Guidelines for Web Analytics Consultants

Web analytics consultants, help client businesses achieve their goals. In order to become a certified consultant, students need to attend c...

Web analytics consultants, help client businesses achieve their goals. In order to become a certified consultant, students need to attend certification courses, pass certification exams, and submit reports.

Something that we want to stress, is that becoming a Web Analytics Consultant is just a stepping stone on your path to success. Using the knowledge you gain from attaining your certification, skills in accounting and marketing, and the subsequent business experience that will come your way, you will be able to achieve an effective and sustained business performance. In the section below, some ideas that every new Web Analytics Consultant should keep in mind are explained.

The Philosophy of Web Analytics Consultants

Web Analytics Consultants are qualified by the General Incorporated Association of Web Analytics Consultants Association (WACA). What makes the WACA different from other qualifications for online marketing and web analytics professionals is its philosophy.

Your output should be market-output

The concept of market-output is not just creating what is desired by users, but developing new technology or services after thoroughly considering what can maximize user satisfaction. Output from a web analytics consultant should be market-output. In the past, corporations explored user needs after developing a new technology or product (product-output). Then they shifted to a new idea of exploring the market first and then creating a product desired by the users (market-input).

For this purpose, listening to the users’ voices is essential, but simply accepting them at face-value should be avoided, because users are not always correct. There can be no opinion for a service that does not yet exist. You must be conscious of the intent of users’ voices or even “silent” voices. One of the tasks of a web analytics consultant is to improve client websites, but that is just one piece of their contribution. You must offer proposals from various viewpoints with no restrictions in order to maximize the client's satisfaction.

For example, what kind of smartphone does each user want to buy? There were no concrete ways of answering this question before Apple introduced the iPhone to the world. They helped raise the iPhone to the top of the digital trend list by observing users carefully and proposing products or services which met their needs exactly. In web analytics, each Web Analytics Consultant should conduct a close analysis and identify important factors that explain why their users like particular products or services, and what they are expecting. Your job is not just to look at numbers, but to seek ways in which to satisfy user requirements.

Have a viewpoint focused on on-site activities

A Web Analytics Consultant must do their job from a viewpoint focused on on-site activities. Data analytics has been considered a job for an expert with special skills. However, basic and practical data analytics done by an on-site person will contribute more to business results than theoretical data analytics done by an analyst who does not know the company.

Take the following work-place examples: People on a production site analyze data during their free time between regular tasks and utilize the results to create higher-quality products. In convenience stores, the manager of each store analyzes what is sold when, and replenishes the items that sell-out at the times when customers want to purchase them, therefore increasing their profit margin. Timing is everything when considering more efficient sales management. In both cases, the people who are analyzing data do not have any expertise but use their experience regarding their workplace to improve their profits through simple and basic analytics results.

A Web Analytics Consultant acts as a bridge between the website and the management via analyzed data. They put the highest priority on voices from the customer service pages and the people who directly contact the company via email or through other methods of communication. Using these voices, the consultant can analyze data and determine how the users are thinking and feeling about the company. Web analytics does not teach the latest marketing method to the client but communicates thoughts from the site along with useful data. Of course you need techniques, but do not forget that the site is most important.

Push everyone forward

Devote yourself to the role of the axis that turns the improvement cycle. Turning the PDCA cycle may seem like the task of the client or web director, but they tend to focus on planning (P) advertising and production (D), disregard the analysis check (C) and counteraction (A).

Web Analytics Consultants
A Web Analytics Consultant needs to take charge in the facilitation of a meeting (to expedite the progress and agreement). As the axis of the improvement cycle, you’ll help the client find areas of improvement and promote any plans they might suggest. You’ll want to try to draw opinions from people who are offline too, for example, management and production site employees or customers.

Learn web analytics to improve your methodology

Do you want to open a business or get a job as a Web Analytics Consultant once you are qualified? There are some people who work as professional web analytics consultants, however, realistically, there are only a few companies that hire professional web analytics consultants.

If you’re wondering if becoming a qualified web analytics consultant is worth the time and effort, it is. You’ll be able to use the web analytics qualifications you earn as an indispensable tool for the benefit of your business. They will help you learn how to create and present proposals to clients and will contribute to your overall business results. Without these skills, it would take you an enormous effort to apply individual improvement methods one by one, sorted from several thousands of pages of websites or tens of thousands occurrences of search phrases. With these skills, you’ll be able to use the correct software to find important issues and improve them; saving you both time and money. If you go into a non-Internet based field such as sales, you’ll be able to boost your company’s business planning and use web analytics to increase their profits.

Gain as much experience as you can

Every web designer and web programmer needs a talent or specialization that will make them stand out in their chosen field. A web designer who learns illustration, design or animation will be able to create more refined websites while a web programmer who can think logically and mathematically will create better programs. Productivity differs greatly between people who strive to succeed and those who do not.

In the field of web analytics, specializations and talents take a backseat to experience. You need to understand the four basic operations of arithmetic to learn how to be a successful web analytics consultant. After you gain your beginner qualifications, take up analytics jobs for a variety of websites. The more jobs you take and the more analytics you do, the more you’ll improve.

Take all of the data presented to you with a grain of salt

Web analytics deals with data. Huge amounts of data. Data is the basis for everything you’ll do in this field, but is not always accurate. Sometimes important data may be missing or an abnormal value may be acquired. Due to these fluctuations, your hypothesis test results might not yield the results you were expecting. If this happens, question the validity of the data you’re analyzing first and foremost. If you’re not 100% sure that the data is correct, figure out how to change the software settings so that the correct data can be acquired to test your hypothesis. Question everything and do your level best to avoid careless mistakes. You can always consult the people who work at the client company as well; they often know more than you’d expect.

Facts Regarding Web Analytics

The number of websites drastically increased with the spread of the Internet at the end of the 20th century.
  • Google introduced "Google Analytics" in 2005
  • Digital advertising became easier for small businesses
  • Though the first Access Analysis program offered a free version, it displayed a banner across the screen. The presence of the banner caused a number of people to not use the program in either the paid or free version.
  • After Google changed their website and introduced Google Analytics the number of users significantly increased and performing an access analysis became more widespread.
  • Web Analytics Consultants Certified Course was introduced in 2010.
  • Few people use available web analysis programs even though they know how important it is to the success of online marketing.
  • Many companies choose not to preform web Analysis despite having the option of using Google Analytics.
  • These companies generally prefer to out-source the entire process to a qualified web analytics consultant or web analyst.
  • There are two kinds of web analysts. Both positions share similar responsibilities.
  • The first one works for a specific organization (a company, government administration office, local government or school etc.).
  • According to a survey conducted by Web Analytics Consultants Association , one out of three beginner web analysts works for an organization.
  • Their first task is to supervise and communicate clearly with their managers.
  • They are also responsible for communicating with people outside of the organization, for example, the media, advertising company, or production company etc.This web analyst is also tasked with completing the PDCA cycle to the best of their abilities.The other works as a consultant in customer support.
  • Based on the same survey, two out of three Associate Web Analytics Consultants work in customer support.They assist in web analysis consultations.
  • They give suggestions as a representative of the advertising media or advertising company, as well as give reports or advice regarding results.
  • They suggest improvements as a representative of a production company based on the results of a web analysis.
  • They analyse a client's business, consider the KGI, KSF and KPI, create reports and offer suggestions on ways to improve business outcomes during meetings.
It is important to note that while positions and titles may change, a web analyst must be able to communicate with their clients and aid in making decisions that will effect business profits and losses.

When you preform web Analysis, you will be dealing with lots of data. Make sure to take into account any errors that appear so that you can go back and double check areas that might be causing issues.

You will always need to perform the following three tasks:
  • Data aggregation
  • Add comments to your reports
  • Report your findings

Data Aggregation

Data aggregation is any process in which information is expressed in a summary form for purposes such as reporting or analysis. Present the data in a manner that will be easily understood by all involved.

Please take care with the following three things:
  • Be careful of the units you choose to use.
  • Always double check your numbers.
  • Perform a quality check before submitting your report.

Add comments to your reports

After aggregating the data from the web analysis you have performed, read over the data and add comments that you think will add to your report. The ability to arrive at a conclusion after getting something from the data is a web analyst's special skill.
  • Take note of any problems and ways they can be improved upon.
  • Create a hypothesis, then give suggestions while thinking of your client’s situation.
  • Look at everything again from the perspective of the entire business.
  • Perform a quality check before submitting your report.

Report your findings

Web Analytics Consultants must report their findings to their clients in order to receive feedback and permission to implement any suggestions or marketing strategies they suggest.

You must adapt the contents of your report to compliment the people you are reporting to. If you are talking with business owners or managers, focus on ways to achieve goals, if you are talking with a marketing team, focus on ways to improve marketing strategies. It is also best to avoid using technical terms when giving your report.
  • Make sure that everyone understands the contents of the report you have given. Clarify items that have been misunderstood.
  • Do not forget to record the flow of the meeting

Meeting preparation and planning

  • Make sure to distribute the report before the meeting. It will give your clients time to read it over and think of comments and suggestions they can contribute at the meeting.
  • It is also helpful to gather any questions before the meeting starts so that you can address them in a timely manner.
  • Although the data may look familiar to you, always remember that the people at the meeting are seeing it for the first time.
  • There will be people who attend the meeting only to listen to your report without understanding the information.
  • Make sure that you have extra copies of your report for people who choose to come to the meeting without informing you beforehand.
  • Create an agenda for the meeting; write down the topics that are going to be covered as well as the time you want to allot to each subject.
Important points to remember when facilitating meetings:
  • It is a good idea to get feedback from as many people as you can at the meeting. Their ideas might spark off conversations that can be transformed into new working hypotheses.
  • Any new ideas that were discussed during the meeting should not be forgotten. You should create hypotheses and draw out various plans of action while taking them into consideration.
  • Ask and answer as many questions as you can during the allotted Q&A time in your agenda.
  • Make sure that everyone attending the meeting fully understands the report.
  • After the meeting, make sure to meet with your client in order to talk about the suggestions made and how they want to proceed.
  • If you and your clients do not decide on "who" will do "what" and "when," your plan of action will never come to fruition.

Web Analyst’s Issues in Ethics: Confidentiality

Protecting user data

A web analytics consultant has an obligation to keep the data they use confidential. Web analytics data, especially access log analysis data, is generally considered non-invasive as a consultant must obtain a court order to find out a user’s identity from their Internet service provider. If you do receive more personal information, like the user’s name or date of birth, it’s best to check with the client to see if the data can be processed and converted into non-identifiable data. For example, the date of birth may be handled as year or month, and the name may be handled as an ID. Whether or not private data is included, be sure to clearly explain how long the data will be stored and how to erase it to the client in advance.

Protecting client data

The majority of clients will not want their company name, industry or web analytics data to be seen by their competitors or users. When using data available to anyone using the correct software, (e.g., Internet audience rating or keywords), let the client know that you’ll be using such data. This is to prevent trouble if a competitor uses the same data.

Search phrases may include private data such as phone numbers or names. There has actually been a case where a class action suit was filed against disclosure of such private data. Be very careful when handling web analytics data. It’s best to discard data as soon as it becomes superfluous.

Clarify how data is handled

Be sure to determine who is going to have access to data, how it is going to be stored and how it is going to be disposed of at the end of the project in advance. Clearly indicate these details in written form to the client.

Note that the NDA covers not only web-related data, but also business data like sales. It may also cover the various strategies developed and implemented by web analytics consultants after they complete their web analytics. Always double check how data is handled before it is acquired.

Disclosing your marketing strategy

You will be requested to present your experience and results outside the company. In this case, you need to obtain approval from the client in advance.

Clearly indicate to the client the scope of the presentation and who can view or use the information. Also, check the scope of publication including the contents and retention of the built logic and data. Tell the client about the details of the contents and obtain approval. Confirm if there is any data the client does not want to publish. If the client requests, submit the list of third-party companies which can view the contents to be published and the list of individuals in charge of browsing the contents. Avoid publication to companies and individuals the client disapproves.

Non-Disclosure Agreements

Be sure to exchange an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) with the client even if the client does not request it. As web analytics consultants handle confidential data, you’ll want to have this security net in place before you begin a job.

Note that the NDA covers not only web-related data, but also business data such as sales. The NDA may also cover the policies conducted as a result of web analytics. Be sure to always check without fail.

Presenting your License Card (Senior Web Analytics Consultants only)

A Senior Web Analytics Consultant must present their license card to the client before accepting a job offer. They must also introduce the WACA site and explain to the client that they can notify the WACA of any problems in the consultation business.

Clarification of data handling

Be sure to determine who handles data and how the data is stored and discarded after completion of the project in advance, and clearly indicate these in a written form to the client. Note that the NDA covers not only the web-related data, but also the business data such as sales. The NDA may also cover the policies conducted as a result of web analytics. Be sure to always check without fail.

Certification Program for Web Analytics Consultants

The WACA offers three levels of certification courses and certificates for:
  • Associate Web Analytics Consultants,
  • Senior Web Analytics Consultants, and
  • Web Analytics Master.
  • Associate Web Analytics Consultants (AWAC)
Qualification certification for an Associate Web Analytics Consultant from the WACA proves that the examinee has the skills to create reports based on web analytics techniques. An Associate Web Analytics Consultant is required to analyze characteristics or issues regarding online marketing and websites and then give advice while justifying data to the client.

This person is certified by attending a set number of lectures (1, 2, 4, 6, 10 or 15 chosen at their own discretion), or through a self-study course and qualification CBT (Computer Based Testing) exam.

After passing your exams, the WACA will issue you a certificate that will show any prospective client that you have gained the skills and experience necessary to fulfil your duties as an Associate Web Analytics Consultant.

Senior Web Analytics Consultant (SWAC)

The senior web analytics consultant performs business analysis. A qualified senior web analytics consultant has learned how to define KPIs (Key Performance Indicator - an index created to show the performance of a business. See Chapter 3 for more information), create online marketing plans for their clients, offer concrete consultations and be actively involved in professional consulting.

Criteria for qualification includes the ability to use web analytics software to design web analytics reports and propose marketing strategies.

Each senior web analytics consultant is issued a license card and listed in the directory of consultants. To retain their qualification, each senior web analytics consultant must attend an update course, conduct a case study presentation and attend a follow-up course at least once every two years.

Web Analytics Master (WAM)

Each Web Analytics Master is required to organize a report and establish a plan to improve business results. In addition to being a first-rank business consultant, a Web Analytics Master can teach a course to train and instruct Associate and Senior Web Analytics Consultants.

The Membership System

Once you pass Associate Web Analytics Consultants exam, you will be registered as a member of the Web Analytics Consultants Association.

Members are classified into three different categories at the WACA. You can become a full member, a free member, or a supporting member (admission is $100 before tax plus an annual fee of $60 before tax). Each category enjoys respective and varying privileges.

Note that qualified web analytics consultants can only become full or free members and that membership fees will not be refunded for any reason.

You can resign from the WACA by notifying the office of your choice. Please give at least one month notice and remember that if you resign, your Senior or Master certification will be invalidated.

If you want to improve as a Web Analytics Consultant and establish personal connections you should become a full member.

Full members (paying members)

The first year of membership to the WACA is free for everyone, or rather, the membership fee is deducted from the certification fee. You will not have to pay annual fees until your second year. When you renew your membership, you will be charged $60 (before tax). Annual renewals are processed on December 31st, regardless of the date you originally received your certification.

The money collected from membership fees will be used for various purposes, like raising awareness regarding WACA certifications and managing memberships.

After you begin paying your membership fees:
  • You will be given the right to enroll in Senior, Master, and Course Instructor Qualification classes.
  • You will be given the right to attend various sponsored events.
  • You will be given access to members-only courses and textbooks at a discount.
  • You will be given access to revised certification exam booklets, revised textbooks and recorded lectures.
  • You will receive special prices for continuing education seminars, lectures, events and training materials certified by the association.
  • Please note that you must promptly report any changes to your information to the WACA.

The Web Analytics Consultants Association

The Web Analytics Consultants Association (WACA) was established in April, 2012.

The WACA’s “… mission is to promote and raise the overall level of the web analytics industry by continuously creating opportunities for people to learn what is web analytics?, discuss, and pass on their web analytics knowledge. We aim to create a community through web analytics which will drive business success, research and development, personal career development, and employment opportunities.”

The WACA’s current projects include: “educational projects for human resource development, R & D and information provisions, employment support, business matching (business referral and placement), training courses, seminar planning and management, magazine and book editing, issuing, and publishing, an academic study society, seminar planning and management, as well as other projects necessary to achieve our purpose.”



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