Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Web Analyst Task: Analysis

Last week we reviewed the first task of the web analyst job: reporting. This week we will take a look at the "analysis" aspect.

What is Analysis?

While reporting focused on extracting the data and making it usable, acquisition analysis is much harder and requires a different set of skills. The challenge is to make sense out of the various metrics, put them in context, build a meaningful "story" and convey the message to people who will be able to take action based on your analysis and insights.

Detailed study results

Below are the detailed results from my study of the web analyst role. Acquisition analysis (first sparkline) focus primarily on the strategies that brings traffic to the site. Another aspect of analysis (second sparkine) looks at the user's onsite experience trough analysis of ClickStream and qualitative data. Web analysts where asked to rate, on a scale ranging from "Strongly Disagree" to "Strongly Agree", their feeling about Analysis is:
  • I really concentrated on this, spending some real quality time on it.
  • This was on my mind, but at a subconscious level; didn't really have to concentrate on it.
  • I'm excited by it; it is something that makes me happy.
  • I did not feel like I could avoid this; it was necessary or imperative.
  • I chose to focus on this; it was voluntary.
  • I might have suffered negative consequences if I didn't pay attention to this; it was not necessarily positive.
If a typical working day was 8 hours, a web analyst would spend about 3 hours doing Analysis.

Note: Sample size of 34 web analysts surveyed from April 26th trough June 6th 2007.

Skills for analysis

  • Experience with data mining tools such as SPSS or SAS
  • Background in statistics, marketing, web production or a related field
  • Ability to cultivate metrics and identify meaningful trends
  • Strong organizational, verbal and written communication and presentation skills
  • Working knowledge of website standards
The next task that will be presented is "Connecting" (staying plugged into the corporate context).