The Emetrics Summit in Santa Barbara, CA, was held last week. Reviews and comments have been flooding my inbox. Although I couldn’t attend myself, John Quarto-vonTividar, co-inventor of persuasion architecture, presented on persuasion scenario planning and the call for an open standard for scenario definitions, including an XML standard.
I’ve also heard rave reports about the Web Analytics Association members meeting, which had over 150 folks in attendance. I’m really sorry I had to miss it.
In absorbing everyone’s comments over the last couple days, I’ve discovered there’s great progress on the analytics front. Enthusiasm for the space is growing exponentially. No doubt, any company worth its salt is finding itself more deeply invested in its Web analytics. My good friend Jim Novo, author of “Drilling Down,” shared some of the most encouraging news.
“Ford Motor Company has run a pilot where they are using the info from a ‘Build Your Car’ configurator on the Web to predict demand for certain cars and features,” said Novo. “When they matched the predicted data from the config to actual sales data, the fit was simply amazing. So amazing, you would immediately question if the data was tortured somehow to show this result.
“But that’s the nature of near frictionless environments like the Web,” he continued. “You tend to get behavioral data that’s simply more true then asking people their opinions, which is the more common way to get affirmation for auto design from the customer.
“What is probably more important from an analytical culture perspective,” he said, “is that this gigantic metal-bender car company with very long lead times is actually using this Web data to modify production plans because it has been such a reliable predictor of demand. If they can make this kind of thing happen at Ford, you can do it where you are. This is a monumental achievement.”
Quarto-vonTivadar, known around our office as “Q,” had his own insightful observations about the Ford Direct presentation. He also had a few thoughts about where people are at in relation to testing and analytics. The following points are an extrapolation of what he articulated at the water cooler. He’s literally our resident rocket scientist (having worked for NASA) and has been doing multivariate testing ever since.