Monday, March 8, 2010

Web Analytics Association: my take as a Director

A little more than a year ago I took the plunge and announced my desire to run for the Web Analytics Association Board of Directors and it's now time to enroll if you want to serve in a leadership capacity and help drive the strategic direction of the Web Analytics Association. I'm now halfway trough my call of duty. When I announced I was running for it, I quoted Tom Davenport and shared my views on the biggest challenge facing the digital marketing industry:
"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"
In a subsequent post, I added:
Beyond stats, web sites and businesses, there are people. After all, some things don't change that much even after thousands of years. We still want to get around the campfire and listen to the sage, help the apprentice, be part of the group and make our mark. Maybe that's why, in essence, I'm running for the Web Analytics Association Board of Director.


What a year! During the past 12 months I became a Director and the Treasurer of the WAA. I participated on numerous Board meetings, comity discussions, email exchanges. I got actively involved in the Championship, UBC tutoring, along with other volunteers we launched Web Analytics Without Borders, I got involved in the site redesign, and I'm now going on the Certification advisory comity and we just confirmed the hiring of Mike Levin as a full time Executive Director. I did a number of social networking events, spoke at eMetrics, I reviewed the social media standard proposal and I'm sure I'm forgetting a couple of things.

It requires commitment and I'm not even getting paid to do it. Am I complaining? Absolutely not! The rewards are numerous: a sense of accomplishment, a feeling of doing something that can make a difference, a passion for the field. On top of that, you get to meet with the top influencer and most brilliant people in the industry. After all, when do you get to share lunch with managers from WebTrends, Yahoo! and Omniture? When can you share tips with practitioners from Dell, Microsoft and Sony or meet consultants from all around the world?

My take

When I hear people complaining web analytics is hard, or the WAA is too US centric and not present enough internationally, or UBC courses should be updated, or the recently launched site has broken links I have to bite my tong. It's a lot easier to wait for things to happen than it is to get involved and try to make a difference. It reminds me of the people who kept complaining about their job but stayed there for 20 years... It takes faith and guts to become a leader and a change agent.

Our industry is evolving fast and some of what we do might very well become irrelevant or absorbed in other disciplines. But before getting there - I should say while we get there - you can help. The Association is what we want it to be. You can be an outsider pulling on your side or you can be an insider genuinely helping the community. You can wait for things to happen or you can make things happen.

Maybe you don't have the time and energy to become a Board Member - become a member and get involved! If you do, the WAA is seeking committed and motivated individuals to run for election to the WAA Board of Directors. You have until March 15th to submit your candidature.