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Jan Exner
Works at Adobe Systems
Attended Universität Karlsruhe
Lives in Oberwil
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Jan Exner

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That is quite beautiful, I say.
Orion Spring
Image Credit & Copyright: Bill Dickinson

As spring comes to planet Earth's northern hemisphere, familiar winter constellation Orion sets in early evening skies and budding trees frame the Hunter's stars. The yellowish hue of cool red supergiant Alpha Orionis, the great star Betelgeuse, mingles with the branches at the top of this colorful skyscape. Orion's alpha star is joined on the far right by Alpha Tauri. Also known as Aldebaran and also a giant star cooler than the Sun, it shines with a yellow light at the head of Taurus, the Bull. Contrasting blue supergiant Rigel, Beta Orionis, is Orion's other dominant star though, and marks the Hunter's foot below center. Of course, the sword of Orion hangs from the Hunter's three blue belt stars near picture center, but the middle star in the sword is not a star at all. A slightly fuzzy pinkish glow hints at its true nature, a nearby stellar nursery visible to the unaided eye known as the Orion Nebula.
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Trip 12, off to Frankfurt.

Rainy morning, but the birds are awake. 
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Trip 10, off to Paris (well... Arceuil) 
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Sehr coole Methode. Da soll noch einer sagen, Lochkameras sind zu nichts zu gebrauchen ...Danke, +Make Magazin (vza) 
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Sie wollen sich die Sonnenfinsternis morgen nicht entgehen lassen, haben aber keine der speziellen Schutzbrillen mehr ergattern können? Kein Problem, mit Material aus dem Haushalt baut man sich mal eben schnell einen Sonnenbetrachter.
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This is a rant about the state of analytics :)
Let me give you a simple example of why analytics sometimes have the tendency to make me want to pull out all of my hair ... or rather I already did, just look at my profile pic :)

Earlier today, I wanted to look at what the bounce rate was for a client of mine, for each of their pages. This should be a simple thing to do. Create a report by ‘page’, add ‘page views’ and ‘bounce rates’ … and you are done. 

Except, the result looked weird. 

So, I went back into the report building mode and searched for ‘bounce rate’ as a metric, and found two of them. One was called ‘Bounce Rate’, the other simply called ‘bounce rate’. Yes, that is exactly the same name.

So… I added both, and the result is what you can see in the picture below. Two identical metrics, with completely unidentical numbers. They do not even follow the same pattern.

Now, I’m sure that the analytics company behind this have a perfectly reasonable explanation (at least to them). They will probably tell me that Bounce Rate (capital) is based on a session level of analytics, whereas ‘bounce rate’ (lower case) is based on a hit based/calculated result. 

And they will explain this to me as if I’m the one being the idiot, because, surely, I should know this.

It’s same with other analytics suites. For instance, if I want to know how many unique visitors (aka users) my site has on a given day, I would look at ‘users’. But if I then want to see how many users each page has, creating a report that looks at users for each page will give me completely wrong and misleading numbers. 

The reason is that, on a page level, users can’t be used (because the metric is session based). Instead, if I want to learn how many users a page has, I shouldn’t be looking at users, but instead look at unique page views. 

I happen to know this because I’m an analytics geek, and from a technical perspective, I can even understand why this is from the perspective of a database query.

But just stop and think about this for a moment. This is wrong in so many ways. If I want to know how many users a page has, I should be to select ‘users’ as my metric. I don’t care that it’s session-based, hit-based, or whatever-based. 

A user is a user. A bounce rate is a bounce rate. A page view is a page view.

The very idea that I can go into my analytic system and create a report that outputs completely wrong data (like in the case with bounce rate above or with users on a page) is wrong.

I don’t care why this is. I don’t care how many excuses or explanations the analytics community can come up with to explain it. It’s wrong!

Pure and simple. 

The analytic providers need to get their act together.

I can spot when something isn’t right with the data because I do data analysis every day. But most people can’t do that. Most people would just ask for the data that they need, and blindly trust it. So what do you think happens when people choose the wrong bounce rate metric, the one with the capital label rather than the one with the lower case label? 

I repeat, this is wrong. This is not a user problem. It is unacceptable for an analytics system to give wrong answers. It’s unacceptable to ask for a metric, and be told the wrong result.

And here, I have highlighted only two examples. I can highlight 100 more, easily. 

One more example. If I look at a client’s analytics, and ask it to tell me how many unique visitors/users they had last week, it might tell me something like this:

Mon: 124,252
Tue: 152,746
Wed: 110,302
Tue: 144,261
Fri: 176,262
Sat: 167,383
Sun: 102,526

But then, at the bottom of this report, it will say that the total is: 997,732 unique visitors for that week

No!!! ... Just no!!!

The entire purpose of a unique visitor is to know how many people you reach. You cannot add them up as a total. That’s wrong, because it doesn’t take into account that some people might come back more than one day. 

The correct number of unique visitors, in this case, is 654,442 unique users for that same week. In other words, the correct number of unique visitors for that week is 34% lower than what the analytics system is reporting in the standard report.

34% Lower!!!

If you were a sales manager for a company, and you started reporting your sales this way, you would be fired. But this is how our analytics systems work today. 

It’s just wrong in so many ways!

And I could go on and on and on. Because there are so many similar examples in almost every single report that you see. 

Analytics is hard. We all know this in the analytics community. But these problems are not what’s hard about them. This is lazy analytics based on totaling or averaging numbers from a table, rather doing real analytics. 

We need to stop this. The analytics community needs a rethink. We are not talking rocket science here. We are talking about the most basic of the basics… and it’s wrong. 

Bounce rates not being reported correctly. Users not being reported as actual users. Unique Visitors not being reported as unique. 

Seriously. This needs to change!
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Trip 8, off to Geneva, for a change.

Sun's coming up soon, and the birds are competing loudly 
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Have him in circles
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According to Google+, I went on 45 business-related trips in 2014. Just double-checked and found 47.

I spend 1.9 days on each trip on average, and do 3.9 trips per month. 20 of the trips where by train (Virgin, DB, SBB), 1 by car, and the majority by aircraft, of which Lufthansa is the undisputed number 1.

#geek #data #toomuchtravelling
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With these Contribution Analysis Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices, you’ll be ready to take full advantage of Adobe’s groundbreaking “data-scientist-in-a-box” to leverage your analytics practice, and achieve in minutes what da...
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Das gehört zu den Themen, bei denen meiner Frau und mir keine Lösung einfällt.

a) sind wir weit weg von jeglicher Familei, und
b) können wir nichtmal auf den gleichen Friedhof (Muslim vs Agnostiker)

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Trip 11, off to Frankfurt.

This is the Bertschenacker bus stop, where almost all of my trips begin. 
Ben Seymour's profile photoJan Exner's profile photo
+Ben Seymour trains are often full
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Trip 9,off to Nürnberg.

I'm one of the first in the lounge. 
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People like me who work as an analyst are no strangers to the fear mongering that is going on online when it comes to privacy, cookies and data. Every single week, some journalist will post yet another story about how dangerous the internet is, usually using examples that are either totally misleading or extreme edge cases that has no relevance to ordinary people. 

This evening was no different, as DR (the Danish equivalent of the BBC) decided to run a broadcast about data brokerage, those nasty cookies, and so forth). It was a news story that was followed up with a ton of stories about 'how to protect yourself from the internet' and other crap like that. And not surprisingly, they focus more on Google than anything else, despite the fact the Google absolutely does not share any data they have about you with anyone.

Don't get me wrong. There are legitimate concerns to some of the things that go on online, but they are almost never the things that journalists focus on. And using whatever 'privacy' tools they mention has no real world impact on ordinary people. 

It's idiotic in the extreme. 

And, what's even more idiotic is that newspapers too use cookie and several other online tracking tools. DR, for instance, use 15 different cookies. 

So after having shot themselves in the foot by their own fear mongering, they find themselves in the crazy situation of having to write an article about why they too use cookies (see link below, in Danish).

They tell us: "Essentially, cookies are created to make the experience on a website better"

"We simply cannot offer our services without using some elements from, for example Facebook."

Exactly... so why the frak did you just spend so much time telling people how bad cookies are via several other articles and a TV broadcast? This is just stupid. 

Don't you see how pathetic this makes you as a TV station? First you attack the internet, create fear, and cause people to worry about using the web. Then you have to defend yourself against your own broadcast?

Seriously, publishers. Get a grip on yourself.
Lige nu er du også på en hjemmeside, der gør brug af marketings-cookies. Ifølge DR fordi det giver dig en bedre oplevelse på hjemmesiden.
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356 people
mohamed amine zeroual's profile photo
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I help with everything regarding Digital Marketing
  • Adobe Systems
    Consultant, 2014 - present
  • Adobe Systems
    Solution Specialist, 2008 - 2014
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Heald Green - Opio - Plascassier - Nice - Antibes - Karlsruhe - Hamburg - Frankfurt - Darmstadt
German Expat in Switzerland. Lived in the North West of England and Southern France for a long time. I'm here because
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Fluent in 3 languages. 3 kids.
  • Universität Karlsruhe
    Computer Sciences, 1990 - 1998
  • Gymnasium Lohbrügge
    1976 - 1988
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