Sunday, April 26, 2009

Should a Web Analyst have development skills? - Part 2

I wrote an article in 2007 about Web Analysts having development skills and my conclusion was that it would be an add-on to have basic skills. I got a comment from a user who thought that only having analytics skills are suffice and I somewhat still agree with him. I have seen a lot of Web Analysts who are perfect in analyzing data but don’t have development skills. They tend to do very well in their usual job but lack context pertaining to the implementation of code. This article will cover what I’ve learnt about the Web Analytics job market since then and what makes an ideal Web Analyst.

I have been analyzing the Web Analytics job market and have noticed that almost 90% of the listed profiles have a mention of Web languages like HTML, JavaScript or Flash. (P.S. I had predicted such a trend) This wasn’t so common a couple of years back when companies mostly looked for people who are simply ‘Analysts’. In my opinion, it is very important to know how the Web Analytics code works and the technology behind capturing data. My take on the Web Analytics data capture is explained here. In one of my assignments, I was involved in configuring the Web Analytics tracking code to track features which were not possible through the generic snippet. A JavaScript Wrapper had to be created and added in the code. This asset helps a Web Analyst to stand out and is often the path to rise in the organization as a multi-talented contributor. Apart from knowing programming, it is also helpful for a Web Analyst to know basic SQL as most companies have an in-house reporting system which might need to be extracted for analysis.

We can have hours of discussion on whether the above skills are really necessary for a Web Analyst but based on the current market situation, extra skills other than analysis will be more than useful. Below are a few skills which I think will be make a very good Web Analyst in the order of priority:

1) Analytical skills, drawing conclusion from data and offering recommendations to improve the business (Presentation skills and Excel knowledge included)
2) Client interaction and excellent interpersonal skills (Requirement gathering and building relationships)
3) Statistics knowledge (Ensuring whether data is ready for analysis and concepts like Confidence level)
4) Basic Programming skills (Understanding Web Analytics code and ability to enhance it)
5) Basic SQL skills (Ability to pull data from the backend databases if necessary)

I will appreciate if you can share your views in case you agree/disagree with this article.

2 comments:

web analytics said...

So it seems the answer is yes. Interesting to see what dev languages are most popular between analysts.

web analytics companies said...

I think he certainly should ! He should be able to design an e-commerce site which is user friendly.The layout should attract customers to the site. There should easy navigation through the pages.The checkout process should be effective.Additional features should be able to satisfy the customers.