Why You Should Be Using Omniture Discover

This of course only really applies to current Omniture customers or those thinking about moving to Omniture as a new customer. I’ll also preface this further by saying that I am on Omniture’s Customer Advisory Board (CAB) for Discover (On-demand).

Anyway, there are several reasons that you should be using Discover and several reasons why you need it in addition to the normal SiteCatalyst offering.

Reasons why Discover is a good supplement to SiteCatalyst Include:

  • SiteCatalyst’s power is in providing reports and delivereing those reports and dashboards on a regular basis. The power of Discover on the other hand is to enable you to perform true exploratory analyses.
  • SiteCatalyst has limits in terms of how far you can drill down into data, and also limts in what you can drill down to. In Discover, you can drill down to anything, as deep as you like.
  • Drilling down in SiteCatalyst only works from the moment it’s enabled, and is not retroactive. In Discover, everything can be drilled down to, and everything is retroactive. So if you think of something that you’d like to look at a few months ago, you can. Everything is retroactive from the moment you enable Discover though, not before.
  • In SiteCatalyst, you can segment anything by using what are called ASI segments. However, ASI segments aren’t flexible enough that you can easily change the segments definitions themselves in the middle of an analysis. In Discover, you can change segments on the fly with a simple drag-and-drop.
  • Omniture Data Warehouse can deliver segmented data to you, but can take 1 – 3 days to do so. In Omniture Discover, you will get your data in just a few seconds. This allows you to see the results of segmentation quickly so that you can know how to best craft a Data Warehouse request for large dumps of data.
  • There is no additional implemenation for Discover. Once it is enabeled, all of your reports are ready to go.

So these are some of the reasons that Discover can supplement your use of SiteCatalyst.

So what are the things that you can do in Discover specifically that make it a great tool for deep analysis?

  • Dashboards and regular reports are often and eventually ignored. Deep analyses of segmented data allows you to create presentations of informaiton that most others will not have access to.
  • Quick creation of segments . Why look at just every visit on your site, when you can look at:
    • First time visits
    • Return visits
    • Visits that include certain pages on your site
    • Visits where your help content is viewed
    • Visits where no purchases are made
    • Visits where people fallout of your purchase funnel
    • Visits where people used internal site search
    • And many more…
  • Omniture Discover is fast. When starting Discover (a Java application), it imports a data set. Once that’s imported, you need only wait a couple of seconds for anything to run. When using a Web-based application (as are most Web analytics solutions), you have to make a request of a server, the server gets the data that you need and then you are delivered the information in your browser. This can leave you waiting for a report until you are frustrated.
  • If you are running A/B and multivariate tests, Discover will let you analyze test results in a deeper way that can make determining the winner more clear-cut.
  • After SiteCatalyst has all of your reporting and dashboards built out, Discover is the tool where true Web analysts will work on a regular basis.

If you have any specific questions about Discover, let me know. Also, if you are already using Discover, do you have any particular segments or analyses that you like to look at on a regular basis? Any tips or tricks of your own you’d like to share? Leave a comment and share anything that you have!

How does analysis become reporting?!

I’m not sure of others’ experiences, but ts has seemed to me that most of the time I provide a very insightful analysis to management and they are very pleased, the inevitable followup on their part is, “can we start getting this every week?” So while Web analysts want to provide analysis as opposed to becoming report monkeys, are we just creating more work for ourselves with our great analyses? More importantly, how do we get management to stop turning every analysis into a “regular report?” I think that the answer here is 3 fold:

  1. Learn how to set management expectations
  2. Have alternative (or more in-depth) anlayses planned at all times
  3. Assert your expertise

I think that if you do all of the above with an already existing base of established reporting, you can have success as a true analyst and not a report monkey. First though, how do you set clear expectations to management?

Email is all about setting expectations

One of the most important parts of a successful e-mail marketing campaign is setting the expectation of how often the recipient can expect to be emailed and what they will be e-mailed. The same goes for analyses of Web data. First, inform management of the analysis that you will be performing. This can enable them to ask some questions up front so that “feature creep” doesn’t occur later in the analysis (or worse yet, afterwards). Also, you’ll want to make management aware that reporting on this information on a regular basis and simply trending it isn’t the end/best result. Inform them that you will be delivering actionable insights after which it is their responsibility to act (unless the necessary resources are within your sphere of influence should you be so lucky).

Alternatives and the next big thing

One of the best ways to convince management to not make an analysis a regular report is to have the next few things lined up and planned out. This way, you can then tell them what was planned next and that regularly reporting on what you just delivered will decrease the number of analyses that you can deliver that are actionable.

You Are an Expert in Web Analytics & Analysis

If you weren’t, you’ve done a good job in fooling people that are signing your paycheck. We all know that convincing the HIPPO (highest paid person’s opinion) that you know more than them will usually fail. This is where it is your responsibility over time to build your own personal brand as an expert. This isn’t going to happen over night. You’ll have to prove yourself. My recommendation here is to plan EVERY week what you are going to deliver to management to wow them. If this means slowly delivering great things then so be it. Trust me the result is worth it. One of the most important things that I learned in grad school is the following, and it was sort of a career epiphany:

  • Being good at your job and being successful are two TOTALLY different things.

These are just a few of the things that I try to keep in mind so that analyses don’t turn into boring reports that eventually and inevitably get ignored.

How do you ensure that your big ideas and analyses don’t get ignored? This also reminds me, if you haven’t read it, you should also check out the book “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die…” You can get the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Made-Stick-Ideas-Survive-Others/dp/1400064287