Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Web Analyst Task: Staying Plugged

In the previous two installments of this series we covered "reporting" and "analysis". This time we'll start to look at aspects that are getting more strategic than tactical: staying plugged into the business context.

Why stay plugged?

Web analytics can't exist in a vacuum. That is, web analytics has to go beyond Web measurement and be put in the business context. Collaboration and relationships needs to be nurtured with marketing & communication, but also with sales & services groups, even R&D, human resources, finance have a stake on the Web. In a way, the web analyst needs to do some kind of a SWOT of each of the stakeholder in order to put his/her analysis in the right context and come up with recommendations that will "speak" to the business.

Detailed study results

Web analysts where asked to rate, on a scale ranging from "Strongly Disagree" to "Strongly Agree", their feeling about staying plugged into the business context:
  • 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 30 minutes on this activity.

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

Skills for staying plugged into the business context

  • Expertise in the specific field addressed by the business
  • Leadership and ability to work with a multidisciplinary team
  • Business analysis skills and ability to utilize information for actionable recommendations
  • Solid presentation and communication skills
  • Problem solving and decision making skills
The last task that will be presented is "Exploring new strategic options".