Econsultancy, 21 June 2010, by Michael Feiner
Web analytics has lagged behind traditional business analysis methods for many years. IBM, a new/old player in the web analytics world, is now in the position to change that and move the two disciplines closer. Statistical modelling will significantly increase the value and prominence of web analytics.
Last week IBM announced the acquisition of web analytics and online marketing optimisation company Coremetrics. This acquisition is another milestone in a growing trend of large corporate organisations buying into digital analytics vendors. Adobe took over Omniture, Coremetrics' biggest competitor, last September. Google acquired Urchin to create Google Analytics and similarly Yahoo purchased Index Tools rebranding it as Yahoo Web Analytics.
At the same time large data and marketing solution companies such as Unica and SAS are expanding their web analytics and optimisation capabilities through acquisition (Sane NetTracker) and partnership (Speed Trap) respectively.
Some argue that the IBM acquisition of Coremetrics will stifle web analytics innovation. Similar claims have been made regarding the Adobe Omniture tie up.
Two key shortcomings of web analytics technology are the large amounts of unstructured data and the lack of any significant statistical modelling and predictive analysis capabilities.
Tools such as Omniture Insight and Webtrends Segments offer significant analytical and visualisation capabilities but leave much to be desired in terms of modelling and future trending. Google Analytics is only starting to address these issues scraping the surface with its Intelligence feature.
In comes SPSS, IBM's acquired predictive analytics software and solutions firm. IBM is now in a position to merge Coremetrics' web and mobile analytics collection platform with its powerful statistical modelling software. Such analytical capability is common practice in the offline CRM and Direct Marketing worlds but so lacking in the online world.
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