I attended the eMetrics in Stockholm on the 23rd-24th of September and in a panel René Dechamps Otamendi of OX2 was asked what his wishlist for web analytics vendors would be.
His answer was that he would like to have one tag that all web analytics vendors used. This is something I have given thought to before so I continued the discussion in the pub (inevitably). The debate came up with all the objections I expected which I’ll come to later in this post. It also came up with all the benefits that could result from a universal tag.
I spoke to people from Omniture and Google, people from agencies, people from consultancies, folks from content management system companies and coders (the great thing about eMetrics is it brings these folks together) and not one of them had any problem with the concept. Everyone thinks it’s a good idea.
Indeed I asked a panel at eMetrics and Alan Boydell of Keyade said they had already developed a universal tag for 1000 websites that had multiple analytics platforms running. The only way he said that they could get data for all of them was to develop a tag that sent data to one repository (as well as the individual vendor data centers).
- One tag means that basic level data collection will cut implementation costs for any enterprise.
- One tag to rule them all means standard implementation policies for content management systems, e-commerce systems, online booking systems that currently struggle with web analytics implementations.
- One tag opens up possibilities for benchmarking across industry verticals (and new opportunities for companies that want to collect universal data from opted in companies).
- One tag means the paid vendors have a much smoother adoption possibilities. If for instance a company has Google Analytics implemented one downside to changing vendor is changing tags. If a universal tag was used a simple switch could turn on the basic Omniture implementation.
The vendors would be the people that I would expect have the most to object about.
- Patents have been registered about tagging methodologies. True. I understand the business value of the patents and no-one is asking vendors to give way their tagging technology, merely to adjust current technology to work with a universal tag.
- A universal tag would not solve anything in terms of advanced implementation and deriving business value via KPIs and such like. Again True. Advanced implementation of something like Omniture would still remain a technical challenge. But a universal tag would mean that 3rd party vendors would have more understanding of what is required and a basic tag would mean basic data collection is already being done.
So what say you?
One tag to rule them all, one tag to bind them, one tag to collect it all and from the darkness find insight?
Is it just a dream? Or should the Web Analytics Association take an action point and develop the technology? Would vendors consider using it if they did?