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Glossary

  • ASP (Application Service Provider) -- A company that hosts an online service/application for a monthly or yearly fee.  The service/application is now sometimes called an "on-demand" service.

  • Categorization -- The categorizing of unstructured content into thematic "buckets."  For example, a story on Tiger Woods could be classified as a story about sports, golf, a Buick spokesperson, a Stanford graduate, a multimillionaire, and a Black American.  Categorization is typically automated in some way; applications differ in the amount of work required and manual control offered.

  • CMS -- acronym for Content Management System (see Content Management).

  • Compound document -- A term from document management, denoting the fact that a document is typically made up of components -- e.g., a header, body, footer, a spreadsheet, some images.  Note, however, that the term implies that the document is the organizing entity -- and that the components are the exception:  a top-to-bottom view.  In contrast, Web content management systems typically use a bottom-to-top view, organizing atomic components -- templates, content, images, hyperlinks -- to create pages.

  • Content management -- An application designed to help an enterprise manage its "unstructured" (i.e. non-database) data via versioning and workflow management.  A general term initially applied to managing corporate memos (i.e., document management), "content management" now now refers the controlling of Web site content, multimedia files, image files, and printer output.  The trendy term for this is now Enterprise Content Management (ECM).

  • DAM (Digital Asset Management) -- Managing large multimedia files such as images and videos.  Initially treated as separate from general content management due to the large size and specialized nature of the content, this is now starting to be subsumed within the larger universe of Enterprise Content Management (ECM).

  • ECA (E-Channel Awareness) -- A term coined by Guy Creese while an analyst at Aberdeen Group denoting the coming consolidation of Web content management, search/categorization, personalization, and Web analytics into a unified suite responsible for managing an enterprise's online persona.

  • ECM (Enterprise Content Management) -- The enterprise-wide management of digital content, consolidating the previously disparate disciplines and technologies of document management, Web content management, digital asset management, imaging, and printer output management.

  • ETL (Extraction, Transformation, and Load) -- The process of extracting operational data, transforming it into a standardized format, and loading it into a repository for analysis, typically a data warehouse or data mart.

  • On-demand -- A service/application delivered over the Internet for a monthly or yearly fee.  A company that delivers this service/application is an Application Service Provider, or ASP.

  • Packet sniffer -- A network device that watches TCP/IP packets streaming through the network.  At times used to monitor Web site traffic.

  • Path analysis -- Analyzing a visitor's or group of visitors' movement through a Web site as a way to (1) understand the processes they are performing as well as (2) optimize those paths to prevent user drop-off.

  • Personalization -- A technology that was all the rage in the late 1990s, touting online personalized interaction with individual users, and therefore enabling one-to-one marketing.  This is done either via business rules or some form of artificial intelligence.  Due to the fact that personalization is targeted at individuals, rather than a limited number of segments, it becomes a scale challenge.  Companies have backed off from trying to manage 1,000s of business rules, and have concluded that the AI technology consumed a lot of system resources with minimal payoff.  Consequently, smart enterprises today rely largely on segmentation, and personalize offers only for their best customers.

  • Search -- An application that uses user-entered keywords or phrases to find relevant unstructured content.  Many search vendors used to perform both Web search (searching the World Wide Web) and enterprise search (selling applications for searching within a corporate Web site); in 2003, most vendors decided that doing both was too difficult --now they usually concentrate on one or the other.

  • Segmentation -- The classification of customers into groups exhibiting like behavior.  This is done either via business rules ("all customers aged 35 - 45") or via data mining, an automated way of clustering customers based on behavioral data.  Personalization can be thought of as segmentation down to a group of one.

  • Web analytics -- The analysis of visitor behavior on a Web site.  Initially it referred only to clickstream analysis; it is now taking on a broader meaning, and includes (or should include) analyzing data from a variety of online data sources, such as surveys, search logs, and buying guides.

  • Web content management -- An application designed to help an enterprise manage content on its Web site(s), whether an Internet (public), extranet (partner), or intranet (employee) site.  Unlike a document management system, which was typically designed to solve an asset control problem ("We have a bunch of New Drug Application documents we don't want to lose and we don't want most people to see"), a Web content management system concentrates on optimizing content distribution via dynamic publishing.  In short, content throughput, rather than content hoarding, is the design center.  Consequently, Web content management emphasizes component reuse (both templates and content), workflow capabilities, and content syndication.

  • Web log -- A flat file generated by a Web server that keeps track of all of the files sent to a Web browser.  Multiple file downloads typically occur for a single Web page; it is not uncommon for a Web page to be made up of 10 or more graphics and text files.  Consequently, if used for Web analytics, the file needs to go through an ETL process to distill the multiple log entries into a single page view record.

Have a suggestion for an addition to the glossary?  Please e-mail Ballardvale Research at info@ballardvale.com.


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