As I have said in a previous post on this blog, being successful and being good at your job are two different things. Some have said via comments and Twitter, that this is sad but true. However, I disagree. This is simply a fact, and it is up to everyone to just recognize that there is a difference and learn how to best take advantage of this and become good at your job and AND successful at the same time! Since I work in e-commerce and Web analytics specifically. I’d like to start an open discussion on how to be both. First there’s being good at your job.
In terms of Web analytics, being good at your job should at least include knowledge of the following:
- Segmenting your visitors, including knowing which are the best segments and how to find new ones
- A/B &multivariate testing and site optimization
- Understanding, in the most advanced way, how to implement your Web analytics solution (not just how to run reports)
- How to debug analytics implementations (WASP and Charles are great tools)
- Creating reports and dashboards that are of actionable use
- Understanding the difference between reporting and analysis and when each is appropriate
- Understanding how to track what is actionable as opposed to everything in the world
- Being able to setup a good system of dashboards and reporting so that you can spend energy on real analyses, as opposed to just reporting
Now, let’s say that you’ve nailed everything above and you are the master of analyses, testing and your analytics tool of choice. So how can you become successful as a Web analyst. First, let’s limit our definition of success to staying in Web analytics and becoming well known and respected within the field. The end goal being better job prospects and advancement opportunities at your current job. Here are some of the things that you can do:
- PRESENT to management, don’t just e-mail analyses
- Work regularly on presentation skills (Presentation Zen is a great resource with links to other resources)
- You should WOW management at least every other week. As a Web analyst, you’re probably sitting on a gold mine of info of which management is completely unaware. Make sure to show them things on a regular basis that gets you (not an email) in front of them and noticed!
- Get on the Yahoo! Web Analytics Board and start interacting with people
- Get on the Twitter and start interacting with Web analytics professionals
- Attend relevant conferences and industry events (at least 1 or two per year, and mingle/network)
- You can also think about starting your blog (again, anything to get your name out there as an expert). I’m thinking of switching to a video format to get myself out on the Internet even a little more.
In the end one of the keys to being successful is building responsible for you own personal brand and how it is perceived within your job as well as within the industry. In short, you need to get out there and make yourself known as an expert. To wrap things up, here’s a great video from Gary Vaynerchuck (host of Wine Library TV) on developing your personal brand, whatever the focus:
Do you have any career or Web analytics success tips that you can share?