Following on from the final question in our first blog around Pro2: “Should we use one of the existing profiling platforms as our starting point and build on top of it, or stick with building something that could work for a website on any platform?” we concluded that we would pursue in the direction of making our own tool Pro2 allowing us to use the tool on any potential website, regardless of the technology used by the site.  This way we aren’t reinventing what companies like Sitecore and Kentico (both of which we use and love) are already, very successfully, offering their customers.

Whilst the techy guys have been getting their hands dirty with rules engines and databases this project has left the non-techies wading through big data research and trying to conceptualise how these implicit and explicit user profiling rules are going to benefit the end user.  It feels very complex at the moment, maybe that’s just where we are in the project, but this feels like a very tough nut we’re trying to crack.

We can’t help but ask why, when the likes of these CMS vendors have been investing so heavily in features around personalisation, are there so few products and services that provide a stand-alone tech-agnostic solution for hooking-up profile website profile data to a rules and personalisation engine?  Yes, there are some big solutions out there, but they typically have an enterprise price-tag, aren’t trivial to set-up fully integrated, and are still often biased towards integrating with other products by the same vendor.

Three things that have been made apparent over the last few weeks:

  1. It’s not a new topic, really interesting and relevant articles like the one written by the Maharashtra Institute of Technology in 2014 still provide valid examples of applications that use implicit data collection to provide a better user experience.
  2. It’s needed, just 7 months ago cited that 96% of marketers find it challenging to build a comprehensive single view of a customer
  3. It’s a hot legal potato!  See ICO’s Big Data paper written in 2014 and updated last year

On the subject of legislation, the amount of legal discussion and large papers on the subject are likely making it very difficult for technology companies to understand the practicalities.  Is the legal jargon just too much for most?  I know it has been for this particular blogger!

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