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

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Gary,

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
http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com

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. ;)

Cheers,

-Ian

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