One of the best things about web design is that it’s totally measurable. (Patrick McNeil talks about this in his HOW U class Principles of Web Design.) Unlike a brochure you design that gets printed and sent off into the world with little or no feedback returning to you, a website can give you reams of data that helps you improve your designs and techniques.
The gold standard for many years has been Google Analytics—it’s powerful, it’s free and it’s easy to add the code to any site you’re working on. But Christopher Butler at Newfangled predicts that 2012 will be the year many of us will start paying for analytics.
The reason for this is a number of changes Google made to its Analytics service last year, including encrypting search queries submitted by users signed into Google securely—returning “(not provided)” as the search keyword for the final web destinations. Click through to Newfangled to read Christopher’s whole piece and his suggestion of moving to a blended analytics approach rather than limiting ourselves to Google Analytics.
Data is powerful—and potentially lucrative. The New York Times Bits blog wondered this week if Amazon would get in on the analytics train:
Given the large amounts of data, and the few people qualified to make sense of it, “someone will offer this as a service, maybe a lot of companies” said [Kyle] McNabb of Forrester. “Oracle has the assets to do it, but I’m not sure they are interested. I.B.M. has the assets, and Apple could if they wanted to, with their understanding of customer behavior. Amazon is a very good candidate to make it work.”