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5 Traits Of A Rock Star Web Analyst

One thing is becoming very clear in today’s marketing world, the need for data has never been greater. According to Gartner, by 2017 CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs – and data gathering & analysis is a large part of that budget. Whether you are looking to get into the web analytics industry, or have been involved in the business for years, these are 5 core attributes a great analyst will have.

Insanely Curious

One of the first things a web analyst needs to do is understand the business needs, and the questions that web data needs to answer. Inherently, this involves asking questions. If someone asks for a report, do not be afraid to ask “why do you need that report?” In many cases people ask for reports because “that’s what we’ve always looked at” but it may not be answering key questions. If a company has a goal of increasing brand awareness, visits alone may not be enough and you may want to look at the new visitor count as well. If the question is never asked, it is nearly impossible to understand what data is needed. In some other cases, businesses and industries have their own internal acronyms like ROAS, AOV, CPL, and others. It’s critical that an analyst know what these things mean, and how they are used. Never underestimate the power of asking questions.

Knows How To Tell A Story

Plato is quoted as saying “Those who tell stories rule the world.” I don’t think there is a place where that quote is more applicable than in web analytics. An effective web analyst does not simply provide a report.  The tool provides reports and dashboards. A web analyst provides insights. The data that is presented needs to be well thought out and tell a story. If someone is working with a brand that is trying to pull market share away from competitors, the data needs to tell the story of how effective this is happening. An example could be how various video efforts are creating a relationship and going viral, which in turn is driving a 300% increase in return visits.

Is Visual In Nature

One of the big challenges in putting together a good analytics presentation is keeping the content interesting. Story telling is one part of the equation, but the other is presenting the data in a way that is easy to understand. Creating charts, graphs and info graphics are some of the tools leveraged by a web analyst. The analyst not only knows how to present the data, but also how to frame it in context to make the maximum impact.

Not Afraid To Dive Into The Weeds

Complex questions often times require complex solutions. Someone who analyzes data will many times be required to dive in very deep. It is not uncommon to download tens of thousands of rows of data to analyze. The need to join data sets, do V-Lookups in Excel, creating new formulas are all common place. An analyst needs to be comfortable getting very granular in their analysis.

Technically Savvy

The reality of today’s world is that you cannot be an effective web analyst without having some idea of how the data is captured. With the shift to mobile devices and apps, paired with an increased need for data to make smart decisions, data integrity is front and center. An effective web analyst can talk about how the data is captured, potential flaws in the methodologies, and brainstorm ways to join multiple data sets. One doesn’t need to be a programmer, but they need to have the technical chops to understand the moving pieces.

What else do you think makes a Web Analyst a Rock Star?

Image courtesy of PlaceIt

About Nathan Matuska

Nathan Matuska is Director of Product Development at the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and founder of Analytics Nerd. He has nearly 15 years of experience in Ecommerce Strategies, Data Analysis, and Digital Marketing. He has extensive experience in web analytics, previously working as the Manager of Client services for a web analytics start-up and has worked with other tools such as SiteCatalyst, Google Analytics and Webtrends.

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