An Alternative to the Web Analyst Superman
Seems like the job description for a web analyst continues to inflateand is now almost beyond realistic expectations for most meremortals. I haven't seen a criteria describing command ofantigravity forces, or the ability to turn oneself into a gigantickiller robot with fire shooting appendages yet, although it willprobably happen soon.

However, it is commonplace to see expectations for technical command ofweb analytics tools, data mining capability, search engineoptimization, statistical analysis, ability to find insights in webdata, and business acumen and leadership to drive optimization of userexperience and web design for bottom line results. Whew. No wonder it's hard to find and retain this type of talent.

In the Web Analytics group I manage we have taken a somewhat differentapproach. Regardless of the incredible individual talent and hardwork of the folks I work with, we have seen most success with the teamapproach. One person can't possibly have the depth and breadth ofknowledge, visibility, and influence across the business to be thesuperman (or woman). The alternative is to partner up and leverageeveryone's talent to achieve the goal.

The key to making this work is the pairing of the web analyst with thebusiness owner. The business owner knows the goals and thespecifics and has the power or leverage to make needed changes. The web analyst knows how to engage with the business owner tounderstand what they really need to know, and can then go turn theknobs to get the data and interpret it and communicate it in the rightcontext. Or if the data or technology is beyond the analyst'sindividual capability, he/she knows what other specialists to call on,and can translate the need into yet another sphere of specialty.

So rather than the superman, the web analyst becomes thesuper-translator.

Now if I can just find that gigantic killer robot to help me get abetter parking spot in the morning...