In all environments and all industries it is recognised that the better you understand your customer the better you are able to service his or her needs, the better you are able to sell them additional services or goods, the more satisfied they will be and the more you will be likely to retain them as a customer. However, understanding your customers is not easy: it requires sophisticated analytic capabilities that allow you to analyze large volumes of data. Moreover, it mandates a highly adaptable query and reporting environment. This is because you never know what you might want to find out about your customers next and you will need a flexible environment that can quickly respond to your changing needs.
Another key driver of analytics is the need to assess the potential benefit or drawback to changes you might make to your business including your website, marketing or advertising activities, and other aspects of your operation. This is more difficult than analyzing the past - and requires yet a higher level of sophistication to be effective.
However, such analytics and such requirements are not limited to understanding customers, they also apply to understanding suppliers, employees, infrastructure and other elements of the corporate environment.
In this white paper we are concerned with analytic environments where it is important to be able to include web-based data within your analyses. Given the availability of numerous off-the-shelf products and services that use clickstream data to report on web traffic, visitor behavior, and other website measurement, why would you need to build an analytic environment?