Data Driven Business

10 years ago
TechnologyAdvice Interviews Jim Sterne about the eMetrics Summit

Jim Sterne, founder of the eMetrics Summit and current Board Chair of the Digital Analytics Association, spoke with TechnologyAdvice host Clark Buckner about the beginnings of the conference brand, how it evolved and established itself in several strategic locations across the globe, what attendees can expect at eMetrics Summits’ events, and why they should attend.

The eMetrics Summit is a strategy-oriented and open-to-all conference that began as a web analytics conference asking the simple though critical question, “How do we measure a website’s success?”

Eventually, the conference’s scope expanded as eMetrics Summit realized that attendees beganwere also searching for solutions to other issues, like measuring email, and search, social media, the impact of offlineradio advertising on websites, and big data for marketing.

The seed for the eMetrics Summit was planted in the late 1990s, when Sterne collaborated on a white paper with NetGenesis founder Matt Cutler. They interviewed 25 companies on their web data usage behavior in terms of forwarding their respective business strategies.

Based on the survey’s results, they discovered that many companies were confused, overwhelmed, and nearly clueless about what they were doing. They had the tools, but nobody was telling them how to effectively implement them in order to drive business growth. Consequently, Sterne and Cutler co-wrote a white paper called E-Metrics – Business Metrics for the New Economy, which contained five pages of survey results and 60 pages of data usage guidelines.

The following year, Sterne interviewed another 25 companies and discovered that more companies were beginning to understand the necessity of tracking online metrics. This led to his first book, Web Metrics, which released simultaneously in 2002 with the first eMetrics Summit held in Santa Barbara, California. Out of the 50 attendees at the premiere event, 30 of them were vendors in search of a marketplace.

Since then, eMetrics has seen many ongoing needs in the digital analytics industry, like:

  • The need for professional development: IT workers should consider how to become increasingly more valuable employees.
  • The need for data scientists: Their goal shouldn’t be to only generate reports butand create data insights, but to also become trusted advisors.
  • The need for easier, faster processes: If people organizations can use analytics to make the web more consumer-friendly, it should result in consumers feeling more at ease with online point-of-purchase sales, consequently increasing revenue improve the online user experience, they can more readily achieve their goals while lowering costs and improving customer satisfaction..

The Beginning Buzz of Big Data in Web Analytics

Marketing research has always includesd transactional information, call center information, customer relationship management data, and Salesforce automation data, which are all very structured. On the other hand, the Web relies on behavioral data, attitudinal data from social media, and what people do on ad networks and more, among other metrics. In short, online marketers have always must considered much more information than traditional marketing research typically relies upon.

Yahoo! was an early company to make use of big data in web analytics. They devised a method to pre-process unstructured data such information by placing it into rows and columns via MapReduce, which involved mapping out large batches of problems to thousands, or even tens of thousands, of processors, then reducing the answers and sending it back to an analytics engine for analysisto ask a question.

Today, the term “bBig dData” is often tossed around in online marketing circles, but its usage appears more glamorous than its reality. To Sterne, the term is over-hyped across the Internet and makes the process seem more complex than it really is. Utilizing “bBig dData” is really just a technological way to manage more data than individuals are accustomed to seeing in a single Excel spreadsheet.

The Past and Present of the eMetrics Summit

Jim Sterne began his career as an independent consultant and public speaker on the topic of online marketing. However, when the conference industry took a hit in the late 90s following a the stock market crunchhiccup and the tragedy of 9/11, Sterne created his own conference so people would come to him instead. He launched the first eMetrics Summit conference in 2002 in Santa Barbara.

By 2005, the audience wanted more and desired to continue their conversations beyond the conference itself. They established an industry association the Digital Analytics Association, with Sterne as the head. As of today, the Digital Analytics Association is now home to more than 5,000 members with several chapters across the country. Additionally, the eMetrics Summit has an international reach, with events in San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Tornto, New York, Washington, DC, London, Berlin, Stockholm, and Milan.

What To Expect at an eMetrics Summit:

The eMetrics Summit features keynotes, breakout sessions and workshops, providing an educational learning environment. Furthermore, the eMetrics Summit boasts:

  • Meeting experts: Knowledgeable bloggers, book authors, and thought-leaders share the stage and offer the latest news as to where the industry is headed.
  • Meeting peers: Attendees love to interact with their peers as they try to understand the challenges they’re all facing in order to find solutions together.
  • Meeting technology: The event has an Exhibitors’ Hall full of helpful sponsors and vendors. They have co-createdcollaborated with Predictive Analytics World, which who offers delves into analytics for issues like fraud detection, insurance ratings, policing, and healthcare.

For more information on the eMetrics Summit, visit their corporate website at,
or connect with them on Twitter at @emetrics or with Jim Sterne at @jimsterne.

The Interview was conducted by Clark Buckner from (they provide coverage content on dental software, business intelligence trends, and cloud based healthcare platforms and much more). Also be sure to check out their Tech Conference Calendar.

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