Avinash Kaushik of Occam’s Razor, one of the world's leading experts in web analytics and author of one of my favorite web analytics books, "Web Analytics: An Hour a Day,"wrote an article called "Web Analytics Career Advice: Play In The Real World!" that is a slap in the face of everyone working on the web today.
He specifically addresses the challenges he faces interviewing job candidates for positions as analysts, marketers, PPC specialists, and other "data jobs" as he calls them. He says it is frustrating and depressing how many are really not qualified in his sense of the word.
Usually they are “qualified”. The depression comes from this singular flaw: The candidate’s education is limited by the companies they work/worked at.
All I know is ecommerce because that is all my company does.
All I know is lead gen because that’s my world.
All I know is PPC because my job involved just Search.
All I know is B2B because that’s my company’s vertical.
These are summaries of the excuses I hear. They don’t actually use their words, but it takes 10 mins of questions for that essential summary to emerge.
These excuses are extremely corrosive and and sadly indicate how the candidates have allowed their environment to limit their full potential, stunt their professional growth.
He's right. We often let the limitations and restrictions of our company prevent us from expanding our knowledge and abilities. We also do it to ourselves. I can't tell you how many times I've presented workshops and training programs on web analytics, social media, and blogging only to hear, "There's just too much information. I only want to know what I need to know. Nothing more."
When you live inside the box, you miss the world passing you by. You miss what's going on right now, and now is important. Especially as we move into a real-time world where decisions happen in the now, not the later.
Here's his advice:
Here’s a news flash: The world around you is always changing and growing. If you don’t keep pace, you become stale. Quickly.
Here’s my recommendation: Step out, take charge of your own learning.
Why let your employer take you down? Why let them add just tactical experience to your resume? Why let their online tactics limit your growth?
In other words, get out of the box and out of your own way. It's what you don't know that will hurt you.
He talks about trying everything out there in the web analytics world. Start with the basics and expand from there. Try every web analytics program and stats monitoring package you can find. Not every web analytics program gives you everything you might need. They all provide data in a different way, and track different things, or the same things in different ways. Try them all to find out which give you the information you want and need.
We've decided to take him up on his advice. If you aren't learning about web analytics in today's world, you're missing out on learning how to make decisions that will help you not only improve your business and customer relations, but expand your world.
How Woopra is Changing Web Analytics NOW
The Woopra development team is part of the revolution in web analytics, a throng of web publishers holding picket signs that read "Real-time data is now, not the future!" and "We want control of our data. Now!"
For too long we've been stuck with the web stats that analytics and stats services tell you that you need.
What statistical information do you really need to make decisions about your website or blog? Do you need just overall numbers? Which numbers? And what information do you gain by looking at those numbers? What do they tell you? How do they help you make decisions?
It's not just about being educated on what the numbers mean. It's about learning how to get to the right numbers to make a decision.
With the release of the latest version of Woopra, we are taking the first step in giving you control over the data, changing the whole web analytics playground. We introduced analytic segmentation and custom reports, asking you what analytics information do you need to make decisions about your site, and giving you the power to customize your site's data reports. We've completely redone the Search and Filter functions, adding boolean style customization. You can add numerous queries to drill down through the stats to find the information you need.
It's your data. You control what information you need to make the decisions.
Still, Kaushik is right. We might have access to all these reports and real-time data, but what does it all mean? How do you use it?
We're going to help you expand your worldly view of web analytics.
How Woopra Will Help
We've brought you articles over the past few months to help you learn more about how web stats and analytics work, challenging your knowledge as well as your comfort zone. Now, that Woopra is officially out of beta and moving into the next phase of our development, we want to expand upon our Web Analytics articles to help you learn how this all works.
We're going to be publishing articles and interviews from experts in various industries on how they use web analytics. We're going to bring you articles to help beginners understand what all those numbers mean and how to use them. We've got commentaries from web analytics leaders and experts, and examples of how you use Woopra in the pipeline.
You are a part of those plans. We need your help.
We're looking for guest bloggers and your stories on how you use Woopra. Specifically, we're looking for examples of how you use real-time stats and analytics for your blog, website, and business. How does the data influence your decisions? What stats are most important to you and why. And what's missing? Got some tips and techniques you'd like to share?
Welcome to our new playground. Let's play!