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« More on eMetrics | Main | Paul Holstein and the Devil in the Details »



Your last sentence is quite capital. "Knowing what [I] don't know" is a form of control over the analytical dilemna. At least, I know where my numbers can fool me, so that I can factor it in my analysis, and make/test hypotheses that can help me validate and refine the suspicious numbers.

I could not attend the EMetrics, but I saw nowhere that there was a debate about the recent comScore study, the accuracy question, etc. If not, there should have been one, and I ask Jim to make room for it at the next one in Washington. It's of course not a question of denegrating the value of Web Analytics because of those problems; we all produce everyday extremely valuable insights. But the data quality issue can not just be ignored. I find your critique of the "trend excuse" quite powerful, and the "other side" should try to respond. It's time we all debate this visitor question to the bone.

Gary: LOVE the post and I strongly agree with you. I have heard the "data quality sucks" argument for years and here's something I've noticed: People who tell you to "manage based on trends" usually have some ulterior motive --- they work for a vendor, or are paid by a vendor, or use technology that is so severely limited that there is little that can be done to improve the situation (and thusly it's easier to say "get over it!")

When I first wrote the cookie research some people accused me of yelling "fire" in a crowded theater and called my research "irresponsible." The problem is that there IS a fire and people need to be warned so they don't get burned.

Thanks for taking a stand on this one.

Eric T. Peterson
CEO, Web Analytics Demystified

Hi Gary,

Thanks for the great recap of my presentation. You nailed my point about focusing on what you "know" about and from the data perhaps even better than I did in the talk. ;)



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