Convergence Analytics is “one ring to rule them all”, in Middle Earth terms. But it isn’t evil like the ring created by Sauron.
Leveraging cloud computing and APIs, it is a way to wrangle data from a variety of sources (web, email campaigns, social media, call-center, CRM, even off-line marketing databases) and force it into a presentation layer with enough comparison points so you can find correlations and, according to at least one provider of a Convergence Analytics tool, “spot entirely new revenue opportunities”.
This week at Frost and Sullivan’s Global Innovation and Leadership Conference in San Jose I led a session on the topic of Convergence Analytics. What became clear to me is that, with the attendees not being web-centric or marketing-centric and certainly not web analytics-centric, the notion of Convergence Analytics resonated more soundly than any discussion of web analytics seemed to.
It was pretty clear to me that for lots of senior company executives (those who drive their companies big decisions), web analytics provides what is considered rather a paltry sum of data that might or might not contribute to any decision in the real world as opposed to the narrow universe of the web site.
But with Convergence Analytics (the vendors include Anametrix, Gooddata, Domo and some others), the possibilities for spotting patterns in all forms of marketing and even sales and product development make for a different and much more favorable response from the same constituency.
Now we can pull data from Omniture or GA. And add data from Exact Target. And from the social media “scraping” technologies like Viral Heat. And from CRM tools like Salesforce. And from DART campaigns or Google AdWords. And anything else that has an API.
Certainly the ability to correlate social media events with marketing efforts would even by itself justify the existence of these kinds of tools. But they can do so much more. And the level of maturity in digital analytics can now be much higher than it was when we would rely on one-off integrations and spreadsheets.
The Convergence Analytics equation is: Big Data + Cloud Computing + Extract/Transform/Load/Parse/Present = 360 Degree Insight
My suspicion is, this will transform the analytics landscape and broaden its audience considerably.