Back to Business – first post of 2008

yipes, has it really been since December?

So first of all, I am alive and well. I just had to take some time off from blogistan to do real work and focus on school. I hate it when the real world has time demands, cramps my style.

So…what have I been up to?

Finished yet another semester of my MBA program, took Marketing Analytics and Business Strategy. The marketing analytics class was interesting in that I got to learn how to use SAS finally. The funny thing to me is how often companies completely miss the boat on data mining and modeling. I’ve worked at a few really large companies in my short career and no one really does a good job of utilizing the mounds of data that we capture in our digital age. Most decisions are still being done by intuition and I think its more because even with all the tools and data, it still comes down to having competent analysts. And those folks are not easy to find and worth their weight in gold. I know NC State recently started an Advanced Analytics curriculum in response to that growing demand for analysts. Too bad that isn’t embedded in the MBA program as I think it absolutely should be. I wanted to take some of the modules, but not sure I want to put my family through some more of me being gone to get educated, plus I’d have to take the GRE and get accepted as its a program outside of the school of business. Like I said, some of these modules should be in the MBA program already (like Web Analytics), but that is neither here nor there.

My son is growing up fast and often feel like I am missing some of it with being gone many nights a week, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I only have 5 more classes. 5 more classes and then I am going to have a massive party complete with clowns, donkeys, Slayer playing in my garage, and a ferris wheel. This summer I am only taking one class, Entrepreneurship. Which comes in handy cuz….

My partner in crime, Rooker, and I having been doing some homebrewing this year and the results have been pretty positive so far. After talking to folks about it, I think every guy I know secretly wants to get into homebrewing. So far we’ve made 3 delightful batches. The first was a Pale Ale that sort of tasted like Rogue Dead Guy (but slightly sweeter) which is fine by me. I dubbed that one ‘WTF Ale’ as we basically didn’t follow the recipe and had no idea what we were doing. During the fermentation process it looked like a swamp. A hoppy swamp. I couldn’t imagine drinking it at the time, but it turned out to be a fine Ale, and no one is blind.

Second batch, I dubbed ‘Black Death’ was a chocolate stout that was so dark that light was being sucked into it. Again we didn’t follow the recipe exactly but had more confidence this time. This batch was a little different in that we used real grains as opposed to a liquid extract like we did for ‘WTF Ale’. The process is similar to making tea in that we ground up a bunch of malts and threw it into a cheese cloth and ran boiling water through it. We also purchased a carboy for a second stage fermenter. We have quite the little operation now and I should blog more about it between the web analytics and school stuff.

And this past weekend we made a Liberty Ale clone based on a book I got off Amazon, Beer Captured. Fantastic resource for the homebrewer with 150 recipes of your favorite beers, included the forementioned Rogue Dead Guy. Basically that will keep me busy this summer. And…since I’ll have taken the Entrepreneurship class, if we ever get good/serious at it, I’ll know how to go out and beg for venture capital.

Professionally, I am doing too many things to keep track of but still learning new things everyday (and padding my experience on the ole resume). This year has been the year of me working with outside agencies and I’ve worked with some great folks at Google/DoubleClick, Amazon, Covario, Channel Advisor, MSN, CNET, and many others to the point that I think I sort of know a lot about web marketing now. These experiences further strengthen my resolve that web marketing and web analytics are intertwined and shouldn’t be treated as two separate disciplines. If you don’t understand web analytics, I have no idea how you are doing any web marketing. Hence what I said about the MBA program missing out earlier in my rant, its so key to doing web marketing that you’d be crazy not to immerse yourself in it.

As for web analytics…I’ll have some posts soon on as I had started some in queue before my Bob Dylan post-motorcycle accident-esque hiatus but never finished. I never wrote about the Omniture summit, campaign stacking, and the other fun filled stuff in the world of analytics.

So anyways if people are still actually reading the Diary…I’ll try to do more for your patient patronage.



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