I got housted last week for a recent post on this blog, a situation I sincerely regret.
While driving home from the Dutch mountains, I was thinking about the terms used in this constructive critism and more specifically the term “WebTrends experts”.
As my team’s been heavily involved with the product for over 3 years now (it first landed on my desk over 6 years ago), I was wondering whether I’d use such an expression to describe my team.
I just came to the conclusion that the only person I’d really call “WebTrends experts” would be the guys (& gals, I hope 😉 actually developing the software and in charge of it’s related strategy, in the US and in Europe. The Eric Butlers of this world, Jason P., Nick S., Lucas D., Conrad B. and their fine respective teams, flying around and helping our clients out in their times of specific needs, together with their qualitative partners.
I would certainly admit that Jason Widup holds an extensive knowledge of what WebTrends can actually do, following his interesting post on the Yahoo User Groups last week. I just regret that he failed to mention certain WIN partners outside the US (as the Web is global and we are not all in the US) and somewhat wildly made use of the usergroup to sell his product and related services. I call it “vendre sa salade”. Not really in the spirit of the User Group, if I might add but hey, can’t blame you for trying 😉
Thus, yes, they’re the guys who know their product, the experts. My team can only come close to what is possible, ideally discussing with the WebTrends developpers and strategists about feedback from the market in order to push the limits of what is possible today and building together, in a resilient way, what will be needed in the future.
When needed, we can always call Adam, David, Joe and discuss possibilities in order to move one, push the solution one step further, get things done.
For those who are still reading my lengthy blabering (Yes, Lucas, I love to blog), you might actully wonder how I would describe my team then.
I decided upon WebAnalytics professional.
After all what we do is set-up products, reportings, connections between applications (I’ve decided to call that plumbing by the way) that can measure what is going on with Web based applications, assure that the client can make trustable decisions based on the findings and we do this as a profession. Thus WebAnalytics professionals.
As Avinash already mentioned quite often, it’s 10% product, 90% people. And to be quite frank, not every product fits every client’s needs. There are even solutions that would not fit a client today as they’re simply not ready but that’s another debate. In the light of the products that we support today, amongst which WebTrends & Google Analytics, the later will sometimes do the trick and the former will not at all, for multiple reasons.
So, within this line of thought, we are cought up in a not one solution fits all situation.
And that’s where we actually step in, making the difference between the product experts (whether they’re WebTrends, GA, HBX/WSS, Omniture, CoreMetrics, NetTracker, ClickTracks, Instadia, etc).
A Web Analytics professional, knows and understands his client’s strategy, discusses it, shares the metrics & discusses the findings, the possible solutions, in the light of the local/continental or worldwide market.
Web analytics is certainly not about pushing one solution or another, it’s not about selling licenses and cashing in on the maintenance. That’s a logic for the ones only focussing on the short term and to be quite frank, there are still a lot of them out there!
That’s why I’ve decided that my team, us Web Analytics professionals, had to fit into an Interactive Agency, where design, strategy, IT and reporting come together in order to make best use of new, interactive technologies as these channels are highly measurable.
It stems naturally out of simple questionings about a companies’ strategy and creative solutions in order to support this strategy, where decisions about such solutions are based on measurable facts.
New questions arise every day as technology seems to move forward, faster and faster. New sparkels of discussions erupt constantly, as lately about the measurement of Web 2.0., but one must never forget that all we do has to make sense in the light of our client’s respective strategy. One solution fits all is something my critical mind – I admit – will never settle for.
I will however absolutely settle with collaboration, together with these experts, in order to make sure that their solutions do actually fit what and how we would want them to fit, in the client’s perpective. Isn’t that what the current evolution is all about: giving the power to the users of your products?
Please feel free to share your thoughts. Comments welcome underneath or directly.