In October 2010 Elcom will release a powerful analytics engine which will underpin its existing Content Management Platform, CommunityManager.NET. In this interview with Elcom Product Director, Anthony Milner we are given an insight into the development and the type of functionality and features we can expect to see.
Q. What is an Analytics Engine?
A. An essential component of any web or intranet project is measurement. The most common way for measuring performance online is with an analytics product. Modern web techniques allow us to capture valuable data relating to the users visit, referring site, time spent on the site, geographic location to name just a few. There are a great many products that provide rich data and analysis tools. A notable mention is Google Analytics which has introduced many businesses to analytics nirvana with its deep insight, great usability and rich functionality.
Q. Why is Elcom developing its own Analytics engine?
A. Traditionally CMS vendors will provide lightweight integration with 3rd party analytics engines in order to tick the analytics box. However this approach can present some limitations. Access to and ownership of the raw data, functional changes, and even insolvency of hosted analytics vendor can cause big headaches. Another challenge is the ability to integrate analytics across all touchpoints. For example merging a user’s anonymous browsing data with their established identity once they have signed up to a newsletter or become a site member is often not possible without expensive integration.
Q. What type of improvements can be expected?
A. If we have a broader, integrated view of our visitors we can start to use it in powerful ways to improve the overall experience on our website or intranet. To achieve this, the analytics engine must be integrated deeply within the web CMS publishing engine. A good example to illustrate this point would be a user that has entered my eCommerce site on a number of occasions and consistently remains on the site for an above average length of time. Using the publishing rules engine I could set a frequent visitor discount to target these users when their visits and/or length of visit during a certain timeframe is greater than a predetermined threshold. Alternatively I could surface relevant stories or ads to returning visitors based on their viewing history. The options are endless.
Q. Is anyone else doing this?
A. This type of functionality has been used by tier one sites for a while now but we’re seeking to bring it to the mid-market because a web publishing engine that works in concert with analytics data allows business to sculpt the web experience for their customers which improves the ability to serve the right content to the right people, allowing them to engage more effectively with your products and services.
Q. When will it be available?
A. The analytics engine will be released with CommunityManager.NET version 7.2 which is due in Q3 2010.
Q. How much will it cost?
A. The analytics engine will be sold as an add on module to the core CMS engine. The price will be announced closer to the release.
Q. Can I see find out more about CommunityManager and the analytics engine?
A. Sure, leave us your details and one of our experts will give you a call.