Web Analytics Association Boston Symposium

Curious about the Web Analytics Association Boston Symposium that just took place on Monday 5/23? Well look no further for a little fun with Twitter analysis and an overview.

Let’s start with the data …


  • 159 unique tweeters used the #WAABos hashtag between 5/22/11 9.24PM and 5/24/11 1.08PM
  • There were a total of 911 tweets to the #WAABos hashtag in this time
  • During the Symposium itself (Monday 5/23 from 1PM through 5.30PM) there were 793 tweets from 125 unique tweeters.
  • This translates to 176 tweets per hour, or 2.9 tweets per minute!
  • 87% of the tweets to the #WAABos hashtag were during the Symposium time (Monday 5/23 from 1PM through 5.30PM)
  • 59% of the tweets to the #WAABos hashtag were Retweets and another 18% of tweets contained mention of another Twitter user. (My, we’re a social bunch!)

Top 10 hashtag contributors:

@OMLee 17% of hashtag tweets
@michelehinojosa 16%
@ashkalei 11%
@RudiShumpert 4%
@kdpaine 3%
@CaseyChesh 3%
@jc1 3%
@Exxx 2%
@KeithBurtis 2%
@johnlovett 2%

Top tweet content:

[Ten points if you can find the word “Pirate” in there.]

Tweet locations:

From @ashkalei:  Map of where #WAABos tweets were coming from: http://bit.ly/mlgyry

Top Take Homes:

Web Intelligence
Suresh Vittal, Forrester

  • Customers are no longer linear, or staying in neat “swim lanes”. We have entered the “splinternet”, where users can connect via multiple devices, and we start bringing that data together for a more comprehensive view of our customers.
  • We need to move from web analytics to all-encompassing web intelligence.
  • Web analytics platforms are perfectly positioned to evolve into web intelligence platforms. Almost 90% of businesses are using or piloting a web analytics platform, and many use more than one. Now, more traditional online channels (search, display, email) are regularly integrated into web analytics solutions, and emerging channels (social, mobile, apps, video) are starting to be integrated.
  • Merging offline, traditional web and emerging channels will give us a  comprehensive view of our customers, and pave the way for web intelligence. (And yes, it’s complicated!)
  • Be guided by a roadmap, and be sure to consider process and the personnel and skills you’ll need, in addition to the technology. Web Analysts alone will not be enough.

Mobile panel

Raj Aggarwal, CEO, Localytics, Justin Cutroni, Director, Cardinal Path, June Dershewitz, Director of Web Analytics and Customer Insight, Apollo Group, Mihael Mikek, CEO, Celtra

  • Mobile is currently fragmented – apps, different operating systems, web. In a year or two, we won’t even be talking about “mobile” – everything will be connected.
  • Your users don’t differentiate between a mobile and non-mobile experience, so you need to integrate your digital strategies.
  • The Three A’s of Mobile: Awareness, Activation, Activity (Apollo Group, June Dershwitz)
  • But these must also be tied to your overall business strategy.
  • Next problem for mobile to deal with: cannibalisation. Are you stealing from other channels or is this new revenue?
  • Mobile apps or mobile web? Right now, mobile apps are superior because you can integrate with other features of the phone (e.g. address book, etc.) However, HTML5 will rebalance that and it is likely that browser based apps will take off vs. OS-specific applications.
  • Difficulty for analysts is understanding behaviour from mobile to web and other channels, as mobile data typically lives in a silo. Crucial for us to start understanding behaviour of users across channels.
  • We can learn lessons from the web, to speed up the learning curve.

Social media panel

John Lovett, member of WAA Board of Directors and Senior Partner, Web Analytics Demystified, Katie Paine, CEO, KD Paine & Partners, Sean Power, Founder, Author, and Consultant, Watching Websites

  • Social can be many things to many people or organisations. This requires the need for custom metrics and integrations.
  • However, the web analytics problem of silos is repeating itself with social. There is isolated use of social media in the depths, but not across the enterprise. (John Lovett)
  • Great debate between Sean Power and John Lovett: Sean argued social media does not scale – you can’t respond to everyone without hiring people to respond one-on-one. John argued companies like Dell are tackling this by teaching their existing employees how to respond. Sean tested this by tweeting Dell while on stage at the panel, to see how quickly they respond. (19 minutes, if you’re curious.)
  • Do you know what Pirate Metrics are? AARRR!  Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, Revenue: http://slidesha.re/yO8Ml
  • Do we need social media standards?
    • Sean Power: “I don’t think businesses give a s*** about standards.” They care about making money and will do whatever they want.
    • John Lovett: We need at least some standards – definitions of basic, common metrics, even if different tools calculate them differently.
    • Katie Paine: We need standards so we’re not confusing others.
  • What about sentiment analysis? Sentiment analysis is like web analytics – you need the best people, not the best tools. (John Lovett)
  • Need context in social media. A small fly looks terrifying through a magnifying glass – which is what sentiment analysis can do. It’s important not just whether customers are saying something negative, but whether they are more negative about you than your competitors.

Tom Davenport: The New Quantitative Era – Creating Successful Business Change with Analytics

  • Analytics involves moving from descriptive analytics (the “what”) to predictive and prescriptive analytics (the “so what”)
  • In its most basic form, analytics is about making decisions.
  • Using data to make decisions, however, requires mastering analytics, culture and more. It’s no longer sufficient to just be good at one.
  • Become a student of error. Reviewing your mistakes can lead to better decision making.
  • To become successful at analytics, you need to work closely with IT, business decision makers and outside ecosystem members.
  • If you want to make decisions better, it’s not about the math, it’s about the relationships the analyst builds with decision makers.
  • Analytics and the work done should tie to decision. When an analyst receives a request, the first question should be What decision will you make with this data?
  • Skills needed to be a good analyst:
    • Tell a story with data
    • Stand firm when necessary
    • Help from the decision
    • Don’t just identify a problem, fix it
  • The analytics industry has a historical opportunity right now to transform our industries and functions!

Entrepreneurs Panel

David Cancel, CEO and Founder; Performable, Matt Cutler, CEO and Founder, Kibits, Eric Hansen, CEO and Founder, SiteSpect, Jonathan Mendez, CEO,Yieldbot, Dennis Mortensen, CEO and Founder, VisualRevenue

  • Let the market tell you what is right.
  • Everything I’ve done is based on solving customer pain. Can I give you an hour of your day back? (David Cancel)
  • You want a reaction to your idea. “I love your idea”, “I hate your idea”. “Cool” or apathy is not a good thing.
  • Commonly heard: “The last thing I need is another damn dashboard.” What they want is a red phone they can shout questions into.
  • Great companies are bought, not sold. The minute you raise your hand, your value goes down.
  • Charge immediately. From day one. The kind of feedback you get is very different the moment you ask for a dollars. (David Cancel.)

Any other insights that you heard that I missed? Add ’em in the comments!

Want to have at the raw data yourself? This is the archive I used: WAABosTweets052411at0113PM



4 thoughts on “Web Analytics Association Boston Symposium

  1. Awesome summary!

    Thanks Michelle for being part of this WAA event that was a great start to the Boston local chapter. But next time try harder on Twitter so Omlee doesn’t out-Tweet ya 😉


  2. He’s such a cheater. RT-ing everything!
    It was fun to hang out with you Lord Lovett! Till the next time 🙂

  3. It isn’t cheating, Twitalyzer showed that I had the highest engagement score at the event. 🙂
    You can’t argue with Twitalyzer AND your raw data analysis.

    Regardless, it was great seeing everyone at the Symposium…. (and after, in the lobby bar).


  4. Hi Michele,

    Being a practitoner of Web Marketing and Analytics, your thoughts from Web Analytics Association, Boston Symposium has inspired me. Thanks for sharing those insights.

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