I am just finishing up a case study for the next issue of BI Review on FoxSports.com and the ways in which they are using Web analytics to make their content more relevant to sports fans. Given the priority businesses of all kinds have placed on making the Web the primary customer interface, I think it's a very compelling story that's even a little exciting - and I don't get much excited these days. So, you can call this column a plug, but I think many of the things companies like FoxSports are doing with Web analytics will trickle down to your point of view sooner or later.Going forward, Web sites won't be the subject of periodic re-launches; they will be dynamic documents that change as quickly as information dictates. Ideally, the Web interface should be designed by the customer, not at a table of people sussing out wire frames and arguing over font sizes. Web analytics are the ideal mechanism to make this happen since they monitor and analyze a multitude of behaviors and interdependencies. Yet most Web marketing analysis has been centered on advertising, subscriber signing and incremental revenue building. Trust me, consumers are not patient or forgiving when it comes to his or her surfing habits, so you'd better start listening to them.
Bill Gassman, Research Director at Gartner Inc., looks at the Web analytics market as a sort of two-humped camel. "The right hump is the people who get it, they can take information and run with it. Real time actually matters to them because they can make and implement a decision and process does not get in the way, it helps." As Gassman will confirm, Web analytic tools have matured to the point where the information is not necessarily 100 percent accurate but it's relatively accurate and you can do a lot of things with it.
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