Goodbye Gatineau, hello…

So, today I have some things to tell you.

The first is that we’ve decided on the official product name for Gatineau, and it is (drum r0ll please) Microsoft adCenter Analytics. The name… well, it more or less does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s from Microsoft, it’s available through our adCenter online marketing portal (though see below for some exciting news in this regard), and it’s an Analytics tool. So a pretty good name overall, I think. You will probably find me referring to it simply as “adCenter Analytics” or even just “Analytics” on this blog.

The second, more exciting, news is that we have just shipped a major upgrade to the adCenter Analytics beta. This beta refresh contains a bunch of interesting new stuff, some of which has been seen in demos around the world over the past few months, and some of which hasn’t been seen before. So, what’s new?

 

It’s free!

It has been mentioned to us that the $5 fee to create an adCenter account in order to access the Analytics beta was a major barrier to adoption. We knew this all along, and as I’ve posted before, it was simply a question of the timing of the release of some enhancements to our user account system which prevented us from waiving this fee from the outset. But as of now, there’s no fee requirement (no need, even, to part with your credit card details) to create an Analytics account, whether or not you already use adCenter. This only affects new account sign-ups, and I’m afraid we’re not in a position to refund the $5 fee that anyone has previously paid.

 

All your PPC campaign data are belong to us

Ok, not belong; but I couldn’t resist the pop culture reference. adCenter Analytics now allows you to import bid and click data from adCenter, Google Adwords and Yahoo! Search Marketing, so that you can view a report of the ROI of your entire search marketing campaign in one place. The adCenter integration is totally automatic and seamless; Google and Yahoo integration is achieved through a CSV file import (we’re continuing to look at other ways of making this more automated in the future).

 

What’s running?

I was talking to a media planner for an interactive agency in Seattle the other day who said to me, “you know the question I get asked most often by clients? ‘What’s running?'”. adCenter Analytics’ new Campaign Timeline Report will tell you, providing a visual breakdown of all the marketing campaigns that are running over a given period. It’ll also show you which campaigns are performing well, and which ones aren’t. This report makes it really easy to see how concurrently running campaigns are influencing one another, and if one campaign is ‘cannibalizing’ the conversions from another. Click the image below for a closer look.

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One, two, tree

Another of the cool features in this refresh of the beta is the “Tree Map” view of site traffic:

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This view is designed to give you an instant idea of which content is popular, and which isn’t; but it also allows you to look at two measures (e.g., visits and bounces) on the same view at the same time. So the size of a box might relate to the number of visits to that page; whilst the color of the box relates to the bounce rate. This way, discrepancies between two measures (showing, for example, apparently popular pages that have high bounce rates) can be spotted quickly. There’s also a version which breaks out inbound referral data in the same way, enabling you to understand if your super-clicky marketing campaign is actually not generating any sales.

 

Making it easy

When I previewed adCenter Analytics in Washington DC, I showed a tool we’d developed to help with instrumentation by inserting tags into pages automagically. I’ve previously blogged about this, but here’s a little movie of the functionality again for your edification. Instrumentation (i.e. tagging) is the number 1 barrier to web analytics adoption, so this is our attempt to make things a little easier.

 

Compare & Contrast

In this beta, Gatineau gets the ability to perform period-on-period analysis, allowing to compare one period’s numbers with another’s easily. The functionality’s found in the calendar control:

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What’s nice about this is that it’s very easy to compare week-on-week performance (or month-on-month); you don’t have to go and manually select the week start and stop dates. And it works with custom date ranges too. The results look like this (click on the image for a larger view):

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The little arrows show whether things are going up or down (in the screenshot above, all the traffic seems to be going down, sadly).

 

A sense of history

This beta also contains some useful visitor history & loyalty reports – things like new/repeat visits, depth & length of visit, and visit recency:

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Show me the money

And finally (for this post, at least – there’s lots of other stuff in this beta that I’ve glossed over), adCenter Analytics now has a bunch of e-commerce reporting, allowing you to specify purchase events in you
r instrumentation, and automatically pass the conversion values from your e-commerce system so that they appear in the reports. It will look a lot like the image below, although with some actual non-zero numbers in it (our demo data set for this functionality is still a bit lame – sorry). Click the image for a bigger version.

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That’s it for now. if you’re already up and running with adCenter Analytics, you will see this new functionality the next time you log in. If you’ve previously received an invite but hadn’t activated, go and find the invite e-mail we sent you and click the link. If you would like an invite, fill out the form here (note, this URL has changed):

http://advertising.microsoft.com/advertising/adcenter-analytics-registration

If you’ve previously requested access via the online form, but haven’t received your invite e-mail, hang tight – we’re planning to invite more folks during March, and you should be on that list.

My colleague Mel has also posted on the adCenter blog with a bunch of extra information about adCenter Analytics-related resources, so go check that out too.

15 thoughts on “Goodbye Gatineau, hello…

  1. Ian:
    Congratulations on Launch 2.0!!
    I am particularly fond of the “treemap visualization”, anything to make it easier for people to understand page performance without torturing excel tables.
    Ditto for the distributions, love ’em.
    Thanks for the update, and again congratulations.
    -Avinash.
    PS: I think you are blocking me becuase I did not get this in my RSS feed (and its been four days!), just stumbled into it in random browsing (thank god you have not yet identified my IP address and blocked it yet!). 🙂

  2. Gatineau is reborn as Microsoft adCenter Analytics

    Just got the news – Goodbye Gatineau, hello… well…. MAA, better known as Microsoft adCenter Analytics. Wrote a long post about it at titled The Analytics Guru where I threw out a gem – Microsoft ought to go after Google…

  3. Great stuff, Ian.
    Can you point me to the documentation for implementing e-commerce reporting? Am also more than curious to see how you are integrating Adwords and YSM campaign cost data into your reporting. That’s quite a biggie.
    Cheers,
    Michael

  4. Congrats Ian! Finally the release it’s on his way. Just got an email at my company account today and will certainly test it now for all larger MS adcenter campaigns.

  5. Awesome,
    I’m still waiting for the invite code.
    Hey what we really need now is a like a Live Pagerank or some other type of ranking for the toolbar, so people can have your ranking of webpages or websites as well.
    Google nowadays is mostly into trying to control how webmasters go about with their stuff, and I think viewers would love the opportunity of another player’s perspective.
    So come on, give the internet viewers a Live search pagerank type thing.
    It’s been long awaited for.
    take care

  6. You keep talking about the beta and new features.
    When can I test it? Is the beta open for the rest of the world now?
    LiveSTATS users should have a fasttrack invitation to the beta. I STILL feel left out…
    I’m not happy with the direction the product is heading even though it seems like a first class analytics HOSTED application.

  7. @Jack
    Look at the name of the site.
    It’s called Lies Damned Lies.
    They’re all lies, did ya kinda miss that part? LOL.
    Here’s some honest feedback Microsoft. Please consider it seriously.
    Think about your own version of a pagerank thing for the toolbar, maybe something like LiveRank or whatever.

  8. Congratulations on the new release, some of those features look quite interesting and I’m sure that the automatic tagging will help bolster adoption (though I’m somewhat surprised that it is a large barrier, given that it’s a pretty trivial task for most sites).
    Looking forward to giving this a spin when the invites work out, will be fun to see which tools provide more apt, or interesting insights.

  9. Jack:
    If you can let me know which e-mail address you registered for the beta with, I’ll be able to look into why you haven’t received your invite yet. Send it to me via my “contact” page.
    Michael:
    Info about inserting the commerce tracking scripts is in the help (accessible via the “Help” link at the BOTTOM of the Analytics UI, not the one at the top); open the table of contents and you’ll find the info you need under the “Insert tracking scripts” section. Let us know how you get on.
    Ian

  10. Hey Ian, Congrats and great job! Is this an enterprise tool? How big are the clients that you are seeing so far? Playboy Enterprises hauls in 140 mill pageviews a month so I was wondering 1)Is there an ultimate charge after we hit a pageview threshold? 2) at this early stage, do you have a sufficient infrastructure in place to support this volume of data? Finally a few more questions: What does the tool offer that Google Analytics 2.0 does not? As far as implementation, how is the content organized and tagged – are there dynamically generated tags? Is there the ability for excel integration as well as an overlay tool? If there is a sales team at this stage, I’d be very interested in learning more about your tool as a corporate tool. We don’t really do much advertising business with Microsoft per se but are very interested in this analytics tool. Lastly if it is not a corporate tool, is there a timeline for when that could happen? Congrats again with the important milestone to push the product to the final stage. Best, Milan

  11. Congrats Ian, Gatineau is finally finding its way (sorry, I need some time to take that name from my brain, was also incredible difficult to learn it and to try it to pronounce it ;-).
    I do 100% agree with Avinash, the treemap visualization its really useful, well done!
    Last Friday I wrote a post in my blog called “Since Gatineau nothing will be ever the same” and apparently I was not wrong ;-).
    Thanks for keeping us informed!
    Juan

  12. Congrats on the Gatineau progress.
    There are some fundamental problems with the ways data is presented in adCenter Analytics that I hope you will revisit.
    The tilted back pie chart design is frankly really bad at displaying information. The shaded area should be proportionate to the number you’re showing. By using a tilt and exaggerated perspective you wildly distort the real numbers. Consider the yellow and green pie chart above. The yellow number is larger, but the green area is 2x bigger.
    The glossy, glassy, tilty, shiny, smoothy area charts are also not good. Gloss draws the eye to features that don’t exist. The tilt makes it impossible to actually compare the numbers. The smoothing implies intermediate data points that don’t exist.
    The Google Charts API and Yahoo Astra projects are good examples of infographics done right. This Crystal Xcelsius look is not the way to go. I hope you’ll revisit information display in adCenter Analytics.

  13. I, too, would like to see an end to slanted pie charts, which exaggerate the size of anything in the front and diminishes the lateral sections (foreshortening). Someday we will all be embarrassed by our previous infatuation with three-dimensional graphics.
    Nevertheless, I love these screen shots, especially the one with the time line. Exactly what we need. I’m signing up today.

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