A question I get with some frequency these days …
As I have been doing more and more lately to help folks find and fill web analytics positions it seems like more emails like the following come in:
“I have just been promoted into a Marketing position and one of my primary responsibilities is web analytics. I do not have any formal education or experience with web analytics and I am expected to educate myself by any means necessary. After doing some research online, the first thing that I did was order your book, Analytics Demystified. I also picked up a copy of Waiting for Your Cat to Bark by Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg.What kind of advice would you offer to help me outline a practical education process? I know reading, as much as I can, will be expected and I have already begun the process. What about web marketing conferences? What about online courses like UBC Award of Achievement in Web Analytics? Would my company receive a greater ROI by having me take online classes or sending me to conferences? My gut tells me, to buy more books and take online classes, before I start worrying about going to conferences.”
The advice I would offer to anyone in this position is to do the following:
- Read the rest of my books, especially Web Site Measurement Hacks and The Big Book of Key Performance Indicators. The former is an excellent overview covering the breadth of things that web analytics professionals are tasked with doing and the latter is a deep-dive into the use of KPIs to help drive awareness of web data throughout the organization.
- Take the UBC Web Analytics Award of Achievement classes, offered via the Web Analytics Association. All of the feedback I hear from people who have taken the classes is excellent. The folks they have teaching the courses are world-class and the content that I’ve seen is both fresh and well-written.
- Join the Web Analytics Forum at Yahoo! Groups. While the conversation has a tendency to drift away towards the banal at times, the group is still the single largest and most active web analytics conversation on the planet.
- Read some of the web analytics weblogs to keep up on current happenings. I personally like mine (go figure), but I also highly recommend Avinash Kaushik and Gary Angel.
- By all means, go to the Emetrics Summit. Jim Sterne’s event is the single best place to meet the brightest minds, hear the best presentations, and meet the nicest people in the entire industry. There are upcoming events in London (March), Germany (April) and San Francisco (May).
- Ask your vendor what classes, documentation, presentations, etc. they have that might help you better learn how the technology is best used to create value. You’d be surprised at how much helpful information the vendors have when you ask.
If you think I’m forgetting anything I’d love to hear your comments.