Saturday, January 26, 2013

What is Web Analytics; Learning Resources

Meta Description: What is Web Analytics.  Is the question you want answered.  This post details a couple useful resources that can be used to help expand your understanding into What is Web Analytics.

What is Web Analytics; Learning Resources
By Daniel Herzog

What is Web analytics and where can I learn more.  If you are like me you have heard about web analytics but have no idea what it means.  Until a couple weeks ago I didn’t realize what web analytics really includes.  This post will go over a couple good learning resources and provide you starting point into your education.
           The kick off point is to start with the full description of Web Analytics at Wikipedia.  Wikipedia provides a simplistic description of what web analytics encompasses.  This should get you rolling off the starting blocks. 
In the infamous words of Mr. Donald Rumsfeld United States Secretary of Defense, “There are known knowns; there are things we know we know.  We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know.  But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”  Start creating a list of all the things you know such as type of data and what metrics you think are important. Next step is to figure out the unknowns that you know about.  I found a quick visit to Google Analytics homepage is a great source of information[i].  The lists of features and descriptions of different tools helps you quickly figure out additional data points and metrics that you may not have known.  Weather you use Google Analytics or not this provides an initial menu of information.  The real trick will be to go from Clickstream Data to a point where you expand your knowledge beyond.  To obtain better actionable insight from web analytics consider the levels of the updated paradigm of Web Analytics 2.0[ii]. Clickstream, Multiple Outcomes Analysis Experimentation and Testing, Voice of Customer and Competitive Intelligence.  Each of these items will help you dig deeper into the unknown.  You might try Googleing these topics and find additional information and ideas. 
            Finally, consider the unknown unknowns.  I have found the site Beyond Web Analytics[iii] to be very informative.  They have a long list of Pod Casts that pull together experts with profound knowledge and expertise.  They discuss the cutting edge of the field and insightful ways to go beyond the standard data and look deeper into what web analytics can do. 
            I hope this post helps you figure out some of the details of what is Web Analytics and some resources where you can find additional information and education. So that when you are asked “what is web analytics” you will be able to respond.  

[ii] “Web Analytics 2.0” by Avinash Kaushik page 6 Figure 1.2