Does your Organization need a Full-Time Analyst?

Over the years as my career has developed I’ve watched as the organizations I’ve worked for make both brilliant and utterly stupid decisions. When my former employers first made the decision to purchase Omniture SiteCatalyst in 2005 the one piece of advice Omniture kept reiterating was “hire a full-time analyst”. In one of their utterly stupid moments they decided not to.

For whatever reason, organizations seem to think that web analytics is a part-time job. Something anyone can do on the side of whatever their real job is. That’s how my former employers treated the situation and naturally I was the one who ended up with web analytics as my “side job”. I saw the fantastic possibilities in the data, but I was constrained in how much time I had to really think about what I was seeing. Most of the time I was relegated to just pumping out reports and then getting back to my “real job”. That was not web analytics.

I’m not sure that organizations see the true value of web analytics, or have an appreciation of what a time-consuming job it can be, when done thoroughly and properly. Of course part of the job will always be to generate and provide reports, but without the context and time to do true analysis – what’s the point? Sure you can ooh-and-aah over the pretty charts and graphs (especially if the trends are up), but what does it mean? Is an up-trend always good? Depends on the context. And without the time to do analysis there is no context to apply to these reports.

So to answer this posts question: “Does your Organization need a Full-Time Analyst?”. My answer would be a resounding “Yes!”.

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