Did the role of the Web Analytics professional disappear before it really caught on?

Mark  Ryan

August 02, 2010

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As an avid member of the Web Analytics Association for the last 5 years, I’ve sat through many conversations about how important it is for web teams to have someone dedicated to web analytics. The role started as a data sage with expertise in one or more of the major web analytics platforms. The role has been a little slow to catch on with only bigger teams having dedicated web analytics members.

Today, the tools are vastly different and as a result, web analytics, while still critical, is a smaller piece of the data arsenal. The Digital Strategists looks for answers, not necessarily in the web analytics, but wherever the data is. When we discuss the necessary skill sets of the web analysts of tomorrow, we look for someone with a significant knowledge of each of the following tool types.

Data Source Example
Web Analytics Webtrends, Google Analytics, SiteCatalyst
Multivariate Testing Google SiteOptimizer
VOC, Surveys ForSee Results
Stream Analysis, Session Playbacks Tealeaf
Heatmaps Clicktail
Social Media Reporting HootSuite, Facebook Insights
Remote Usability WebEffective
CRM SalesForce
Support Systems RightNow
Search Reporting Google SA
Email Marketing Silverpop
SEO Tools Ranks.nl
Ad Networks Google
Research Firms comScore
Demand Generation Tools Eloqua
Web Indexing Tools Google Web Master Tools, Yahoo Site Explorer
Visitor Feedback / UGC Lithium
Chat BoldChat
Off Line Data Mongoose
Data Mining IBM Cognos

It’s important to remember that the best web analysts demonstrate a significant ability to analyze data and develop insight. The source of the data is almost irrelevant as long as the data and the insight are accurate and actionable.