We love conference season. This year, the Federation of Enterprises in Brussels, Belgium will be hosting OX2's Web Analytics Day, which takes place next Friday the 14th of September. The big news is that Ian Thomas, the gent responsible for the Microsoft Gatineau project, will be doing the first public demo of the beta version. What's Gatineau, you ask? Why, its Redmond's stab in Google Analytics' back. If you’re not familiar, project Gatineau -- a temporary "code name" -- is the coming complimentary Web Analytics tool from our friends at Microsoft. It's a direct competitor of the (also free) Google Analytics product, but so far, claims to focus on an area that Google does not cover. People who have seen Gatineau say it goes beyond current Web analytics products and is able to tie in demographic data. Yeah. Are you scared yet? While Google asserts its fidelity to the infamous "Don't be evil" tagline, it seems others may be willing to cross it more publicly. Details forthcoming on how this magic occurs, but from what we understand, demographic data is tied in via visitors' Microsoft Live ID (formerly known as Microsoft Passport) profiles. Redmond has apparently also stressed that the MS Live data is associated anonymously, and that there is no use of personally identifiable information. Right-o! Are we the only ones who find it ironic that the first public demo is being conducted in Brussels, home of the very privacy-concerned European Commission on Data Protection? Beyond the Gatineau demo, Eric Peterson and Web Analytics Team Leader Aurélie Pols will be exploring the perhaps more universally palatable topics, including: * Introduction to Web Analytics * Setting up a Web Analytics Project * Web Analytics Key Performance Indicators * Web Analytics and Social Networks * Web Analytics and Web 2.0 Importantly, during the day's workshops and talks you'll learn how to milk some ROI out of the analytics tools that are already out there. And these days there are a ton. The range spans from video-based analytics, to traditional click-based trackers, to sophisticated (and free!) visualization tools, and more. Read more or register at the OX2 Web Analytics Day website. Do note that the event is free for practitioners. And though we're not sure what a practitioner is exactly, we get the feeling that you, dear reader, are one. In preparation, you might also read the Web Analytics Association's series of updated Web analytics definitions, which can get you savvy on the lingo before hopping over to Brussels. Finally, thirsty ones can sign up for the Gatineau beta or read more news about Web analytics.