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Let There Be Light

by Jim Sterne  |  
February 11, 2003
  |  8,446 views

In the beginning, the IT department created the Web server and the server log. And darkness was upon the face of the marketing department. And the spirit of the home page moved upon the face of the marketing department, and the marketing department said, "Let there be reports." And the marketing department saw the reports. And it was good.

And the marketing department divided the hits from the visits and called the hits page views, and the visits sessions.

And the marketing department said, "Let the reports be gathered together unto one place, and let the PowerPoint graphs appear that we may know the full power and glory of our Web site." And it was so.

Or so they thought.

For over a span of time the statistics poured forth, the results were displayed, and kaleidoscopic charts were abundant, resplendent in their brilliance and reassuring in that all lines proceeded in their inexorable elevation up and to the right. And the marketing department dwelt in peaceful indolence.


Improvements to the Web site came there none.

For lo, the reports and graphs were generated not from lights in the firmament yielding a font of wisdom, but from the rote recording of Web server transactions which conveyed neither insight nor enlightenment.

And Senior Executives came among them and asked what knowledge they had gleaned from their reports, charts and graphs. And after a prolonged silence the eyes of the marketing department were opened.


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Jim Sterne (jsterne@targeting.com) is the founder and director of Target Marketing (www.targeting.com), founder of the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, and the founding president and current chairman of the Web Analytics Association.

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