Considerations for Migration
It’s taken longer than expected for my second post as the team has been extremely busy with an influx of migrations. Many of our clients (non-ecommerce) are using the final months of the year to complete their migration to SiteCatalyst so they can begin day one of 2009 with their new analytics tool. In this post, timing is one of the considerations I’m going to address when planning your migration.

Identify Stakeholders
The first consideration when planning your migration is to identify the internal stakeholders that will be critical to the success of the transition. A project owner should be named to take the lead for the duration of the migration. The project lead will be responsible for managing the project and serving as the primary point of contact within the organization to help facilitate communication. In addition to the project lead, there should be stakeholders from the business and technical teams, which should include executive-level sponsors.

Determine Timing
Once you’ve identified your internal migration team, you’ll want to discuss optimal timing of the migration. You’ll want to be mindful of seasonal peaks in your business. For example, if you’re an online florist retailer, you won’t want to be rolling-out your new SiteCatalyst implementation during the Valentine’s Day holiday period. If you’re a sports media site, you won’t want to deploy SiteCatalyst during March Madness. Other timing considerations include upcoming site updates/redesigns. We’ve had many clients piggy-back their analytics migration on much larger site projects, which has helped in reducing any push-back from technical teams as the SiteCatalyst tags can be implemented with little additional effort during overall site changes.

Gather Requirements
If you haven’t already, you’ll hear all about Omniture’s Fusion Methodology for implementing SiteCatalyst when speaking with your account team on the details of the migration program. Omniture Fusion is an industry specific (retail, financial services, media, travel, and others) methodology for implementing SiteCatalyst that incorporates the fundamentals that each vertical industry should be tracking along with your own Key Business Requirements (KBRs). The benefit of the Fusion Methodology is that it provides a complete actionable implementation out of the gate and results in a much shorter time to achieve your return on investment.

As I mention, this methodology will incorporate your KBRs, which we will be reviewing during one of the initial kick-off calls with your account team and migration technical consultant. Prior to these calls, it’s important to have discussions with your internal stakeholders to identify your KBRs. When identifying your KBRs, it’s important to understand the key success metrics for your site, which may differ for each organizational department. For a financial services company, KBRs may include increasing your conversion rate of leads to credit card application completions by 5% in 2009. Another group within a financial company may have a KBR to increase their customer online self-service usage by 10% in 2009. You might want to check out these blog posts that touch on key metrics and considerations when deploying an analytics program.

Identify Gaps
Many of our clients are using the migration as an opportunity to revamp their analytics program. As part of this revamp, it’s important to identify gaps in your current implementation/reporting that can be addressed during the SiteCatalyst implementation. These gaps may become apparent through your initial requirements gathering or they may be gaps that have been outstanding for some time. Some of the gaps our clients have identified most frequently include:

  • Limited ability to correlate variables
  • Inability to create custom dashboard and set-up for automated delivery within user interface
  • Limited automated campaign tracking – HBX requiring campaign set-up within interface for each campaign versus automatic tracking with SiteCatalyst (more on differences in campaigns in subsequent post)
  • Lack of plug and play third party integration with partners such as DoubleClick, Epsilon and many others
  • Inability to upload metadata for variables such as commerce and campaign data
  • Lack of automatic alerting when key metric moves above or below a threshold

Business Justification for Migration
For some of our larger clients, we’ve found that the business sponsors have been asked by their internal teams to provide business justifications for the migration to SiteCatalyst. Once the gaps in your current analytics program have been identified, these should feed into the justification for the migration. To recap, some of the most compelling justifications to migrate include:

  • Empowering a larger audience of business users to make decisions on actionable data through the simplified user interface and customizable reports and dashboards.
  • Ability to integrate your analytics with a test and targeting solution
  • Optimizing your search marketing spend through the integration of analytics with a search optimization tool – Omniture SearchCenter
  • Online marketing integration/optimization with your other online marketing partners through Genesis
  • Increasing efficiencies as the web reporting role evolves to true web analyst role as regular reporting is automated freeing-up time for deep-dive ad hoc analysis.

In my next post I’ll be discussing options for accessing and trending historical information post migration. As you may know, the annual Omniture Summit is right around the corner. The North America Summit will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah February 17 – 20. For HBX customers, we’ll be hosting a special migration session during the afternoon of the 17th. During this session we’ll be covering more details on the migration program and will have clients that have already gone through the migration share their key learning’s. We’ll have further details on the special HBX migration session shortly. Finally, if you haven’t already had a chance to download the “Moving to SiteCatalyst Guide”, I encourage you to take a moment and download the guide located on the HBX User Interface login screen. If you have questions on the HBX Migration Program, please contact your account team or feel free to leave a comment. Also, let me know if there are any topics you’d like me to cover in future postings.


Christian – will there be other options for the migration session during the week of the Summit? I'll be attending with a few colleagues and we have registered for training on 17th, 9:30-5.

John Stansbury
John Stansbury

The benefits of migrating far outweigh any perceived disadvantages. Even the "historical data" argument loses air given the drastic and rapid changes in the economy--what happened in the last three months says a whole lot more than anything a year or two ago. The Fusion methodology really did ease the migration, and yes, ReportBuilder works just as well in SiteCatalyst; however, you'll find that you probably won't need it as much.