Who Other Web Analysts Admire

June 25, 2006

I was having an email conversation with Joseph Carrabis, Chief Research Officer at NextStage Evolution, and we were discussing an opportunity with the WAA, which basically boiled down to, “Which web analysts do other web analysts admire, in theory?”

I really had no idea who Joseph was or what his company did, since we had just met in a virtual sort of way. And so, I was somewhat awed at the depth of his response, which is right here:

I used our technology to analyze 50 postings (selected at random from those I’ve received since I joined the message board) to the WA message board in order to determine 1) how the posters would define and recognize expertise and 2) if they would accept said expertise as necessarily greater than their own.
The answer to 1 is to have an individual with the following characteristics

  • 35-45 years old
  • has been analyzing websites for 10+ years both in and out of corporations
  • has been doing web analytics for 5-10 years, ditto and also for large and small businesses
  • has spoken/presented at major conferences
  • has “hands-on” knowledge of at least 5 different analytics platforms
  • is product neutral (no commercial affiliations)
  • is patient with ignorance

The more of these you can hit the better. There are other salient characteristics but they don’t contribute as much to the necessary persona as the above do.
The answer to 2 is yes, they would accept expertise as necessarily greater than their own provided said expertise was demonstrated by

  • knowledge of transitions in the field
  • understanding of related fields’ impact on web analytics
  • industry knowledge

Much to my chagrin, “knowledge of related research” didn’t show up. Darn.
Hope that’s helpful.

I got this analysis back in about 15 minutes. I hope Joseph will get on my blog to tell everyone about the technology and how it predicts personas. And now I am dying to read his book, Reading Virtual Minds (I don’t think it has been published yet.)

Robbin Steif