The Real Value of Web Analytics Training « Official Webtrends Company Blog

When I was asked to join the WebTrends blog, I was excited but also a little nervous. The level of expertise within this particular author-crowd is extensive and while I’ve been in the industry for a decade, I’ve only been with the company since June! What could I possibly have to add to their insights and their knowledge? Fear not – I got my answer this past week.

I was teaching an Understanding Reports class to a group of people who had not had any WebTrends training, even though the company had implemented our analytics product more than three years ago. As I walked them through some of their reports, explaining how the data was collected and what it could be used to do, I heard “Oh, Wow!” from people on the phone many times. The one comment that stood out above all others: “I’ve wanted that information for over a year, and it’s been here all along. I never knew what to ask for!”

I hear these kinds of comments all the time in my classes for marketing and business professionals. The people in my classes are marketing and/or web experts with a wealth of experience and knowledge in their respective fields. However, their companies don’t get the full value of that expertise until they know where to find the analytics data they need or simplyhow to ask for the data they need (sometimes it’s even who to ask!). That’s what training can do for them, and what hopefully I can do here – add value by helping them put their knowledge and experience to use with the tools we provide.

While the key to a successful analytics implementations is widely regarded to be governance, you shouldn’t overlook collaboration. Collaboration between IT, web design/developers, marketing groups (among others – your company may also have content developers, web administrators, server gurus, database developers) and such. All of these teams should all be involved in the analytics process and ideally training. One of the difficulties most companies face is that each of these groups brings different but necessary skills to the table - and those skills were developed through very different educational environments and experiences.

Web developers know how to talk to other web developers, but do they speak marketing? Do marketing experts speak server administration? Do administrators speak web design? If not, these groups, which need to work together to make good, data-driven changes to your web site, are going to have a hard time working efficiently together – and, therefore, a hard time building a solid foundation for your web analytics.

The real value of analytics training comes when it helps create that foundation. Training provides a common language and toolset for marketers, developers, and administrators to use when setting up their analytics tool(s) and reports. It helps experts in one area understand the needs of experts in other areas, and it helps them come together and make better collaborative decisions, simply because they understand one another better. Any training will teach you the point-and-click trails to follow, the rules of the game, – but the real value comes when training gives people the tools to ask the right questions of the right people to get the right results.

That’s the kind of training I’m working to create and provide here at WebTrends. From the responses I get in class I know we’re providing great value in this arena – I see the lights go on and know I’m helping. I know that we can do more – and that’s the value I look forward adding to our blog. Via the blog I can give you some little hints or tricks on what you can do with our tool, point you toward the right questions and even the right people at the right time.

While governance is key for analytics, let me mention one of the metrics of training success isyour feedback. So please consider this an open invitation to connect with me. Let me know what you need to make web analytics more successful in your organization, and I’ll do what I can to post here, one of our other social channel or develop new training that meets those needs. I look forward to hearing from you!

The Real Value of Analytics Training « Official Webtrends Company Blog

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