STAMFORD, CONN., May 14, 2001 — According to Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB),
e-business investments, especially in the Web channel, are now subject to the same
scrutiny and return on investment due diligence as other major investments. More
than a year ago, Gartner analysts predicted that 50 percent of all e-business initiatives
would fail. Today, those failures are mounting due to a lack of analytics. The nascent
field of measuring effectiveness in all selling channels, particularly in the Web
channel, is about to spawn some of the hottest career opportunities over the next
five to 10 years.
The key to making e-business a viable strategy lies in deploying robust analytics. Yet many enterprise executives dismiss Web analytics as being interesting for Webmasters but not for business managers.
Gartner defines Web analytics as the metrics that measure effectiveness of e-business operations in terms of operations, customer experience and return on investment. Web analytics help enterprises prioritize Web channel activities and solutions.
Moreover, in times of economic downturn, a need exists more than ever for enterprises to execute precision marketing, effective sales and spot-on service. That is why enterprises should invest in Web analytics as a strategic e-business initiative. The key inhibitor, however, is not technology. The inhibitors are a serious lack of brainpower to interpret Web data, the inability to transform such data into the understanding of customer behavior, and failing to define the right response. According to Gartner, by 2005, enterprises will need three times as many professionals on their analytic staffs as they need today. The demand for analytic talent today outweighs supply by at least two to one.
Enterprises should invest in analytic skills and centralize them in one analytical department, because such talent is too scarce and expensive to leave scattered. For tactical purposes, this department should be focused at analyzing customer behavior in the channel, especially the Web channel. Strategically, a corporate center of analytic excellence can be the catalyst for far more sophisticated business technology practices.
"The killer trend for e-business just may be the real-time enterprise," said Frank Buytendijk, senior research analyst at Gartner. "Web analytics enable executives and managers to know where the company is in the quest for the real-time enterprise and when the company will achieve the ultimate real-time business capability across all channels, from the shop floor to the e-marketplace. People with the skills to enable and accelerate that goal will be in hot demand."
Gartner's in-depth report, "Web Analytics: How Do You Know When You Win?" is available to Gartner clients at www.gartner.com
About Gartner, Inc.
Gartner, Inc. is a research and advisory firm that helps more than 10,000 clients understand technology and drive business growth. Gartner's divisions consist of Gartner Research, Gartner Consulting, Gartner Measurement and Gartner Events. Founded in 1979, Gartner, Inc. is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut and consists of 4,600 associates, including 1,400 research analysts and consultants, in more than 80 locations worldwide. The company achieved fiscal 2000 revenues of $859 million. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.