During the Emetrics Summit, I had the honour and pleasure of perusing an advance copy of Avinash Kaushik‘s book, Web Analytics: An Hour A Day. Originally slated for release in mid-May and delayed until early June, the book is now available “early”, on Amazon.com. My copy is in transit.
Avinash’s book (companion site) will be useful to almost everyone because it’s highly practical and delivers knowledge in digestible chunks. It definitely fills a vacuum between the training available through the University of British Columbia, University of Toronto and WAA Training Day and real life. Armed with knowledge from the courses, when you get back to the office, where do you start? What do you do first?
With the same down-to-earth, approachable tone of his blog, Avinash shows you step by step what to do. You can follow the 8-month plan as he suggests, or mix things around. Not doing email marketing? Skip Chapter 9, month 4 to start. However, read it at some point because you’ll get some great ideas about managing a measurable email program. And if you are thinking of putting rich media on your website, read chapter 12 on Web 2.0 analytics so you know what to integrate into your design. You’ll save future angst having to try to integrate measurement as an “enhancement” (dreaded word!) later.
Web analytics is more than just web traffic data. Avinash also discusses how to use competitive data (e.g. panels, ISP), usability methods (studies, contextual inquiry, heuristic evaluations), and surveys to inform analysts about the competitive landscape and the “why” behind observed visitor behaviour.
And because successful web analytics is not just about the analysis but also the communication, quality and process by which web analytics is practiced, readers will find Avinash’s chapters on “dashboards” and “creating a data-driven culture” will help make their web analytics journey much more productive and fun. On the topic of fun, I didn’t have a chance to view the companion CD, but knowing Avinash, the videos will probably be fun and the other resources highly useful.
One last thing worthy to note…this book supports two excellent causes. Avinash is donating all proceeds from the book to The Smile Train and Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).