Lavacon 2012 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value

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n this session, Karen Buchanan and Bob Zebian of IBM will describe how Web analytics play an increasing role in improving documentation quality, and how documentation teams can expand their value across the enterprise by sharing this information with other teams such as Quality Assurance, Development, Product Management, and Executive Management.

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Lavacon 2012 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value

  1. 1. How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value Karen Buchanan & Bob Zebian
  2. 2. About the Speakers Karen Buchanan kbuchana@us.ibm.com Karen Buchanan is Senior Manager of Information Development Team for the B2B & Commerce products in IBMs Industry Solutions Software Group, where she leads 4 teams of 50 writers, editors, and information architects across multiple US locations and Bangalore, India. Karen holds a BA in English from Bowling Green State University and an MBA from Franklin University. She has worked in various technical writing and documentation team lead and management roles for more than 20 years. Bob Zebian: bzebian@us.ibm.com Bob Zebian is an Advisory Software Engineer for the B2B & Commerce products in IBMs Industry Solutions Software Group. He has worked in the Information Development field for 30 years. He has spoken at several conferences and written several papers about subjects such as DITA and web analytics.
  3. 3. The observations and opinions expressed in this presentation are the authors’ own and do not necessarily represent IBMs positions, strategies or opinions.3 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  4. 4. Agenda Web analytics overview Web analytics use within Information Development teams Web analytics use outside of Information Development How to get started Privacy and legal concerns Questions4 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  5. 5. Web Analytics “Web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of internet data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_analytics We see web analytics in use everyday. – Amazon – Google – Rhapsody Web analytics are used for Marketing and Sales purposes, such as effectiveness of ad campaigns or how customers decide to purchase. But the data can be used for documentation purposes also.5 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  6. 6. Documentation on the Web is Now the Norm•Some studies show that 70% of companies place documentation on the web and make itsearchable by public search engines such as Google, Bing, etc.•IBM Eclipse Infocenters average over 11 million visits and 73 million topics viewed eachmonth. 12,000,000 Average Monthly Visits to IBM Infocenters 11,272,227 11,000,000 10,000,000 9,000,000 8,221,240 8,000,000 7,000,000 6,484,799 6,000,000 5,000,000 4,272,341 4,000,000 2009 2010 2011 20126 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  7. 7. Web Analytics 101• “For many people, particularly those under 30, if information is not on the Web, it doesn’t exist. … The value of technical documentation has been extremely difficult to measure. Web Analytics offers the ability to measure the effectiveness of the deliverables in new ways.” - Ellis Pratt, Cherryleaf (http://www.cherryleaf.com/blog/2010/01/trends-in-technical-communication-in-2010- and-beyond)7 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  8. 8. Web Analytics 101• Web Analytic tools, such as IBM Unica NetInsight, IBM CoreMetrics, Google Analytics, track and report user activity on web sites.• Two types of analytic tools are available: • Log analysis tools • Run in-house • Compile web server log data into statistics • Present good basic data, but not as useful for more customized analysis • Usually maintained by the IT department and ID teams may have a hard time getting the information they want • Script-based analytic services • Usually hosted on vendor server (can be run in-house) • Usually requires insertion of a tracking script in the HTML • Provide users with more ways to customize the data8 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  9. 9. Web Analytics 101• Types of standard web analytics useful to documentation: • Number of visitors - How many people are looking at a page • Number of visits – How many times the pages were visited within a session • Pages viewed – How any times a page was viewed • Least number of pages viewed – What pages have the least traffic • Viewing duration – An average of the viewing duration for a page • Navigation path – How the user got to the page • Search keywords – Search keywords that the user used to find the page • User location – Where the user is located • Browser – The user’s browser • Operating system – The operating system of the user’s machine • Mobile device type – If applicable, the mobile device that the user used to access the page • File downloads – Which files the user downloaded9 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  10. 10. Web Analytics at Sterling Commerce• Pre-acquisition in 2010, Sterling Commerce provided over 70,000 online pages of documentation spread among 70 HTML sites and 12 infocenters.• Sterling was a metrics-driven organization that set goals and measured performance on metrics.• Information Development had difficulty determining effective, measureable metrics.• Started using Google Analytics to track documentation site usage in 2008.• Steps involved: • Creating Google account and setting up Google Analytics • Adding Google analytics tracking JavaScript code to sample of content. • Produced reports for management and ID teams.• With management approval, added tracking code to remainder of sites: • Used global find & replace tools to insert code into existing HTML pages • Added tracking JavaScript insertion to production tools (WebWorks, DITA OT)• Reported monthly metrics to upper management. Made upper management happy.10 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  11. 11. Web Analytics at Sterling Commerce• Began tracking basic activity, such as pages most viewed and viewing average time.• Management was made aware of how many people were using online documentation daily.• Helped reinforce movement from book paradigm to online paradigm • User were not reading documentation all the way through. Instead users were getting in, reading, and getting out. • Users looked at an average of 5 pages per visit. • Users averaged about 5 minutes on site. • 45% of users were using search to find content.11 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  12. 12. Examples from Sterling CommerceMonthly View Trends IDEV Web Pages Views - Past 6 Months 120,000 100,000 101,908.00 95,678.00 V 80,000 81,127.00 i 70,383.00 s 61,698.00 60,000 58,286.00 i t s 40,000 20,000 0 Oct. Nov. December January February March12 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  13. 13. Examples from Sterling CommerceTop Viewed Pages13 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  14. 14. Examples from Sterling CommerceBrowser Types Browser Type Used by IDEV Visitors Google Chrome 3% Others (Opera, Safari, Mozilla) Firefox 1% 16% Internet Explorer 7 Internet Explorer 8 46% 15% Internet Explorer 6 19%14 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  15. 15. Web Analytics Now• After acquisition, we moved to an IBM tool, Unica NetInsight to track activity on infocenters and web sites.• NetInsight works similarly to Google Analytics, from a documentation use perspective.• Change involved: • Creating a NetInsight account. • Replacing Google Analytics JavaScript with NetInsight JavaScript in HTML pages, again by using search & replace tools. • Changing production tools to insert NetInsight JavaScript. • Setting up reports and filters in NetInsight. • Effort took abut two months to update 15 Infocenters.15 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  16. 16. Examples of Web Analytics NowView Trends B2B & Commerce ID Web Views 1480000 1280000 1,290,941 V 1080000 i 880000 928,011 s 838,326 874,281 854,553 i 680000 t 480000 s 280000 80000 March April May June July16 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  17. 17. Examples of Web Analytics NowPage Views by Product Line July Visitors to B2B & Commerce ID Sites by Product Line 450000 405,123 400000 356,218 350000 300000 250000 Total Visitors IBM Visitors 200000 Non-IBM Visitors 150000 100000 76949 65752 17,970 48,905 50000 10,256 25,429 11197 11,531 7,459 1,275 0 B2B/MFT/WTX SAAS SSFS Websphere Commerce17 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  18. 18. Examples of Web Analytics NowTop Plugins Viewed Top 10 Viewed SSFS Plugins SSFS 9.1 Product Concepts 8798 SSFS 9.1 Foundation Installation 4369 SSFS 9.2 Installation 4368 SSFS 9.2 Product Concepts 3942 SSFS 9.2 Upgrade 3137 SSFS 9.2 Installing, Configuring, and Deploying WC 1908 SSFS 9.2 Performance Management 1057 SSFS 9.1 Sterling Store and Call Center Implementation 983 SSFS 9.1 DOM Configuration 932 SSFS 9.1 Foundation Upgrade 877 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 900018 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  19. 19. Examples of Web Analytics NowdeveloperWorks Topics Top 10 B2B Commerce developerWorks Pages - September e-Commerce security: Attacks and preventive strategies developerWorks : WebSphere : WebSphere Commerce IBM developerWorks : Commerce : Overview developerWorks : Mathematical Programming : CPLEX Optimizer IBM developerWorks : New to WebSphere Commerce IBM developerWorks : Commerce : Solutions developerWorks : WebSphere : WebSphere Commerce : Filter … developerWorks : Mathematical Programming : CPLEX Optimizer :… Check EDI compliance with WebSphere DataPower IBM developerWorks : Commerce : Connect 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 300019 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  20. 20. Examples of Web Analytics NowPDF Downloads Connect:Direct for Top 10 PDF Downloads - July Windows 4.6.01 Getting Started Guide, 95 Connect:Direct for Windows 4.6.01 System Guide, 102 Sterling B2B integrator 5.2 Connect:Direct for UNIX System 4.1 Getting Started Requirements, 271 Guide, 109 Connect:Direct for UNIX Connect:Direct for UNIX 4.1 User Guide, 139 4.1 Administration Guide, 112 Connect:Direct Process Connect:Direct Statements, 117 Overview, 134 Connect:Direct Process Connect:Direct for z/OS Examples, 129 5.1 User Guide, 13220 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  21. 21. Analytics Use Outside of ID – Case 1• Sterling B2B Integrator has over 250 services and adapters that integrate with other products.• QA must allocate resources to test these adapters for each release.• By identifying the adapters whose help is most viewed, we can assume that they are the most used.• QA can then focus on testing the commonly viewed and used adapters. Top 10 SI B2B 5.2 Services and Adapters - July 2012 File System Adapter Lightweight Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) Adapter SMTP Send Adapter WebSphere MQ Adapter FTP Client Begin Session Service Invoke Sub-Process Service Get Document Info Service Remote Method Invocation (RMI) Adapter HTTP Server Adapter Document Keyword Replace Service 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 16021 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  22. 22. Analytics Use Outside of ID – Case 2•A product line was considering adding support for a particular browser.•We produced a browser usage report for them.•From this, their Product Development decided that adding support would only benefit alimited number of users and would not be cost-beneficial. 35% Browser Types Accessing IDEV Web Site - All Users Firefox 30% 25% Google Chrome 20% Internet Explorer 8 15% Internet Explorer 7 10% Safari 5% Internet Explorer 9 Internet Explorer 6 0% Others (Opera, misc.) Feb Mar Apr May June July22 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  23. 23. Other Analytics Uses•Joint efforts between Support and Information Development teams to reduce customercases by: •Identifying high-volume cases that can be addressed via better documentation •Analyzing call volume pre- and post- project •Quantifying results in $$$$•Search improvements through keyword analysis•Social network analysis23 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  24. 24. Getting Started – Questions to Ask• What are users looking at?• What aren’t users looking at, and why?• Where should we invest our time?• What types of issues are driving our customers to the documentation?• Are customers reviewing hot fix/maintenance releases?• Working with support, consider how web analytics data aligns with support calls and open tickets?• Working with product manager, how do user profiles (browsers, language, OS) impact product direction?24 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  25. 25. Getting Started – Get the Ball Rolling• Look at the analytic tool options. • Does your corporate web team already use an analytics service that you can piggyback on? • Free services? • Vendor services?• Do you need to modify your content to accommodate?• Run a pilot project and analyze results.• Do the results answer your questions? • If not, look at what data your capturing. Do you need other data? • If yes, expand wider.• Create action and follow up plans.• Set up who can access what, and who can modify what.• Don’t work in a silo – involve other departments25 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  26. 26. Data Analysis and Manipulation Data can be downloaded into a spreadsheet. Use Excel functions such as text-to-columns, concatenate, and subtotal to slice and dice the raw data. Use Excel graphing to functions make pictures for senior management.26 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  27. 27. Privacy and Legal Concerns• Most analytic systems use cookies and JavaScript to report user activity.• Personally identifiable information (IP address) is generally not reported. However, it may be accumulated and analyzed by the analytics service for demographics such as location. This may raise privacy issues.• If you use web analytics, make sure that your company’s web privacy policy clearly states the use of cookies and that information is gathered.• Some countries require instructions to allow users to opt out of tracking.• If your company is already using a web analytics tool to track customer activity, then you may be covered by corporate policy. But . . . We’re not lawyers. Talk to your Legal department to make sure that they are OK with web analytics use.27 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  28. 28. Questions28 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value
  29. 29. Thank you for your time.29 How Documentation Teams Can Use Web Analytics to Expand their Corporate Value

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