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  • Gerrit Eicker 15:10 on 14. January 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Analytics, , , , ,   

    Google Analytics Content Experiments 

    Content Experiments within Google Analytics replaces Website Optimizer, allows A/B-Tests with up to 5 full pages; http://eicker.at/GACE

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 15:10 on 14. January 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “We’re excited to integrate content testing into Google Analytics and believe it will help meet your goals of measuring, testing and optimizing all in one place. Content Experiments helps you optimize for goals you have already defined in your Google Analytics account, and can help you decide which page designs, layouts and content are most effective. With Content Experiments, you can develop several versions of a page and show different versions to different visitors. Google Analytics measures the efficacy of each page version, and with a new advanced statistical engine, it determines the most effective version. … Testing and experimentation of websites may sound complicated, but we’ve worked hard to provide a testing tool that makes it as easy as possible: Content Experiments comes with a setup wizard that walks you step by step through setting up experiments, and helps you quickly launch new tests. Content Experiments reuses Google Analytics tags so that you only need to add one additional tag to the original page. Content Experiments helps you understand which content performs best, and identifies a winner as soon as statistically significant data has been collected. Since content testing is so important, we’ve placed Content Experiments just a click away from your regular diagnosis reports in Google Analytics. – With full integration in Google Analytics, we’ll be able to grow and evolve website experimentation tools within our broader measurement platform. Initially, you’ll be able to utilize important features like optimized goal conversions, easier tagging, and advanced segmentation in reports. We’re also working hard to release page metrics, additional goal conversion options and experiment suggestions.”

      LM: “Google Website Optimizer is Dead. Long live Google Analytics Content Experiments… This is the all new, tied directly into your analytics, testing software to replace Google Website Optimizer. Google Website Optimizer will slowly be decomissioned over this year, and replaced fully by these new Content Experiments. So if your’e starting any A/B testing anytime soon, time to do it in here rather than in GWO. … On the whole I’m pretty excited to have Content Experiments tied into Google Analytics. There are a number of benefits to the new system. There’s only one code snippet you need to include on the page rather than multiple pages of code. It really simplifies that aspect when you need to add new testing. You can also now use advanced segments to segment your results too. There’s some improved statistical models too. Test results don’t even show up for 2 weeks or more, and all tests expire after 3 months, assuming you can’t get a statistically significant winner. If you have a lot of traffic that’ll undoubtedly be true, but it’ll make it harder to do longer tests on lower traffic sites. All in all though I think it’s great. If I had one wish it’d be to add Multivariate testing as well as just A/B testing. You can do MVT and pretend through an A/B test but it’s much more awkward.

      OB: “Google Analytics Content Experiments – A Guide To Creating A/B Tests – In this post I go over the new Google Analytics Content Experiments, a tool that can be used to create A/B tests from inside Google Analytics. This tool has several advantages over the old Google Website Optimizer, especially if you are just starting the website testing journey. Content Experiments provide a quick way to test your main pages (landing pages, homepages, category pages) and it requires very few code implementations. … All in all, Google Analytics has made a great job out of this new testing capability, especially for marketers that are still not testing often. For marketers that are more advanced there are still quite a few features missing.”

      Google: “We integrated content testing into Google Analytics to help you meet your goals of measuring, testing, and optimizing all in one place. Content Experiments helps you optimize for goals you have already defined in your Google Analytics account, and can help you decide which page designs, layouts, and content are most effective. With Content Experiments, you can develop several versions of a page and show different versions to different visitors. Google Analytics measures the efficacy of each page version, and with a new advanced statistical engine, it determines the most effective version.”

      Google: “Content Experiments is a somewhat different approach from either standard A/B or multivariate testing. Content Experiments is more A/B/N. You’re not testing just two versions of a page as in A/B testing, and you’re not testing various combinations of components on a single page as in multivariate testing. Instead, you are testing up to five full versions of a single page, each delivered to visitors from a separate URL.”

      Google: “Before you use Content Experiments, you need to create a Google account if you don’t have one, create a Google Analytics account, and add the Analytics tracking code to your web pages.”

      Google: “Content Experiments has three main areas: the experiment-setup wizard, the list of experiments, and the individual reports for each experiment. In addition, you can also see data about your experiment in your Google Analytics profile.

      Google: “Analytics Goals You can Use in Experiments – You set up goals in Google Analytics, and then use those goals as the basis for your experiments. URL Destination goals: An experiment that uses a URL Destination goal focuses on getting visitors to view a specific web page. Use this kind of goal to find out things like how well your test pages encourages visitors along a path to a product page, a page that includes the location of your business, or pages on which you’re selling ads. – Event goals: An experiment that uses an event goal focuses on getting visitors to perform a specific action on a page. Use this kind of goal to find out things like how well your test pages encourages visitors to sign up for a newsletter, view a video, or click Add to Cart for a product. – Visit Duration goals: Use this kind of goal to see how well your test pages encourage visitors to spend at least the minimum amount of time you want on your site. For example, if you’re running a news site, you want to see that visitors are spending enough time to read the articles, and enough time to validate the rates you charge for advertisements. – Pages per Visit goals: Like visit-duration goals, pages-per-visit goals help you understand whether visitors are consuming the amount of content you want. Are they browsing enough product pages; are they reading articles in the political, sports, and lifestyle sections?”

      Google: “Multi-armed bandit experiments – The name comes from a stylized experiment involving several slot machines (‘one-armed bandits’) with potentially different expected payouts. You want to find the strategy that maximizes expected revenue. There are highly-developed mathematical models for solving this problem, which we have used to develop techniques for Content Experiments. … Experiments based on multi-armed bandits can be much cheaper than ‘classical’ A-B experiments. They’re also just as statistically valid, and in some circumstances they can produce answers more quickly. They’re cheaper because they move traffic towards winning variations gradually, instead of forcing you to wait for a ‘final answer’ at the end of an experiment. They can be faster because samples that would have gone to obviously inferior variations can be assigned to potential winners. The extra data collected on the high performing variations can help separate the ‘good’ ones from the ‘best’ ones more quickly.

      Google: “Cloaking is the practice of presenting a version of a web page to search engines that is different from the version presented to visitors, with the intention of deceiving the search engines and affecting the page’s ranking in the search index. – Google does not view the ethical use of testing tools such as Content Experiments to constitute cloaking.

      Google: “To ensure that serving your variation pages does not have a negative impact on your site’s SEO rankings, you can use the rel=”canonical” link attribute on your variation pages. rel=”canonical” is a signal to search engines that the content of your variation pages is essentially the same as that of your original page, and that you would prefer that search engines index your original page rather than the variations you’re using in your experiment.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:00 on 20. April 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , Analytics, , , Competency, , , ,   

    Big Data: Must Have Competency 

    Big Data earns its place as a must have competency; http://eicker.at/MobileCloudWars #BigData http://eicker.at/BigData

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 23:17 on 23. March 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , Analytics, , , , , NoSQL, ,   

    Big Data: Old Heroes! 

    GigaOM: Is big data new, or have we forgotten its old heroes? http://j.mp/GTuMPW #BigData http://eicker.at/BigData

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 08:11 on 21. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , Analytics, , , , , Data Management, , GMC, , , , Google Message Continuity, , , Google Sky Map, Google Social Graph API, , , , , Needlebase, , Photo Editors, , Picnik, , , , , , ,   

    Google’s Graveyard 2012 

    More Google shut downs: Urchin, Social Graph API, Picnik, Needlebase, Sky Map, GMC; http://eicker.at/GooglesGraveyard2012

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:11 on 21. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Here’s an update on some products that will be merged, open-sourced, or phased out in the coming months: Google Message Continuity (GMC) … Current GMC customers will be able to use GMC for the duration of their contract and are encouraged to consider using Google Apps as their primary messaging and collaboration platform. – Google Sky Map … We will be open-sourcing Sky Map and are collaborating with Carnegie Mellon University in a partnership that will see further development of Sky Map as a series of student projects. – Needlebase: We are retiring this data management platform, which we acquired from ITA Software, on June 1, 2012. The technology is being evaluated for integration into Google’s other data-related initiatives. – Picnik: We acquired this online photo editor in 2010. We’re retiring the service on April 19, 2012 so the Picnik team can continue creating photo-editing magic across Google products. … Social Graph API – This API makes information about the public connections between people on the web available for developers. The API isn’t experiencing the kind of adoption we’d like, and is being deprecated as of today. It will be fully retired on April 20, 2012. – Urchin: In 2005 we acquired Urchin, whose online web analytics product became the foundation for Google Analytics, helping businesses of all sizes measure their websites and online marketing. We’re fully committed to building an industry-leading online analytics product, so we’re saying goodbye to the client-hosted version, known as Urchin Software. New Urchin Software licenses will no longer be available after March 2012.

      Google: “The success of Google Analytics has been incredibly rewarding and humbling, and we are very thankful for the support of our early Urchin customers and investors. The Urchin Software product has now been completely overshadowed by its tremendously popular offspring. And so, it is time that we now complete the cycle by officially retiring the Urchin Software product and focus exclusively on online analytics. On behalf of the original Urchin crew and Google, we thank you and hope that we can continue to serve you with amazing products. – Urchin has only been available during the past several years through Certified Urchin Resellers, and new sales will officially discontinue at the end of March 2012. We are encouraging Urchin users to migrate to Google Analytics, although expect that current installations of the software will continue to work fine on most systems for years to come. You can learn more about the retirement of this product on the Urchin Website.

      RWW: “As Larry Page said in yesterday’s earnings call, Google’s current focus is on speeding up its execution. To make way for its main teams, Google has been closing down and open-sourcing its less-used projects over the past year. – Many interesting projects have moved on to bigger and better things as open-source initiatives. The Android App Inventor found a home at MIT. Knol, once Google’s effort at a Wikipedia-like knowledge database, has become Annotum, a WordPress-based system. Google Body became Zygote Body, and now it, and even the 3D viewer software behind it, is open-source. Today, Google Sky Map goes open-source, and it will live on as a student-run project.”

      VB: “Looks like the picnic is officially over. Google announced today on its blog that it will be retiring the picnic-themed photo editing service Picnik in April of this year. – The news comes about a week after Flickr announced it will be dumping Picnik, which now seems like foreshadowing of the news that was released today. – If you use Picnik for your editing needs, you can download your images as a zip file with Picnik Takeout for the time being. You can also move your photos over to your Google+ page until the service shuts down on April 19.”

      TC: “Today’s culling follows this summer’s shut downs of Google Labs and most of the products internally developed by former acquisition Slide. While Google has long encouraged experimentation, its found itself overextended. The company needs all hands on deck fighting the wars for social, mobile, and the cloud. – Google typically reassigns employees from scrapped projects rather than fire them. The teams from Picnik and Sky Map could increase the concentration of product leaders working on Google+. With any luck they can give Google’s social network a more human feel.

      RWW: “Google announced today that it is closing a number of services that it wasn’t able to attract millions of users to without making any effort. The worst of the lot to lose are two: the Social Graph API and DIY data extraction service Needlebase. Following on the heels of the kitten-stomping-bad sunsetting of Postrank, these latest closures are really meaningful, even if the adoption of the services never was. … The worst loss to humanity at the hands of Google’s startup eating monster of late remains PostRank, which Google acquired this Summer. … It was captured by Google and refashioned as a mirror for the fairy’s hideous ogre sister Naked Self Interest, which the ogre (a publisher using Google Analytics) thought made her more beautiful and rich with pageviews, but which really only made her uglier and more vacuous every day. – I can’t believe they are killing Needlebase and the Social Graph API. I can believe it, of course, but I’m thankful that my cynicism is still thin enough that it hurts every time something like this happens again. There are only so many more tools like this on the web left to kill, though.

  • Gerrit Eicker 15:12 on 13. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Agility, , Amazon Elastic MapReduce, , Analytics, Apache Hadoop, , , , Big Data Processing, , Business Opportunities, , , , , , , Data Science, , , , , , , , , Microsoft Hadoop, , , , , , , ,   

    Big Data 

    Larger datasets allow better predictive analytics: Big Data is a lot more than business buzz; http://eicker.at/BigData

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 15:12 on 13. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Wikipedia: “In information technology, big data consists of datasets that grow so large that they become awkward to work with using on-hand database management tools. Difficulties include capture, storage, search, sharing, analytics, and visualizing. This trend continues because of the benefits of working with larger and larger datasets allowing analysts to ‘spot business trends, prevent diseases, combat crime.’ Though a moving target, current limits are on the order of terabytes, exabytes andzettabytes of data. Scientists regularly encounter this problem in meteorology, genomics, connectomics, complex physics simulations, biological and environmental research, Internet search, finance and business informatics. Data sets also grow in size because they are increasingly being gathered by ubiquitous information-sensing mobile devices, aerial sensory technologies (remote sensing), software logs, cameras, microphones, Radio-frequency identification readers, wireless sensor networks and so on. Every day, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created and 90% of the data in the world today was created within the past two years.

      ATD: “Over the last several years, there has been a massive surge of interest in Big Data Analytics and the groundbreaking opportunities it provides for enterprise information management and decision making. Big Data Analytics is no longer a specialized solution for cutting-edge technology companies – it is evolving into a viable, cost-effective way to store and analyze large volumes of data across many industries. … Big Data technologies like Apache Hadoop provide a framework for large-scale, distributed data storage and processing across clusters of hundreds or even thousands of networked computers. The overall goal is to provide a scalable solution for vast quantities of data … while maintaining reasonable processing times. … The barriers to entry for Big Data analytics are rapidly shrinking. Big Data cloud services like Amazon Elastic MapReduce and Microsoft’s Hadoop distribution for Windows Azure allow companies to spin up Big Data projects without upfront infrastructure costs and allow them to respond quickly to scale-out requirements. … To apply this new technology effectively, it is important to understand its role and when and how to integrate Big Data with the other components of the data warehouse environment. … Hadoop provides an adaptable and robust solution for storing large data volumes and aggregating and applying business rules for on-the-fly analysis that crosses boundaries of traditional ETL and ad-hoc analysis. It is also common for the results of Big Data processing jobs to be automated and loaded into the data warehouse for further transformation, integration and analysis. … Big Data adoption will continue to be driven by large and/or rapidly growing data being captured by automated and digitized business processes. … As we move into the age of Big Data, companies that are able to put this technology to work for them are likely to find significant revenue generating and cost savings opportunities that will differentiate them from their competitors and drive success well into the next decade.”

      ORR: “Big data is data that exceeds the processing capacity of conventional database systems. The data is too big, moves too fast, or doesn’t fit the strictures of your database architectures. To gain value from this data, you must choose an alternative way to process it. .. The hot IT buzzword of 2012, big data has become viable as cost-effective approaches have emerged to tame the volume, velocity and variability of massive data. … The value of big data to an organization falls into two categories: analytical use, and enabling new products. … The emergence of big data into the enterprise brings with it a necessary counterpart: agility. Successfully exploiting the value in big data requires experimentation and exploration. Whether creating new products or looking for ways to gain competitive advantage, the job calls for curiosity and an entrepreneurial outlook. … If you could run that forecast taking into account 300 factors rather than 6, could you predict demand better? – This volume presents the most immediate challenge to conventional IT structures. … The importance of data’s velocity – the increasing rate at which data flows into an organization – has followed a similar pattern to that of volume. … A common theme in big data systems is that the source data is diverse, and doesn’t fall into neat relational structures. It could be text from social networks, image data, a raw feed directly from a sensor source. None of these things come ready for integration into an application. … The phenomenon of big data is closely tied to the emergence of data science, a discipline that combines math, programming and scientific instinct. Benefiting from big data means investing in teams with this skillset, and surrounding them with an organizational willingness to understand and use data for advantage. … If you pick a real business problem, such as how you can change your advertising strategy to increase spend per customer, it will guide your implementation. While big data work benefits from an enterprising spirit, it also benefits strongly from a concrete goal.

      Beye: “What is This Thing Called Big Data? – It’s difficult to avoid big data these days. More correctly, it’s difficult to avoid the phrase ‘big data.’ It has become such an integral part of the sales pitches of so many vendors and the blog posts of so many experts that one might be forced to conclude that big data is all-pervasive. The truth is far more complex. Even a definition of big data is elusive. … Big data is not, in essence, something entirely new. The problem is, to a large extent, one of scale; hence the name. However, the insights we currently have into these categories listed earlier and the different tools and approaches they require must be carried forward into how we handle these same data categories at a larger scale. … As a result, depending on your point of view, big data appears either as a giant wave of business opportunity or a huge precipice of potential technological and management pain.

      Beye: “What is the Importance and Value of Big Data? – Recognizing that big data has long been with us allows us to look at the historical value of big data, as well as current examples. This allows a wider sample of use cases, beyond the Internet giants who are currently leading the field in using big data. This leads us to the identification of value in two broad categories: pattern discovery and process invention. … Clearly, discovering a pattern in, for example, customer behavior may be very interesting, but the real value occurs when we put that discovery to use by changing something that reduces costs or increases sales. … More recently, combining data sets from multiple sources, both related and unrelated, with increasing emphasis on computer logs such as clickstreams and publicly available data sets has become popular. … The second approach to getting business value from big data involves using the data operationally to invent an entirely new process or substantially re-engineer an existing one. … For those contemplating investment in big data, the most important conclusion from this article is to recognize that there are very specific combinations of circumstances in which big data can drive real business value. Sometimes, of course, it is the price for simply staying in the game…

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:18 on 30. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Analytics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Predictions for 2012 

    Thoughtful new year’s predictions on media, social media, analytics, S/CRM, big data; http://eicker.at/PredictionsFor2012

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 07:19 on 30. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Guardian: “Media predictions for 2012: press and digitalPress[W]ith print sales continuing to fall and advertising revenue stubbornly refusing to grow, publishers will axe more regional and local titles. … National titles will suffer print declines too, just as they have done for five and more years. It is doubtful that any will close in 2012, but the tabloids will rue the day they brought Leveson down on their heads. … – Digital – It is one of the most hotly anticipated flotations in US corporate history; on track to be the biggest internet public offering since Google. For Mark Zuckerberg and his seven-year-old social network, 2012 will be the year when Facebook goes public. … In the digital world, 2011 will always be remembered for one thing: the untimely passing of Steve Jobs.Having transformed digital music, smartphones and tablet computers in recent years, Apple’s next big bet looks set to be TV. Apple is reported to have fast forwarded its planned assault on the living room since Jobs’s death, with ideas focusing on software that recognises viewers’ tastes across a number of devices without the hinderance of a remote control. Expect more on this in 2012.”

      Forbes: “Social Media Predictions For 2012Companies sometimes gripe that social media is useless as a branding tool. – For marketers, converting messages into transactions is the Holy Grail, but if they don’t quickly materialize through new media outlets, that’s no reason to throw in the towel. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other outlets are constantly evolving and experimentation is necessary to find success. – Once we accept that ‘social’ does not equal ‘transactional’ we’ll all be a lot more adept at using it in 2012.Geo-location has been an important marketing tool for a few years, but in 2012 it will become more personal and more transactional, especially in social-media marketing. … How will that work? Look for marketers to motivate and change behavior through geo-location tools and social gaming. … There’s a reciprocal relationship between the check-in and the reward, which is what game dynamics are about-rewarding behavior through real and virtual currency. … These are ways for brands to say, ‘Believe in us, be part of our community, and when you engage with us, we notice.’ It’s that acknowledgement that creates loyalty, advocacy and drives earned-media value. … Would it surprise anyone to think Facebook will become the overlay of the Internet experience? It may not happen in 2012 but it certainly will in our lifetimes. … As marketers build the bridge to commerce through online communities, it is imperative that they do not cannibalize them for the sake of transactions. … Imagine being at a party with people you know and feel comfortable with, and then suddenly, an outside group of revelers crashes your bash. It’s not the same party anymore. You don’t want to be there. You aren’t going to stick around. … Brands in 2012 must create a social world of personalization. – Facebook has built a model for this. Its ‘pages’ function enables brands to engage customers on a virtual island and have a theme party of their choosing. … The Facebook triad of Pages-Ads-Stories is one example of how to create a loop using paid media dollars to drive earned media. … The best kind of media is organic earned media. In 2012, social media as a bridge to commerce may seem obvious, but the journey will be much more interesting-and lucrative.

      HBR: “Six Social Media Trends for 2012Social media continues to move forward toward business integration, a trend that I identified last year. … I was also partially accurate in predicting that Google would ‘strike back’ in 2011. They did, with Google Plus, a formidable initiative that acts as Google’s ‘social layer’ to the Web. … So what can we expect in 2012 in a world that seems to grow ever connected by the hour? Here are six predictions to ponder, in no particular order: Convergence Emergence. For a glimpse into how social will further integrate with ‘real life,’ we can look at what Coca Cola experimented with all the way back in 2010. … These types of ‘trans-media’ experiences are likely to define ‘social’ in the year to come. … The Cult of Influence. In much the same way that Google has defined a system that rewards those who produce findable content, there is a race on to develop a system that will reward those who wield the most social influence. … Gamification Nation. No we’re not taking about video games. Rather, game-like qualities are emerging within a number of social apps in your browser or mobile device. From levels, to leaderboards, to badges or points, rewards for participation abound. … Social Sharing. Ideas, opinions, media, status updates are all part of what makes social media a powerful and often disruptive force. The media industry was one of the first to understand this, adding sharing options to content, which led to more page views and better status in search results. What comes next in social sharing is more closely aligned with e-commerce or web transactions. … Social Television. For many of us, watching television is already a social act, whether it’s talking to the person next to you, or texting, tweeting, and calling friends about what you’re watching. But television is about to become a social experience in a bigger and broader sense. … The Micro Economy. Lastly as we roll into 2012, watch for a more social approach to solving business problems through a sort of micro-economy… a new future reality where economic value is directly negotiated and exchanged between individuals over institutions.”

      WMG: “Social Media Analytics – A lot of the platforms I deal with in Social Media Analytics were in the process of being acquired and as I am the most connected with this space than any other, I’ll start with it… by the end of 2012, most of them will have been acquired. … Google, as I covered, will enter the space as a collection system and PR type dashboard… Google will become the market leader, forcing standards in Social Media Measurement that industry needs but lacked the consensus to enact. … As a result of the imminent appearance of Google in 2012 as the emerging market leader in SMM, the remaining independent firms will face choices of consolidation (mergers of disparate platforms) or will hurry off to sell themselves to advertising, marketing, market research or PR agencies that haven’t been able to scale social listening, successfully. … Analytics platforms will improve or incorporate mobile Analytics, which, to a large extent, has been lacking in the first and second generation platforms. … It’s not much of a stretch that as more and more people are using mobile devices, and the mobile devices are becoming more powerful, that more time will be spent generating social media, and that by the end of 2012, social media data will, for all it’s limitations, be a must have for most businesses to capture. … I think there’s a good bet that Web Analytics and Social Media Analytics will merge in 2012…

      ZDNet: “CRM 2012 Forecast – The Era of Customer Engagement – Part IWhat customer engagement does mean (so there is no nebulosity here) is the company’s and the customer’s relationship is defined by the customer’s ongoing involvement with the company for their own specific reasons. The company doesn’t have to know all of them. – It does mean that it is an era where the engagement the customer has with the company is controlled by the customer – and it can be at any level. … It does mean that the company model is to provide the customer with the products, services, tools and experiences that the customer needs to make an intelligent decision on how they want to be (selectively) engaged with the company. … It does mean the provision of a measurable result when it comes to that engagement via direct or indirect impact on revenue or some other key performance indicators that show the value of the engagement to the company – and the customer. … It does mean the use of systems of engagement … which are systems that foster the interaction of the company with the customer. … The Era of the Social Customer Ends…CRM began to morph into Social CRM, business into social business, and internal collaboration became more than just an advanced idea and was put into practice at many of the Global 2000 companies and some even smaller than that. … For the first time, we began seeing leading academicians and consultants, like Dr. V. Kumar, create a quantifiable metric for the revenue impact that social customers were having on a company that was designed to work with the traditional measure of customer lifetime value (CLV). …The Era of Customer Engagement Begins – The social customer is no longer a customer to gawk out, just a customer to deal with – like any other customer, with one explicit difference. … What defines the Era of Customer Engagement more than anything is that so-called social channel strategy is now a normal part of multichannel strategy for the company. To be clear, customer engagement means that customers are part of the company’s collaborative value chain. The customer selects how they want to interact with you, and hopefully uses your products, services, tools and consumable experiences to make that decision.

      PG: “CRM 2012 Forecast-The Era of Customer Engagement Begins- Part IIGamification, while often over hyped and misunderstood, is a concept that has increasingly important business value.Insight Solutions will emerge as a technology category of its own – One thing that we can’t ignore (okay, that I can’t ignore) is that if customer engagement is to work, then insights into how customers want it to work are becoming increasingly necessary. The current generation of social media monitoring tools with a few exceptions – Radian6 and Attensity come immediately to mind… There are a number of emerging players in this space which I’m calling ‘insight solutions’ who have been misplaced in or evolved from other market categories. … This is not to say that more ‘traditional’ analytics such as text and sentiment analysis, business intelligence, etc are going to be replaced or suffering. In 2012, they will be even more important than they are now. … Analytics as a whole is becoming fundamental to all business strategy. 2012 brings more of that than ever and the rise of a new category customer-focused solution that provides a combination the surfacing of dynamic information and the analysis of that behavior as dynamically as it is surfaced. … In 2011, we saw a significant shift away from the pure left-brained messaging of CRM toward a much stronger focus on customer interactions, engagement and behaviors. … Social marketing becomes an integral part of an explosive marketing automation sector – In other words, there is a recognition that social channels are now part of the mainstream and that they are additions to the channels that we’ve reached customers on traditionally. … 2012 will bring us continued explosive growth in marketing, especially social marketing because we have reached ubiquity when it comes to utilizing social channels as part of campaign planning.

      ORR: “Five big data predictions for 2012 – This year has seen consolidation and engineering around improving the basic storage and data processing engines of NoSQL and Hadoop. That will doubtless continue, as we see the unruly menagerie of the Hadoop universe increasingly packaged into distributions, appliances and on-demand cloud services. … Hadoop’s batch-oriented processing is sufficient for many use cases, especially where the frequency of data reporting doesn’t need to be up-to-the-minute. However, batch processing isn’t always adequate, particularly when serving online needs such as mobile and web clients, or markets with real-time changing conditions such as finance and advertising. … Your own data can become that much more potent when mixed with other datasets. For instance, add in weather conditions to your customer data, and discover if there are weather related patterns to your customers’ purchasing patterns. … As data science teams become a recognized part of companies, we’ll see a more regularized expectation of their roles and processes. One of the driving attributes of a successful data science team is its level of integration into a company’s business operations, as opposed to being a sidecar analysis team. … [I]sualization fulfills two purposes in a data workflow: explanation and exploration. While business people might think of a visualization as the end result, data scientists also use visualization as a way of looking for questions to ask and discovering new features of a dataset. – If becoming a data-driven organization is about fostering a better feel for data among all employees, visualization plays a vital role in delivering data manipulation abilities to those without direct programming or statistical skills.

  • Gerrit Eicker 11:02 on 21. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , Analytics, , , , , , , , , , , , , Peer Groups, , , , Shared Tastes, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Peer Influence 

    Study: When it comes to taste, peer influence in social networks is virtually nonexistent; http://eicker.at/PeerInfluence

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 11:02 on 21. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      PNAS, Lewis, Gonzalez, Kaufman: “Social selection and peer influence in an online social network – Disentangling the effects of selection and influence is one of social science’s greatest unsolved puzzles: Do people befriend others who are similar to them, or do they become more similar to their friends over time? Recent advances in stochastic actor-based modeling, combined with self-reported data on a popular online social network site, allow us to address this question with a greater degree of precision than has heretofore been possible. Using data on the Facebook activity of a cohort of college students over 4 years, we find that students who share certain tastes in music and in movies, but not in books, are significantly likely to befriend one another. Meanwhile, we find little evidence for the diffusion of tastes among Facebook friends – except for tastes in classical/jazz music. These findings shed light on the mechanisms responsible for observed network homogeneity; provide a statistically rigorous assessment of the coevolution of cultural tastes and social relationships; and suggest important qualifications to our understanding of both homophily and contagion as generic social processes.”

      Wired: “Are We Immune To Viral Marketing? – When it comes to taste, ‘peer influence is virtually nonexistent,’ said Kevin Lewis, a Harvard sociology graduate student who co-authored the study. Lewis cautioned that the experiences of college students on Facebook may not apply to everyone in all circumstances, but the results offer a sobering counterpoint to the conventional wisdom on the ubiquity of taste diffusion. ‘The extent to which friends’ preferences actually rub off on each other is minimal,’ he said. … If we don’t influence each other, does that means viral marketing is a bogus concept? And what does it say about the business value of social media? … The study’s findings suggest that it would be much more worthwhile to invest in understanding how and when friendships are a conduit for preferences, rather than assuming that they are and planning marketing strategies accordingly. ‘They clearly are under some circumstances, but we still don’t know whether those circumstances are common or important enough to warrant the time and money of business strategies,’ said Lewis. … One of the most valuable aspects of social media is who you know. It’s easy to glean information about members of social networks. This focuses sales, marketing and product development efforts. Knowing something about one person gives you insights into the people that person knows. … The Harvard study affirmed that, as in other aspects of life, people’s social media relationships tend to be with people who are like them. … Who you know is arguably a more valuable aspect of social media than who you might be influenced by.

      AT: “Studying the factors that bring people together creates a serious challenge for researchers. Do friendships form because of shared interests, or do those interests develop due to the friendship? A research team has now tracked a set of college students across all four years, using Facebook to identify social ties. The study reveals that people are fundamentally a bit lazy, as proximity provided the strongest predictor of social ties. Once that was accounted for, however, shared tastes in music and film did promote friendships, while books had a minimal effect. … The authors recognize that a Facebook friend probably doesn’t represent the strong social bond that we typically view as a friendship, but it is probably similar to the sort of fluid links that many of us form at work and elsewhere. There’s also a risk that at least some of the choices revealed on Facebook are the product of social posing, rather than deep-seated preferences. Despite these limitations, the study is a rare look at how social dynamics and personal tastes influence each other over the course of some very formative years. It’ll be pretty difficult to arrange a study that provides a clearer picture.

      TC: “Here’s a bit of science that’s contrary to what a heavy utilizer of social networks might expect. Researchers at Harvard tracked the Facebook activity of hundreds of college students for four years, and came away with the rather unexpected result that the interests of friends don’t, in fact, tend to influence one another. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen at all, of course, but it’s clear that propagation and virality are subtler and more complex than some people (marketers and, I suspect, researchers) tend to think they are. … The central source of data for the study, in fact, doesn’t strike me as solid. Tracking the interests of college kids is a sketchy endeavor in and of itself, but tracking it via their Facebook favorites (i.e. what shows on your profile, not what you post about or share) seems unreliable. – After all, not only does everyone use the network in their own way, but the network itself has changed. … The study does establish something that I think we perhaps understand is true already: you befriend people because of your overlaps in taste, but it’s rare that your existing friends change the tastes you already have. This is as much true out in the ‘real’ world as it is online. … The Harvard study does indicate another thing, which is that social networks are, for now, ‘light’ social interaction. … That’s changing, but Facebook doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to make the change to ‘serious’ social interaction: the kind of trusted exchanges you have with friends in conversation or in repeated encounters over years…”

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:33 on 14. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Analytics, , , , , , , Diigo, , , , , , Google Analytics Social, Google Analytics Social Analytics, Google Analytics Social Data Hub, Google Analytics Social Reporting, , , , , LiveFyre, , , , , , , , ReadItLater, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Social Reporting, , , TypePad, Vkontakte, , , ,   

    Google Analytics Social Data Hub 

    Google opens its Social Data Hub to 3rd party social networks to integrate with Google Analytics; http://eicker.at/SocialData

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 07:34 on 14. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “Every day, millions of people share and engage with content online. But most sharing doesn’t happen on the site where it was published, it happens throughout the social web. Marketers and publishers are looking for a comprehensive view of all interactions with their content – on and off their site – and so we’re working hard to make this happen. – To enable our customers to discover who’s sharing, voting and bookmarking their content on the social web, cross-network measurement needs to become easier. So today we’re inviting social networks and platforms to integrate their activity streams with Google Analytics. Through these integrations, marketers and publishers will be able to discover off-site engagement, optimize their engagement within each social community, and measure the impact of each social channel and its associated digital investment. … To make integration easy for social networks and platforms we’ve created a social data hub – it’s based on widely deployed, open web standards such as ActivityStreams and PubsubHubbub. A number of partners are already working with us to improve measurement of social actions – including Delicious, Digg, Diigo, Gigya, LiveFyre, ReadItLater, Reddit, TypePad, Vkontakte, and of course, Google+, Blogger and Google Groups.”

      Google: “Plug your social data into Google Analytics – As the number of social networks and activities performed grows, there’s no comprehensive way for marketers and publishers to see the big picture of how social behavior really impacts their brand, let alone understand how these social actions lead to engagement or true return on investment [ROI] of their content. – That’s why we’ve developed the social data hub – so any network can integrate their activity streams – like +1, votes, and comments – into Google Analytics Social Analytics reports, which will be available next year.”

      Google: “The social data hub is a free platform that social networks and other social platforms can use to integrate their activity streams- like +1, votes, and comments-with Google Analytics. – Enable your social network to be visible to marketers, publishers and analysts using Google Analytics – Promote a broad, comprehensive and inclusive picture of the global social media landscapeAdvance accessible measurement of all social media platforms and activities … To integrate your social network with Analytics, you need to meet the following criteria: You operate a Social Network/Platform – You own the social data and/or are legally able to share it with Google.

      Google: “Google Analytics will provide a social reporting suite so marketers and publishers can see how their content is being shared or interacted with off their site. This will include visibility into social actions such as voting, commenting and sharing amongst other reports helping marketers tie social activity back to engagement and conversion. The social data hub will supply the data needed to enable these Google Analytics reports.

      WMG: “In other words, the platform vendors did little if anything to tie the output of their platforms with anything specific or practical enough (probably, because they couldn’t yet do so) to be meaningful. While Facebook may drag their feet implementing and interfacing with Social Data Hub, Twitter already has been using Google Analytics to track every important action, and it’s not a stretch to see Twitter adopting the Social Hub, and eventually, Facebook will have to, as well, because advertisers and publishers will demand it. – Which, as Lovett says, is good for all of us. Will it be good for the vendors? That all depends.

      SEW: “While social media integration into analytics packages is relatively new, there are a few enterprise-level analytics software that already offer users the ability to integrate not only social sharing sites, but also information about apps in their respective stores. Webtrends, for one, allows users to enter their usernames and passwords for various social sites and app stores directly into the software and data from those respective sites are seamlessly integrated into reports. … Is this a good idea or a bad idea for social networks? How would you use integrated social analytics in your day-to-day analytics reports?

      WPN: “I couldn’t help but notice that Facebook and Twitter are not on that list.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:38 on 3. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , Analytics, Encrypted Search, , , , , , , , , Keyword (Not Provided), , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Keyword (Not Provided) 

    Google SSL leads to not provided keywords for search traffic: more than 10% already; http://eicker.at/KeywordNotProvided

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:39 on 3. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      SEL: “Google’s new encrypted search for logged in users now appears to be blocking a much higher percentage of search terms than when it initially rolled out two weeks ago. In some cases, it might even be higher than the 10% or less figure that the company initially predicted might be impacted. … Google predicted that the change would impact 10% or less of searches… However, as of October 31, we have seen a very significant increase on the Not Provided figure here on Search Engine Land. It’s not just us, either. Looking at data from several websites across industries, we see a range of 7% to 14% of total organic keywords now being blocked.The figure is even more dramatic, however, when you consider it as a percentage of Google-driven keywords. In other words, the 12.87% figure above means that for ALL keywords from ANY search engine to Search Engine Land, 12.87% of them were blocked. … The rollout was supposed to take place over the course of several weeks. The process is still happening, and it seems as if it was suddenly enabled for more users on October 31.

      LM: “It’s not just Google Analytics that will be denied this data. By ‘enhancing’ their default user experience for signed in users, Google will be redirecting signed in users to https://www.google.com, thus encrypting the search results page. In analytics, you’ll still be able to see that these signed in users came from the organic search results, but instead of being able to see the actual keywords that they used, you’ll see all that data aggregated under (Not Provided.) … So far [October 20th], since this change launched, LunaMetrics has seen 1% of our keywords clumped into (Not Provided.) A client with substantially larger organic search volume has already seen almost 2% of their organic keywords represented as Not Provided. We shall see how far-reaching these changes actually are in a few weeks when they’re rolled out completely.

      Naylor: “The online SEO community was up in arms after Google announced that signed-in users would get the encrypted search results as standard on google.com, meaning that all the referring keyword data would be lost in any analytic package. – Short term, this is unlikely to cause a too much of an upset and most people are saying they are only seeing 2-3% of all searches coming through with the (not provided) keywords.

      Mark8t: “As the change gets rolled out worldwide, you will start to see an increasing number of ‘Keyword Not Provided’, so you will need to become more creative. I would strongly recommend if you have not already to get a Google Webmaster Account, as Google notes: You ‘can also receive an aggregated list of the top 1,000 search queries that drove traffic to their site for each of the past 30 days through Google Webmaster Tools (GWT). This information helps webmasters keep more accurate statistics about their user traffic’. … In my view, although it may take more time, if you focus on content data, trends with keywords [as opposed to exact data] and other tools available, the impact will be somewhat lessened. The reality is, there is no point in crying over split milk, it’s done. Now it’s time to come up with creative solutions to keep moving forward.

    • Gerrit Eicker 08:26 on 11. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      LM: “Google SSL Search: Update on (not provided) keywords – Matt Cutts’ estimation that SSL search would only affect single-digit percentages of searchers is still holding true (in aggregate). But as you can see from the numbers above, the number of signed-in Google users that reach your site will vary greatly depending on your industry. The silver lining in this is at least we’re able to easily measure the effects of SSL search using Google Analytics and a couple of advanced segments.

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