Some new features for WHYanalytics – and a word of thanks to our 270 beta partners

I’m the lead product manager for the suite of WHY products, VisualDNA’s new audience visualisation tools for publishers, advertisers, e-commerce companies and agencies.

Since launching the first beta of WHYanalytics in June, we’ve made great progress in developing the tools with more than 270 companies currently signed-up and using the product: traditional news publishers, online retailers and services businesses large and small from across the globe.

In particular the response from retailers has been fantastic.  Since we have the technology to profile any site visitor in real-time, it’s possible for us to power an automated, personalised, shopping experience through our API.

For example, if you know any given visitor to your website is in-market for a holiday, and/or is a relatively conservative spender a retailer can give prominence to products that suit that individual.  We’re a way off being able to offer this as an off-the-shelf feature in WHYanalytics but we’re running some tests with a major UK supermarket retailer to see how this could work in practice.

As this is our first analytics product, we’ve experienced a very steep learning curve and while in many aspects we were technically ready to scale the beta programme, we have struggled to meet the increasing demand on the customer support front. As a result we’re currently expanding our team in order to streamline how we consolidate feedback and feed it into the product-development process. To those of you who have been involved, a big thanks.

The feedback we have received so far has been extremely valuable and is behind some of the key changes we’ve made to the product in recent weeks;

  • Segment reaches are a useful metric for seeing what the composition of your site is. We’ve now also introduced indices – metric highlighting uniqueness of a segment for a particular site or a section compared to a base – the entire universe of VisualDNA profiles.  Moving forwards, we’re planning to expand this functionality to allow website owners to choose a base of their liking whether it is a section of their site or an entire industry sector.
  • Another key change is a new look of the Snapshot view.  The ‘widgetised’ dashboard allows us to present more data points at glance (demographics, intent and brand preferences as well as our emotive segmentation). This was a very important first step in an attempt to make the page adaptable for various screen sizes but also in preparation for making it customisable on per user basis.
  • And finally, we’ve made the signup process much smoother; after completing a simple one-step registration process you can delve right into the tool – no need to go back to your email to click on a confirmation link. Yes, we hate those as well!

We’re big advocates of single login and hence anyone who has already signed up and deployed code for WHYanalytics will be able to use the same sign in to access WHYcampaigns – a new product coming soon that will allows advertisers and agencies to see who’s interacting with their campaign from the moment an ad is shown on the network through to conversion.

Another product – WHYplanner – also coming soon, will allows agencies and planners to browse and discover VisualDNA audience segments and combine these to create a target audience in an answer to a campaign brief. Since no code is required to use this product – that won’t require a sign in at all. Follow us on twitter or this blog using Feedburner RSS or email for updates.

Finally – thanks to all our beta partners for your ongoing support and for helping us to build a better product. If you’ve not yet signed up and want to try it out simply visit It’s free.

Coverage Report: VisualDNA launches WHYanalytics

Simple to deploy and free to use, WHYanalytics tells publishers who is visiting their website: adding a layer of advanced intent & audience personality insight to standard web analytics and traditional demographics.


Why WHYAnalytics? The road to Real Time Understanding

Understanding and being understood are profoundly important. They are what make us human, and dictate how we relate to each other as people. Yet while the value of better understanding to both businesses and people is clear, genuine emotional understanding is hard to find in today’s digital world.

This isn’t an easy problem to overcome. The human operating system is, after all, profoundly complex and our behaviour can appear to be irrational and unpredictable to those who don’t know us. And while Big Data can create ‘insight’ on the what, where and when of any website’s audience by analysing its traffic, the very things that actually make people human go unnoticed. I might have bought that book, clicked that link, or shared that photo but no amount of behavioural data can tell you why I did something, predict what I’m going to do next, or tell you who I am on the inside.

So we asked a big question at VisualDNA – what if we could capture a person’s true best online casino emotional persona digitally and make that information useful and valuable for both businesses and the people they serve, and in real time? Imagine a world where any business, large and small could get a real time view of their customers – why they do they things they do. Imagine a world where Real Time Understanding was possible?

We believe we are moving closer to answering that question. Our personality quizzes can uniquely capture a person’s emotions, and people love doing them. We can use this data to understand people on an emotional level: not just making assumption from basic demographics, but using human answers to human question to build a rich picture of who someone is, and why they do the things they do. And from today, we can make some of that information available for businesses in the form of WHYAnalytics, the first of what will be a portfolio of products centred on understanding the ‘why’ of any given audience.

WHYAnalytics is a powerful tool capable of capturing a website’s audience and understanding them in real time, and it will be available to publishers for free. The proposition is simple. If Google Analytics tells you ‘what’ is visiting your site, we’ll tell you ‘why’: it’s the means to the emotional and personality characteristics of your site’s visitors in real time and why they are there.

Why not join our beta programme from today? Find out more at

The Product or the People?

This weekend we attended our fifth Silicon Milkroundabout at the Truman Brewery in East London. It caused me to reflect on just how much VisualDNA has grown in just 2 years – we’ve now successfully hired over 12 people from SMR and have grown from just 25 to a 100+ strong team!

Although the event does a stellar job of connecting bright minds with big ideas, and was timely since we’re in the middle of recruiting a few key roles, Silicon Milkroundabout is far more than an opportunity to save on recruitment costs or find your next job.

It was a great opportunity to see, first-hand, some of the exciting new technologies, products and services being born here in London’s very own Silicon Roundabout.  When I was able to get away from the queue at our stand, my highlights were running into everything from the exciting new Farm Drop – aiming to enable local communities to trade local produce online – to the intriguing ‘Heard Words’ art installation and a really useful Hailo cab-app!

The high energy and enthusiasm of the attendees was what inspired me most about the event, and given how much emphasis we place on personalities at VisualDNA, when it was our turn to give the one minute “lightening pitch” to the audience, we decided to take a more personal approach.

Instead of talking about our products, Our Chief Product Officer, Jim Purves, spoke about our culture and and how this is what makes VisualDNA an incredible place to work. Risky perhaps; since most people may have expected a pitch on how great our products are … but what can you really say in a minute?  We thought better to major on how we work.

The pitch obviously hit the mark with the audience and was later summarised beautifully by a candidate who exclaimed … ‘ I have just heard your lightening pitch, I have no idea what you do, but it sounds like an amazing company!’

Of course, we had a stand packed full of people afterward to tell our fascinating product story – the bigger point is that no matter how big or small your venture, no matter what it is you make, success is founded on teams of people pulling in the same direction – and picking the right people is too easily forgotten. For us, Silicon Milkroundabout was a great reminder of that fact.

Did you attend SMR over the weekend? What did you think?