Friday, June 29, 2007

Should a Web Analyst have development skills? - Part 1

Development skills are in themselves enough to get you a great job. But does a Web Analyst really need to be a developer as well? Personally speaking, it would be a blessing in disguise if a Web Analyst has development skills. In my opinion he will be the ‘Ideal’ Web Analyst. But it is not usually common to find those skills in a Web Analyst. I am not a developer but I do understand the basics of programming as I took some courses in college. I do believe that a Web Analyst should be able to understand the code as he is the one who might be responsible for the implementation of tracking code on the Web pages along with reporting and analysis of data. Also he is the one responsible for debugging the code in case the captured parameters aren’t being reported correctly. Having basic knowledge is HTML, JavaScript and ASP will always be a big help in enhancing the Web pages if there is an area of concern on a page. Usually if a Web Analyst is working with the Dev team, mostly the changes suggested by the Analyst will be done according to the discretion of the Dev team which will take time. However if the Web Analyst knows a little programming, he can make proper changes on the page like changing links, renaming pages, modifying the JaveScript tracking code himself to make the process much quicker.

A Web Analyst should also have a sound understanding of Databases as they are crucial for a Web Analytics tool. Knowing what is the backend query being used by a WA tool like Omniture and WebTrends to pull out a particular set of data, a Web Analyst will understand the process even more. In some cases he can himself pull out data for a custom reporting request. One trend that I noticed since the time I started working is that more and more Developers started showing their interest in learning Web Analytics. This means that they will always have an edge over Web Analysts who only do reporting, analysis and don’t have a technical background. The Web Analyst/Developer might steal the show by showing their dedication and technical skills over a normal Web Analyst.

I do have a prediction for the Web Analyst job profiles in the future. Companies seeking Web Analysts will sooner or later be looking for people who have a background in Web Development or any other Development experience. The reason why I say this is because a Web Analyst’s job will be seen as very limited with a static role. Companies would want people who can minimize their expenses on the development team as the Web Analyst they would seek will have an entry level understanding of programming languages like JavaScript, VBScript and to some extent even AJAX. I hope I have expressed my point here that Dev skills will be a key in creating the ‘Ideal’ Web Analyst.

Hopefully you like this post and feel free to comment on this article with your opinions.

5 comments:

Ayush said...

Hello,
I am a web analyst with 0 programming knowledge.
You dont need any programming knowledge for this profile.
You need to have the aptitude of analysing the statistics.
The majr role is to extract intelligence from the statistics to provide significant base for decision making.
Also you need to have the right reporting method of presenting the statistics.
You can have a web analytics tool custom developed or use available tools on the web.
I have been using GoStats.com for quite some time and completely happy with them.
They are professional and have an intensive reporting system.

Rohan Kapoor said...

I agree with you completely on the reporting and statistics point as it's the main profile for a Web Analyst. But I'm talking in terms of the experience I've had at both the companies I've worked for. I myself am not a developer but having knowledge of programming has certainly helped me in my work. I appreciate your comment.

/\//\\///\/ said...

Hi,
As Rohan mentioned, having programing knowledge will give a cutting edge.

I myself am a web master, and I have control of the whole analytics code.

I can add features to web analytics if my domain demands any.

Thanks,
Naveen.KK

rohan said...

Agreed! It is always good to have programing skills in an analysts job

Web development said...

fabulous Posting
There is an upsurge in the market of customized web development.