What makes a good web analyst?

A great web analyst can move the revenue needle.

I have seen a couple of posts about this subject (post 1, post 2) but most of them focus on the traits or actions a web analyst should have and take. They are mostly written from an outside in perspective. My aim with this post is to write the inside perspective, with that I mean how I as a web analyst think in my daily work. After reading this post you should be able to get into my shoes and view the world as I do.

It has been about four months since I changed company. I absolutely love my job and my new company. Since the online department is more or less brand new, we have several challenges in front of us.

If you have followed me you will know that I think a web analyst is in the absolute core of a company, at the very heart, since you can guide people to make great decisions. Being in this great position you need to make most of it. Therefore I think a lot of how I can help my company to excel to the next level. Putting my web analytics and conversion hat, glasses and gloves on you should think like this:

  • I should be on top of all web numbers. It is important for me to understand my site and the cycles that drive the business. I spend a bit of time looking a different numbers and contemplating about them from different angles. I should also control all measurement and expand it accordingly.
  • I should know the behavior of our users on the site. I think this is one of the most important points to be able to take your knowledge to the next level. I refuse to do reporting. Reporting is for dashboards and automatic reports; I should only do insights and recommendations. That is when my full potential is being used.
  • I should know what most of our users get triggered on when making a purchase. This user insight is worth its weight in gold and can only be found if you combine many different factors.
  • I should support key players in our organization to make better decisions. This might be through emails, reports with analysis, discussions, workshops etc. I think that as an individual I cannot succeed if my fellow colleagues cannot succeed.
  • I should guide marketing efforts towards the most valuable solutions. I deep dive into marketing actions to try to understand each component of that action. For example if it is email, I need to understand what the optimal form factor is, the optimal expressions etc. Each channel has its own mysteries that I should understand.
  • I should advise in all web page design creations, to get the conversion perspective in there. Every web page you create should have an aim and it should work with the rest of the site. Therefore you need to understand the various aims of each section of your site.
  • I should challenge key persons within the organization to push for new boundaries. With knowledge found in numbers one of my most important tasks is to push to explore new boundaries.
  • I should challenge partners we work with to be on top of their game. Measuring correctly gives me the power to know exactly how our partners perform.
  • I should own the conversion field. I know how we could use the web to drive more business. I use many different tools but the most powerful is AB testing. With that I can elevate the online business towards new highs.

These are the key points in my view of web analytics and conversion. My current aim is that our department should be one of the sharpest online departments in Sweden so view the list from that perspective. Every company has its own challenges and as web analyst you have to adapt to your environment. Although I think most of the points above are universal, but what will make you a good web analyst is if you in the end can move the revenue needle no matter which method you use.