The use of web analytics is not just changing online business, but all of business. That is one of the key messages that Josh James, CEO of one of the fastest growing and most innovative companies, Omniture, shared this morning at the opening session of the 2008 Omniture Summit.

Six years ago there was 6 clients (or rather potential clients) Omniture Logoin attendance at the “Omniture Summit” this year there will be nearly 2,000 in Salt Lake (3,000 worldwide), from over 750 companies (more than 1,000 globaly – Sydney, Paris, Copenhagen, London, Munich, Tokyo) and those in one room representing more than 30% of the online marketing spend in the world. For example, this morning alone I have already talked to people from CNN, the NFL, Gateway, Microsoft, Convergys, HP, and on and on.

The reason web analytics is doing so much to change business (online and off-line) is simple. Because of the way in which everything can be tracked online – making ideas more measurable than ever before – this helps instill a data-driven mindset into an organization. Instead of “shooting from the hip” and arguing simply based on opinion, you can channel all that creativity into testing situations and consequently have data-driven results and recommendations for any decision you make.

The Omniture Summit will continue over the next couple days, and students in my ISys 590R Web Analytics class will be blogging about what they learn from:Lance Armstrong

  • the keynote speakers (including people like Peter Kim – Forrester Research, Seth Godin – Marketing Guru, and Lance Armstrong – famous Athlete and speaker),
  • consulting best practice presentations (in industry verticals like eCommerce, Media, High Tech, Financial Services, etc..),
  • new tools and improvements on existing tools (e.g SiteCatalyst v.14, Discover, SearchCenter, Behavioral Targeting, tracking Video, Flash, Ajax, etc.),
  • and success case studies (e.g. Ford, MTV, National Geographic, Blockbuster, Dex Media,, etc…).

I feel lucky to be teaching one of the only web analytics classes offered at any business school in any university (yet one more reason why BYU is great). To read more about the incredibly valuable things my very cool students are learning and blogging about, see our online class space: