One of the benefits of blogging since 2002 is that I can refer to old posts that are still relevant to this day, such as this excerpt from Tuesday, September 12, 2006:
“I was thinking about various ways of using web analytics and commonly faced problems when implementing or using web analytics solutions … Checking site tagging integrity is a problem common to all vendors, consultants and analysts.”
This marked the hatching of the WASP project.
From there, the Web Analytics Solution Profiler grew a strong and dedicated fan base from what was (back then) a much smaller web analytics community.
This community has inspired me in writing dozens of posts on the topic of quality assurance, speaking at conferences, leading workshops and offering training on the importance of making the right decisions on the right data.
Unfortunately, the challenges of data quality remain largely unresolved…
… even with the advent of tag management systems. Today, it is even harder to figure out what’s going on behind the scenes of your web pages. The complexity in media data-gathering has increased exponentially and so many tagging quality issues go unresolved that over the years I’ve never seen a site without issues.
Plus, the counter part of tagging is rarely even adressed: making sure the configuration is right has remained the safeguarded kingdom of specialists.
You can’t copy true innovation
When it came out, WASP was unique and truly innovative. The little wasp pioneered the concept of quality assurance for web analytics. Since then, many lookalikes have sprung up but they are all fundamentally based on the same concepts pioneered way back when.
In 2009, I sold the technology to another company but the innovation stalled… so I took back control of it a few months ago and folded it under Cardinal Path’s amazing skills and expertise in the field.
Our new WASP for Chrome beta is gaining momentum and innovates in many ways. Some features are so unique that we are filing patents for them. For example, the new WASP visualization clearly highlights how Google Tag Manager (gtm.js) is used to embed Google Analytics with the remarketing option (dc.js) and the exact beacon sending data to Google (_utm.gif). This page also fires Adobe Site Catalyst, Uservoice and Tynt.
My take on data: quality, quality, quality
Current auditing solutions are time-consuming, complex and expensive. This often leads to collecting wrong or incomplete data – and businesses simply can’t afford to make important decisions on the wrong data.
Cardinal Path has done hundreds of implementations, audits and training sessions – we know what to look for when it comes to data quality. And, through WASP, we will gradually make our wisdom accessible to users well beyond the elite group of data specialists.