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Omniture Summit 2009 – Day 1 Recap

Day 1 of the Summit was different for me this year. It actually began on Tuesday as opposed the traditional Wednesday session kickoff. Why? I was fortunate this year to be invited to a new wrinkle in the traditional Summit plans, the Mind Meld. “The objective of this event was to bring together the leaders in online analytics and start shaping the debate on issues that are important to the continued growth of our industry.”

The Mind Meld was put together by 3 individuals, Matt Langie (Senior Director of Product Marketing for Omniture), John Lovett (Forrester Research), and Jim Sterne (WAA, eMetrics). 50-75 industry professionals were invited to participate in the event where 3 primary topics were addressed (1)  Social Media impact & measurement, (2) Measuring Emerging Technologies – Mobile & Video and, (3) Elevating business analytics to the Executive level.

6 team leaders were asked to lead breakout group discussions on the topics with 2 teams assigned to each topic. The team leaders included such stellar people as Bill Gassman (Research Director for Gartner Research), Rachel Scotto (Executive Director at Sony Pictures), Gary Angel (President and CTO of, Stephane Hamel (Owner, and Terry Cohen (VP/Director, Strategy and Enablement for I was able to lead the sixth group and dealt with the topic of Elevating Business Analytics to the Executive Level.

The dialogue and exploration of the topics were good. Our breakout group consisted of such experts as Eric Peterson (Web Analytics Demystified), Ali (Sorry, I didn’t get a business card), Terri Kochersperger (Director, Strategic Analysis for Time Inc. Interactive), Sharon Bernstein (Vice President, Insights Director for Media Contacts), Tony Gray (Director, Business Intelligence Architecture & ops for Orbitz), and Alex Robertson (Senior Analyst, Business Intelligence for Comcast).

We covered a lot of ground in a relatively short 3 hour period. Eric did a fabulous job of getting the discussion on to the super large post it pad, while I jotted down as many notes in my favorite brainstorming tool MindMap. I’ll post the raw notes, but I’ll also go back and tweak them for clarity.

The purpose of the session was to begin a dialogue on the topic then release that work to the community for further development. As such, we didn’t work to come up with solutions, but rather with suggestions for next steps. We addressed three primary needs for “Elevating analytics”.

  1. Strategy – most teams/companies don’t have one and you need one.

  2. Organization – on multiple levels, the organization doesn’t understand analytics and if they don’t, you can’t win. Bring clarity to the company on what analytics means and its value.

  3. Communication – is key in any organization, but vitally crucial on a topic like analytics where there is so much value but it also require commitment on a very high level.

If you are interested in continuing this discussion with us, check back later and I’ll provide links over to whatever Matt and the team set in place.

The Omniture Summit Mind Meld was a great experience and one I look forward to participating in again if given the opportunity. Thanks Matt.

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