WebSideStory Bows HitBox Enhancements
Can an online Web analytics service offer robust data collection and reporting, yet be simple enough for non-technical users? WebSideStory thinks so.
WebSideStory Inc. on Monday vowed to make online marketing analytics simpler to use without sacrificing functionality in the latest update to its HitBox service.
WebSideStory debuted HitBox Enterprise 9.0 with the message that it will deliver "simple, relevant and real-time" features, from installation to real-time data collection and reporting.
"We started creating these products for technical people, but our target was really marketing people," Rand Schulman, chief marketing officer for WebSideStory, told ASPnews. "The products were never as easy to use as they really needed to be for marketing people to start using the products. We believe with this release that we're crossing the chasm. We've really made the product simple, relevant and of course we've always had the message of real-time."
Some of the key features WebSideStory has added to reach this goal are HitBox Active Viewing and Report Builder. Active Viewing is a browser plug-in that overlays vital statistics right on a client's Web site. While viewing a page, the user can see reports on key metrics for the page and the overall site, both in real-time and as a trend for a chosen time frame. Users can also see traffic and conversion metrics for each link on the page.
The data overlayed on the page is derived from true link tracking, not just data about what page visitors go to on the site. If there are two links going to the same page, Active Viewing will distinguish between them and give the data for each one separately.
HitBox Report Builder is a tool that enables users to query their Web analytics data directly from Microsoft Excel. A dedicated user with a plug-in for Excel can run a report by selecting the account and the type of metrics to include, choosing the time frame and granularity for the data, and then specifying the cells in the Excel spreadsheet to populate with data.
The report then interfaces with the HitBox data warehouse in San Diego, and everything else is done by Excel, including graphics creation, formatting, and tables. The user can utilize available metrics to make the report as simple or as complex as needed.
Once the report is set up, the resulting spreadsheet can be shared with anyone with Excel installed. The report's creator can also save the report and re-run it with a new time frame or schedule regular delivery of the report by email.
"Our mission is to help our clients solve their online business problems as easily and quickly as possible, in a way that is most relevant to them," Schulman said. "HitBox Enterprise 9.0 achieves that goal."