Skills required for a Web Analyst – Part II

Over the past year or so I interviewed a few web analytics professionals. In the interviews one of the questions I asked them was about the skills that they think are important for a web analyst. In this 2 part series I have compiled their responses to that question.
If you are a hiring manager looking for web analyst or somebody who wants to start a career in web analytics then this article is for you.

This is the second part in the two part series of “Skills required for a Web Analyst”. You can read the first part at http://webanalysis.blogspot.com/2008/02/skills-required-for-web-analyst.html.

So here are some of the responses:

“To me, the Web needs three ingredients: clear business objectives, a communication strategy and the technology to support them. The best web analyst would be savvy and top of the line in all three… which is probably impossible to find. But everyone can rate himself on a virtual scale and see where they stand and where they want to be.”
Stephane Hamel, Web Analytics freelancer and creator of WASP tool

Curiosity and enthusiasm. I know these aren’t skills so much as innate qualities, but I believe if you can go a long way as a web analyst with curiosity and enthusiasm. If you are genuinely interested in what you’re doing, it shows.”
June Dershewitz, Vice President Semphonic

“Analysts work at various levels — the most fundamental level requires some understanding of basic statistics, such as linear regression, seasonality, and simple trend forecasting, combined with an understanding of how the web “works.” In other words, what do we know about browsing behavior, combined with cookie deletion probabilities, web server caching, and other artifacts of the web experience, to put our data into a reasonable context, from which we can draw useful conclusions?

Beyond that basic level, though, is an understanding of organizational politics, and some fluency in “managing your message” so that the analysis you’ve worked hard at creating actually influences managers in making better decisions. Otherwise, you’re just creating “doorstop reports,” that don’t help your organization, and don’t really justify your efforts.”
WDave Rhee, Analytics Country Manager, Germany, OX2 / LBi Group

“I think 2 of the biggest skills required to be a web analyst is to be able combine technical skills along with business/marketing skills in order to understand your customer’s goals and provide value to them. Secondly you have to be passionate about what you do, if you don’t like what you’re doing you will not give 100% effort.”
Manoj Jasra, Director of Technology at Enquiro

Do you agree with these Web Analytics professionals? What skills do you think are important? Let me know and I will add them to my next post.

3 thoughts on “Skills required for a Web Analyst – Part II”

  1. Hi, first time posting here but a long time reading you, from Spain 🙂

    I think these two posts are really interesting and would like to give my opinion. I am a web analyst in a spanish bank and had to hire a brand new team last year.

    I agree completely with Manoj Jasra, both technical and business/marketing skills are basic, but the most important thing is that you enjoy what you’re doing, if you don’t… even the best skills won’t help you at this job.

    Very useful blog, thank you.

  2. Hi, first time posting here but a long time reading you, from Spain 🙂

    I think these two posts are really interesting and would like to give my opinion. I am a web analyst in a spanish bank and had to hire a brand new team last year.

    I agree completely with Manoj Jasra, both technical and business/marketing skills are basic, but the most important thing is that you enjoy what you’re doing, if you don’t… even the best skills won’t help you at this job.

    Very useful blog, thank you.

  3. I believe that being able to use and *create* advanced techniques such as boosted trees, support vector machines, pseudo-logistic regression (in order to design robust predictive systems) are paramount.

    However, this advanced data mining expertise must be combined with very strong business acumen. In my case, being a PhD data mining expert from a top university, a publisher, an advertiser, and an ad network all at once really helps. Having processed many billions of Internet transactions through my patent-pending algorithms adds additional credibility.

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