Speaking at eMetrics London this week. I have been to all of the London events (I think) since 2004 so its been interesting to see how things have changed over the years. Here’s my thoughts:

What’s Out

  • Talking about cookies i.e. deletion rates (thank God!)
  • Feature wars – i.e. tool X has 10,000 “must have” features. Users know that size is not so important.
  • Beauty Parades – vendors lined up to pitch their products
  • KPIs – How to select/choose your key performance indicators
  • Data accuracy questions – the level of accuracy attainable appears to have been excepted by users

What’s In

  • Buzz Words: Big Data – we all now have it (it was social media 3 years ago)
  • Tag Management – the “CMS” of third-party script placement
  • Privacy – good/bad practice, how does Google fit in
  • Case Studies – more examples of what works, what does’t, search marketing and content optimisation
  • Google’s Universal Analytics – I would say that. It was my presentation on the latest feature announcements!

What I found quite pivotal for eMetrics was the second speaker, Michael Blastland – author of “The Tiger That Isn’t” and creator of the BBC radio 4 series “More or Less” – who discussed the problem of falling into well trodden paths (aka data grooves) and data deception. In other words, the issue data interpreters often fall into which is finding data points to confirm a preconceived idea.

Great presentation – but this was an English Literature graduate presenting to a web analytics (web science) audience…! My conclusion – this industry really is becoming more main stream and move out of the geek silo. That is, one where data has become so democratised that people outside the “normal” audience not only take an interest, but become a part of analysis machine itself. That’s got to be a good thing…

Also read my colleague’s @JohnWedderburn live notes form the day http://bit.ly/U0s4wl

Update: Jim Sterne informs me he is an English graduate himself. I never realised!