Web Analytics Job Market
As a web content manager for seven different websites, I need web analytics to help me make decisions and propose new content to our product managers. But I have often found it difficult to understand what data I need and what it means. For all of our sites, we have extensive analytics, but what we really need is to know what in those analytics is important to us to drive our decisions. I need someone who can work with the data to help not only with understanding how content is viewed, but also helping web product managers determine enhancements and marketing for the sites they manage. In this case, what I need is a web analyst.
Web analysts are quickly becoming yet another person in the mix that companies seek after and hire to be able to really understand their businesses and help in making important decisions. This growing field can actually offer a competitive salary and great opportunities for future growth.
A quick search on Indeed.com today revealed 12 available jobs with “web analytics” in the description in the Salt Lake City area and 28 in Utah. (http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=%22web+analytics%22&l=Utah).
In a 2008 video about web analytics, Caroline Burns, manager of Indigo Book and Music said a starting salary for a web analyst was around $40,000 a year. With experience and maturity in the field, the range increases to $60-80,000 and can hit over $100,000 for senior management. (“What is Web Analytics as a Career?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jA02lVL-06Y).
A January 12, 2013 look at payscale.com listed web analytics careers with a range of $35,764-$83,062
Glassdoor.com lists the Web Analyst salary in Salt Lake City, Utah as a median salary of $69,000 (http://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/web-analyst-salary-SRCH_KO0,11.htm).
What is a Web Analyst?
On wisegeek.com, a web analyst is listed as “someone who has a thorough understanding of internet technology and the best methods and tactics for driving visitors to a website” (http://www.wisegeekedu.com/how-do-i-become-a-web-analyst.htm). A web analyst is required to understand the products/projects from beginning to end with the goal in mind. They also must “have a basic understanding of or desire to learn business strategies, be good presenters, have enthusiasm for data, be constantly looking for ways to improve things and always be willing to go the extra mile to analyze the data rather than just report it.” http://www.wisegeekedu.com/how-do-i-become-a-web-analyst.htm).
John Steven Niznik on the jobsearchtech blog says web analytics “essentially merges marketing research with information technology, to improve user experience while increasing return on investment (ROI).” (http://jobsearchtech.about.com/od/internetjobs/a/web_analytics.htm). A Web analyst then is one who has to merge those two fields to understand online activity and help companies with their presence online.
Because this is a field where there is little to no technical training in public education, colleges and universities, web analysts come from a variety of fields. Typically web analysts emerge from an undergraduate technical degree (engineering, math, commerce). A lot of the training is on-the-job with additional continuing education on the side. (“What is Web Analytics as a Career?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jA02lVL-06Y)
The SearchEngineWatch blog lists the “Top 6 Skills of a Great Web Analyst” as those skills that, if present, can help develop a web analyst. They are problem solving, technical aptitude, strong communication skills, patience, perseverance and business acumen. (http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2065210/Top-6-Skills-of-a-Great-Web-Analyst)\
What does a Web Analyst do?
This humorous video shows “A Day in the Life of a WebAnalyst”
While somewhat exaggerated, this new field of web analytics is often perceived much like this situation. In many workplaces, the upper-level management is not familiar with what kinds of data can be obtained through web analytics. They most likely have their Key Business Requirements (KBRs) defined because that is what explains their business. But often, companies have not established what their main Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are in relation to their KBRs. Just because data is available, does not mean that all of it is useful to making business decisions.
As a Springmetrics.com blog concludes, back in the dot-com bubble, the analytics mainly consisted in “eyeballs” (ie. How many people viewed the pages). This metric, although useful to know the traffic to the site, did not in any way represent revenue or new customers or increased conversion through advertising, etc. Quickly the field of web analytics emerged into determining the actual data necessary to make accurate business decisions and then analyzing how to improve a website or a marketing campaign or the public image based on that information. (http://blog.springmetrics.com/2011/11/infographic-the-evolution-of-web-analytics/)
- What is Web Analytics as a Career? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jA02lVL-06Y
- Web Analytics Career Guide http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/web-analytics-career-guide-job-strategy/
- How Should Web Analysts Spend Their Day http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/how-should-web-analysts-spend-their-day/