In the latest installment, our own David “Wandering Dave” Rhee answers Anil’s questions.
What are the major challenges you are facing in this industry?
I think the entire industry is at a point where our ability to analyze goes beyond the ability of the tools to deliver unified data in a cost-effective manner. In other words, we can imagine many different data sets we’d like to correlate, but only very few of us can get the various data sources to play nicely with each other without spending an inordinate amount of time, effort, and money, most of which we don’t have access to.
Beyond that, most organizations aren’t yet at the point where they know how to take advantage of the insights web analytics, or rather, an analytics-framed mindset, can offer. As a consultant, I see mos firms struggling to implement a tool correctly, and after that, maybe to figure out some truly useful KPIs, then do some basic campaign analysis. Few organizations are at the point where multi-channel measurement is common, or where web analytics is used to help allocate marketing spend most effectively, or where true ROI is being captured, and good business decisions made accordingly.
Web analytics will mature as an industry, but part of that means that the skill sets will become better defined and more widespread, so that any firm that really needs an analyst will be able to hire one. Beyond that, web analytics and business intelligence will merge in terms of an aggressive approach to data analysis being applied to many areas of an organization — not just their web site, or even their online marketing, but all of the marketing, production, sales, and other operations. It’s neither easy nor cheap to get there, but I’m sure that those firms which can execute well on an analytics vision will certainly see unparalleled success.
Don’t forget to read other interviews, including the first interview in the series, featuring yours truly 😉