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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

ClickTracks 5.0 Makes Quick Work of 'Stat Soup'

Last week I had the opportunity to see a demo of the latest version of ClickTracks Professional, released today.

The highly customizable product, as before, does most of what the "big iron era" metrics software can do, at a fraction of the price.

Among the recent improvements includes a "What's Changed" report. If there are major changes in traffic patterns -- let's say a new keyword or a new source starts sending you a lot of traffic -- this will appear in the report, which is modeled on reports like the "Google Zeitgeist" and Alexa "Movers & Shakers" report. While this sounds straightforward, try to get any of that info in easily digestible form with any other logfile analysis software.

What ClickTracks is doing, perhaps more so than any other company in the industry, is taking information that marketing managers and consultants typically must piece together by hand by poring through the "stat soup" provided by their existing metrics package, and offering ways of creating custom reports with less effort. In short, the product feels like it's been designed with marketers' jobs in mind, rather than for the convenience of programmers. The old days of the IT head taking a huge file of raw data and handing it over to marketing and saying "here you go" or "looks like traffic is up this month," we hope, are long gone.

Another nifty feature that gets the thumbs-up from us is the ClickTracks Way, a new approach to contextual help files. If you happen to be using a certain feature of the software, the idea here is that some insight would be provided as to what steps to take to generate a useful report that could be used for a concrete purpose. (The beauty of Internet metrics is, for all the complexity, it's a narrow enough field that it's worth an analytics firm's time to suggest specific ways of using the product instead of throwing their customers to the dogs.)

Perhaps the best way to get a feel for ClickTracks is to see a demo in person. They'll be exhibiting at Search Engine Strategies in Toronto in May. Maybe a good opportunity to meet up with some fellow stats wonks who "get it"!

According to the website, ClickTracks Professional pricing starts at $2,995. The product is worthy of its accolades. Rather than a bland broth of numbers, ClickTracks gives today's marketers the chunky functionality they need to analyze the performance of their campaigns.

Posted by Andrew Goodman




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