Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Who Owns Hosted Web Analytics Data?

Intelligent Enterprise, April 6, 2009, features an article entitled
Do You Really Own Your Web Analytics Data?

An excerpt -- and I suggest you consult the whole thing:

Hosted service contracts may say the data is yours... technically. But can you get at the raw information, for how long and what about privacy? Consider these access, usage, retention and disposition concerns.

Your Web site analytics solution generates a lot of data, potentially gigabytes a day if you run one or more busy sites. But who really owns all that rich data? It's a complex issue that often gets overlooked during Web analytics vendor selection and contract negotiations. As more customers turn to SaaS-based solutions (where the vendor stores your traffic data) and as Google and Yahoo continue to broaden this marketplace with their free hosted analytics offerings, the question of data ownership becomes increasingly germane.

Unfortunately many analysts and Web managers we encounter at large enterprises either don't read or don't have access to their vendor service terms, and they generally don't ask about data ownership during the vendor evaluation process. Most Web analytics customers just assume that they fully own their Web analytics data and are just granting a limited license to the vendor to generate reports. Depending on what "full ownership" means to you, that may not be totally true.

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