I just got back from speaking at Search Engine Strategies where I kept hearing about the challenges companies are facing with getting value from their web analytics investments. Companies spend serious money gathering and trying to analyze the data they get from the Web — and they want more out of it.
Practice Fundamentals — To become successful in any sport meas practicing the basics over and over and over again. Such is web analytics. If you want to be the Michael Jordan of your team, practice taking 1,000 foul shots, day after day. Or think “Wax on, wax off,” like The Karate Kid. Don’t worry about all the complex 360-degree spin dunks.
Invest your time and resources in getting the simple shots. Focus on mastering a few key reports to take action on, day after day 00 and score some points. The key to getting value is not in reporting data — not simply in developing insights — but in taking action.
I’ve written about the fundamentals when asked about web analysis with a single report. And please, look at our digital sales calculators, which were based on getting insights from your data using a log analyzer. They’re a good source for web analytic fundamentals. Sadly, even with all the advanced web analytic tools, most people haven’t even mastered these basics, even though Jim Novo and I published them in 2001.
Invest in Training — Any company that’s been trying to locate that superstar analyst knows how challenging they can be to recruit and retain in today’s market; there isn’t a lot of web analytic talent out there. In fact, it was the primary driving force that pushed Andrew Edwards, Jim Sterne and I to establish the Web Analytics Association. I’m very proud of the incredible work the association has been producing, especially in terms of education and standards (more news on that to come shortly). The Award of Achievement in Web Analytics course the WAA has produced for the University of British Columbia is excellent. We’re also working with another university to expand this initiative.
Sign up for a course if you can. They sell out quickly. (Sorry, but we need more instructors.)
Invest an hour a day in the fine analytics books out there. If you prefer hands-on learning, try the WAA Base Camp workshops. You can still make it to the Web Analytics Workshop in New York next week, and Washington D.C. right before the Emetrics Marketing Optimization Summit in October.
I’ll be there. Will you?