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Career Advancement for Veteran Web Analysts


Slides from my "Careers in Web Analytics" talk at eMetrics San Jose 2010. I shared the stage with two other presenters - Allison Hartsoe and Anil Batra. I chose to focus on career advancement for …

Slides from my "Careers in Web Analytics" talk at eMetrics San Jose 2010. I shared the stage with two other presenters - Allison Hartsoe and Anil Batra. I chose to focus on career advancement for those of us who've been in the field for a while (rather than "newbies"). Read it even if you're a newbie, though - you'll be a pro before you know it.

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  • Just briefly, this is my story.
  • That’s my background. I think of myself as a veteran web analyst. More generally, I pose the question: what does it mean to be a veteran web analyst? Who are “we”?
  • In January of this year the WAA published their annual outlook survey. Results show that more and more of us qualify as “experienced.”Let’s do our own poll: Raise your hand if you have at least 4 years of experience in web analytics. Keep your hand up if you’ve got at least 8 years. Keep your hand up if you’ve got at least 10 years.
  • As an exercise, try computing your personal average tenure. If you’re like me, it’s all such a blur that you’ll have to look up your own job history on LinkedIn.
  • So that’s who “we” are. Now the question is: What’s next for us? How should a veteran – and by that I mean experienced, job-hopping – web analyst handle career advancement?
  • My solution: choose your own adventure.Love this book cover. We’re all “analysis ninjas” these days, right?If you are of my generation you’ll remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books. At the end of each chapter you have a number of options, and the one you choose influences what you get next. I think it’s a good analogy for career advancement.So, let’s talk about some of our choices as web analysts.
  • Here’s one of the choices we all make: our segment.We’re analysts. We love segments. You’ll notice that these segments – client, vendor, consultancy, independent - match fairly closely with the ones that Allison mentioned in her talk. They’re also all areas where I’ve held jobs. And they all have their pros and cons.
  • The so-called glass ceiling is something that many of us have faced. As web analysts there’s this trap we need to watch out for - getting “stuck” in a particular kind of job, at a particular level, in our field. If you’re mindful of the glass ceiling, though, you can continue to grow your career. Do this by branching out into areas where web analytics experience gives you a competitive edge. Here are a few ideas.
  • Even if you’re totally happy with your current position, it never hurts to think about your next move. Here’s something to keep in mind: your choice will always be a cross-section of passion, skills and opportunities. Passion: What do you absolutely LOVE to do? What MUST your future role involve?Skills: As much as we try to get away from the “brand name” knowledge, it does follow you around. If you’ve got skills with a particular tool, those skills give you leverage as you look for your next job.Opportunities: What’s actually available right now? Where’s the market headed?
  • I want to leave you with this:Here’s a word cloud I made using (fun site) and (continues to be my favorite job listing site). I ran a search on indeed for web analytics jobs in the upper pay range. Pay is approximate but does give a sense of the more senior positions available. Took the full text of the job descriptions from the first 20 or so search results (out of ~350 US-based listings).I ask the veteran analysts: How does this cloud match up with your own passions and skills? Because this cloud represents our “world” of opportunity.


  • 1. Career Advancement
    for Veteran Web Analysts
    June Dershewitz
    May 4, 2010
  • 2. 12 Years in Web Analytics
    8 Different Roles (so that’s 18 months/role)
    Client, Vendor and Consulting Experience
    Currently VP of Analytics at Semphonic
    WAA Board Member
    WAW Co-Founder
    Also a blogger, twitterer, writer, speaker … and still a hands-on web analyst
    June’s Story
  • 3. What does it mean to be a veteran web analyst?
  • 4. We Are Experienced
    Among WAA 2010 Outlook Survey respondents:
    “… only 47% said they had fewer than three years’ experience in WA. Last year, that number was 62%. And the number who said they were 10-years plus practitioners doubled, from 5% last year to 10% this year. In 2010, WA professionals will have more expertise and more experience than before.”
  • 5. “The average tenure for a professional in the online marketing space is just over 18 months. That is 18 total months as an employee at the company…”
    • Corry Prohens, IQ Workforce blog, January 2010
    We Get Around
  • 6. How should a veteran
    – experienced, job-hopping –
    web analyst handle
    career advancement?
  • 7. Choose
    Your Own
  • 8. Find Your Favorite “Segment”
    Several possible routes, each with pros and cons:
    Client: Management opportunities but potentially limited variety
    Vendor: Naturally tool-focused
    Consulting Firm: Plenty of variety but can be hectic
    Independent: Ultimately flexible but no stability
  • 9. Seek out growth opportunities in areas like:
    Marketing: Get an MBA, focus on campaigns and search
    Business Intelligence: Develop general BI skills such as SAS, databases, CRM
    Emerging Fields: Social and mobile
    Management : Client-side web analysts can move up within the same organization by establishing credibility and knowledge
    Combat the Glass Ceiling
  • 10. Your choice will always be a cross-section of:
    Plan Your Next Move
  • 11. Source: +
    Cloud based on search for “web analytics” $120k+ job descriptions
  • 12. Thank you!
    June Dershewitz
    twitter: @jdersh
    May 4, 2010