The single biggest mistake Web Analysts make
Business summary: Web Analyst is unfortunately still considered as someone who can set-up a measurement or provide a report, not someone who can provide a business value.
It was very sad finding when I asked one "senior" Analyst about his analytics masterpiece and his reply was: "Google Analytics enhanced e-commerce implementation for one big e-shop including automated refunds". The expectation was probably to be impressed. I asked what is yours analytics masterpiece with let's say recommendations for website improvement and the reply was: "We don't do that."
Unfortunately, the case above is not an exception. At first place most of Web Analysts don't analyze at all, so they shouldn't be called so. Try to think for a moment about the time you as an Analyst spend on analyzing the data. And I don't mean analyzing because something (event, some metric, goal set up, etc.) is broken.
It’s true that most of the time “Web Analysts” just implement something. There are various reasons like laziness, comfort of using the same implementation manual, thinking that this is what analysts should do, lack of courage to move forward or in the worst case because my company told me so.
It's absolute necessity to have one guy in the team responsible for data collection, but why the hell lots of companies have five of them and just one who actually wants to work with it? Shouldn't this ratio be reversed? We all should start switching as much time as possible to the analytics and playing with data instead of puking one implementation document per day. Moreover, if you've never worked with data your implemented future data will be unlikely easy to use for advanced analytics. Though the implementation manual will be aligned with all available guidelines, you'll miss the nuances, which you would know if you've worked with it.
The worst scenario comes when there's someone so-called "Web Analyst" (either agency or freelancer) comes to help with website data and all he does is absolutely magnificent implementation and says goodbye. It's like giving someone expensive car without a key. In most of the cases clients don't understand what all the dimensions and metrics mean, so why letting them do the analysis? There's a huge risk that they will misinterpret something and screw their business. Please don't do that anymore! Never!
Generate the money, not data
I don’t think I’m very far from the truth when I try to illustrate the time spend between implementation and analysis on the image below.
The problem is that the money is generated on the right side of the line. If we only do the left side, we're nothing but expenses and sometimes huge expenses! Even if you do the best implementation in the universe, it's just the very nice foundation for the moment when we start to think about the purposes of data and how to leverage it.
This situation is all given by market distortion, which mostly thinks that analytics is about implementation, reporting and getting all the data, and "Web Analysts", who unfortunately accepted market's conditions. So all the Web Analysts, please start to focus more on analytics and dear clients please start to want your Web Analysts to give you the recommendations based on data instead twenty page implementation document.
Start with basics
It's not necessary to immediately do the custom attribution modeling. There are many good starting points as user's flow, checkout behavior, site search, website speed or conversion rate in general broken down by device categories. And for all of mentioned you don't need an extraordinary advanced tool implementation. I'm sure that at least at one of mentioned you'll find a space for improvement that'll boost conversion rate.
Happy analyzing :)