Adobe clients, increasing their footprint (especially outside the US)
  • Adobe to get opportunities to reach C-level executives through Omniture giving an opportunity to see products to the enterprise.
  • Adobe to offer a free version of Site Catalyst within 6 months, with stripped down customisation capabilities, while merging the Site Catalyst and Discover on Demand products.
  • Adobe to integrate Test & Target into its Scene7 product for optimisation of published content.

I want to wish everyone I know working at Omniture the very best (hoping you’re happy with your stock options now!) and I’m looking forward to developing relationships with more designers and Omniture customers as a result of this.

What a day of news!