complete beginner’s guide to web analytics and measurement

Andrew Maier, co-founder of, released an article today (June 06, 2010 – This is a Insightful Analytics post) called the “Complete Beginner’s Guide to Web Analytics and Measurement” that takes you on a brief journey of how web analytics were used not too long ago, i.e. Hits and Page Views, etc. to how analytics and measurement should / are being used today – performance optimization.

Because each website appeals to its audience differently, the prudent user experience designer  takes a measured approach when communicating,especially when they do so on behalf of their client. No matter what the vision and no matter how it’s executed, a design can always communicate more effectively.

Online and off, we gauge the effectiveness of design—of communication—by its effect; in other words: what action(s) do people take after they give us their attention? Properly utilized, Web Analytics and Measurement helps us answer this fundamental question.

article overview

The provides just enough background detail about how analytics, or more specifically measurement, is used today. It starts out with discussing a critical part of measurement – how to design an Outcome. Then Andrew takes you through the basic three-step optimization program: Measure, Monitor, & Act.

Simply put: If you don’t have or aren’t thinking about Outcomes, Measure, Monitor, & Act, as part of your optimization program –  you don’t have an optimization program. Period.

While the article is well written and has makes some great points that I urge you to read more about I’m most excited that Andrew in his diligent research on this subject has listed me as an “official” Web Analytics Luminary among some of the great and well-known industry leaders.

referenced analytics work in article

In addition, Andrew cited two of my presentations for further learning and reading:

  1. User Experience By the Numbers for Behavioral Metrics – My presentation at J.Boye that demonstrates the power of Behavioral Metrics, metrics that shows what a user did vs aggregate metrics
  2. Analytics & Gambling – How Similar They Really Are – I originally wrote this presentation to make my grandparents understand what I do for a living, which I’ll add worked. At the same time it demonstrates the overall process and rules that govern analytics in a very simple and easy to learn way by comparing analytics to card games

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