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Changing a career to web analytics

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  • Dale McCrory
    I have a question regarding career changes and how one transitions from an IT-like position to a web analytics position. Web analytics has been on my radar
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 30, 2004
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      I have a question regarding career changes and how one transitions
      from an IT-like position to a web analytics position. Web analytics
      has been on my radar since I read in 2000 that there would be a strong
      need for people who knew how to analyze websites to determine how to
      make them better. I'm currently a web programmer, who builds web
      applications and reporting systems for e-mail and web-based marketing
      campaigns for companies of various sizes. However, my current place of
      employment doesn't recognize the opportunity to offer evaluation of
      these campaigns to their clients, instead focusing on the billable
      hours that created the campaign (it's a design agency).

      So the question then becomes, how can I transition from someone
      knowledgable and passionate about web analytics to someone whose
      position is web analytics? Should I attempt to go get a Master's in
      consumer behavior or marketing analytics, should I try to back into it
      by trying to get a programming position at a marketing company, or
      should I just try to get an eMarketing certificate from the eMarketing
      Association and hope that helps? These are questions that I ponder and
      I wanted to throw it out to those who have made it, because I think
      there are many who would like to watch A/B testing increase the sales
      of an e-commerce site or find the point which customers disappear
      from a website, but need to figure out how to best make the
      transition.

      Thanks for your help and suggestions.
      Dale McCrory

      P.S. If anyone knows of any positions in the Chicago area open that
      could help me make the transition, I would love to hear of it.
    • Eric Peterson
      Dale, It s interesting that you ask this question today since, in an amazingly boneheaded move I just spammed the group trying to help an acquiantance make a
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 30, 2004
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        Dale,

        It's interesting that you ask this question today since, in an
        amazingly boneheaded move I just spammed the group trying to help an
        acquiantance make a move back into analytics. For this I apologize to
        you all ...

        One of the central themes in my upcoming JupiterResearch report on
        analytics is staffing--how many people should you have, where should
        you find them, what should you expect to pay them, etc. Since I've
        given this a bunch of thought recently, here are a few suggestions:

        1) Somehow develop experience with analytics applications so that
        you're able to "walk the walk." Some vendors provide demo copies of
        their apps that you can download and try just so that you can gain
        experience with setting up log file filters, reports, etc., assuming
        you don't have this kind of access on your current job. Maybe Stephen
        can point you towards the latest build of Analog?!

        2) Read everything you can about Web analytics possible--online and
        off. The more you do to understand the business/marketing side of the
        equation, the more likely you are to suitably impress someone willing
        to give you a chance. My thinking is that analytics people are either
        technical people who learn marketing or marketing people with an
        aptitude for the technical. You're the former, I have a friend in San
        Diego who is the latter. Both are equally likely to excel at
        analytics.

        3) Read Web Analytics Demystified (duh, who didn't see that coming?!)
        immediately, if not sooner. Hey, here's a coupon for $10 off to help
        you get motivated: http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com/10off

        Assuming you're bright and motivated, now is a good time to be looking
        for a position in analytics (although I cannot speak to opportunities
        in the Windy City directly.) I'm about to basically tell the entire
        world "STAFF FOR ANALYTICS OR SUFFER MIGHTILY!" and I have the data to
        back that statement up (thank goodness.) If anyone listens to me
        there will be jobs opening up in a F500 firm near you very soon ;-)

        Oh, good call asking this group. We kicked around a thread on "what
        makes a good analytics person" about a month ago (search the group and
        you'll find it) and some very interesting data was shared. You're
        right in your assessment of this group--many of the members have very
        clearly "made it" in analytics and have brilliant careers ahead of
        them ...

        ... of course there is me who apparently doesn't know how email works,
        spamming all these nice people with my personal business ;-)

        Best of luck,

        Eric Peterson
        Author, Web Analytics Demystified and Moderator


        Oecentn Thu, 30 Sep 2004 19:54:53 -0500, Dale McCrory
        <dale.mccrory@...> wrote:
        > I have a question regarding career changes and how one transitions
        > from an IT-like position to a web analytics position. Web analytics
        > has been on my radar since I read in 2000 that there would be a strong
        > need for people who knew how to analyze websites to determine how to
        > make them better. I'm currently a web programmer, who builds web
        > applications and reporting systems for e-mail and web-based marketing
        > campaigns for companies of various sizes. However, my current place of
        > employment doesn't recognize the opportunity to offer evaluation of
        > these campaigns to their clients, instead focusing on the billable
        > hours that created the campaign (it's a design agency).
        >
        > So the question then becomes, how can I transition from someone
        > knowledgable and passionate about web analytics to someone whose
        > position is web analytics? Should I attempt to go get a Master's in
        > consumer behavior or marketing analytics, should I try to back into it
        > by trying to get a programming position at a marketing company, or
        > should I just try to get an eMarketing certificate from the eMarketing
        > Association and hope that helps? These are questions that I ponder and
        > I wanted to throw it out to those who have made it, because I think
        > there are many who would like to watch A/B testing increase the sales
        > of an e-commerce site or find the point which customers disappear
        > from a website, but need to figure out how to best make the
        > transition.
        >
        > Thanks for your help and suggestions.
        > Dale McCrory
        >
        > P.S. If anyone knows of any positions in the Chicago area open that
        > could help me make the transition, I would love to hear of it.
        >
        >
        > ---------------------------------------
        > Web Metrics Discussion Group
        > Moderated by Eric T. Peterson
        > Author, Web Analytics Demystified
        > http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >



        --
        Eric T. Peterson
        Author, Web Analytics Demystified
        www.webanalyticsdemystified.com

        Have you joined the Metrics Discussion Group? Email
        webanalytics-subscribe@yahoogroups.com to join today!
      • natalie.huijsman@nl.abnamro.com
        Hi Dale, I think this post is one way of obtaining your goal! Check this grouping on job openings, and try. Not trying means that no is what you have for
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 1, 2004
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          Hi Dale,

          I think this post is one way of obtaining your goal! Check this grouping on job openings, and try.
          Not trying means that 'no' is what you have for sure, trying means yes is a possibility..

          I am at the same point as you. Only I am not currently a web developer, but a Business Development Assistant (in my case that means: the communications / user side of digital communications). And last, but not least: I am based in Europe, The Netherlands, and attached to this little country. Do not mind travelling around or being away from home for a set period of time, but love to return back home here to my friends and family!

          Should I attempt to go get a Master's in consumer behavior or marketing analytics, should I try to back into it by trying to get a programming position at a marketing company, or
          should I just try to get an eMarketing certificate from the eMarketing
          Association and hope that helps?


          Read, meet, speak! I would say, when you finished Eric's book, I think you have a good basis. Next to that: learn from people in your network. Email, make appointments online and in real life. And search for additional training, such as certificates, courses, summits, et cetera.

          I am also wondering which (professional) masters suits best when you want to move to the web analytics in your career. Should I follow courses more IT driven (programming), or should I stick with my original specialism: Communications, and search for a 'Corporate Communications and Digital Media' master?
          I am currently looking for professional masters in The Netherlands, but if anyone of you has a recommendation further from home, please let me know (dont mind being away for a set period of time from my beloved home country). I am also keen to know which Universities are considered having quality courses abroad (USA, UK, anyway: English spoken/written courses)...and how the 'e-learning' masters are indicated. Is there a University where I can study communications at distance- and have a valid certificate afterwards?

          Dale, If you want, please contact me directly and we will work out what we can learn from each other, as you are more the IT side and I have a bachelor's title in Communications.

          Just a step off the path: Eric, is it possible to have a kind of 'secure' area somewhere, were the members of this group can post their CV's, if they want?

          Warm regards,
                  Natalie Huijsman

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        • Eric Peterson
          Regarding Natalie s question: Just a step off the path: Eric, is it possible to have a kind of secure area somewhere, were the members of this group can
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 1, 2004
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            Regarding Natalie's question:

            "Just a step off the path: Eric, is it possible to have a kind of
            'secure' area somewhere, were the members of this group can post their
            CV's, if they want?"

            If this is something that the larger group would ** really ** be
            interested in I could try and accomodate. My hesitation is that A) I
            didn't really see the response I was hoping for when I asked people to
            contribute to the list of links (listen to me whine, huh?!?!) and B)
            I'm not sure if there are liability issues associated with doing
            something like this (e.g., what if my security is lame and your boss
            sees your CV on my site, etc.)

            My thinking at this point is that people considering job movement
            should look at the postings we've been able to find
            (http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com/link_list.asp?focus=jobs) and
            perhaps create a new, obscured email address and post a "I'm looking
            for a new job in analytics" message to the group and see who bites. I
            know a number of vendors and companies are actively seeking talent
            right now and I'm happy to facilitate introductions as long as I can
            do so safely (given that I don't get a recruiter's fee for any of this
            ;-)

            Eric
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