Monday, June 22, 2009

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The Truth About Mobile Analytics

Perhaps the only thing hotter than social media right now is mobile. And with good reason — smartphones like the iPhone and Palm Pre are taking our ability to get information to entirely new levels and ushering in an era of “digital ubiquity” that is clearly without precedent. Unsurprisingly business is responding by actively exploring how they can participate in the mobile opportunity, either by optimizing their site for small screens or going so far as to build cool, new iPhone applications to support long-standing offline initiatives.

Fortunately most business owners have learned from past mistakes and are showing interest in measuring the effect of their investment into mobile. But measuring mobile isn’t easy — the sheer diversity of technologies involved and the rapid evolution of the industry has created a monsterous landscape of devices, communication protocols, and requirements.

As a result dozens of companies have sprung up, all making claim to a unique ability to measure the mobile opportunity. Unfortunately some of these companies have decided that relying on hype, hyperbole, and sometimes outright lies are a better sales strategy than building a great product with a unique value proposition. We have seen CEOs bash other CEOs, sales people obfuscate their identity and try and provide “objective” answers, and antics that can only be described as “juvenile.”

Because the mobile opportunity is so great Web Analytics Demystified started taking a closer look at measurement earlier this year. I was fortunate enough to be able to rely on the expertise of folks like Michiel Berger and Thomas Pottjegort at Nedstat, the mobile team at NBC, dozens of analytics end-users, and some of the brightest product managers in the analytics sector tasked with integrating mobile into existing digital measurement offerings.

What I found was a series of surprising truths about how mobile analytics is evolving. Nedstat was kind enough to sponsor this research — and clear disclosure: Nedstat has been measuring and integrating mobile data into their web analytics offerings for years — and I am happy to announce the availablity of this research in a new white paper titled “The Truth about Mobile Analytics.”

You can download this paper from the Nedstat web site for free (but they do ask your name, email, and company name):


We are also holding a special webcast on the subject on June 23rd at 10 AM Central European Time (CET) which is unfortunately quite late in the evening for those of us in the U.S. but quite well timed for Nedstat’s customers. I suspect the webcast will either be repeated or rebroadcast at a later date and time.


I encourage everyone to download the paper and give it a read, regardless of your position on mobile and mobile analytics today.

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