Webtrends Provides Comprehensive Customer Intelligence Data Collection, Integration, Analysis, Optimization and Visualizationby Bill Ives
Webtrends is an enterprise customer intelligence company that offers web analytics and optimization along with a number of related services. This is a market space I have been looking into a bit and was interested to learn more about they are doing. I recently spoke with Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, VP of Marketing at Webtrends. Jascha said that they have the ability to let you look at wide range of data about your customers actions and comments, anything that is digital. This includes web site behavior and social media monitoring, along with offline activity such as kiosks and even in-store transactions. I like the fact that they are taking advantage of the digital nature of data to move beyond web-based reporting to aggregate offline behavior into the mix.
Their social media monitoring is provided through a partnership with Radian6, a firm I have written about before here (see: Radian6 – Monitoring Social Media). In addition to having the social media data from Radian6 aggregated with all other Webtrends customer data sources, Webtrends offers professional services to help you set up your social media profiles and filters. Their data aggregation and integration extends beyond collection to analysis and optimization. You can use the analytics within Webtrends or extend this through their partnership with Teradata to take the data into your enterprise data warehouse for more comprehensive business intelligence. Their professional services group can also help you make better use of this data for business decisions.
There are several other new capabilities through the Fall 2009 release of their flagship product, Analytics 9. They have gone real time and now offer alerts and notifications when key web site metrics reach, or fail to reach, your pre-determined goals. Alerts can prompt the user at log-in and be delivered via a variety of means including e-mail, authenticated RSS feed, Twitter direct message, SMS, and/or through their iPhone app. You can compare the real time results with data from the previous 24 hours or the current day. They have plans for other mobile phone apps. You can see a sample iPhone screen below.
Jascha said that the introduction of Google Analytics a few years ago was a boost to their industry as it made analytics more visible. At the same time, most enterprise companies found they wanted more that Google Analytics and other free services provide. The same holds true for Google Alerts. I have certainly found this to be true, even for an enterprise of one such as myself, especially on the alerts side. I also like the real time nature of the alerts.
I recently covered the Forrester report on text analytics as way to dig deeper into data (see: Text Analytics Offers a Discovery Channel to Make Better Sense of Content). I asked Jascha about this capability. He said that Webtrends has partnerships with Autonomy, Endeca, and FAST (Microsoft) when companies want to integrate this capability into their customer intelligence efforts.
Analytics 9 is offered as both a cloud service and through an on-premise version for those who need the feeling of added security, such as several of their government clients. They have several other product offerings. Visitor Data Mart provides data from the individual customer perspective. While Analytics 9 aggregates your company related data, Visitor Mart allows you to drill down to see how a specific customer is interacting with your company. They also offer optimization services through Optimize. It allows you to set up experiments on your web assets, review the results, and will make adjustments automtically. In addition, their Ad Director offering helps you make intelligent online ad purchases and optimized your PPC campaigns across all the major search engines such as Bing, Google, and Yahoo.
I asked Jascha about their target users given the comprehensive nature of Analytics 9. He said there are three types. Webtrends has been around for quite a while in Web years. First, they still have many IT buyers from the days when IT largely set up and ran web sites. In the past few years they have added many marketing professionals. To better serve this group they have enhanced their interface and provided better data visualization capabilities. The third user group is the new breed of highly specialized and tech savvy marketing people who focus on customer intelligence. Here is where the more comprehensive capabilities and the Webtrends partnerships come into greater play. Below is a sample data visualization screen.
Here is another data visualization screen that shows some of the real-time nature of results.
I think all of these features are very useful. The thing that impresses me the most is the pulling together of all available digital data on the front end, whether it is online or offline and then the use of both online and offline analytic tools on the backend. To me this ability to go beyond conventional ways of thinking about data sources shows that the focus is on the business issues rather than the tools. Webtrends is a company that has been around for quite a while and experienced a number of technologies so this might help expand this thinking. They have a user conference coming up Feb 1 – 3 in my favorite city, New Orleans.