Maximizing the Power of NetInsight

In a world dominated by SaaS-based analytics tools, IBM’s Unica NetInsight solution has not only kept itself buoyant but has continued to deliver outstanding value to its loyal customer base. Originally developed by Sane Solutions, NetInsight was subsequently bought by Unica, who was welcomed to the IBM family in late 2010. There were rumors that IBM was going to sunset the product in favor of Coremetrics, another analytics player it acquired just a few months prior, but a clamor for its continued existence has kept it alive, influencing IBM to fuel further growth of the solution.

NetInsight’s on-premise solution comes with a lot of flexibility in customization and implementation that may not otherwise be possible with on-demand tools. If you are a NetInsight admin and are looking to maximize the tool’s usage, the following things might be good places to start:

  • Data Model Extensions (DME) – DMEs might just be the greatest asset of NetInsight. Use it to integrate data from other data sources into its data model. You can bring in user attributes (e.g. company, age range, affiliations, order history) retrievable from sources like CRM. This allows you to make more meaningful ad-hoc analyses and help fuel optimization and personalization. With DMEs, you can get even more creative and perform data transformations and generate custom metrics.
  • Report Optimization – NetInsight utilizes an open relational database, allowing you to choose from different databases, with Oracle and MS SQL being common choices. As users create custom reports tailored to answer their specific questions, you will most certainly encounter situations where reports may be running a little longer than expected. With the help of your DBA, you should look into opportunities to optimize the queries, simplifying report configurations or adding indices to the database when necessary.
  • Hybrid Profiles – Page tags are ubiquitous but there may be times when data from your web server log files are necessary. Typically, this occurs when the business might be trying to connect users to activity outside your site like PDF downloads that happen in search engines or partner sites, or when certain web applications have not been tagged but have its activity logged in web server logs. You can solve the above requirements by utilizing a profile that utilizes both page tag and web server log data.
  • Governance and Education – NetInsight admittedly requires a steep learning curve in terms of mastering its wide array of features. It is a foregone conclusion that for a NetInsight-centric analytics practice to be successful, meticulous governance policies, a strict definition of roles, and education of especially its most engaged users need to be initiated.

What other elements of NetInsight can you think of that will help harness its full potential? Feel free to comment below or start a discussion. I want to hear from you!

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