Programming and Web Analysts

Now that Omniture has APIs and WebTrends is doing more sophisticated things with their tools that have ODBC connections, I was thinking, should we Web analysts consider adding to our skill set? Primarily, should we begin to add programming abilities to our skill set? Things like APIs are great, but only if you have the ability to create applications that access these APIs. Should we Web analysts start learning languages like PHP, SOAP and XML so that we can create our own applications?

Also, most popular Web analytics technologies are based upon JavaScript (from the implementation side anyway). So, a better understanding of JavaScript would most likely benefit us all. A better understanding of JavaScript alone could open some doors for better Web analytics opportunities for those not already proficient with JavaScript.

I think that we Web analysts should be immersing ourselves in programming so that we become more than just analysts and the users of tools like Omniture, GA, WebTrends, etc. I for one will be trying to pick up the following skills in 2009:

  • PHP/SOAP – for the purpose of programming with Web APIs and creating new applications for analytics and online marketing
  • JavaScript – I’m already decent with JS, but would like to be able to do some more advanced things for analytics
  • SQL/MySQL – for the purpose of querying Oracle, SQL and MySQL databases

Are their any other skills that you think would benefit Web analysts? What additional skills are you trying to pick up on your own this next year?