Saturday, 1 January 2011

The Analysis Exchange

The Analysis Exchange was created to help three distinct groups: Organizations, Students, and Mentors. Analysis Exchange is under the Web Analytics Demystified name and really pushed forward by Eric T Peterson. I could spend all day talking about Eric T Peterson and how much he has done for the world of Web Analytics, but I will let you find out by reading his own blog and website. Additionally, you can read two of the must read books, written by Eric Peterson, for free: Web Analytics Demystified / The Big Book of KPI’s.

Back about the Analysis Exchange, I mentioned this will help all three types of membership joining. To join, you only have to meet a few requirements:

  • Organization - you must be non-profit.
  • Mentor – Have at least 2 years worth of experience and willing to assist students
  • Student – Must have a passion to learn web analytics
  • All three – Willingness to ensure the project will be a success
  • All three – Will give an honest rating after the project is completed.


Organization: Opportunity to have a professional web analyst analyze the data for free. This is the essential point of the Analysis Exchange, giving the organization a chance to better their site through actual analysis without having to spend hundreds of dollars which they could not justify spending through a business case. During the project, the organization has three jobs: Explain the project, have the initial meeting with the student / mentor, and participate in the final presentation.

Student: Until the Analysis Exchange, it was impossible to gain actual experience; No university degree, night classes, etc. Companies wanting to hire a web analyst would not even look at a candidate unless they had a couple years experience. This left a huge dilemma; potential Analysis Ninja (Avinash, thank you for creating this term.) could be lost forever just because they were never given a chance to break into the field. Students are given a chance to analyze actual data, getting the practice which they will later put on their CV to get a web analyst job.

Mentor: This is the glue that will hold the project together; kinda like the captain of a ship. We may not be behind the wheel of the boat, but the entire crew depends on the captain to ensure we are steered in the right direction. While the student does the actual analysis, presentation and the majority of the work, the mentor is there to answer any question, assist in the project and give advice when needed. There is talk about prizes given to the best mentors within the analysis exchange (and is actually put in as a benefit of being a mentor), but this is not the reason I joined; I believe the bigger benefit is being missed. I joined because I love my job and I want to continue my own education in this field. Every day, there is something new to learn and this gives me a chance to see what other organizations are doing; how are they using the analysis tools? What questions are they asking? Does the student look at the data in a completely different way than me? Just like the student is learning, I believe we are always improving our prowess.

Finally, and most importantly, the benefit that everyone gets is knowing they helped a worthy cause. Is there anything better than that?

I beg everyone that is reading this blog, if you are currently not out promoting this good organization, please do. If you want to get into web analytics, join as a student. If you are a non profit organization that has not already joined the analysis exchange, please join as an organization. And if you have been in the business for a while and have not joined as a mentor, please join as a mentor. Become the captain.

Have you joined the Analysis Exchange?  Have you completed a project?  Please comment about your experience so others know how great the Analysis Exchange is.
Next time, I want to talk about the famous analysts currently in the business; the blogs / books you should be reading.


Darren Herman said...

Let me know what I can do to help. Love this!

John Andrews XCHG said...

Hi Darren,

The best thing you could do to help out is spread the word about the analysis exchange. If you have any experience participating within the analysis exchange, please leave a comment about it; if you know anyone that has participated with the analysis exchange, please ask them to leave a comment.

I personally could not find anyone's experience with the analysis exchange before joining, so I would like to fill this gap for the community.

Lisa said...

Hey John; this web data analysis exchange concept hatched by Eric Peterson, friends and folks such as your self is outstanding. At the end of the day, for non-profits - their brand is community service. There are SO many non-profits and new news innovators & journalists working hard to get their arms around how data reveals patterns of community impact. Better understanding how to evaluate what's working, and how you know, has never been more important. This project’s timing could not be better! Thanks for bringing this project to life, can't wait to see all the great things the program holds promise to deliver. I'm eager to talk with all about the Journalism Accelerator ( - a new concept for online collaboration and information sharing amongst news practitioners.

John Andrews XCHG said...

Hi Lisa,

The idea behind the Analysis Exchange did not come from me, but I love the concept of the program and will try to promote it as much as I can.

I have looked at the map of where the current members of the program are located and was shocked to see how many holes there are; especially in a world where everyone is connected by the internet.