Analysts, and executives, and monkeys! Oh, my! (Part 2)

By | 2015-02-20

Originally written 3 years ago…. prepare to be potentially underwhelmed – only time references have been updated.

For those of you that don’t check my blog every day in hopes of part 2 being published here is Part 1.


In my last post a couple months years ago I detailed my hate filled presentation at Accelerate 2011 in SF. The presentation wasn’t about the shock factor but rather how I think we, as an industry, are destined to fail or be relegated to the bottom rung of the corporate ladder if we continue to only be “web analysts”.

Since the last post some great news was announced, and what I consider to be the first step in the right direction, the Web Analytics Association (WAA) has rebranded as the Digital Analytics Association (DAA). As a former committee co-chair in the WAA, and a longtime member, this was a change that should have happened years ago but the members were not ready for it.

That brings me to my key point.

We are not done yet.

In speaking to a number of people since the WAA became the DAA, nothing more than changing their job description on LinkedIn and starting to describe themselves to friends and family members as a “Digital Analyst”, many people haven’t changed what they are doing. Even worse, people haven’t even approached their manager about what the change means regarding their career. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t expect the day after the announcement that people would barge into their boss’s office and demand a raise along with a new lofty title, but there should be an honest discussion about the direction the company is going and how they, as a contributor, can play a broader role in the business’s analytics efforts – beyond just web.

If you are presenting the results of your analysis and you are only speaking about the most effective campaigns/landing page conversion, paid keywords ROI, content downloads, and the number of people/% that made it through funnel X, Y, or Z, then you are wasting time. Yes, that is a blanket statement. Yes, there are lots of people that only do that. Yes, they should all reconsider their career goals.

The disappointing part, aside from the lack of discussion between you and your management, is that companies have been doing multichannel analytics for years but keeping the groups that support the multi-channel effort separated from other groups in the organization that are doing analytics. This isn’t an excuse for you to suck it up and blame it on ‘the man’. This is a sign to get up off your duff and prove your worth. You have all these teams and limited daily interaction (either with people or data) – the web team, the CRM team, the transaction analysis team, the inventory team, and potentially the most influential of them all – The A Team (original cast). For many companies the net result of each team’s effort is a dashboard that ends up in the lap (inbox) of management or perhaps a once a quarter presentation. The “Inbox Dashboard Report”, the most unholy disconnect between insight and action since.. since… I don’t know – something bad that disconnects insight and action. Once the report is handed off it then becomes the problem for someone. The responsibility of the recipient is to try to put all this together and come to an assumption relying on their experience and best guess. Bad news – your experience and best guess should have told you already that someone else distilling and trying to take action on your distilled report/dashboard will end up sucking.

If you are unsure how to take your company to the next level, or perhaps you’ve been around for a while and have ‘become one’ with your current approach, you may want to consider taking some time and signup to be a student or mentor with Analysis Exchange or something similar. This will not only increase your karma points but also help you understand what other companies are doing, hopefully spurring a couple new ideas for your company. Best of all – it is free.


Ultimately you cannot wait for your company to push you to do the right thing, unless you want to be pulled into something you don’t want to do. Now is your chance to be the hero for yourself, your team, your manager, and the company – if you are willing to expand your scope of work and integrate your efforts to align with the bigger picture of the company.

One thought on “Analysts, and executives, and monkeys! Oh, my! (Part 2)

  1. Pingback: Analysts, and executives, and monkeys! Oh, my! (Part 1)

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