Monday, July 30, 2007

Web Analyst Task: Exploring strategies

This is the last installment on Web Analyst Tasks, after "reporting", "analysis" and "staying plugged", it's now time to look at what is probably the most challenging activity: exploring new strategies.

Which strategies?

You've looked at the numbers (reporting), you've put them into context and were able to build a good story around them (analysis) in order to educate, communicate and recommend appropriately to your colleagues and managers (staying plugged), now is time to put all of this knowledge into action and find out which solution would lead to the best results in your specific context. Experimenting often requires to let go preconceived ideas and be really open to new and different ways to move forward. Testing is obviously a key element here, but shouldn't be constraining. Looking at competitive intelligence, going beyond Web and into multi channel integration, doing usability labs and focus groups, surveys, are common ways of looking at new ways of doing things. But don't forget about readings about your business market, about the Web and about analytics. Look for other ways to increase your knowledge and widen your sources of inspirations: formal training trough the UBC Award of Achievement in Web Analytics, conferences such as the eMetrics Summit, workshops with the WAA BaseCamps, or local networking at Web Analytics Wednesdays events.

Detailed study results

Web analysts where asked to rate, on a scale ranging from "Strongly Disagree" to "Strongly Agree", their feeling about exploring new opportunities:
  • 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 1 hour and 45 minutes on this activity.

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

Skills for exploring new strategies

  • Familiarity and comfort with Internet marketing principles and best practices
  • Exposure to Web information design, architecture and user-centered design
  • Turning data into knowledge, and into actionable plans
  • Think strategically, tying together customer needs, organizational constraints, Web and application design, and data analysis.
  • Leadership and ability to work with a multidisciplinary team
  • Problem solving and decision making skills
So this concludes my analysis of the web analyst tasks. You are invited to comment and share your opinion about this evaluation. It's based on quantitative data and analysis of job offerings, is it out of track? Can you relate to it and did it help you evaluate what are your strengths and weaknesses in your job?