Wednesday, December 19, 2007

WAW Boston

Last evening the Boston Web Analytics Wednesday chapter held its monthly meeting. Eric Peterson was due to fly into town and dazzle the crowd, but was waylaid due to the storm on Sunday. I was invited to speak in his stead, (Eric’s stunt double as I like to call it). I presented the findings from a report that Jupiter will publish on the use of technology to improve website usability.

The key takeaway was that too few organizations are utilizing the technologies they already possess to improve the usability of their web properties. The challenge of improving usability repeatedly emerges as a top three objective for website decision makers, yet little definitive action is taken to affect change. Web analytics is the technology used most frequently as a quantitative measure for usability and it also proved to be most effective. I encouraged the web analysts in the room to take it upon themselves to think about their web analytics data from a strategic perspective and identify ways that the data can impact all facets of their sites, including usability. I also believe that the role of the web analyst is changing from tactical to strategic and those who create a data-driven organization with demonstrable results, will emerge as leaders.

Props go out to Judah Phillips for his undying enthusiasm towards web analytics and his efforts to pioneer the Boston WAW chapter. I am always impressed at the caliber of people that attend these events. From the BU college students who are way ahead of the curve in analytics knowledge, to the seasoned professionals, the conversation is always stimulating. If you are in the business of web analytics, be sure to attend a WAW event near you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I stumbled over to FB to find your blog, which is smartly linked to your JR blog which I saw on our site yesterday, but didn’t read it until now.

John you rock! Here I write my response/framework of best practices based on your actions at WAW. (can I use your blog as my case study?)

Keyfinding=Analysts and Czars Must Be Present to Be Relevant

To maintain a brand and build a fledgling advisory practice, JupiterResearch advises executives that you adhere to the JR proven 4 point STAR framework.

- Point 1. S.TAY (the S of STAR) You must be in the room. If you are not present some rising star will take your place and make you less relevant and you will appear as an empty suit.

- Point 2. T.AKE Control (the T) Command an audience. This is particularly useful when you are in a New England city and a noreaster is bearing down on the community. A captive audience is, well… by it’s very definition trapped. If it doesn’t snow JupiterResearch recommends locking the fire doors with an ax or broom stick and simply grabbing the mic.

- Point 3. A=Audacity. Have a great ability to create something out of nothing! Jupiter’s NJ localization practice suggests presenting this as a shoulder shrug and taking the g off of the end of every word … as in “I got nothin’” or “you talkin’ to me” In this moment you as an expert can storm the stage like an FBI agent raiding the “Bada bing” in Lodi and take complete command of the situation. Push the people out of the way that have “nothin’” and show all around you the future of the discipline and domain that you command.

- Point 4. R.OCK… but not _every_ Star …. Be brilliant and like mom always taught us … be humble. Yes you can be the rock star at that moment, but never ever let it show. You have the audience b/c of who you are, they want you up there and that is reason enough. If you play that up too much, then you will be nothing more than a washed up analytics specialist stranded somewhere over St. Louis at an Applebees. And if that isn’t de-mystifying, then just wait til the next eMetrics summit!

All in all Mr. Lovett, it seemed that you completely embraced the STAR framework and made “somethin’” out of “nothin’” Thank-you for that and all that you do to drive our combined brands forward.