Thursday, April 26, 2007

Study: Mapping Attention of Web Analysts

Those of you who have been following my recent posts knows about the "attention economy" and that I want to apply those concepts in web analytics. What better way to show how valuable it is than a real world demonstration!

Take the 10 minutes web analyst survey!

Primary objective

Quantify how web analysts spend their time on various tasks, and more importantly, what type of cognitive process they engage in while doing those activities.

Secondary objectives

  • Demonstrate time ≠ attention
  • Help web analysts understand their own job characteristics and explain it to their managers and fellow workers
  • Demonstrate the potential application of "attention" metrics as a qualitative element of a user experience on the Web (in a future study)


  • Typical web analyst tasks, as defined by Avinash Kaushik in "How Should Web Analysts Spend Their Day?", are used as a basis, assuming those tasks are representative:
    • Reporting
    • Analyze acquisition strategies
    • Understanding on-site user experience
    • Stay plugged into the context
    • Explore new strategic options
    • Other activities

  • The AttentionMap questionnaire and methodology from The Attention Company is used to quantify the various types of attention being given to each task:
    • Overall amount of attention and how it is divided between different areas
    • Aversive or attractive
    • Front of mind or back of mind
    • Captive or voluntary task

  • A Zoomerang survey is used to collect responses from participants.
  • The target audience for the survey is initially the The Web Analytics Forum on Yahoo! Group and might be re-linked from other blogs.
  • Survey sample: the exact population size is unknown, but this study aims to collect at least 278 responses before June 1st. This would represent a confidence level of 95% with an error margin of 5% for a population size of 1,000.
  • Anonymously collected survey data will be analyzed and filled in the AttentionMap.

Results availability

AttentionMap results will be published on this blog, along with a detailed analysis. Collected survey data will be available upon request.


I have no financial interests in this study. I am not professionally affiliated with any of the afore mentioned companies or individuals.