AT Internet: Delivering Insight into Digital Ecosystems and Fostering Data-Driven Business Decisions Through Reliable Web Analytics for Two Decades

AT Internet: Delivering Insight into Digital Ecosystems and Fostering Data-Driven Business Decisions Through Reliable Web Analytics for Two Decades

TL; DR: Since 1995, AT Internet has operated with a mission to provide actionable, trustworthy data that empowers organizations to develop smart business strategies. By leveraging the company’s comprehensive digital analytics suite, businesses can track customer engagement levels on websites and mobile applications in real time to obtain holistic views of digital ecosystems. But AT Internet recognizes online success isn’t just about data. The company’s seasoned team of consultants brings a human touch to digital analytics with a hands-on approach that leads to more informed decision-making and larger returns.

L’Équipe has been giving French sports enthusiasts the scoop on their favorite teams and athletes for more than 70 years. The first hardcopy of the daily hit the streets in 1946, and each issue that followed grew the paper’s audience at a seemingly exponential rate.

Today, L’Équipe’s sports coverage is reaching even broader audiences through its online news platform. The newspaper’s site receives upward of 1.5 billion pageviews each month, and its mobile app is rated among France’s top-three mobile applications.

L’Équipe’s revenue model for its app is simple: More premium subscriptions and pageviews mean higher returns garnered from businesses advertising on the platform. As a result, L’Équipe needed a solution to analyze traffic, determine the most effective content, and maximize pageviews and revenue. And the digital sports news outlet found this with AT Internet and its Analytics Suite.

After implementing AT Internet’s solution, L’Équipe was able to hone in on reader actions and found users were not finding all the content in which they might be interested. In fact, 40% of users were visiting the app’s Favorites portal, even though they hadn’t saved any content.

This led the L’Équipe team to develop a content strategy centered on the Favorites feature to optimize readers’ digital journeys. And the results were big. Not only did AT Internet’s Analytics Suite deliver a data-driven strategy on how to improve user experience, it also helped improve L’Équipe’s bottom lines. At last count, the newspaper’s sports alert subscribers exceeded 4 million, with more than 150,000 people downloading the app each month.

Since 1995, AT Internet’s solutions have been employed on more than 20,000 websites and mobile applications, such as L’Équipe’s, across the globe. And, as Marie Fenner, AT Internet’s UK and US Managing Director, told us, the company has long been recognized as a leader in the web analytics space.

“In the Q4 2017 Forrester Wave, we’d retained our leadership position,” Marie said. “In 2014, there were a total of four leaders, including AT Internet. Now there are only two, and we are one of those two.”

AT Internet’s long-standing leadership is a testament to its focus on providing quality and easily decipherable data.

Tapping Into the Global Analytics Scene One Nation at a Time

AT Internet was founded in France in 1995 by Alain Llorens. Originally a simple web agency, AT Internet would shift its focus to analytics in the following years.

“We actually started in 1996, and we’re still going strong by focusing on what we do best,” Marie said. “Other companies started going into much broader areas, instead of really being a leader in any one thing.”

For the last two decades, AT Internet has expanded globally, but its focus on being a pure-play web analytics company remains.

Beginning with the UK, AT Internet has widened its influence beyond France to become one of Europe’s premier analytics companies.

“We went from a French company to a European company about 10 years ago, so we started coming out of France and into London,” Marie said. “We later went to Germany and Spain, and even further into the global realm with the US and Singapore.”

Ultimately, AT Internet’s reach extended to 32 countries through its offices, subsidiaries, clients, and business partners. This expansion has helped guide thousands of businesses across the globe to make more data-conscious marketing decisions.

Democratizing Data & Changing the Game With Tagging-Based Analytics

Marie said the log file-based approach to analytics was dominant when AT Internet was founded.

“That was the big thing back then,” Marie said. “One of our very well-known competitors at the time was using it. It was very much within the realm of IT folks, so analytics as a practice was run by tech teams.”

Log-based analytics was a low-cost and low-maintenance way to handle big data because analysts could directly look at the log file, which was stored on the server. While this was an easy and accurate way to derive traffic information, AT Internet wanted to make this data more accessible to the less technically inclined — a process Marie refers to as democratization.

Marie said the focus at AT Internet was on tagging, or cookie-based analytics, which uses a snippet of Javascript code that records hits on a page before reporting the information back to the server. Data is stored in tokens referred to as cookies that stay active on the end user’s system for a period of time, unless manually deleted. Cookies store data about your visit, making it easier to access previously revisited material.

While log-based analytics provides dependable and easy-to-extract information, the versatility of page-tagging methods led to greater visitor insights. Variables, such as products, campaigns, and visitor location could be tagged and recorded, with data parsed in real time.

“When we started, we found the tagging-based methodology a lot more robust,” Marie said. “It provided a view — not from the servers on your backend — but from the actual customer’s perspective. It’s also low-maintenance from the client’s perspective, as it’s hosted on our side.”

Clients who partner with AT Internet need only include a snippet of code on a page to enable flexible and thorough data collection capabilities.

Optimizing the Quality of Information With Custom Dashboards

While both log-based and tag-based analytics have their own respective advantages, the method of data collection is not nearly as important as the quality of the data itself. Quality data not only provides insight from a marketing perspective but is easy to understand.

As analytics precipitates data-driven business decisions, it stands to reason that those decision-makers would be able to easily interpret the data.

“Our #1 priority is data quality; if the input isn’t good, the data is rubbish,” Marie said. “Once the quality has been assured, the second, but equally important, priority is the data democratization.”

Marie emphasizes the role AT Internet has had in the democratization — or freedom — of data, stating that difficult-to-understand data is ultimately a waste.

The wealth of information hiding among all the big data stored on servers is easily accessed through AT Internet’s Analytics Suite, which features tools for custom dashboard creation and reporting tailored to individual users. These tools help all types of business decision-makers – not just data analysts – to access, understand, and work with their data in a simplified and aesthetically pleasing manner.

“Many of the interfaces were designed for someone savvy with analytics, so if you give that to someone in marketing, that becomes a stumbling block, as they would have to go to IT to ask for help interpreting this data,” Marie said.

For example, a marketing-oriented dashboard will show data such as campaign ROIs and the number of clicks generated by different traffic channels like email and social media pages.

The Mission: To Cultivate More Data-Informed Organizations

The best business decisions are data-informed and based on predictive analysis, Marie said. Data analytics lets businesses know what works and what doesn’t. By taking a look into the recent past, companies can predict the future success of campaigns within a certain margin of error.

To put this information in the hands of decision-makers, AT Internet aims to democratize data as much as possible.

“We’re trying to help our client create a more data-informed organization, and, to do so, our responsibility is to give them output that is easy to understand,” Marie said.

After studying its client base in 2012, AT Internet found its users could be segmented into several broad categories ranging from hardcore analysts to marketers. The need to provision an appropriate interface for this wide range of users eventually led to the development of more user-friendly features, such as the Dashboards tool.

“Since 2012, we’ve put data democratization as a top priority by looking at how we can make our data readily available to various users,” Marie said.

With a fully customizable interface, AT Internet is able to provide information that is useful in every step of the decision-making process.

By ensuring that quality data is accessible to all parties involved in decision-making, AT Internet empowers businesses, like L’Équipe, to make informed decisions in relation to marketing campaigns and traffic performance. Armed with this insight, businesses can focus on the most successful campaigns and strategies, thus increasing traffic, ROIs, and customer satisfaction.

Sean Garrity

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