Programming and Web Analysts

Now that Omniture has APIs and WebTrends is doing more sophisticated things with their tools that have ODBC connections, I was thinking, should we Web analysts consider adding to our skill set? Primarily, should we begin to add programming abilities to our skill set? Things like APIs are great, but only if you have the ability to create applications that access these APIs. Should we Web analysts start learning languages like PHP, SOAP and XML so that we can create our own applications?

Also, most popular Web analytics technologies are based upon JavaScript (from the implementation side anyway). So, a better understanding of JavaScript would most likely benefit us all. A better understanding of JavaScript alone could open some doors for better Web analytics opportunities for those not already proficient with JavaScript.

I think that we Web analysts should be immersing ourselves in programming so that we become more than just analysts and the users of tools like Omniture, GA, WebTrends, etc. I for one will be trying to pick up the following skills in 2009:

  • PHP/SOAP – for the purpose of programming with Web APIs and creating new applications for analytics and online marketing
  • JavaScript – I’m already decent with JS, but would like to be able to do some more advanced things for analytics
  • SQL/MySQL – for the purpose of querying Oracle, SQL and MySQL databases

Are their any other skills that you think would benefit Web analysts? What additional skills are you trying to pick up on your own this next year?

Omniture Launches Developer Connection & Discover API

Okay, I’m not trying to make this an Omniture blog, but they keep releasing products/services and acquiring companies at startling rate the last few weeks. That being said, I received an e-mail from them this morning about launching a beta of something called the “Omniture Developer Connection.” At first glance, this appears to be just a repository for documentation on Omniture’s Web services. One BIG thing that I did notice, is that:

There is now a Discover API and accompanying documentation!

This is great to see, and I hope that Omniture gives some more attention to this new API. I would like to automate some Discover reporting, and an automated CSV file isn’t the most elegant way to accomplish it.

This site (that requires Omniture login credentials) also contains forums for developers as well as a library of code examples that can be contributed to by developers. Right now though, there are no posts in the forum (aside from the admin) and there’s only one code example.

Here’s the announcement e-mail from Omniture:

Announcing Omniture Developer Connection (BETA) 

The Omniture Developer Connection is here—a community Web site designed to help our customers build applications  that use their Omniture data. Found at http://developer.omniture.com, the Developer Connection allows our customers to:

  • Use Omniture SiteCatalyst data across third-party applications, such as an intranet or a company-branded application
  • Access SiteCatalyst reporting data to create calculated metrics, or format the data to meet specific internal needs
  • Use the data collection API to facilitate the integration of SiteCatalyst with applications that cannot be easily tagged with JavaScript

In addition, Omniture Developer Connection contains:

  • Documentation of Omniture’s application programming interfaces (APIs)
  • Sample code showing reference  implementations to give developers a head-start in developing their own applications
  • Discussion boards and blogs to provide peer-to-peer support among those building Omniture-driven applications

Please pass this along to the appropriate development team within your organization. For additional detail on the Developer Connection, a list of Frequently Asked Questions is provided below: 

1. When is the Developer Connection available?
Omniture will be releasing the Developer Connection in beta on
October 17, 2008.

2. Who can access the Developer Connection?
The Developer Connection and Omniture APIs are accessible to Omniture customers with a SiteCatalyst login.

3. What are the Omniture APIs?
The Omniture Web Services API provides programmatic access to Omniture SiteCatalyst administration, data insertion, Omniture Data Warehouse and reporting functionality. The Web Services API is built using SOAP, which allows developers to use any SOAP development toolkit to start developing applications. The data insertion API is built on an XML-based schema, allowing developers to easily and quickly send data and begin testing integrations with the system.

4. How do I access the Developer Connection?
Customers can use their SiteCatalyst login information to access the Developer Connection at http://developer.omniture.com.
 
5. What is the best way to start using Developer Connection?
A Getting Started guide (for users with a SiteCatalyst login) is available to assist new users through the process of learning the prerequisites, enabling the Web services APIs, and testing and authenticating newly developed applications. The guide is available under the ‘Getting Started’ tab in the portal.

6. Does Developer Connection include API documentation for all products in the Omniture Online Business Optimization suite?
Currently, API documentation is available for SiteCatalyst, DataWarehouse, Discover reporting, and SearchCenter. Additional API’s will be added in the future. 

7. How should Beta participants provide feedback regarding the Developer Connection portal? 
We will be monitoring the community blogs and message boards and encourage customers to provide us feedback there. 

Sincerely,


Your Omniture Team