Awards for Excellence 2013: Recipients

Digital Analytics Rising Star (Individual): Elizabeth Smalls

It is hard to remember a time when Elizabeth Smalls was not known in the digital analytics world. However, as quickly as she arrived on the scene, she ascended into one to watch.

Elizabeth is currently an analyst at Abercrombie & Fitch, helping to build their digital analytics practice. She is a regular contributor to #measure conversations on Twitter, a speaker at conferences such as eMetrics and Accelerate, and was even invited to be a part of a panel speaking about how to grow your analytics career from "grasshopper to master."

Elizabeth has been involved in the Analysis Exchange and was even named "Shining Student".

Oh yeah, and she also has also has mad skills when it comes to rapping about analytics.

She might be pint-sized, but Smalls' skills and presence continue to grow rapidly.

Practitioner of the Year (Individual): Michele Kiss

Michele has consistency provided the #measure community with a variety of industry related insights in vendors ranging from vendor critiques/plaudits via Twitter to her sage career guidance tips via her blog and eMetrics/DAA event participation.

Furthermore, Michele has played an essential role in helping the Digital Analytics Association via service in a variety of committees and activities.

Michele's key role in the larger digital analytics community was evident throughout 2012 - as a social ambassador at the Adobe Summit, as a conference participant at a wide range of conferences, and virtually via her blog and of course via Twitter.

In 2012, Michele made the move back from "agency side" to "client side" - playing the focal role in revitalizing digital analytics at Grand Circle while continuing to partake (and add a lot of much needed levity to) our #measure world. And in one of the first announcements of 2013, it was revealed that Michele had joined the team at Web Analytics Demystified!

For all of these reasons (and many more that I can't easily articulate), I nominate Michele Kiss as 2012 DAA Practitioner of the Year, and look forward to what Michele does (and tweets about :)) in 2013.

Most Influential Industry Contributor (Individual): Stephane Hamel

This category begs the question, "how do you measure influence?" Is it by developing original analytics concepts that are freely shared with the community, and become de facto standards (the Online Analytics Maturity Model)? Is it by creating original tag detection software that becomes one of the most used and downloaded plug-ins used by analysts worldwide to make their jobs easier (think WASP)?

Or is influence measured by the extent to which you share your knowledge and passion for digital analytics by teaching thousands of people everything from the basics to the most advanced concepts (University of British Columbia, Universite de Laval, Seminars for Success, Google Engage for Agencies, WAA Base Camp, etc.)? Could it be by developing a series of awesome enhancements to improve and simplify Google Analytics data collection (gaAddons)?

Perhaps influence is reflected by having been elected to the DAA Board of Directors and being appointed Treasurer and contributing to the growth of the industry? Maybe it's by winning the DAA Leadership and Technology Award (in 2009)? It might be in founding and building a 500 person plus strong community of data-driven geekheads (Web Analytics Quebec).

Maybe influence is measured by the hundreds and hundreds of blog posts, dozens and dozens of events at which you've spoken, the many keynotes you've given, articles published and thousands of Twitter followers. Influence might mean that you have the respect of your peers and are sought out by vendors to be on their Advisory Boards, to review their products, or to provide a comment on their usefulness.

Any *one* of these things could make you influential. But to be_"most influential"_ implies that you probably need to have been contributing at a high level, across multiple areas, for an extended period of time.

And you know, Stephane Hamel has been doing just that. Which is why I am nominating him as "Most Influential Contributor", and why I believe he deserves your vote.

To me, what further sets Stephane apart among a worthy list of counterparts is his approachability, openness and obvious love of the field. His strong technical chops, his ability to make the complex simple, along with a prodigious work ethic has produced an enviable body of work that has been made freely available (in both English and French!). I'm sure that his restless mind means that we as a community will continue to benefit from his contributions for many years.

Documentation:
PDF

New Technology of the Year (Group): Webtrends

Webtrends Streams is the most disruptive technological innovation made available to the Digital Analytics Industry in over a decade. It is the only solution that optimizes the trifecta of customer centric information at the right time that is truly actionable. Eric Peterson has called it "the future of Analytics". This solution completely changes the paradigm of building archives of "reports" that sit unused and allows the analyst to truly live within the data, at the customer behavior level, interrogate and take direct response action on the analysis of that behavior. Ad-hoc segments can then be pushed to other systems to drive engagement, improved retention and an optimal customer relationship. All of the data, at the customer level, as it happens, open to other systems and actionable--nothing else measures up.

See link to supporting material

Traditional historical and real-time analytics are valuable in providing insights that enable after-the-fact decision making, and have been very successful in informing future tactics around customer acquisition, conversion and ongoing engagement. However, a new approach was needed that enables as-it-happens visitor response, combining what a company already knows about a customer from prior visits with what they are doing right now. This is why Webtrends created Webtrends Streams, an innovative, disruptive and revolutionary standalone solution that drives customer results.

Webtrends Streams is the first scalable streaming architecture pushing real-time visitor and event-level digital intelligence into the marketing ecosystem to drive immediate action. The immediate availability and richness of the data, along with the ability to consume that data, delivers on the 1:1 relevance mandated by the new digital age.

Individual streams are designed around events to enable marketers to increase customer conversions, improve engagement of internal employees and customers, identify site-related performance issues and power internal and external action systems.

Additionally, each of the streams has the ability to be enriched with dimensions to help drive deeper insight and action, such as geography, device type and browser type - and these are just the beginning. Marketers can now tap into rich visitor-level intelligence to immediately adjust online content and offers based upon actions of their customers while they are still on a digital property.

Webtrends Streams also provides a library of dynamic visualizations to help bring the data to life. Each visualization enables business leaders to see what is happening at any given moment across their digital properties and developers can then customize them for any specific needs.

Webtrends Streams works on a push model and offers an API that enables easy consumption of the stream by an application or database. The Webtrends Streams API provides a flexible method for filtering, tailoring or customizing the stream to any specific needs. Because of this, it allows developers to create new visualizations leveraging the data and/or integrate the streams with internal and external action systems.

For the first time ever, business leaders can see data instantly and act on it when it matters most: at the exact moment customers are engaged with their social, mobile or online properties. With this live data, they can create more relevant digital experiences for customers, so they'll visit often and stay longer.

To summarize, the key benefits of Webtrends Streams include:

  • >>Real-time analytics, faster than ever. Data with no time delay gives business leaders the ability to optimize content while a customer is still at their digital property.
  • >>Richer data for more complete customer profiles, instantly. See historical behaviors, environmental factors and as-it-happens actions all together when a customer is right there.
  • >>Open API to easily push Streams data through to other marketing initiatives.
  • >>Track campaigns at the individual customer level to provide them with the most relevant content.
  • >>Ability to see where customers are coming from, to focus resources and maximize the effectiveness of digital media spend.
  • >>Add dimensions to each data stream for segmentation. They can include geographical information, device details and browser type.

"Webtrends Streams has helped us bring our data to life in a way not previously possible. Through engaging visualizations, our staff are now able to appreciate the global scale of our business in real time and we're excited about the customer-facing opportunities this unlocks."-- David N. Williams, head of customer intelligence, Asos

Website

Documentation:
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Most Influential Agency/Vendor (Group): Google

The most influential vendor for 2012, hands down, is Google Analytics, for the following reasons:

  • >>The ongoing, iterative improvements in Google Analytics across a wide range of data collection (notably for social, mobile and the new universal analytics), reporting (dimensions and metrics - which are on a par with paid vendors, if you're creative :)) and analysis aids (such as the attribution tool - a gem which potentially outclasses a wide range of paid attribution tools that are part of, or standalone competitors to, paid solutions);
  • >>Their innovative multi-channel measurement reports and attribution modeling tool. They're introducing an advanced analytics concept to the entire industry.
  • >>Google Tag Manager - they've made tag management mainstream
  • >>Google integrations - Remarketing using Google Analytics makes data actionable from directly in the analytics tool
  • >>Continuing improvement in outreach to the #measure practitioner community - Justin Cutroni, paired with Avinash Kausik, is quite a vendor 1-2 "punch" as ambassadors for the Google Analytics platform - along with the emergence of the noteworthy and frequent user conference series and a very robust partner community.

Google (Avinash in his blog + Justin in the year end Beyond Web Analytics podcast episode) has already signaled that 2013 will see a continuation of the disruptive pace of digital analytics innovation that we've seen in 2012. 2013 looks to be a very interesting #measure year, thanks in large part to what Google has done in 2012.