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November 25, 2010

Bime gives you real web analytics accuracy

If you are a marketer or web analyst, how can you be sure that visitors are actually engaging with your site?

Google Analytics can give you a high level overview - it can tell you the average time spent on your site for a period of time, how many page views you had and even the percentage that translates to during your specified period of time.

But what if you could go even further and actually identify that over the past 3 months, only 20% of your visitors are actually staying for longer than 3 seconds on a page?

Let's use a very basic hypothetical example. Say you had 100 visitors to your site on Monday. Google Analytics can instantly tell you that you had 100 visitors, and the average visitor spent 2 minutes browsing and visited 5 pages. It will even tell you that over the period of one week, you received 30% of your page views on Monday alone.

Good information to have, but not exactly ideal if you need more detailed information to make constructive changes to your marketing plan.

How do you know if 15 of your 100 Monday visitors spent 10 minutes each on your site, and the remaining 80 only spent 5 seconds each, bringing the average down? An even worse scenario... imagine that Google Analytics informs you that your average visitor visits 5 pages on each visit, but the harsh reality is that 80% of your visitors visit the home page and promptly leave because they can't figure out what you are selling. Turns out the average has been skewed by a bunch of your technical colleagues who have spent the week checking links and loading times on every single page on your website.

But here you are, thinking that your website is well-optimized for the product you are selling, and you therefore miss a huge opportunity and make no changes to your home page.

This is where Bime saves you. What if you could drill down into your data, and see exactly what percentage of your visitors are actually engaging with your content?

There are a number if ways to do this, but we'll just keep it simple. It's relatively safe to say that visitors spending over 5 seconds on the site, are probably reasonably engaged with the content, or have at least read the first few lines of copy.

Using Bime, you can create dynamic segments with this value, then apply it to your data.

dynamic segment

By creating the dynamic segment above, you are essentially saying "segment all the visitors that spent more than 5 seconds on my website".  When you use this segment to look at your data, you get a nice simple column chart like this:

chart

Nice, but does not really tell you all that much more.  Enter Bime's post-processing options. 

post processing percentage  

Choose the type of post-processing you want to do.  In this case we'd like to see a percentage.

 pp percentage

Then by choosing where to apply it, you can modify your visualization to look how you want it to.

This will give you something much more useful, like so:

graph

You can even switch between clustered and stacked visualizations - whatever you prefer to look at and find easier to read :

stacked

You can see that the total number of visits has been set to 100% for each month, as you want to focus on how many of your current visitors are spending more than 5 seconds on the site, not how many visitors you are actually receiving. Now we can instantly see that for example February was your best month and September your worst.  We can confirm that the amount of time spent on your site is getting progressively worse by adding a trend line:

trend line

Nothing is stopping you from analyzing other elements too - page views, time spent on page, time spent on site are all good ones. Simply create more dynamic segments with your chosen values.

choose segment

This is an example of some of the amazing things you can do with Bime (check out the main website for others!), and how easy it is to do them. We are not saying that Google Analytics is not a good analytics platform - quite the opposite in fact - Bime simply enhances its abilities and makes your data even MORE useful!

Posted by We Are Cloud at 9:45 AM | Comments (2)

November 22, 2010

Panel Discussion Video: Business Intelligence in the cloud

We stumbled across this nice little video of three experts talking about Business Intelligence in the cloud. They are: Shawn Rogers, currently Vice President of Research at Business Intelligence at Enterprise Management Associates; John Myers, Principal Consultant and Senior Analyst at Blue Buffalo Group; and Donald Farmer, a principal program manager of the SQL Server Business Intelligence management team at Microsoft.

Listen to them discussing what you should be thinking about when moving your BI to the cloud.

Posted by We Are Cloud at 6:30 AM | Comments (124)

November 15, 2010

Surveys Reveal SaaS BI Market Growth

According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, there has been increasing interest in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business intelligence over the past years, with twice as many organizations using this deployment approach as one year ago - 15% in 2009 compared to 7% in 2008.

An article by InfoWorld’s Chris Kanaracus points out similar growth data from research firm IDC, which predicts the SaaS BI market will grow 22 percent each year through 2013 thanks to increased product sophistication, strained IT budgets, and other factors.

So why is interest in SaaS BI increasing? Where on-premise BI applications fall down is at the often massive upfront and ongoing development costs, especially for bigger organizations. Reach is also an important factor - BI tools can get to typically under-served users, such as front-office workers, a lot faster with SaaS deployment.

For example, a large retailer may have massive amounts of data related to sales, inventory levels, and many other things. In-house IT staff may not have the skills and experience needed to implement an on-premise BI solution with their existing system, while an off-the-shelf SaaS BI solution can potentially meet most of an organization's needs without the development expense and support headaches.

A host of SaaS BI vendors are taking advantage of that interest, with solutions like Bime starting to make their mark.

Posted by We Are Cloud at 4:15 AM | Comments (4)

November 3, 2010

What's the Next Big Thing in BI?

Taking our inspiration from a thread at ebizq.com, we thought about what the next "big thing" in BI might be. Here we share with you some ideas that were brought to the table by thread participants.

How about "actual" business intelligence? In other words, moving beyond static reports on historic datasets to more interactive, analytic-supporting insights on business past and present performance, including of course more real-time, operational, intelligence. (Paul Vincent)

Another suggestion was End-User Driven Visualization. What does this mean? Large reports, even end-user driven ones are pretty useless if they just present large amounts of data in text format or similar. Some feel that users should not have to take it upon themselves to learn the ins and outs of data visualization themselves, when the tool itself could do it for you. Intelligent tools that can understand the context of the data being presented and can choose one or a few of the most appropriate ways of displaying the information would be huge.

Integration was next on the list. Rather than standalone products, BI will start to be incorporated with other solutions to provide analysis and trend data related to specific business processes or applications, particularly around B2B interactions. On-demand business intelligence and SaaS based solutions will come out ahead in this trend because of ease of integration. (Margaret Dawson)

The next big thing, according to Augusto Albeghi, is simulation and budget. The future of BI should lie in actual decision instruments that can easily model the impact of change on the existing business. This process has a lot to do with budget but current systems usually fix issues who are not perceived as such or are scarcely relevant to business.

What else was mentioned? Mobile BI on tablets, better predictive analytics, better data visualization, ubiquitous BI.

Outside of the thread, we also noticed that analysts such as Gartner have predicted a social future for business intelligence - i.e. businesses that leverage social media within their business intelligence software will gain an advantage over others. Business intelligence software developers should be taking note and making their analytics and reporting offerings more "social" by taking the technologies and principles behind Twitter, LinkedIn etc. and applying them to their solutions.

What do YOU think will be the next big thing in Business Intelligence?

Posted by We Are Cloud at 3:30 AM | Comments (979)