A fundamental misconception of web analytics

Web Analytics Rock Star Stephane Hamel writes:

The Wall Street Journal did a whole series on “What they know”. Online marketers – especially when it comes to ad networks, web
analytics and behavioral targeting – are depicted as evil spies and
Cookie Monsters. Call it sensationalist, biased or even lies and
fallacies; it depicts what is generally perceived outside of our little
web analytics industry. If we listen to the WSJ, even underlying
concepts of Web 2.0 such as embedding widgets on a website is evil.
Their analysis revealed content (and most likely, cookies) being served
by a 3rd party… Bad, bad, bad! It goes beyond web analytics,
but when threatened and called upon, people react and as is often the
case, external events forces us, web analysts and the WAA, to act.

A fundamental misconception of web analytics

Over the year I have taught over 700 people on the fundamentals of web
analytics trough courses at UBC, ULaval and my workshops. Oftentimes, a
fundamental misconception about web analytics takes the form of “With
the help of Google Analytics (or whichever tool), I can find dimensions
such as number of visitors from a city, the source and frequency of
their visit, recency of visits, keywords used, etc., however, how can I
find “who these visitors are?” How can I find their contact details so
as to start a personalized initiative?”

First, we need to understand the fundamental difference between Web Analytics and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

Read more from Stephane Hamel: Web analytics, privacy and the WAA code of ethic::immeria::web analytics::Stephane Hamel

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