I’ve known people who wonder at the value of having a web analyst on staff, or even hiring one for the occasional consult. Once they have the data, they don’t realize there is value in having a professional help them analyze and understand the implications the data is showing them.
Anyone can look at web traffic data and see the numbers and even see some of the trends over time. However only a true web analyst can see the deeper implications of the data, see potential issues and possible red-flags and come up with recommendations on how to fix them. A web analyst also knows how to thoroughly test those recommendations and select those that perform the best.
A web analyst should be able to bring a whole new level of insight into the data being reported for a particular web site or campaign. Web analysts generally have diverse backgrounds with experience ranging from web usability to marketing to web development. All these backgrounds can help add additional insight into the data analysis. I believe the more diverse your background, the better web analyst you can be.
So when you’re looking for more in-depth understanding of all that data you have, keep in mind that a good web analyst can help get you that understanding.