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« Notes on X Change | Main | Statistical Analysis, Functionalism, and How Web Analytics Works »

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How important do you think it is to be able to track individual visitors as they navigate through a site (as opposed to totals, e.g., 100 people arrived at this page, 15 clicked on X, 50 clicked on Y, etc.)?

Greg,

One pretty fundamental divide between traditional database marketing technique and traditional Web analytics is that the former is more focused on Visitor-level data and the latter on aggregates. It's interesting, however, that whether you are fixing site problems detected at the aggregate level or targeting individuals, you're still working within the same basic principles (I think).

For many classical analysis purposes, individual level tracking isn't necessary. However, that isn't universally true. There are plenty of site analysis techniques that only work when you have individual data. And, of course, for any kind of digital database marketing, it's pretty much essential to go down to the individual level.

So I guess my answer is that it's very important indeed! And as I continue this series, I'll be focusing more on how to take data at the individual level and make it interesting.

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