Megan Burns at Forrester makes the case for dedicated analytics staffers
I just received a complimentary copy of Megan Burns new report titled “The Business Case For Web Analysts: Dedicated Staff Turns Up The Volume On Productivity” and I was very impressed with the report. While I started talking loudly about the need to hire dedicated web analytics staff to fully benefit from any technology investment back in October 2004, Megan, Harley Manning, Jon Erickson and Caroline Carney went so far as to do the math and calculate the potential return on investment for this HR investment.
From the executive summary:
Companies need a way to see what customers do on their Web sites and how those activities contribute to business performance. Because Web analytics is the only practical way to do that, most managers aren’t asked to justify their initial investment in commercial Web analytics tools. But when they want increased funding — most often to bring on dedicated analysts who can make the most of the tools and data — they have a hard time making the case. To help companies decide whether or not to invest in full-time Web analytics experts, we developed a model of the economic impact that these people have on an organization. Our research shows that hiring full-time Web analytics staff brings in enough incremental value to cover the extra costs several times over.
(Boldface is my emphasis.) I’m on Megan’s DMA panel in Scottsdale so I won’t say anything else about the report for fear that she’ll ask me questions I don’t want to answer like “Who is Fred McMurry?” or “Seriously, you quit being an analyst. Are you nuts?” Still, despite being $349 (buy it from Alacrastore.com) for 12 pages of research, if you’re debating making this critical hire and struggling to convince the powers that be it would be money well spent, this report is $349 well spent.