Web Analytics For Beginners - MIA

January 19, 2007
By Robbin Steif

This week, Eric Peterson wrote a post about web analytics for beginners. As usual, he had lots of great advice, but I have to disagree with the “blog part” of his post. His advice was…

“Read some of the web analytics weblogs to keep up on current happenings. I personally like mine (go figure), but I also highly recommend Avinash Kaushik and Gary Angel.”

Every thing else he wrote made sense. (Take the WAA’s Web Analytics Course. Read the Web Analytics Forum. Buy and read Eric’s book, Web Analytics DeMystified.) But if you are in marketing, are suddenly in charge of analytics (Eric’s scenario) and are still working to understand the difference between visits and unique visitors, or log files vs. page tagging — do you really want to read Eric’s blog? On Eric’s blog, you get to learn advanced web analytics, like creating a metric for visitor engagement. In the same vein, do you really want to read Gary Angel’s blog? On Gary’s blog, you get to learn advanced web analytics, like worst practices in Business Intelligence. (Gary, I am sure I mangled that completely. Sorry.) They are both excellent resources but they sure aren’t the place you start when you need to know what a KPI is.

Avinash definitely has some great newbie stuff on his blog. Like his 10/90 rule post. Or his Tips for Small Business Web Analytics success. (And I really wanted to show one of his very first articles on visitor segmentation, but I can’t find it.)

Does anyone else do newbie stuff? I went through my feed reader looking for who else I could recommend. If the beginner is beginning with Google Analytics, Justin Cutroni is an awesome place to start — but not everyone uses GA. David Rhee, a web analyst at Gateway Computer, wrote a short piece for new analysts that really rocks (so get it on your list, but it’s not a full tutorial.)

Wouldn’t it be great if someone who loved analytics and understood them read all the blogs (there aren’t really all that many) and then posted a link and a snippet to every beginner post?

One last thing. There is another important beginner resource, the Web Analytics Association Training Day. It is really designed with new analysts in mind. (I am pretty sure of that.) It will be May 6 in San Francisco, the day before the Emetrics Summit, and I see that you can already sign up for that event (by itself or in addition to the Summit) on the Emetrics summit registration page.

Robbin Steif
LunaMetrics