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4.3 out of 5 stars
Actionable Web Analytics: Using Data to Make Smart Business Decisions
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Actionable Web Analytics is both well thought out and well written; but it's geared for big business (or medium size at least). If you're a general manager or executive type getting involved with web analytics this is a great book.

However, it's not geared toward the start-up entrepreneur. One of the sections talks about getting your "team" involved... your team being your: CMO (chief marketing officer), web team manager/leader, designer, information architect, usability expert, copywriter, developer, web analyst, strategist, channel manager, segmentation lead, etc. ,etc. For this I joked to my girlfriend that I guess i can have my meeting in front of the mirror! I'm all of these titles I guess. Another section talks about a company that incorrectly spent $150,000 per month on web analytics. While they did mention that this money was somewhat illspent, for entreprenurs this is totally irrelevant.

I gave it a good rating (4 stars) simply because I think the audience the authors intended (corporate types) will get a great benefit out of it. The book is particularly useful if a reader needs to put together a cohesive argument to someone else (e.g. upper management) that analytics (basically measurements) can help with making a company's website more profitable. To that end, the book does a great job!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
I pre-ordered this book after hearing Jason and Shane speak at the Omniture conference in March. It was finally delivered yesterday and I read it cover-to-cover last night. The book provides an easy to read and easy to understand overview of what web analytics is and why it is such an important part of web marketing. It also does an excellent job of identifying key web marketing best practices and the differences in skills that distinguish an analyst that is trolling away in a cube and an analyst that CEO invites to his country club for lunch. Read this book if you want to implement best of breed strategies and tactics that work in almost any organization. Digest each page of this book and you might be the person that replaces the CEO one day.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
If you are a web analyst, definitely, definitely add this book to your web analytics collection and read the two chapters on Monetization and Prioritization. Even if you read nothing else in the book, I promise your carreer will change for the better. People will start listening to you. You will get a promotion and you will get a raise. And you will start achieving more results with web analytics. It may not even take you more than 30 minutes to grasp the essence of those chapters. Awesome. And if you are a manager of a web analytics program. Why reinvent the wheel, this book has best practices for managing.

Having been in the industry for seven years I read almost every book on web analytics. Was great to see that this book adds its own unique insights that must not be missing in ones collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
A simple, yet powerful, easy to understand approach for all levels of expertise in the area of web analytics. For those that feel they are just keeping their head above water in the ever turbulent web data ocean, this book is a must. The layout is such that its not only a good first read, but also easily referenced later. Great effort Jason.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Actionable Web Analytics is one of the most useful books I own about web analytics, and I own quite a few. It isn't an introduction to web analytics -- for that I recommend Avinash Kaushik's Web Analytics: An Hour a Day -- but for practical application in a business environment large or small, this is a book you need to own. I may be needier than most; I own two copies.

I've worked for small companies most of my life, some vanishingly small. Now I work for Microsoft. I'm more impressed by the similarities between companies large and small than their differences. Whatever their size, most companies have yet to fully exploit one of the most significant advantages offered by web analytics -- prioritizing their development projects.

Monetization is simply assigning a dollar value to desirable site behaviors -- the things you want people to do on your site. It doesn't mean you'll earn that amount if someone does what you want them to do; it's an approximation of that behavior's value in achieving your goal. How you assign a value to a behavior is less important than consistency in your method. (Burby and Atkinson do provide details even if I don't.) The ultimate value of a monetization strategy is guidance where to invest your development resources.

Everybody's hard pressed to choose what to prioritize for their next web development project. Investment is risk. Usually it comes down to the HiPPO's decision -- the Highest Paid Person in the Organization. Monetization is a method of managing risk by determining which projects are likely to pay higher returns on investment. It takes the decision out of the hands of the HiPPO and bases it upon data. Making data-driven decision is what web analytics is about. And, obviously, actionable web analytics is what this book is about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
I work as the one and only web analyst for a large health insurance company in TN. In other words, I need all the help I can get. I stumbled upon this book when I met one of its authors who was presenting at a conference I attended. It prompted me to get the book; and after a careful reading, I've concluded that it is, quite simply, the best book I've ever read on web analytics; much better, IMHO, than anything written by Kaushik, who's always a bit too clever and cutesy for my tastes. This book is all meat and practically no fat. It's basically a 'how to' book that instructs you, step by painstaking step, how to build a culture of analytics within your company. It's built on the premise that without action there is no ROI; so it tells you how to structure your analytics in such a way that action can be taken, and significant ROI can be realized. I would say without hesitation that this book is a *must* read for anyone hoping to achieve competency in this field.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
I think this book is geared toward employees of companies that have no idea what web analytics are or why they would need to pay attention to them. If you are looking for a book that will go into any depth at all about web analytics, the types of data collected or what to do with it, look elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
This books details some of the most important best practices in web development. All corporate websites have goals. The authors detail critical processes in planning website goals, measuring those goals, and optimizing sites to hit goals overtime. While many practitioners find web data analysis to be a difficult subject to master, the authors take a very simple and friendly approach to teaching some of the most complex subjects in planning and measuring all types of sites. This book is a great read for all levels of web developers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a great book, and provides a whole program for actionable web analytics. The chapters towards the end are especially useful (data driven brief, agencies, staffing and tuning the team are all quite different to what I've seen in other references) and of course the monetising chapter is worth the cover price alone.

But what really stood out to me was what an easy read it is, Jason and Shane convey some hardcore and complicated concepts in such an easily understandable manner, it's a joy to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
The authors of Actionable Web Analytics clearly understand the technical intricacies of Web analytics. More importantly, they clearly understand the challenges faced by Web marketers and managers in distilling and communicating the value and ROI of Web sites and interactive campaigns. Given the critical need for cost-effective marketing integration across all media, I believe this is a must-read for everyone from Web analytics gurus to corporate CMOs.
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