eMetrics Day 3: Do they just not care about Government, or do they just not get it?

[No Government/Non-commerce track in today’s final day of the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit in Arlington]

Sitting in the Web Analytics Association membership meeting on the 3rd day of the eMetrics conference. Wondering if the WAA really doesn’t care about its Government members, or if they just don’t get how we’re different. Even the committee reports going on as I write this aren’t including the Public Sector SIG.

Government web sites don’t sell stuff, but we (at least) hope we provide value for Citizens. Why is it the WAA and its conference doesn’t seem to care about approaching web analytics from this perspective and measuring this value?

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Jim Townsend

Interesting post. Even the tracking tools that commercial companies use may not be suitable for government customers.

Ron Pringle


Though our conference wasn’t focused on just analytics, we did feature a keynote from Google Analytic’s own Phil Mui. Sounds like you’d have gotten more value out of that than the entire WWA conference.

Kaya Walton

Thanks for the summaries, Tim. I attended the conference as well, and I was taking it from a perspective that instead of waiting for all of these eCommerce web analysts to notice/acknowledge us, we should be more vocal about how government sites and measuring their successes are different.

This conference being my first, it was a HUGE wake-up call on how government WA consultants and vendors speak for us at these events…and they don’t necessarily get the big picture. We need to create a government-based web/social media/mobile analytics framework and ecosystem and promote that. WA in government is growing but so silo’d that a framework/ecosystem may have been created but isn’t shared.

I don’t think we can expect WAs who live in eCommerce day-to-day to have to speak for us. We would have to do it ourselves.


I had just assumed we were just going to have to adapt the metrics ourselves, and hope & pray the analytic products can do what we need.

This only fuels the fire for those who don’t get it and use the “we’re not private sector – we don’t market and we don’t need to measure” as the excuse not to do things we really need to be doing.

Tim Evans

Thanks, all. The metrics tools that are available to us are fine. We have to define what’s success for each of our own web sites, then figure out the metrics that measure them. The e-commerce pro’s understand making money; they don’t understand (and we also may not) how government web sites provide value and how to measure it.

Kaya, I personally spoke at both the 2007 and 2008 eMetrics conferences, so we can’t say we haven’t taken an active role. But, please join the WAA Public Sector SIG and help out.

I stood in the dining room and looked out across the Pentagon, and all of DC, and nearly cried when I realized all those other people hadn’t noticed what I had: That whole Government out there as an opportunity wasted.