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Foreword - Pg. vii

Foreword Web Analytics Action Hero is a wonderful and playful guide to the web analytics behaviors that will improve your marketing and create business value. It's clear, concise, and clever, and you will never get lost in technical detail or marketing jargon. Despite the playful terms and acronyms, however, Brent Dykes adopts a very pragmatic tone that puts action and improvement above theoretical considerations. And since virtually every business and organization today has a website, it is difficult to imagine the enterprise or businessperson who wouldn't find the book a useful guide to web analytics. In addition, the book is an extremely good guide to finding value from all types of analytics. Some wrinkles, of course, apply only to web analytics, but the great majority of Dykes' recommendations will help you with other forms of analytics as well. For example, a key aspect of the book is the distinction between reporting and analysis/analytics. I won't explore the distinction here because Web Analytics Action Hero does an excellent job of it, but suffice it to say that almost every organization needs to free up energy, money, and time from reporting activities to make room for analysis. Otherwise, as Dykes memorably puts it, you will be forever stuck in Setupland. Another key element of the book, and of success with analytics in general, is that that web and other forms of analytics are all about making better decisions and taking more informed actions. Web analysts usually can't make the decisions and take the actions on their own; they have to collaborate and communicate with others--particularly managers and executives. Dykes correctly points out that the best web analysts do not passively gather data and produce reports, but actively work with decision-makers to help frame the decision and implement it successfully. Although Web Analytics Action Hero is primarily a book about how individuals can succeed with web analytics, it also addresses the factors that make organizations succeed overall. The factors affecting the overall success of a web analytics initiative are exactly those for analytics in general. They include strong leadership, capable analysts, quality data, and a clear strategy for what to accomplish with analytics. In other words, if your web analytics initiative is headed for success, you'll probably FOREWORD | vii