I’m surprised by the number of people that fire up their analytics programs and blindly expect to be “spoken to” about the status of the site. I’m not sure what people expect, as clicking through endless charts and graphs yield as much information as quickly paging thru that novel you’ve been putting off – neither results in much enjoyment or insight.
Avinash Kaushik has another excellent post about the topic of what makes a good metrics analyst. The mix is a great balance of what I usually called curiosity, intuition, exploration and customer-focus. Avinash creates a Top 10 list with the aspects of what makes a great analyst. I can’t agree more with this list, as my #1 was his was #4. You have to be an “explorer”.
As an aside: It is funny that we have these top 10 lists, when analysts look beyond the “Top 10 lists” in your metrics. Just a humorous observation . . .
There are not enough explorers in the analytics world. Companies would benefit by having a designated explorer that is excited about digging into the analytics to find where the customers are and what they want from the site. Having an interested explorer will yield more insightful information than a pile of charts and graphs on your desk. Of course, a web marketing strategy would help, too.
I find that the best analytics people have more of a personality for it, rather than an education. They seem to have a skill set in search of an activity. Which makes sense, as the third sign in the list was my #2 – be a “smooth talker”. “Great analysts are great communicators, they can present their message in a very compelling easy to understand manner. . . .”
This of course, makes sense, in that information is only as valuable as much as it is understood. It must be uncovered, and then communicated.