Unlocking the Power of ClickStream Data

Every time a user clicks from web page to web page, a stream of data is generated. This data is called ClickStream data and can provide a great deal of insight about customer patterns on the web. The ClickStream basically consists of the URL that the customer visited. By analyzing ClickStream data using data mining and other business intelligence tools, companies can study web-based buying habits and effectiveness of site content and placement.

The biggest difficulty in using ClickStream data is decoding it. URLs often consist of site-specific tags and paths that must be decoded before a customer's patterns can be analyzed. Since most organizations will be able to decode their own site codes, these organizations should convert the ClickStream data to more meaningful information about which pages a customer visits. The company can then analyze how customers access information on its site and determine the effectiveness of promotions and search engines on the site. This can help them in designing the pages and positioning items on the site.

Another challenge with ClickStream data is that most companies can only track what goes on within its own site. Customer actions outside a company's web site cannot be easily determined. For example, it may be useful a company to know what search engine or online advertisement a customer used to get to its site. This …

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