Heuristics. That’s a good word – a practical way of solving a problem that produces a, potentially not optimal, solution but is good enough besed on constraints.
The reason I love that word is because, back in the day, that was a setting option that ClickTracks (I know, again with the ClickTracks) had and a key pointi in our training.
Heuristics, as we explained, was doing the best that could be done, using the data (unstructured logs) and resources (computer processing) we had, to make reports that were both accurate, meaningful and loaded (and could be recalculated) in a reasonable amount of time . That meant ‘stitching’ together information in log files (unstructured data generated by the web server or java script) to understand sessions, paths, conversions – all the great things you rely on analytics for.
And, the surprising thing was using heuristics to do this was surprisingly accurate. (Well, not surprising if you understood the brain power behind making this work). But the more surprising thing was transforming raw data in a log file to meaningful, business changing reports was not only just what ClickTracks did, but you could change a setting and fundamentally change the way this was done with a click of a button.