Monday, 3 January 2011

Top Analysts Currently in the Business - Part 2

Eric T Peterson

While I consider Avinash the biggest, most well known Analyst right now, there is NO ONE that has done more for the industry than Eric T Peterson. I think of Eric as the Godfather of Web Analytics (without the mob of hitmans of course… at least I hope). If you currently do not know Eric, you will soon realize there are three more books to read, three websites and a new twitter account to follow.

Eric has been in the industry for over ten years, founder of Web Analytics Demystified, founder of the Yahoo Group - Web Analytics, author of three best selling web analytic books (two of which you can download for free), blogger for Web Analytics Demystified, and created the most widely used tool for measuring twitter – the Twitalyzer.

OH, and lets not forget, he is also one of the founders of the Analysis Exchange, a project that helps non profit organizations to get professional analysis of their site through the assistance of a qualified Mentor and student. If you have not already signed up for an account, please do so; no matter which section you fall in (organization, mentor or student), the benefits are too great (which you can read here).

I remember listening to a podcast by Beyond Web Analytics, episode 12 (if you have not listen to this, please go to their site and download it) when they had Eric T Peterson on. One of the questions they asked him was “Why are you giving away two of the most widely read books in Web Analytics when people are still willing to pay for a copy” (not actually quoted). His response (shortened) “My wife and I managed the sales of Web Analytics Demystified. We made the amount of money that was appropriate for the books but people still wanted it. There was still not enough education for the industry. We talked about giving away the books, but I did not have the power to do so for the second book since it was an O ‘Reilly Book.” (still not an actual quote) This episode is nearly an hour long, but it will be one of the best hours you will spend.

With everything just mentioned, which I am sure is still just the tip of what Eric T. Peterson has done for the industry, especially giving away 2 of his books for free, is there any question why I call him the Godfather of Web Analytics?


Probably the only name in my list that will be questioned, but I will stand firm behind my choice here. I thought long and hard behind this choice and have concluded that this is the only choice based around my criteria: Must have at least an influence in one of the following 1) Google Analytics 2) SiteCatalyst 3) Web Analytics in general and must have the fourth quality 4) Easy access to have an influence on the web analytic community.

Avinash and Eric were easy to pick out, with Adam being my clear winner for SiteCatalyst. But when it came for the Google Analytics expert, I was trying to decide between Nick or Brian Clifton (author of two Google Analytics books). Nick and Brian both proved their GA prowess and either could have made my fourth slot. But finally, I went with Nick since people can easily access the data he provides through the internet, without having to go out and buying a book. I thought this was essential since we are discussing Web Analytics – we can easily measure how many Unique Visitors are reading our blogs and how effective – can we safely say how many people read the book?  We are talking about online stats, not offline.

With Nick, I consider him the Robin from the Dynamic Duo due to his work on the Web Analytics TV. His work answering questions with Avinash on the Web Analytics TV are essential for anyone wanting to get more from Google Analytics. Not only are these episodes filled with goodies of knowledge, they are an absolute pleasure to watch. They could not have chosen to better matched analysts for this project. I hope that this will continue for years to come.

Second, Nick’s work with the Google Analytics API guaranteed this slot. The API answers the more in-depth question that you have about your site than the Web UI could. If you have any questions about what I mean about this, watch a few episodes and you will learn that “If you want to get this answer, you could do this using the API ….” Nick has more experience using the API than anyone else in the industry.

With a combination of expertise in the API and the actual tool, I consider him the leading figure in GA.

What do you believe about the four I have chosen?  As I know there are lots of well known analysts out there that I did not mention (such as Rudi Shumpert), I felt that these four are leading the front in bring Web Analytics to the general public. While I will not go into detail, I will add a link to their blog on the side nav.  If I have missed any, please let me know and I will add them to the list.

Next time, I am going to show a few tricks using GA that I have been using.

Till next time, keep analyzing.


Anonymous said...

Glad to see Nick getting some love.


John Andrews XCHG said...

I agree with you JohnH. Through the work with the Web TV alone, I believe that is enough to give him love. But the work he does with the API, writing blog posts, he more than well deserves it. Plus, I do have to laugh now that they do their "NINJA CHOP"; which if I remember, Nick started. I am glad to hear I am not getting grief so far for choosing Nick as spot number 4.