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  • Oct 11, 2013
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8 years ago
Impact of Privacy Laws & Common Mistakes – Peter O’neill asks eMetrics’ Speakers

THE Q & A Continued………..

 Peter O`Neill
Peter O’Neill, eMetrics Summit Confernce Chair


How much impact do you see privacy laws having on your day to day work, now and in the next year?

Doug Hall, Conversion Works
Very little.  The correct application of web analytics relies very little (if at  Doug Hallall!) on the identity and behavioural patterns of individuals.  Hence, there is no need for privacy law flouting data.  Where targeting individuals may yield return is more likely in the domain of customer services dealing with specific cases.  The correct application of Web Analytics deals with trends across large volumes of consumers/users/customers.  Respecting the privacy of individuals and the morality of the laws is integral to the correct usage of Web Analytics.

Barbara Pezzi, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International Barbara Pezzi
Personally, I am much more concerned about the forthcoming disappearing of pretty much all organic keyword data. There are some sort of workarounds, but it really is an issue, especially when I look at it with my SEO hat on.

James Cornwall, Shell
Data Privacy has been top of my agenda for the last 12 months. When  James Cornwalldealing with data in countries such as Germany and Holland you always expected to have a tough time.  I cannot see this getting any easier in the next 12 months. There are defiantly steps business and analysts can take to ease the pain. My method has been to clearly define what PII data is, discuss with legal your business’ position and have a good analytics governance framework to insure no data that is being collected effects your legal position. Good Cookie Management and commonsense (Does your business really need this data?)

Jim Sterne, eMetrics Summit
  Jim Sterne
At the moment, privacy is an issue of interest but not an imperative. Once other companies in the same sector start to run afoul of the government, the legal department will step in and start making life very, very difficult.

Jabir Salam,  Stradva
Substantial! Jabir Salam Privacy laws meant to protect our best interests are now amazingly disruptive with firms being forced to brandish compliance. The ability to provide optimised custom experiences for target segments gets trickier as privacy laws evolve and will imply, the need for a stronger nexus between technology vendors and companies that seek happy customers.

Xavier Colomes, Intuit UK
As conversion oriented analyst I’m not specially worried about privacy Xavier Colomes laws impacting on the way we gather clickstream data (as in cookies or not provided data). This will affect more the acquistion oriented analysts and the big advertising networks. For me clickstream data is just another ingredient of the receipe, and it’s valuable for the funnel analysis and identifying the mayor areas of improvement (where the problem is). But to understand What the problem is clickstream data is very limtied and we use sampled tools like Voice of customer, observation, screen recording, etc. Those tools provide us to analyze a small sample of our users that will help us build our main hypothesis that will feed our testing plan. That’s the moment when the analysis becomes useful for the company and the data becomes learning. How we get to the hypothesis, we will have many other ways if the clickstream data is reduced by privacy issues.

John D’Arcy, Blue HiveMr John  D’Arcy
I see differences in how consumers allow data to be collected about them and massive changes in the trend in how many people allow 3rd party data collection.  That means we need to begin to think about our digital analytics in the same way that market research organisations do; understanding our sample, talking in terms of significance and confidence intervals.

Peter O’Neill, eMetrics Summit, Conference Chair
What is the most common mistake you see companies making?

Doug Hall Conversion Works
Reliance on faith based decision making where opinion > data.  The only rational approach is when data > opinion.

Barbara Pezzi, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International
Investing in the tools, rather than the people. Following the latest hype or the “next big thing”, which in many cases is not even relevant to their reality. Just because everyone is talking or writing about it, it does not mean that it will work for you.

James Cornwall, Shell
I think the most recent batch of problems is around data delivery. So many business’ have some form of analytics tool and are measuring everything they can. What I frequently encounter is that this data is not being used, not understood and not actionable. There are many factors in this, some around digital understanding but mostly I think its our challenge as analysts.. we expect business owners to be able to understand, use and deliver insights from these tools like we can. This is not the case. Delivering the right KPis to the right people in the right form is how we overcome this.

Jim Sterne, eMetrics Summit Founder

  • Assuming the tool has the answers
  • Not investing in data quality
  • Assuming causation from correlation
  • Not having clear goals against which to measure success

Jabir Salam,  Stradva
Companies tend to think shiny new technology will function as the silver bullet and get carried away in just wanting shiny new systems set up that they sometimes, cut corners on their strategy which proves to be counter productive.

Xavier Colomes, Intuit UK
The number one mistake the companies do in their Digital marketing approach is the lack of Strategy. For instance, adopting best practices from others without thinking if that’s what they need. Do we need to waste time and effort in Facebook if we are a B2B company? Are we going where our prospects are or we are doing the right tactics for the wrong products? Overall in the Digital Analytics scene there’s a lack of strategic marketing skills. While there’s awesome technology and tactic approach, the lack of strategy in selecting these tactics is alarming. That’s why one of the secrets of successful StartUps is using the different channels to serve the company Strategy, rather than adapting the company Strategy to the channel (what many companies do).

John D’Arcy, Blue Hive
i. A lack of ability to take action based on the data – this could be the fact that there are not enough ad assets available to optimise a campaign or it might be to do with the organisation not having enough people in positions to optimise a design, create a new offer, react to a customer issue

ii. It is very common for organisations to forget about the cost of ownership of an analytics solutions.  Software budgets not being linked to resource/FTE budgets can lead to white elephant software tools sitting around doing nothing other than making money for the software provider. 

iii. Other than that it is still very common to forget to segment data to delve into deeper trends, getting greater context and insight from the numbers.  It’s too easy for people to focus on a single metric without understanding key drivers of that trend.

By: Peter O`Neill, Conference Chair, eMetrics Summit London

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