My organization has been working with a Web Analyst in order to accelerate learning that otherwise would be very time consuming. Like many organizations, we do not have a mature toolset (it is coming), and so the effort to understand what the data is telling us is difficult.
Based on previous work with us some year or so ago, we asked Debora Geary of Fireweed Analytics to come back and work with us. Debora was able to merge and join disparate data sources and uncover some valuable information. For example, we couldn’t identify those who viewed our site that had not logged in — she matched ip addresses with previous logins and helped us realize that most of those visitors have logged in previously.
We also learned that most of the users that did not login had ran a search, but never clicked-through on any of the results. Another value was joining our customer survey data with our web data. Not surprisingly, the reported intentions from the survey did not always align with the behavior on the site.
Don’t just take my word for it, read Debora’s recent article Warming Up to Analytics. This five part series, which she completed on January 4th, 2007, provides a lot of insight to how she approaches her work. You can also catch her posting on the Web Analytics Forum on Yahoo.
So unless you are already an expert in the web analytics field, give Deobora a call — you will be an expert when she’s done.