What sources of data represent the complete user experience of a customer who visits your site and completes a purchase?

You might be surprised to learn that there are numerous such sources – all of which are valid in their own right. There’s a myriad awaiting anyone who has been too narrow while taking to task the organism of site analysis and it’s many-pronged corpus of data.

So, then how do you best categorize such data so that you can utilize it? And, how do you then capture and learn from the data from each category? Here’s an answer you will probably not want to hear, but one that attempts to reflect the state of analytics as it pertains to your web site and it’s users.

5 Identifiable and distinct categories might be defined in the span of user experience or customer lifetime:

Category | SegmentTools | Methods
Competitive intelligenceCompete, Hitwise, Technorati, Alexa, Google Trends, Websitegrader.com, spyfu, trellian.com, keywordspy.com, Yelp!, industry publications such as those by Delloite, Jupiter Metrics and various consumer review media
Voice of CustomerSoftware solutions: iPerceptions, Omniture Surey, OpinionLab, ForeSee and Ethnio. Clicktales.com. Market Research: pre-existing or commissioned. Usabiltiy studies. Observation. Focus groups.
Experiment & TestingGoogle Website Optimizer, Optimost, Sitespect, Offermatica, Amadesa, Omniture
Analytics AggregationForeSee, iPerceptions
ClickstreamGoogle Analytics,Websidestory, Omniture, Coremetrics

If thought one analytics tool was enough, think again. We’ll cover more specifics in the next post.