Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Running for the WAA Board of Director

My name:Stéphane Hamel
My job title:Web Analytics Advocate!
Company:Immeria Consulting Services Inc.
Sector of activity:Consulting/Academia
Complete profile:http://linkedin.com/in/shamel

General background/bio

"Stéphane is a leading voice for web analytics, helping businesses and agencies understands the value of online optimization. He has been on both sides of the fence, client and agency, from small projects to complete ecosystem overhauls. Speaker at eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit and other conferences, tutor for the award-winning UBC Award of Achievement in Web Analytics and Business Process Analysis classes, creator of the popular Web Analytics Solution Profiler (WASP) and blogger at immeria.net. Stéphane is an active member of the Web Analytics Association since 2005, coordinating regular web analytics networking and educational events in Québec, Canada."

You should vote for me because...

When I graduated from college over 20 years ago I was quickly introduced to the Unix and Internet culture of collaboration and sharing. SMTP and IRC gave way to HTTP - I mean - email and chat were baby steps toward what the Internet is today. My technical expertise eventually reached a point where I wanted to optimize more than bits & bites and I started to push for processes and business optimization.

From the early days of the Web, witness of the Bubble, Web 2.0 and the evolution from logs to tags, from IT to marketing and beyond, all of those contributed to my passion for analytics. My IT roots evolved into an exceptional skill for analysis and synthesis of complex issues. The Internet culture still fuel my desire to share and collaborate. While I hated speaking in front of the class in high school I now deeply enjoy speaking at conferences. Poor grades in high school turned into good ones in college and exceptional ones in my eBusiness MBA.
Experience, passion, innovation, vision, sharing & collaboration: that’s what I’m humbly offering to you and the Web Analytics Association.

Major contributions I will bring to Web Analytics Association and its membership

I’m focused on three areas of activities: consulting, education and research. I’m striving to help businesses and agencies understand the value of analytics by coaching them to climb the web analytics maturity ladder, by tutoring 3 of the 4 UBC Award of Achievement in Web Analytics classes and Introduction to Business Process Analysis, by being the organizer of Web Analytics Wednesdays in Montréal, speaking at eMetrics events and other conferences and by sharing my voice on my blog.
Research takes the form of various initiatives to foster communication among Web Analytics Association members; contributions includes the WAA search engine and the popular Web Analytics Solution Profiler (WASP), tackling the challenge of quality assurance of web analytics implementations. My interests lies in education & research: formalizing the science of web analytics and seeking ways to make it easier and better.

The years ahead will certainly be as interesting as the recent ones. Teaching a full semester on web analytics at Laval University (Québec city), exploring new management concepts and envisioning new tools to make web analytics easier are some of my goals. Collaboration and communication will remain at the center of those initiatives.

Where the Web Analytics Association should be in the next two years?

History repeats itself. The nascent web evolved into a marketing function and is now integrated within most aspects of the business. Web analytics also grew out of IT system logs to become a powerful tool for marketing optimization. We are now clearly at the crossroad of online business optimization and competing on analytics.

I think the WAA can do even more in the areas of education, standards and best practices. Issues of privacy are not going away, the competitive playing field is quickly evolving and there is still room for innovation. The current economic downturn is shacking the foundation. In a troubled economy, winners and losers are set apart by their capabilities to be bring original solutions, to deliver and act quickly based on factual information rather than succumb to panic and improvisation. The WAA is clearly on the winning side.

What is the biggest challenge facing the digital marketing industry?

We’ve certainly come a long way over the past couple of years. But now we need to move beyond marketing optimization to embrace business optimization. As Thomas Davenport puts it in his great book “Competing on Analytics”:
"three things are at the basis for competition: efficient and effective execution, smart decision making, and the ability to wring every last drop of value from business processes - all of which can be gained through sophisticated use of analytics"
This is where I think we’re headed.

If you are a member of the WAA, I hope you'll support my nomination. If you are not a member yet and you are involved in web analytics, what are you waiting for?

Sincerely yours,
Stéphane Hamel