Buisness Intelligence and Web Analytics


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A presentation delivered at the Business Intelligence 2008 conference at Galagher Estate

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Buisness Intelligence and Web Analytics

  1. 1. Business intelligence, web analytics and FOSS Using the Mail & Guardian Online and Amatomu.com as examples
  2. 2. Background 0.5 million readers, 100 000 visits a day, various sources of BI, vendor lock-in, new territories that lack BI/web analytics
  3. 3. Background Publishing business models dependent on analytics, changes in the Web: Web 2, social media and Semantic Web
  4. 4. Reality The business of a media company is to create sell-able statistics, whereas the public mandate is to inform and encourage democratic governance
  5. 5. Rethinking Watershed moment, great risk and great opportunity
  6. 6. Catalyst Rebuilding our publishing system from the ground up + experience with Amatomu.com
  7. 7. More goals than Bafana - A comprehensive series of dashboards - Real-time reports of user activity - Rich visualisation - A product responsive to key metrics
  8. 8. Specific Challenges Internally, data is not centralised, standardised or aligned to our knowledge management goals
  9. 9. Specific Challenges Web 2, server logging and auditing
  10. 11. Amatomu Growing blogging community, social media
  11. 12. Amatomu Inspired by a lack of information and the potential to facilitate growth of the SA blogosphere
  12. 13. Amatomu Aggregates blog content, gathers analytics and presents personalised statistics, global statistics and rankings
  13. 14. Amatomu Collect statistics for 5.6 million PI per month, 2.5k active bloggers producing 1 05 million db transactions per month
  14. 15. Lessons learned Real-time analytics systems are difficult to scale, data increases in value as it ages, FOSS can do the job
  15. 16. FOSS architecture LAMP stack
  16. 17. The great debate Packaged software or create custom code?
  17. 18. Packaged software Easy to evaluate, low risk, ongoing development and active community, medium reward, hard to tailor to specific business requirements
  18. 19. Custom code Hard to evaluate, high risk, high reward because closely aligned to business processes
  19. 20. BI Packages 2 biggest are Pentaho and JasperSoft, both very powerful solutions for out-the-box BI, both offer FOSS servers with paid support
  20. 21. The thorny path We have chosen to develop custom code because we’re confident we can do it successfully and no packaged software does what we want it to
  21. 22. External factors Systems need to be overhauled every 2 years and rebuilt every 5 years
  22. 23. Guiding principles Data must be reusable, interoperability via web services and XML, scalability via the cloud - Amazon EC2, SimpleDB, S3 storage
  23. 24. Insurance policy Development using frameworks for PHP, Ajax and CSS: CodeIgniter, JQuery/ExtJS, Google Blueprint
  24. 25. Insurance policy Protects us against change in the development team and common mistakes
  25. 26. Emphasis Rich media graphing, real-time visualisation, enabling knowledge creation through discovery
  26. 27. Inspiration Edward R Tufte Digg Labs
  27. 28. Helpful tools FusionCharts - visually attractive graphing, mapping, widgets
  28. 29. Thank You Demo and discussion