Tuesday, October 2, 2007

FAQ: Web Analytics Yahoo! Group - October 2007

I'm giving a shot at building/maintaining an FAQ for the Web Analytics forum. Let me know what you think and if it's worth doing it. New questions will be added and each answer will be refined to give exactly what is needed.

tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/webanalytics: FAQ
Last-modified: 2007-10-02
Author: immeria.net (St├ęphane Hamel)
Available online at: http://blog.immeria.net/search/label/FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions == FAQ

1. Disclaimer
2. Why this FAQ?
3. Can you answer my web analytics question?
4. How can I add a FAQ and its answer to the FAQ list?
5. What are the forum best practices?
10. What is web analytics?
11. How do I break in the web analytics field?
12. What's the point with cookie acceptance/deletion?
13. Why are Unique visitors/visits/sessions/any metrics not accurate?
14. How can I select the "best" vendor?
15. I want to do XYZ with product ABC. I need help!
99. Credits

1. Disclaimer

Read at your own risk. I make no claim as to fitness for any purpose or absence of any errors, and offer no warranty. May contain traces of nuts.

2. Why this FAQ?

It could be hosted on the WAA site or on a wiki, but chances are those who are new to the forum (thus, more likely to ask a question that has been answered numerous times) don't know where to look for an answer. Posting this FAQ directly to the forum has proven to be one of the most effective way to address Frequently Asked Questions for nearly 15 years in thousands of online forums.

3. Can you answer my web analytics question?

Maybe. But you are better off reading this FAQ and the materials pointed to by it, and if you can't find an answer there, by all means post to the forum.

A FAQ list is intended to reduce traffic on a newsgroup, not eliminate it.

4. How can I add a FAQ and its answer to the FAQ list?

I'm following the threads on the forum and trying to spot what appears to be a FAQ. But you can mail BOTH the Question AND the Answer to me. Then I can add them to the FAQ and it should help people who have that same question later, as well as everyone who reads the group, because they won't see it asked and answered so often.

I do not work on this FAQ every day, but I will try to get updates incorporated in a timely manner.

5. What are the forum best practices?

WAA member-volunteers are doing an outstanding job at moderating the forum and making sure it doesn't get out of control. It's recommended to prefix your subject with a meaningful tag to ease perusing the high volume of posts. Some sugestions are:
  • [Job] - For all job announcements
  • [ProductX] - For a question specific to a product
  • [WaW] - Web Analytics Wednesday
  • [WAA] - Web Analytics Association announcements, giveaways, events, etc.
  • send me your sugestions

10. What is web analytics?

First question first! An official definition from the Web Analytics Association web site: "Web Analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for the purposes of understanding and optimizing Web usage." See also the definition of "web analytics" on Wikipedia.

11. How do I break in the Web Analytics field?

See the conversation thread.
  • Recommended books by Avinash Kaushik, Jim Sterne, Bryan Eisenberg.
  • Give it a try on your own website or volunteer to do Web Analytics for a nonprofit organization
  • Try your chance at jobs that seems to be a bit higher than your experience
  • Read the forum and top blogs
  • Attend Web Analytics Wednesdays, eMetrics, XChange, Basecamp events
  • Get educated: UBC Award of Achievement in Web Analytics

12. What's the point with cookie acceptance/deletion?

See the thread about comScore study.

13. Why are Unique visitors/visits/sessions/any metrics not accurate?

See "Doubts about Unique Visitors"

14. How can I select the "best" vendor?

See "Why do web analysts switch packages?" initiated by Robbin Steiff

15. I want to do XYZ with product ABC. I need help!

  1. Read the documentation that comes with your product (in the old days, we said RTFM...)
  2. Search the forum for the product name ABC
  3. Search the forum for all variations of XYZ
  4. See if your vendor offers their own forums/knowlege base
  5. Contact your vendor's support services
  6. Post to the forum

99. Credits

Most of the content of this FAQ was edited from posts found on the Web Analytics Yahoo! Group. When text is taken "verbatim" credits are indicated, if the answer is edited from several posts, there is no specific credit.
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