Web Analytics Careers: 4 Great Blog Resources

Career chat has always interested me.  When I was a new college grad I spent a fair amount of time in my alma mater’s career services office, getting advice as I prepared to make a start for myself.  I’m glad I did it.  The career counselors liked me enough to use my resume as an example for other new grads, and I managed to land an internship at a multimedia CD-ROM publishing company (which, back in 1995, was so totally cutting edge).

After more than a decade out in the workforce I feel like I’ve learned a great deal about my strengths, preferences and motivations when it comes to my career.  But I also know that career planning didn’t end when I left my college campus – it’s something I must always keep in the back of my mind.  I like hearing about how my peers are handling their own career choices, and I think it’s a productive thing for us to talk about with each other.

So I’m planning to write about career-related topics, now and then, in this blog.  Before I get started I’d like to acknowledge 4 fellow bloggers who’ve already written some great web analytics career-related material:

  1. Alex L. Cohen
    I appreciate Alex’s enthusiasm – right now he’s doing an interactive marketing tip-a-day for the entire month of November [really, Alex, even on Thanksgiving?].  Occasionally he writes about career-related issues, including this piece on how to write a good web analytics resume.
  2. Stephane Hamel
    As Stephane was contemplating his own impending career move he wrote this very compelling post on the importance of doing regular career self-evaluations.  I liked it so much I wound up using it in my presentation on career management at eMetrics.  Neither Stephane nor I can fly a kite too well, but luckily that’s not a requirement for our line of work.
  3. Avinash Kaushik
    Oh, what’s not to love.  I wouldn’t say Avinash has written about careers, though, so much as he’s written about the flip side of the coin – hiring.  I thought this post about whether to hire fresh blood or old hands was especially good, and you can see from the comments that many of his readers turned it around and talked about the issue from the job candidate’s perspective.
  4. Anil Batra
    Anil has compiled a whole collection of interviews with web analysts; as of this writing he’s accumulated 32 career-related posts.  I’ve really enjoyed reading the interviews – just to get a sense of who “we” are – but I think they could be equally valuable to someone who’s contemplating an entry into web analytics.

Read what these fine gentlemen have to say, and read my blog, too.  I think there’s still more we can and should talk about when it comes to careers in web analytics, and I aim to be a part of that conversation.

Originally posted at: http://june.typepad.com/june/2007/11/web-analytics-c.html

Top 10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started in Web Analytics

I remember what it was like to walk through the door at my brand new job, my very first job as a web analyst, wondering what I’d gotten myself into. In retrospect, what did I wind up learning the hard way? What would been helpful to know up front? What should I have been prepared to expect? With that in mind, here are 10 things I wish I knew when I started in web analytics:

  1. You will sit between the techies and the marketers. Figuratively, and maybe literally. Make friends on both sides of the fence.
  2. You will learn all about your business. Not just the stats part. Not just the web part. The work you do in web analytics will only make sense once you’ve put it in the general context of your business.
  3. Ahem, what is this thing you call a “Visit”? Know your standard web metric definitions by heart, and be able to recite them concisely for people who ask. They will ask.
  4. Dirty, dirty, dirty. Numbers won’t match, they won’t add up, they won’t make sense, sometimes they won’t even exist. Know how much dirt you’re willing to live with, then accept it and move on.
  5. You will learn to love the query string. You will come to see it as a beautiful haiku. You will know it backwards and forwards. You will repeatedly explain its usage to people who need to append campaign codes to URLs.
  6. CSV stands for “comma-separated value” … it’s a file format, every data analyst’s friend, and – inexplicably – it doesn’t even have to be comma-separated. Huh.
  7. Operators are standing by. Know the support hotline number for your commercial web analytics vendor of choice, and don’t be afraid to call. If you have one sticky note on your monitor it should be that number. Actually two sticky notes. The other one should say, “Patience is a Virtue.”
  8. Don’t fall into the “report monkey” trap. Manually-repetitious activities are not a good use of your time, so automate wherever possible. Strive to spend your cycles doing thinking fellers work, and leave robot work to the robots.
  9. You are not alone. Right now there are other web analysts sitting at their own desks, somewhere between the techies and the marketers, and they’re facing exactly the same issues that you are. You will meet them at Web Analytics Wednesday.
  10. Think long-term. From the very beginning, think about where you want your career to go and make every effort to develop in that direction. Your entry-level position in web analytics can/should/will lead to other things, so know what you’re targeting and go for it.

Originally Posted at: http://june.typepad.com/june/2010/03/index.html


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