How to Become a Decent Web Metrics Analyst – Vol.2 (The Wrath of Khan)

Since Vol.1 was so hugely popular, it has spawned Vol.2, though I contemplated calling it Volume 3, just like the Traveling Wilbury’s did with their second album. From a metrics standpoint Vol.1 was the most viewed post on the Diary, thanks in part to linkage from Churbuck. Referral links!

7 – Read other web analytics blogs. There are a slew of them with good info. My fav is Avinash Kaushik, as he is passionate and articulate about the web metrics space. He’s sort of become a cult hero with some of our analysts at Lenovo. Other good ones are the Web Analytics Forum at Yahoo Groups.

8 – Understand the intagibles in the data. Sometimes you’ll get metrics such as huge exit rates, and really not understand what its telling you, unless you know some pieces of information that aren’t part of the data. Sometimes the way your analytics solution is set up could be treating internal links as external and you’ll get huge exit rates. Always understand the data before marching down the hall and telling your boss that there is a problem with the site. It saves you from the embarassing awkward silence after someone corrects you.

9 – Take the time to read the documentation for your web analytics solution and take all online training you can get your hands on. One of my biggest frustrations is when you have a tool available for web traffic analytics and no one takes the time to really understand how to use it, instead expecting information to somehow reach their brains through osmosis. There is nothing overly complex about web analytics, this isn’t chemical engineering or anything. Just take the time and learn the tool.

10 – Segment your metrics. Sometimes looking at an aggregate view of your metrics can give you the wrong message, break it down to smaller pieces. For instance your overall conversion rate might like terrible, but once you segment into smaller subsets you might realize that a particular product line is dragging your conversions down.

Songs for a Monday:

1) Sorry about Dresden – A Brilliant Ally

2) Grant Lee Buffalo – The Shining Hour

3) AC Newman – The Cloud Prayer

4) Afghan Whigs – Debonair

5) Bloc Party – This Modern Love

6) Saves the Day – At Your Funeral

7) Twilight Singers – Real Love

2 songs in the mix today from Greg Dulli (member of Afghan Whigs and Twilight Singers). Its funny, cuz I was messing around YouTube this weekend came across a live version of the Afghan Whigs song ‘Faded’. Here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eq9Dq1I1yM4

Its a quality song from the underrated ‘Black Love’ album, but hilarity breaks out when some drunk fan gets rowdy and trys to start something. Dulli is completely cool about it, and finished up the song as if the event was scripted even adding lines to the song.

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3 responses to “How to Become a Decent Web Metrics Analyst – Vol.2 (The Wrath of Khan)

  1. Jim: This is a great list (including the part one of course). It is very practical, very real life and not the kind of “stuff” that usually masquerades around as advice.

    My favourite: “instead expecting information to somehow reach their brains through osmosis”. 🙂 I need to post this gem on my office door.

    -Avinash.
    PS: I need to get a t-shirt with something like “cult hero to three guys at Lenovo”!!
    PPS: Don’t know if I said this before but I love thinkpads, and I have tried every kind of laptop. I just got a X60s last week, it is sweet. (My wife has a X41 and my five year old daughter is using my old x30). So we love your company.
    PPS: Of your list above I like The Cloud Prayer a lot.

  2. I would add, never let the system be a blackbox. By that, I mean that the analyst must fully understand the derivation of every data set.

  3. Avinash – thanks for the comments….its much more than 3 guys at Lenovo, at least 4, maybe 5. 🙂

    Glad to hear your family is using ThinkPads (smart people always do). I’m really digging the x41 I have, and feel almost like an abassador of sorts when I bust it out at coffee shops and whatnot. I am however jealous of your new x60s. Need to get one of those. or the tablet with dual core.

    as always thanks for checking out my site.

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