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Boston Waterfront

Digital Analytics Association Boston Chapter

The Digital Analytics Association created regional chapters throughout the Americas and hosts symposiums in select regions like Boston 2016.

University Research

Tom Davenport of Babson provided the keynote address.  The address was titled The New Quantitative Era - Creating Successful Business Change with AnalyticsThe complexity of Business Intelligence can be overwhelming while being successful requires simplification.  The purpose of the practice is to make better decisions.  To successfully affect the decision making process, it is important to tell a compelling story with the data. As the father of analytics stated, a story drastically improves cognition.  It is hard to forget the story of an analytics selection process video shared through Twitter.  Courage is also needed to be successful within the industry as often times the data displeases.  Courage is difficult to teach, but gathering strength from others is a great solution.  Organizations like the Web Analytics Association and Web Analytics Demystified offer the forum to find others that can help build confidence and trust in reporting and analysis.

The event provided access to some of the industry's leading professionals. The knowledge exchange on stage and informally during the receptions was invaluable. This helps to establish Boston as a web analytics incubator and propels industry growth.  Now all that is needed is further institutional support for the industry.


2011 DAA Symposium

Official Press Release
Suresh Vittal of Forrester presented his vision of web analytics' transformation to web intelligence.  This focus of this change is through multi channel marketing.  The growth of analysis to expand off of the website going as far to pull in physical engagement on top of the extensive virtual channels.  He wrapped up by stating that the marketing funnel can no longer be considered linear.  It is hard to ignore the constant growth of emerging channels like social mobile and video.  An extensive article details the process needed to reach web intelligence.

The mobile panel discussed the convergence of mobile to device with the spread of tablets.  Raj Aggarwal of Localytics stated that the most valuable customers are the ones that will be utilizing your company's mobile app as they are the most engaged.  There was discussion of outlook of HTML5 hooks allowing device interaction.  Raj surmised an evolution away from application creation back to web technology.  Larger analytics vendors are trying to keep up with the technology, creating gaps for companies like Localytics to fit in.

The Social Metrics panel focused on establishing social media's goal within organizations.  The goal being making people happy.  The importance of human interaction which correlates to John Lovett's statement, people are what makes analytics successful.  Katie Paine suggested moving control of social media within organizations out of Marketing and PR and into customer relations departments.  There are some clear issues with standards establishment with organizations like the IAB PRF and WAA all creating their own set.  The same holds true for any industry though and as long as the organization that establishes the standards does so for the improvement of the industry as a whole the industry benefits.  Sean Power's reference to Dave McClure's presentation on pirate metrics sparked engagement.  Pirate metrics is a model consisting of Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, Revenue (AARRR). Definitely a compelling presentation and entertaining to get others to shout in a formal environment.  Sean Power's concluding proclamation in reference to Tim O'Reilly and Reid Hoffman's statement, "the future of the web will be all about data and how we utilize it" was a powerful assertion for the web analytics industry. 

2011 Data Driven Business Week

Want a chance to meet successful Web Analytics professionals? The Data Driven Business Week, eMetrics Conference is a chance to reach industry leaders from the corporate environment, vendor landscape, and contracting worlds. Attendees were presented the opportunity to attain actionable insights in key concept areas of web analytics through predictive and attribution modeling as well as the interconnectivity of data. 


emetrics speakers

  • Jim Sterne led the conference with poise providing insight after each presenter
  • John Lovett cited the problems individuals face in providing an understanding of the practice of web analytics. He discussed the difficulty of disseminating the idea of what web analytics practitioners do, being considered "wierdos" within the society. He promoted his recently published social metrics book, and Adobe provided copies to attendees.
  • Joe Megibow presented climbing the corporate ladder as a web analytics professional. He emphasized the effect creating a narrative with the data can have. He quoted an unknown source, "All models are wrong some models are useful." He believes that the mobile experience is much different stating a need for different toolsets and models. His path evolved to predictive analytics.
  • Geoff Ramsey from eMarketer shared budget and industry analysis data. One of the standout points was a 20% growth in digital marketing spend.
  • Jeff Jonas of IBM shared insight on big data, a growing trend. He applied data across streams to bring insight. The idea of "bad data" being relevant urging not to just clean raw data. Instead one must analyze for interconnectivity prior to improve algorithms for parsing that data.
  • Heath Pdovesker of Market Share and Greg Nathan of Fidelity discussed Mix Modeling. They glazed over difficulties of cross channel and attribution and focused on a modeling evolution. The ideas were centered around improving models' focus in timeline and segmentation such as geography.
Action Items
  • Look at analytics platforms as just the presentation layer. Web analytics success comes down to the team that utilizes and supports the technology.
  • There was some discussion around centralizing around a single data warehouse.  Large vendors like Oracle have been built around this idea but individualized business units often push to address their unique requirements on disparate systems.  It currently seems to be an organizational paradox that will be an issue for some time. I would be interested to hear further how others address this.

Vendor Announcements

  • Tag Management secured $5 million in funding
  • Gartner says CMO budget will grow beyond CIO
  • IBM announced the release of their single platform pulling together Coremetrics and Unica

Daniel Waisberg and the Online-Behavior team provides videos from the conferences:

Conference Blog: