First off, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! As always, the analytics industry is changing every day. So, I wanted to take a moment to talk about a few of the things going on in the industry that we perceive to be significant.
IBM has been very busy over the last few months with the acquisitions of Coremetrics, Unica, and Netezza. In our Rising Tides newsletter , we discussed Customer Intelligence and Predictive analytics. Well, IBM has acquired their way into this space in rapid fashion. Coremetrics and Unica are two of the premier web analytics solutions in the space. Coremetrics offers the On-Demand capability, while Unica can offer an On-Premise solution. Both solutions have strengths in the data integration space, and with Netezza's powerful data warehousing capabilities you can see a potential technology roadmap developing.
I've been extremely impressed with Netezza for a long time, and I'm excited to see how things shake out as IBM aligns the products. IBM has responded to the increasing demands of the industry to provide flexible and efficient ways to integrate and analyze data. Predictive analytics requires having a blend of data at your fingertips and IBM appears poised to provide that to their customers.
Oracle and ATG
Oracle has been pretty busy themselves, as the acquisition of ATG marked their 9th of 2010. This acquisition will allow Oracle to integrate a premier e-Commerce engine with their existing CRM solution. Again, I can see this having a very positive effect on our industry. This is yet another option for organizations to integrate their data and have the ability to act on it faster. ATG has an Optimization module that allows for enhancing the site based off of the data being captured. Being able to optimize the site at the individual level is ideally where e-Commerce sites are looking to go. By having a clean integration between your e-Commerce platform and CRM you can enable your organization to move quickly and efficiently in improving the user experience.
Privacy is a real hot button topic in the industry, and that makes total sense given the acquisitions above and the recent themes we covered in the Rising Tides newsletter. Obviously as more data is being integrated and tools improve their functionality to respond to the demands, data security concerns will bubble to the top. The Wall Street Journal has an entire section of their site dedicated to privacy, which you can find here.
Data needs to be secure, that Stratigent completely agrees with. Privacy policies need to be forthcoming and updated to include all of the ways the data is being stored and used. Personally Identifiable Information (PII) can't end up in the wrong hands and must be treated with the utmost care and security. Audits should be completed regularly to ensure data collection and storage processes are aligned to protect the rights of visitors.
With that being said, it is a double-edged sword. The world is moving more and more to the web, people want to use their cell phones for everything, and personalized experiences are extremely convenient and effective. How can companies invest in the technologies necessary to improve the user experience online if they are not allowed to collect the data necessary to validate the ROI? Online personalization is a mutual relationship between an organization and its customers. A trust needs to be established, and there needs to be a push in the industry to educate on how the data is being stored and used. If someone chooses to not be "tracked" after being educated correctly on the topic, then that is their right and something Stratigent fully agrees with.
Personally, I've been very happy to see the Web Analytics Association (WAA) jump into the conversation. Recently, they have released version 2.0 of their Web Analyst's Code of Ethics. I urge all of you to read this blog post and leave your comments to help shape how this should look in its final version. Tactics like this will help clear up the grey areas in our industry and make sure that we are looking at Privacy in the right light. We think this is a step in the right direction, and look forward to contributing on the topic of privacy education here at Stratigent.
Industry Leaders, on Top of the Trends
Stratigent is very passionate about this industry, and every day is exciting for us as we begin to see all of the new trends. We pride ourselves on being the leader in the digital analytics space and will continue to stay out in front of these trends for our clients. I would love to hear your feedback or topic suggestions for future newsletters, feel free to reach out to me directly.
Bill Bruno is the CEO - North America, Ebiquity.