Aaron Gray // Greater Returns


Musings on Web Analytics, product strategy + other stuff.

X Change Day 1

Day one at X Change was pretty enlightening. I liked the huddle format, where leaders and participants were encouraged to engage in an open discussion on a topic, rather than fall into a presenter-listener relationship. Some huddle leaders were better at facilitating a discussion than others (some really just presented), but overall each of the huddles I participated in involved a good healthy dose of discussion and debate.

Of particular interest to me was the session on “deploying measurement systems across the global enterprise” with Judah Phillips. I came away from this session having synthesized this key idea:

In any global enterprise execution of a web analytics solution there are two frameworks (for lack of a better term) at work. Each framework contains multiple potential models. There’s a framework for solution design models, and a framework for solution deployment models. The models in each framework can be mixed-and-matched — there isn’t a correlation necessarily between model 1 for design and model 1 for deploy. The combination of models that works for you will depend largely on the political and structural ecosystem you work in.

Here are the models:

Models for Design

  1. Decentralized business units or entities with a unified measurement model
  2. Decentralized business units of entities with a unique measurement model per bu
  3. Centralized business with a single measurement model

The benefit of model 1 is that you gain the ability to roll-up business events across the globe and compare business units on an “apples to apples” basis because each unit is measured in the same way, reporting business events according to the same model of possible events.

The benefit of model two is that everybody gets what they want.

Model 3 probably only applies if your businesses around the world are essentially identical, and managed from one HQ location. Can’t think of where else this would apply.

Models for Deployment

  1. Crawl, Walk, Run (i.e. roll out basic analytics, then, as Judah put it, roll out dimensions that have meaningfulness to the business, then integrate external data)
  2. Deploy “meaningful” solution slowly across globe

Here, the benefit of model 1 is that you can introduce people to the solution over time, and slowly raise their level of confidence and competence without overwhelming them.

Model 2, in my experience, is necessary when you have a decentralized organization that can not handle a quickly paced series of small changes, but instead offers you only one window per year (or less) to deploy a solution, or where the decentralized nature means that you have different windows at different times across the different parts of the enterprise around the world, preventing you from orchestrating a carefully controlled series of phases.

Of course, I think there are hybrids, too. I’ve worked with companies employing multiple combinations of the models for design and deploy…this is what I’ve seen. What am I missing? What other models are there?

Filed under: Web Analytics

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