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Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.

- Albert Einstein

Adam Hodge, responsible for National Marketing and Communications at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, had a fundamental response to my religious diatribe last month, titled Let There Be Light.

Adam deemed it “both entertaining and creative,” before he lowered the boom: "...yet to my dismay [it] offered absolutely no valuable advice or insight into solving the challenge of Web site reporting for marketing professionals."

Yes, the truth hurts.

Adam continued, "We currently provide a myriad of web effectiveness reports to our board and I am sure that 90% of them are not really that valuable. However, knowing which 10% to keep and what to discard is the hurdle I face.

“We have engaged several different external consultants to assist in this task and each and every one has a different (and seemingly logical) take on the issue,” Adam wrote. “This has resulted in what I consider to be management over-reporting. I would dearly love to read an article which compares valuable and not-so-valuable statistics...which measures are the most effective for tracking site success and which are just a waste of paper.”

First the bad news, Adam: I'm a consultant. To prove my assertion, the answer to your question is, "It depends."

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image of Jim Sterne

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.