Five reasons to attend the WAA Awards for Excellence Gala

“Why should I attend the WAA Awards for Excellence Gala on March 6th?” you ask.

Here are five terrific reasons!

  1. You’ll be the FIRST to know who the winners of the WAA Awards for Excellence are! Nominate now to back your candidate!
  2. You’ll enjoy a delicious dinner, clink “cheers” with professional peers, build your network and, like, totally meet your new industry BFF.
  3. Been dying to wear that new dress or try out that new eyelash curler? Now’s your chance, and in much more flattering light than the eMetrics general sessions. Don’t pretend you don’t care.
  4. We’ll have a fab keynote speaker, and likely a few awkward attempts at humour by WAA members. (We are geeks, after all.)
  5. All the cool kids will be there. (What? That worked in high school …)

Ready to join us? Register now for the very reasonable price of $90 (WAA members)/$145 (non-members), submit your expense report, then can display this spiffy button to make all your friends jealous. (Though we’d love it if you’d bring them along.)


Snag this and post it to your blog, site etc:

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WAA LA Symposium: Success Stories from West Coast Marketers

For anyone who missed the fantastic WAA LA Symposium, here is everything you wanted to know (and were too ashamed at missing such a fabulous event to ask!)

Future of AnalyticsThe future of analytics: Jim Sterne’s keynote was a great opening to the day and focused on the possibilities of the future. Here’s how the road to success looks:

  • Data will let us predict the future, and data modeling will let machines help us make better decisions.
  • The future of analytics is collaborative analytics – getting the information out there and getting input from the entire company.
  • Ultimately, the future of analytics is up to us, and it’s not the technology that will make it happen – it’s the people who know how to use it.

Success in large organisations: Jorge Laguna from HP and Matt Wright from Keystone Solutions presented a joint client session on the keys to successful testing in large companies:

  • Build relationships within and with other teams – you can’t succeed alone.
  • Recruit the right people internally, but don’t be afraid to bring in external talent that you need to ensure success.
  • Document best practices.
  • Communicate your success.
  • Build a methodology that works for your organisation.
  • Allow the necessary agility to move quickly on opportunities, and the flexibility to allow testing to work for different departments globally.
  • Future-proof your investments, for when you move to new technologies.

Shawn Hushman from Kelley Blue Book talked about the requirements of successful enterprise analytics, including:

  • Commitment of the organisation, technical alignment and organisational clarity on what was important.
  • At KBB, results in analytics drove further demand, until it became a part of the company’s DNA.


Understanding the Multi-Channel Customer: Kristin (Toomey) Shanks from Petco not only succeeded by featuring her adorable puppy in her presentation, but by sharing Petco’s success in understanding their multi-channel customer. Petco’s analytics found that:

  • Multi-channel customers (for example, those who shop both in-store and online) are more valuable, spending 3x that of a single channel shopper.
  • Petco didn’t just measure the overall lift due to shipping prices and policy changes, but segmented to see the impact on shopping behavior and the shift from in-store to online, to truly understand the incremental lift.
  • Shanks readily admits this kind of analysis is not easy for them – they too struggle with data silos. But understand their multi-channel customer was crucial to understanding and improving their business.

Succeeded in Your Career: Thuy Kim from Experian Consumer Direct shared some of her tips for a successful career in analytics:

  • Keep in mind the different roles you have as an analyst. You should be creative and an information architect, presenting data in a way that is understandable (and, in the case of executives, digestible in under 5 minutes) but also act as a project manager, and of course, an analyst.
  • Don’t forget about building the foundation. Your credibility is based on the success of things you’ve done before.
  • Analytics leaders, stop to think – why should anyone be led by you? What are your team seeing you do, even if you don’t say it?

Success in Education: June Dershewitz from Apollo Group (University of Phoenix) and Scott Rutherford from the University of California, Irvine discussed some of the challenges faced by the use of analytics in education. (For example, imagine trying to measure the long term impact of whether use of a mobile app leads to higher grades and graduation!) Some of the successes they shared included:

  • UCI’s use of data to decide go/no go on courses ensures that they remain profitable in the face of state cutbacks.
  • Education is able to learn from other industries (for example, finance) in how important the investments in analytics facing them will be to their future success, and justify accordingly

AccuracySuccess in data accuracy: Jon Narong from discussed the importance of data quality, and how the right team structure has helped their organisation to succeed.

  • Analytics is considered a critical production data source, not a secondary concern.
  • Splitting their analytics team into Business and Technical Analytics has allowed deep immersion, less distraction from the team’s core focus and organisational confidence in their data.

Success in Social: Social was definitely a focus at the event, with not only a social media panel but also a great closing keynote from John Lovett at Web Analytics Demystified. Success in social for 2012 is going to involve:

  • Moving from “what can we measure?” to “what should we measure?”
  • Leveraging learning from different channels. For example, success in social, as in email, isn’t based on the size of your “list” (email addresses, Facebook fans) but on what you do with it from there. How do you market to the audience you’ve built?
  • But we are at the whim of the social channels – what metrics they’ll provide, and what they’ll allow to be tracked.
  • In 2012, social media will need to focus on proving value, instead of just experimenting and defining basic metrics, with companeis moving from the “hype” to truly considering their objectives.
  • As John Lovett pointed out, “it’s frickin important to set goals” and you must align your strategy and goals with your corporate culture – “corporate culture will eat strategy for breakfast.”
  • Make sure the social work you are doing is actually right for your customers (and never forget that social customers are just a percentage of your customers – keep it in context.)

Web Analytics Association logoDid you miss the WAA LA Symposium? Don’t forget about the great ways that the WAA can help you succeed in your career, by providing local events, education, research, standards, training and certificates, not to mention building your professional network. Check out some of the upcoming Symposiums to find one near you:


Honey Badger Don't Care

Things I didn’t know until the LA Symposium:

  • Jim Sterne is a huge fan of Hello Kitty (well, so say his browser history.)
  • The honeybadger is a totally relevant to an analytics event.

PS. A few little Twitter stats … 

The WAA LA Symposium saw:

  • Tweets from 87 unique users
  • 351 tweets during the event timeframe (Wednesday 1/18 from 12.30 through 5.30PM)
  • 32% retweet rate
  • That’s approximately 64 tweets per hour
    • For context, other recent events have generated:
      • 250 tweets per hour (Accelerate)
      • 103 tweets per hour (eMetrics NYC)

Top topics:

WAALA Word Cloud

Top users:

Top Tweeters









Download the Twitter archive for your own analysing fun!


Top 10 Tips for Tweeting at Conferences

Anyone who knows me (or has had the misfortune of reading my Twitter feed when I’m attending a conference) knows it’s a tweetapalooza. When I first started tweeting and attending conferences, I found that if I could download my tweets after the event, there wasn’t a real need to take notes. For me, the tweets became my notes (and I write a lot of them!)

So I thought I would share a few tips for how I tweet at conferences, in case it is useful to anyone.

Top 10 Tips for Tweeting at Conferences

1. Warn your followers. Before the event, mention to people that you’ll be tweeting from it, and even that they can temporarily block you if they don’t want to read it all right now. Since you may clutter their Twitter feed, it’s just polite. (And don’t get offended if someone unfollows you because of it. They have every right to, if your content isn’t of interest.)

2. Use the event hashtag. For example, #ACCELERATE, #eMetrics, etc. Twitter hashtags group content by topic and will allow others to read your tweets, along with others attending the event.

3. Cite your source. Where possible, mention the source of the tweet content – the speaker. For example, “Blah blah something super insightful @speakersname #conferencename.” (If they don’t have a Twitter username, it’s up to you whether you include their name in the tweet. It can be helpful for those not attending to know who said what, but there is also, of course, a character limit that may restrict you.)

4. Bring your laptop. It is much easier to type tweets on a real keyboard than on a smartphone or tablet.

5. Monitor the conference hashtag. Use a Twitter client that updates the conference hashtag, so you can keep an eye on what others are tweeting about the event. Sometimes you may miss something, and it’s good to see if there’s anything you missed. (For example, I use HootSuite on a normal day, but use TweetDeck at conferences, because it will update the conference stream in almost real time.)

6. Make tweets informative and include context. Don’t just rush to tweet something first, if it’s incomplete. Make sure that what you are sharing actually makes sense to someone who is not sitting at the conference. After all, the people who are there don’t really need to read your tweets – they’re hearing it live. You need to ensure you keep context in your tweets so that those who couldn’t make the event can follow.

7. Keep it concise. Your content is more likely to get retweeted if you keep them short enough to allow characters to retweet. However – if you need to balance context (see #5) with characters for retweets, focus on making tweets longer but informative vs. shorter and useless. (Don’t forget, people can always do a “new school retweet” vs. the in-line “RT-style” retweet.)

8. Don’t forget to talk to people! Sure, it’s great to share insights from the conference with Twitter, but take time to put down the computer and meet people at the event too.

9. Share! If you’re going to go to the trouble of tweeting, be sure to make your tweets available to people after the event, in case they didn’t have a chance to read on the day. (After all, they will only be available for at most a week via Twitter itself, before they drop off the face of the earth.) Better yet, download the archive of the entire hashtag, so that people can download more than just your tweets. (It can be tough to find ways to do this these days. The most luck I’ve had is with The Archivist desktop version, which is available for PC only – and which I’m certain will stop working in the not too distant future!)

2013 Update: The good news is, Twitter now allows you to download your Twitter archive! This makes it easy to download your historical tweets, pull out those to the conference hashtag and share with others.

10. Wrap up the event afterwards. Don’t just bombard Twitter during the event itself. Consider your tweets (or the entire conference hashtag) as your notes, and be sure to wrap up your “top take homes” or other blog post, article etc afterwards, to share with others.

Anything I missed? Feel free to add your tips in the comments!

Top 10 Takeaways From #ACCELERATE

I just returned from ACCELERATE, the Web Analytics Demystified FREE conference, in San Francisco.

The next ACCELERATE conference will be held in Chicago in April 2012. I seriously recommend going if you can make it, it was one of the best events I attended all year. It will book up fast, so sign up now!

Given the event was centered around short, “Top 10 Tip” sessions, I thought I would return with my Top 10 Takeaways.

But, because I’m an overachiever, I’ve done this multiple times …

Top 10 Takeaways from #ACCELERATE

1. There is no ROI in Facebook fans or Twitter followers. There’s only ROI in how you market to them once you have them. (Justin Kistner)

2. Integrate, integrate, integrate. Customer feedback data + web data + CRM data + behaviour data + testing tools … and more. (Michael Gulmann, Expedia)

3. Not the first or last time we’ll hear this – tell a story. (Michael Gulmann, Expedia)

4. There’s an art and science to analytics and testing, but protect the integrity of your work – don’t ever fudge numbers. It’s okay to roll out something that didn’t perform statistically better for other reasons – that’s the art. But don’t deceive. (Michael Gulmann, Expedia)

5. Mobile or die. Web traffic from mobile just continues to increase. You need to give users a choice how to engage with you – desktop, tablet, mobile devices. (And remember their choice!) (Eric Feinberg, Foresee.)

6. There are things you can do for a better relationship with your vendor. Don’t bully, communicate fully and often, and help them to help you. (Ben Gaines, formerly of Omniture.)

7. To hire a great team, prioritise your requirements, understand that you can’t have everything, and actually sell candidates on your role. (Corry Prohens, IQ Workforce.) And from Adam Greco (Web Analytics Demystified) hire the right people for what you need right now. Don’t hire a chief if you need an indian.

8. Quality is key. You should be willing to put yourself on the line, to vouch for the quality of your data. Monitor quality and continually consider the appropriateness of your implementation and reports – things do change over time! (Adam Greco, Web Analytics Demystified)

9. Your data is dirty. Deal with it. (June Dershwitz, Apollo Group.)

10. Learn. Learn the lingo, how to cope with (and still make use of) dirty data, understand your sources of data and any acronymns. (June Dershwitz, Apollo Group.)

Top 10 FUN takeaways from #ACCELERATE

1. Tim Wilson is not only a #measure star, but a rhyming genius. Seriously, check out his presentation.

2. Vendors are not evil, and conferences that exclude them from speaking are short-sighted. Corry Prohens of IQ Workforce (called a “vendor” by some. I disagree, but that’s a topic for another day), Benjamin Gaines, now of ESPN, but previously at Omniture, Justin Kistner of Webtrends and Eric (“Hairic”) Feinberg of Foresee delivered fantastic, informative and non-sales-y presentations, and any conference who won’t let them share such great insights is really missing out.

3. There are actually still people in the analytics community who do not use Facebook, Twitter or have a smart phone. (Sure, there are only two of them, but it still amazed me.)

4. The short form sessions (20 minutes for main speakers, 5 min for the short “Super Accelerator” sessions) were fantastic – enough information if you were really into the topic, no wasted time spent on filler, and short enough that if it didn’t really apply to what you’re doing. (For what it’s worth, I loved them all, and didn’t feel any didn’t apply, but perhaps others did.)

5. People ruthlessly exploit pictures of their adorable children to endear the audience 😉

6. Bringing a power strip to a conference will make you VERY popular, Lee Isensee.

7. Twitter is very random on who it puts in “Twitter jail”, given @OMLee got locked out and I didn’t.

8. Every flight in and out of SFO gets delayed, every time. (Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but it sure felt like it.)

9. It is incredibly hard to get a cab in San Francisco. (And on a side note, the founders of TweetReach are incredibly kind and generous people who will help stranded strangers find their way!)

10. Vodka should be scared of John Lovett and Eric Peterson. They show no mercy.

Top 10 facts about the #ACCELERATE Twitter activity
(Twitter #ACCELERATE archive is also available for download)

1. There were 2,752 tweets to the #ACCELERATE hashtag on Nov 18 alone (that does not include all the days before and after the event.)

2. That’s 115 tweets per hour on 11/18.

3. There were 2001 tweets just during the session times (9AM through 5PM on 11/18)

4. That’s 250 tweets per hour and over 4 tweets per minute!

5. The top five tweeters made up 46% of those tweets, and the top 10 made up 60%.

6. 283 unique Twitter users tweeted to the #ACCELERATE hashtag on 11/18

7. The top twenty tweeters were:









8. 35% of #ACCELERATE tweets on 11/18 also contained the #measure hashtag

9. The most common words used in tweets (excluding hashtags and usernames)





10. We are very generous. 31% of #ACCELERATE tweets on 11/18 were retweets or via mentions.

Click here to download the #ACCELERATE Twitter archive and enjoy doing your own fun analysis!


TakeFive with TweetReach interview

[Originally published on the TweetReach blog]

Welcome back to TakeFive with TweetReach, our ongoing interview series with notable members of the social media analytics and measurement community. This week we’re thrilled to welcome Michele Kiss Hinojosa, a self-confessed analytics geek and Director of Digital Analytics at Red Door Interactive.

TweetReach: Welcome Michele! Let’s start with talking about how you got started with social analytics. What got you interested in measuring social?

Michele: I first got into digital measurement through web and advertising analytics at Kelley Blue Book. As I started expanding my horizons and wanting to learn more about the digital analytics industry, I started joining in conversations in social media — the Yahoo Web Analytics group, Linked In, Quora, but especially Twitter. For me, social analytics started mostly as a curiosity, just playing around with different solutions and analysing social traffic to my little blog, or analysing the social media behaviour of the online web analytics community through the #measurehashtag.

Now, at Red Door Interactive, my team of Digital Analysts and I get to help clients understand the impact of conversations they’re having with customers, including on the website, in social media or through a variety of acquisition channels.

TweetReach: What metrics are most important for your job and your company? What should we be measuring? Beyond that, is there anything we shouldn’t be measuring? Are there any “bad” metrics?

Michele: I don’t think there are “bad” metrics per se, just less useful ones. There is an evolution as companies grow from a simple like/follower approach to looking more at business impact. This isn’t really surprising, given a lot of companies also embark on social “because we should”, but without strategy or goals for doing so. Ideally, companies should embark on social initiatives with clear goals (e.g., decrease call center volume, drive sales, drive traffic to the website, save on other marketing budgets, etc) and understand what, in a perfect world, you would want to measure. From there, figure out if you can. Do you have the right toolsets? The necessary data integration? If not, come up with something that gets you close, or gives you directional insight while you build out the rest. I’m not saying wait until everything is perfect before you do anything, but make sure you know where you want to get before you start working towards it.

TweetReach: What are your recommendations for someone just getting started with social analytics? What should they do first? What are some important considerations?

Michele: For an analyst thinking about diving into social media, they need to first get involved in social media themselves. I don’t think you can measure what you don’t understand, and getting involved in a variety of social channels is key to understanding them. (And no, just having a Facebook account doesn’t count.) Each channel is different and the goals of being involved are different. I try new social channels all the time. They may prove to not be “my kind of thing” (and no one can possibly keep up with all of them and hold down a job, too!) but at least play around and see what they offer, how the channels differ and how they might be used for different goals or different businesses.

There are key books I would recommend reading – John Lovett’s “Social Media Metrics Secrets”, Jim Sterne’s “Social Media Metrics” and Olivier Blanchard’s “Social Media ROI” (and converse with these guys on Twitter! They are great guys and are always up for a good conversation.) Not to mention a myriad of blogs out there.

From there, start doing it, even if you just start by analysing your own accounts. Better yet, find a local business or non-profit to help (so you can attempt to tie to actual business metrics.) You’ll learn more from doing (and, let’s be honest, making mistakes) than you ever will from a book.

But it’s important to keep in mind social media is just one marketing channel. It’s great to have an interest in social analytics, but like other areas, it needs to be kept in context of the overall business and marketing efforts.

TweetReach: Let’s talk about consistency in measurement. There are a tremendous number of tools and approaches used to measure social media performance, which can produce results that are difficult to compare. Do you see the industry evolving towards a more standardized set of metrics or do you think we’ll continue to see a lot of variety and experimentation?

Michele: I’m going to give the very on-the-fence answer: Both. While social analytics often starts as just “likes” and “followers” for companies, pretty soon executives (and hopefully, good analysts!) are trying to tie this to actual business value, and look at social media in the context of other marketing initiatives. Profit or revenue driven are standardised and can apply across all channels, including social. However, let’s be honest: sometimes that’s hard to measure! It involves tying together different data sources, understanding attribution, and trying to measure what may sometimes be unmeasurable. (Do I know that you bought my product after you saw your best friend’s Facebook post raving about it? Maybe not.) But while the answers won’t be perfect, companies have to try to get as close as they can.

On the other hand, new social channels crop up every day, and while these too need to be tied to profit, they’ll also have their own in-network metrics that marketers and analysts will keep track of, and use to understand behaviour. (After all, somewhere there’s a 12-year-old in his garage creating something that will blow Zuckerberg off the map.)

Ultimately, social needs to be tied to business objectives like any other initiative, but the methods we use to do this will get more sophisticated, and I think there’s a lot more experimentation still to come.

TweetReach: We’re hearing a lot about influence right now; everyone wants to measure influence and target influencers. What are your thoughts on measuring influence in social media? What’s the best way to determine who is influential for a particular campaign or initiative?

Michele: Influence is a great example of where social analytics has room to grow. What businesses care about is who influences sales (or leads, or referrals, or whatever your business objectives.) Social tools are measuring “influence” on retweets, or Facebook likes, or video views. I can understand why businesses want to understand who their influencers are, but I think we need to keep in mind the limitations of a lot of current measures of influence — they’re likely not measuring influencers of the business metric they actually care about. That’s when it will be truly useful.

At the same time, I worry about the uses that current influence metrics are put to. I can see a use in using influence to prioritise, for example, response to requests. (For the same reason that food critics get the best cut of meat, those with online influence can have a big impact if they have a negative experience, and I can understand companies wanting to provide excellent service.) But I hope it’s not used as a metric of “you’re not worthy of my time.” Simply put, I can see using influence to determine who to respond to first, but not who to respond to at all.

I also worry about the use of influence in areas such as recruiting. I hope companies make their decisions off more than one number, and look at a candidate or potential consultant’s actual track record, results and skills.

I think these concerns just speak to the overall reality with a lot of social media metrics today — they can be useful in context, but as one standalone metric, we may sometimes attach too much significance, without enough consideration, analysis and scrutiny.

TweetReach: Thanks, Michele!

Top learnings from eMetrics NYC 2011

eMetrics was held in New York City for the first time this year, and co-located with a number of other conferences, including Predictive Analytics World, Conversion Conference, Google Analytics’ GAUGE and more.

Among some of the takeaways:

Big Data:

  • Companies like eBay and Expedia have been dealing with “big data” for some time now, and the volumes continue to grow. In fact, looking back at the data volumes they had just one year ago, eBay now laughs at the volume.
  • However, we’ll all start dealing with this more, in all areas of business, as companies continue to gather more data from a variety of channels.
  • This brings us to deal with the challenges of data integration and attribution, and we don’t want to – they’re hard! (-Bob Page.)
  • People are still a focus, we need analysts, but we also need technology and machines to support us. The needles are getting smaller, and the haystacks bigger. Machines will need to learn for us to keep up. <Insert Skynet comment here>


  • You will never get it right, your aim is to keep getting closer, and to make your models less wrong. (And if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.)
  • Not up to attribution modeling yet? Even just starting to combine your data sources in Excel is better than nothing.

Know your customer:

  • Your customers are telling you what they want and giving you feedback. LISTEN!
  • More than that, your customers are now in control. They can switch to your competitor at a drop of a hat, and most carry a “store in their pocket” via their mobile device.
  • And in case you’re curious, YOU are not your customer. Stop thinking you know what they want, and listen to them.


  • Mobile isn’t the future. It’s now. (-Bob Page – and with eBay doing $5 billion in mobile in 2011, you can see why!)
  • What was most interesting at this eMetrics was to see mobile become less of a siloed topic, as it has previously, and more just an aspect of the business.


  • User privacy is a challenge for all, but especially in Europe, as countries try to interpret the European Privacy Directive. For lack of a better way to describe it? It’s a mess.
  • There is no real way to summarise all the current views on privacy, because everyone who speaks of it differs. However, there’s one thing we can be sure of – privacy will be different, and perhaps unrecognisable, in ten years, because the current system is not manageable.

We are more than “web” analytics:

  • Multi-channel, attribution, holistic view of the customer – we should no longer be pure “web” analysts. In fact, when Bob Page from eBay talked about the types of analytics they do, there was no mention of web analytics. It is just a channel, and one place in which the company may look at customer analytics, loyalty analytics, etc.

Lessons for analysts:

  • From the mouth of an executive: If the business doesn’t care about the data or metrics you’re providing, it’s because you’re not providing anything that actually matters to the business. (Or in other words, “I don’t care about bounce rate!”) Executives don’t want your metrics, they want your recommendations. They’ll only take so much of, “This is interesting.” Tie it to revenue.
  • Translate data into actionable terms, and then you’ll get action. Don’t just count. Make decisions. Make mistakes. But DO something! There is, of course, a fine line between mistakes that impact your credibility, and mistakes that move your business forward. Make mistakes and learn, just keep moving forward. (-Joe Megibow)

And just for fun:

  • According to John Lovett, we’re all weirdos. (And proud!)
  • According to Jim Sterne, those of us who volunteer to help the WAA are idiots. (Said with love, of course.)
  • According to April Wilson, data is your breasts, and the tool is just the presentation layer. (We all know what matters most!) (Read more.)
  • And according to Keystone, everything is amazing.

If you’re like to read more, feel free to read through the archive of tweets.

#eMetrics Twitter Archive

Some of you may know that I tend to tweet a little at conferences. I don’t bother taking notes, but rather archive all the tweets for the conference hashtag (mine and others’) and use those as my conference notes. (A totally valid lifestyle choice, Jim Sterne! 🙂 )

Since I go the trouble of downloading a Twitter archive, I thought I’d share the archive from eMetrics NYC (held in October 2011), in case anyone would like to to read or analyse.

Twitter archiveemetricstweets.csv
(Happy analysing!)

From these tweets, I like to look at a few things:

  • Most popular words used in tweets (via a word cloud)
  • Number of tweets and retweets from the participating community and
  • Most popular contributors

Topic overview:

eMetrics Word Cloud





Total Tweets:

For 10/19 – 10/21 (the official conference days):

3081 total tweets, including 1176 retweets (38%)
That’s over a thousand tweets per day, and over 40 per hour!

Top hashtag contributors:









(I told you I tweet a little …)

For further information about the #eMetrics community, check out Twitalyzer’s Community Insight report.

Conference Overview

To read an overview of the conference, check out my Top Learnings from eMetrics post.


Career Development for Digital Analysts: WAA Resource Available

Are you a new analyst looking for a way into the digital analytics industry? An analyst looking for advice on how to grow in your role or be promoted? Looking for a new opportunity?

For the past year, the WAA Membership Committee has been working on an initiative to provide WAA members with information regarding careers in the digital measurement industry.

Now available is the WAA’s Career Guide for Digital Analysts, an overview of careers in the digital measurement industry, including:

  • The types of companies analysts can work for;
  • Typical hierarchy and responsibilities for each role;
  • Educational and skill set requirements, including the importance of emerging skill sets; and
  • Advice for those looking to break into the field, be promoted or find a new opportunity.

This was compiled from the insight of a variety of industry members kind enough to spend some time giving an overview of careers in their area – client, vendor, agency and consulting side.

If you are a WAA member, please use this link to download the Career Guide:
Download the WAA Career Guide for Digital Analysts

You will need your WAA website username or password.

If you have forgotten your WAA website username or password, click here to reset your password.

Not a member yet? Join the WAA here.

If you’d like to read more about the WAA initiatives around career development and encouraging careers in Analytics, please read more at the WAA Blog.

KeystoneATX: Privacy and Personalisation and Data, Oh My!

I had the pleasure of participating in Keystone Solution’s first ever Speaker Series in Austin TX this week, and wanted to share a few takeaways from the day.

The focus of the event was on privacy, or, more specifically, how we can create relevant experiences for users without stalking. It was a great opportunity to hear different viewpoints and consider my own, and I took away a number of valuable takeaways:

1. Education of users is critical, to allow them to make informed decisions about whether the benefits they’re receiving are sufficient for them to consent to tracking. It is important that decisions not be made out of misinformation and fear.

2. But the crux of users’ issues with privacy tends to center around control. Users are made to feel they are being “held ransom” (“We have your data!”) and the uproar that takes place normally follows removing control from users. (For example, Facebook changes that make information (retroactively) public by default, or persistent cookies that override user choice to delete.)

3. Not too long ago, there was fear about buying online. While privacy concerns may never disappear, over time (and with education and control options) people may start to get more comfortable with tracking, just as they did with online shopping.

4. No one had the “magic bullet” for easing user privacy concerns, but there were really two threads emerging – 1) Concern about government regulation, due to the nuance of the issues. If legislators are not educated enough to distinguish between types of tracking, types of data, and the distinction between collection and use, blanket measures are likely to result. 2) Industry self-regulation will require a widespread commitment, as one company, vendor or individual can create a great deal of negative publicity. (And likely then lead to regulation.)

5. Tracking and personalisation get creepy when you’re doing it for the brand’s benefit, not the consumers. The best brands use data to make you feel special. However, too many companies don’t trust that doing things the right way will pay off, and try to take shortcuts or rely on the “magic bullet”

6. Those collecting data and members of the analytics industry need to act as stewards of the data (and signing the WAA Code of Ethics is a great start!)

7. Most seemed to agree that while the issue has become tracking, the focus should be on data use rather than collection. (You don’t arrest someone for murder because they have a gun and motive… they have to take action.)

8. Similarities to offline were discussed (for example, grocery store loyalty/discount cards, cable box and ISP tracking.) But the question is, are users aware of all of this tracking? The internet is not necessarily causing privacy concerns, but online tracking is simply more public. In a way, online tracking might even be raising awareness of the offline tracking that takes place.

9. There is often an argument of, “If you don’t like tracking, don’t visit the website.” However, is this reasonable? Is it truly consent if you don’t really have a choice? For example, you either submit to TSA procedures or never fly, which may even be required for a person’s job. Similarly, reading Terms and Conditions of software gives you only the choice to not use it – you have no option to negotiate with the company about those terms.

10. There is a gap between user privacy concerns and the amount of social sharing that users are doing. The responses to Facebook changes really show the kind of ownership that people feel over their Facebook experience, and that users forget that ultimately, they’re playing in Zuckerberg’s sandbox, not their own. Users will need to keep in mind that no matter the network, if it’s on the internet, it could be public, and exercise caution in sharing.

11. In the end, users want more control over their privacy, but the appropriate mechanism for that has not been figured out. Users may be willing to share data with some sites and not others, and allow personally identifiable information to some companies and not others. (For example, maybe I trust Zappos but not ShoezWarehouze.) But how do we allow control of these levels of privacy without creating a complicated, unusable system of permissions?

In the end, no one had the solution, but that’s not really the point. This will be an ever-evolving process, and it’s important we talk through the issues, to ensure we don’t over simplify in our desire to solve for the benefit of all.

And just for laughs, a few quotes of the day:

  • “Privacy is a mean ass topic” – @EvanLaPointe
  • Emer is scared of her “bottom” being invaded by the US government. (Re: TSA measures)  – @Exxx
  • “I wouldn’t mind the government being involved if I didn’t think they’d fail miserably!” – @Jenn_Kunz
  • “Common sense is not terribly common” – @jdaysy
  • “If only ‘good tracking’ and ‘bad tracking’ were as easily understood as ‘good touching’ and ‘bad touching’”  – @aprilewilson
  • “We have an unsexy community. Well, everyone here is sexy, but you know what I mean…” – @keithburtis
  • “At @KeystoneSocial, we make sushi unhealthy.” – @mgellis
  • The @KeystoneSocial motto: “Tread softly and carry a Kyle.” – @mgellis