CATEGORY: BI Tools

REVIEWER: Shane Arnold, chief marketing officer for WiredEmpire.

BACKGROUND: WiredEmpire provides e-mail marketing solutions that make online marketing simple and measurable. WiredEmpire's solutions are built by direct marketers for direct marketers.

PLATFORMS: c-Discovery from Digital Archae-ololgy is accessed through a standard Web browser. The server component is available on either Sun Solaris, Linux or Windows NT and Windows 2000. In our case, we are using a dual-processor Pentium, running Windows NT server.

PROBLEM SOLVED: WiredEmpire's flagship product is the e-Marketing Suite ­ software that helps companies manage targeted e-mail marketing campaigns to consumers. Our e-Marketing Suite included the basic e-mail reporting capabilities, but it did not have extensive analytic capabilities. Using c-Discovery, it was fast and easy to develop a simple set of campaign reports and analyses, closing the loop to enable our marketing customers to understand campaign effectiveness at a glance. Our customers can drill down to analyze and understand contributing facts that help them to develop and fine-tune more effective campaigns in the future.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Using c-Discovery, we easily imported and transformed our campaign data. We used an intuitive drag-and-drop interface to construct and fine-tune a set of analytical queries. The standard Web page design tools made it easy to customize c-Discovery to provide an intuitive set of reporting and analysis capabilities for our end users. We have barely scratched the surface in our use of c-Discovery. The product includes an extensive library of analytical functions that could further enhance our core capability, including specialized tools for performing RFM analysis and tools that facilitate data importing and transformation.

STRENGTHS: It is easy to use: c-Discovery has one of the most intuitive user interfaces that I've ever worked with. While I was training in the product, I kept experimenting with the user interface, not really expecting that what I was trying to do would work ­ but it almost always worked. Implementation was fast: in a little less than two weeks with the help of one consultant from Digital Archaeology, we were able to implement integration of the data sources and deliver a highly customized version of c-Discovery. This version provided more than 15 reports to slice and dice campaign management from many different angles. The underlying query language allowed for some pretty interesting and valuable reports, including how a recipient responded to a certain campaign (e- mail response, purchase) and profiles of customers that responded to a campaign versus those that just clicked on a URL. This would have been difficult to implement with traditional reporting and analysis tools. Other solutions require a lot of design and analysis up front and are difficult to change later.

WEAKNESSES: To drive performance reporting and analysis, the product stores data in a space-intensive internal format ­ the speed is great, but storage requirements are extensive. The good news is that Digital Archaeology is working to reduce the footprint, and disk drives are relatively inexpensive.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We needed a product that we could deploy quickly over the Web, that would provide detailed campaign reporting and analysis capabilities, that would be able to access data from a variety of sources and that would display even complex analytics in under a minute. c-Discovery was the only product we evaluated that met all of our needs.

DELIVERABLES: By providing a Web-based analysis and reporting capability, c-Discovery has given us (and our customers) an easily accessible and detailed understanding of our customers' online campaigns, helping to understand campaign results quickly and fine-tune marketing efforts for maximum effectiveness.

VENDOR SUPPORT: The people at Digital Archaeology have been terrific at helping us install the application, develop the customized queries and customize the c-Discovery interface. Customer support has been very responsive. We have thoroughly enjoyed working closely with them.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is complete, well- written and easy to understand. All the documentation is available in both hard copy and online.

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