Will Scully-Power

An interesting way to look at the economy with Playboy data
October 31, 2008, 7:26 am
Filed under: Data, Visualisation | Tags: ,

Haha….finally a way to get the attention of data analysts! “I’ve got some playboy data for you to visualise” You can imagine how that would go down!

Terry Pettijohn and Brian Jungeberg of Mercyhurst College took a very close look at the curves, um, measurements of past Playboy Playmates of the Year in relation to the state of the economy.

Here’s the abstract from their paper (bold added to emphasise point of interest):

Past research has investigated ideals of beauty and how these ideals have changed across time. In the current study, facial and body characteristics of Playboy Playmates of the Year from 1960-2000 were identified and investigated to explore their relationships with U.S. social and economic factors.

Playmate of the Year age, body feature measures, and facial feature measurements were correlated with a general measure of social and economic hard times.

Consistent with Environmental Security Hypothesis predictions, when social and economic conditions were difficult, older, heavier, taller Playboy Playmates of the Year with larger waists, smaller eyes, larger waist-to-hip ratios, smaller bust-to-waist ratios, and smaller body mass index values were selected. These results suggest that environmental security may influence perceptions and preferences for women with certain body and facial features.

How would you visualise the data?

The data, past Playmate measurements, were made available. You can download them here in CSV format. Do the data really show a correlation? If so, how strong? Gold star goes to the best visualization of the data.


How are we going to solve the multiple data set issues?
October 31, 2008, 6:38 am
Filed under: Analytics, Data, Segmentation, Web Analytics | Tags: , , ,

As the technology sets for online advertising and web analytics continue to merge and overlap, one urgent question remains unanswered: what are we going to do about data collection?

Some interesting ideas from Ian Thomas’s Blog…. Check them all out at: http://www.liesdamnedlies.com/2008/10/whence-the-universal-tag.html).

Are you good at identifying trends and actionable insights?
October 29, 2008, 9:07 pm
Filed under: Analytics, Research, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

brain test

Do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise?

If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.

uses logic uses feeling
detail oriented “big picture” oriented
facts rule imagination rules
words and language symbols and images
present and past present and future
maths and science philosophy & religion
can comprehend can “get it” (i.e. meaning)
knowing believes
acknowledges appreciates
order/pattern perception spatial perception
knows object name knows object function
reality based fantasy based
forms strategies presents possibilities
practical impetuous
safe risk taking

Nuconomy launches analytics product
October 29, 2008, 8:59 pm
Filed under: Web Analytics | Tags: , ,

Being reported over at Techcrunch today, NuConomy has released a its Studio product, a collection of free tools aimed to bring next-generation web analytics that move away from the traditional model based on page views. When it was still in private beta, we wrote that Nuconomy was approaching analytics in a new way to try to put more meaning into the data that is thrown back at users, meaning that in many ways it will be more useful than even those hugely expensive alternatives.

The tool set is designed specifically for publishers, advertisers and users to better understand and engage with the social web. The platform boasts a data mining engine which continually monitors every aspect of site traffic and user behaviors and automatically highlights the most important things for companies to act on. The main goal is to make web analytics reporting proactive and shorten the time between aggregating and analyzing data, drawing conclusions and taking actions based on the collective intelligence.

NuConomy’s innovative metrics measure the social elements of digital media, including Flash, AJAX, and Silverlight applications, along with page views, unique visitors, and other traditional metrics. NuConomy also features a two-way API that dynamically changes sites based on current metrics and insights, including the ability to show ads or push specific content relevant to a user’s interests.

NuConomy was founded in 2006 in Tel Aviv, Israel and is now headquartered in San Francisco, California. Its executive team is comprised of former Microsoft and Google leaders. NuConomy raised a $300k seed round in April 2007 from Yossi Vardi, Shlomo Nehama and Uzi Tzuker, and later completed its A Round financing in 2008 from WPP Group.

Overlay offline data into Google Analytics … sort of
October 29, 2008, 11:14 am
Filed under: Web Analytics | Tags: ,

The guys over at http://www.epkione.com have launched a Firefox plugin for Google Analytics that allows you to input event data into your Google Analytics account. Great idea but the only flaw is that you’re not able to view the events within a graph. This would be great if you could input your offline media schedule and view its impact on traffic and conversions to your site.

GA Notes is a Firefox extension that lets you add business data to a profile. Notes appear in a concealable table at the top of every report.

Any GA user who views a profile, and has the Firefox extension, will see the notes entered for the profile. You can add notes, edit notes and delete notes. Notes can also be exported in XML format for archival purposes.


Installing GA Notes is easy. Just download the following file to your computer:


Once downloaded double click on the file. Firefox should open and ask if you want to install the extension. Click install and that’s it. You’re ready to start adding notes to your GA data.


The extension adds a ‘Show Notes’ button in the GA menu bar. Click on the button to view notes for this profile or to add a note or edit/delete an existing note. It’s not that complicated.

How it Works

For those of you that are interested, GA Notes runs on Google’s App Engine. No data is stored on your machine or our servers. It’s stored on Google’s servers. The Firefox extension provides the interface to enter and display data. But all of the processing and data storage happens on App Engine. All data sent to App Engine is encrypted prior to transmission.

Road Map

This is a beta version of the software. They have a number of features that they’re working on and hope to have done soon. These include:

  • Sorting and searching notes by date
  • Excel friendly export
  • An admin flag for notes to separate admin changes to your GA account
  • Some type of alert to show you how many new notes have been added since your last login
  • A more graphical visualisation of note

Teradata launches annual user conference
October 28, 2008, 3:55 am
Filed under: Business Intelligence | Tags: ,


Data analysis and business intelligence (BI) have spread across the enterprise in what Steven Brobst, chief technology officer for Teradata, called “pervasive BI” in the opening keynote here at this week’s Teradata Partners, the company’s annual user conference.

Teradata announced several new additions to its data warehousing packages and a committed strategy to data quality.

At last year’s Partners conference, the big news was Teradata’s split from former parent company NCR. Since the separation, the newly independent Teradata has been focused on product announcements and enhancements. In fact, according to the company, this month’s release of its Teradata Database 13 includes 75 new features.

Google Analytics announces new features!


Over the past year, our team has been gathering a feature wish list from you, our customers. We also asked experts in the web analytics industry and listened to customers of other analytics tools to find out what additional functionality they would like to see added to Google Analytics to make it as powerful, flexible, and useful as a web analytics tool can be.

Today at the eMetrics Summit in Washington, D.C., after months of development and testing, Avinash Kaushik, our Analytics Evangelist, unveiled the new functionalities that represent a major upgrade to Google Analytics. With these features, gradually being released in beta in all accounts, you’ll gain much richer insights into your website traffic, and it’ll be even easier to discover, create, and access the metrics important to you.

They are (with more details below): Advanced Segmentation, Custom Reports, a data export API (private beta), integrated reporting for AdSense publishers (private beta), multi-dimensional data visualizations called “Motion Charts,” and an updated user and administrative interface.

These are features that experts and enterprise-level customers demand, and they will be available and easy to use in your Google Analytics reports. Please see below for details on each new feature and the release schedule letting you know when you can expect to have access to them. Here is a screenshot showing you where in your reports you can find a few of the new features, with more screenshots, help center links, and video demos (also at this YouTube playlist) below.

Features being added to all accounts in the coming weeks: 

Advanced Segmentation enables you to isolate and analyze subsets of your traffic. It is true on-the-fly segmentation of visits so that you can create powerful filters with a few mouse-clicks. Select from predefined custom segments such as “Paid Traffic” and “Visits with Conversions” or create new custom segments with a flexible, easy-to-use segment builder. Then, you can apply one or more of these segments to current or historical data, and even compare segment performance side by side in reports. 

Learn how to create an advanced segment in the video below, and in this help center article:

*Also, Avinash has just posted a blog on how to use Advanced Segmentation which is a must-read to quickly learn how to take advantage of this powerful feature.

Custom Reports are reports you create, save, and edit to give you a specific view of your data. You can choose the information and metrics you want to see, organized in the way you want to see it, by using a drag and drop interface to populate an Analytics report. You can also create tabs if you want to see related data – similar to a “Goal Conversions” tab – in effect creating multiple levels of sub-reports.

Once created, each custom report is available for as long as you want it. Take a look at this quick start guide to Custom Reports and to see a demo, play this video:

Motion Charts
 add sophisticated multi-dimensional analysis to most Analytics reports. Select metrics for the x-axis, y-axis, bubble size, and bubble color and view how they interact over time.

By comparing metrics visually over time you can expose data relationships that would be difficult to see in traditional reports. Motion Charts will be available through a new “Visualize” button at the top of reports.

Take a look at this help center article and watch this video for more information:

(Note: if you’re interesting in putting your own data in motion, you can also use a Motion Chart gadget in Google Spreadsheets or a visualization API.)

The New Account Management Dashboard
 makes it easier for you to manage and monitor your account by providing simpler navigation between accounts and profiles and displaying a dashboard of key performance metrics upfront upon login.

Meaningful data and clear visual cues (green is good, red is bad) help alert you to areas requiring more attention. We hope the new navigation, administrators’ ability to rename accounts and profiles, and account/profile locator functionality will boost your efficiency and ease of account management. Learn more in this help center article.

Features currently in private beta, scheduled for a more gradual full release to all accounts:

The Data Export API enables you to create software programs and applications using all read-only report level data from Analytics. The data exported can be used in any number of ways, such as building custom dashboards, creating data visualizations or interfaces, performing offline analysis, and combining/mashing Analytics data with other data sources. The API will be a platform for developers to extend Analytics data in new and practical ways, as far as can be imagined and implemented. 

Integrated Reporting with AdSense
lets AdSense publishers see their revenue and impression data alongside their site traffic data in Analytics. Take a look at the AdSense blog for more details. This integration will give publishers even more metrics to help them measure visitor activity and the performance of ad units, as well as discover areas of revenue potential on their websites.

Learn how to link your AdSense account with a Google Analytics account, and for a glimpse at the new reports, take a look at this video:

If you don’t already, you’ll soon have access to these new features. Once you get a chance to use them, we invite you to discuss them and give us feedback in our user forum. We hope you’ll find them useful and intuitive.


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