10 Resources to Get Started in Web Analytics

But first, today’s question:

“What are the 10 best sources of learning web analytics?”

Web analytics has three major components: tracking, reporting and analyzing (plus a fourth that I like to add: internal politics).

Having worked in all (four!) components at various times over my last seven years as a web analyst, here’s a list of 10 web analytics resources you can use to improve your knowledge on web analytics.

1. A Web Analytics Book

Great for: reporting and analyzing

10 resources web analytics

Web analytics: An Hour A Day by Avinash Kaushik was written in 2007 so you’d be forgiven for discounting this book as outdated. Yes, from the examples and screenshots included it is but Avinash has a great way of explaining the main concepts and they will stick with you.

There is also a follow up of the book called Web Analytics 2.0 which I highly recommend as well.

Avinash is very well known in the web analytics community as being the person who said “web analytics is easy” when everybody else was saying it was hard. His book is a great step toward making things easy for people entering the field.

2. A Web Analytics Blog

Great for: reporting and analyzing

ocamrazor

The wonderful thing about Avinash Kaushik is that he never knows when to stop! His blog is regularly updated with some of the most thoroughly researched and documented web analytics articles around. When I first started learning, his blog helped me gain a much better understanding of the power of web analytics.

Here are a few other web analytics blogs that are really worth their weight in gold:

3. A Web Analytics Community

Great for: analyzing, politics

analysisexchange

I’m not sure how active the program still is, but I used to volunteer as a web analyst through Analysis Exchange.

That’s how I ended up doing web analytics while mentored by some of the best professionals in the world for Save the Children, where we would analyze tonnes of data and derive insights that had a direct impact on someone’s life.

4. A Youtube Channel

Great for: reporting

youtube

The Google Analytics Youtube Channel is pretty amazing! Not only does it give you insights on the latest features of the Google Analytics platform but they post amazing interviews with case studies and examples, teaching you how to get different reports and how to use them.

Analytics Academy and Analytics TV series are two of my favorites. It’s forever green content that does a great job of diving deep into concepts and turning them on all sides. They often have answers to some really difficult questions!

5. Another blog

Great for: tracking

simoahava

For learning about tracking implementations I give you the blog of Simo Ahava where he publishes some of the best hacks in the industry: http://www.simoahava.com/

You’ll notice that he dedicates most of his articles to Google Tag Manager and not Google Analytics but the reality is that you can’t really have one without the other if you are into advanced tracking implementations.

6. A Browser Plugin

Great for: tracking

wasp

This Chrome plugin is perfect for when you are all excited, ready to crunch some data, only to find that you don’t have much data to analyse! If you are a beginner you also probably don’t have someone to help you with advanced web analytics implementations and, much like me, you might need to learn the hard way.

That’s when you want to install WASP – the Chrome plugin.

The plugin is developed and maintained by Stephane Hamel, one of the great leaders of the web analytics industry. Kudos Stephane for all your work in this field.

It will help you understand how the tracking technology of different web analytics tools works and you’ll quickly grasp what information is being tracked and when.

7. Some Formal Education

Great for: internal politics

ubc

The UBC/DAA Award of Achievement in Digital Analytics from the University of British Columbia is an online course that can have a great impact on how you use analytics data and change how your company or organization works.

Over the years it’s helped me a lot to use web analytics as a means to impact internal politics in different companies.

8. A Community

Great for: tracking, reporting

gplus

One of the best and most active web analytics communities online right now is the Google Analytics Community on Google Plus.

When I get stuck (yes, it still happens, even after nearly a decade in the industry!) this is where I go to and it’s the only thing I use Google+ for these days.

9. A Q&A Site

Great for: analyzing

quora

The web analytics topic on Quora is visited by some of the best web analysts in the world and some answers are really well detailed and backed with data.

It’s also a great place to find benchmark data and links to resources that can help you be better at what you do.

10. And finally, a bit of shameless self promotion!

Last (but by no means least!) I always highly recommend our blog and its dedicated focus on user analytics, plus our monthly Experiment Digest.

Ready to have your web analytics question answered personally? Click here to get started.

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Author: Claudiu Murariu

InnerTrends' founder and lead analyst Claudiu Murariu is also the author of DataDiary, a weekly newsletter about and for companies that use data in their business decision making process. You can follow him on Twitter @cllaudiu.