Continuing my series of Interview with Analysts, here is my interview with Thomas Carrillo
What is your current position and the name of the company you work for?
I am working as an Associate Web Analyst at Red Door Interactive.
How long have you been working in this field?
I started last March as an intern and then graduated from college and joined as full time. I have been full time for 7 months.
Tell me about your work/education prior to joining Red Door.
During my senior year of college I worked as an intern for McGrath funds, a San Diego based currency hedge fund where my main responsibility was using the mathematical models that housed the company's investment strategies to make sure everything was consistent with our current open positions and our current macro outlook on that particular pair. I did that internship up until March of 2006 and after than I began my internship with Red Door Interactive.
Why did you decided to go into Web Analytics?
In school, I took an internet marketing class as an elective. One of the things that we talked about was web analytics and the concept caught my attention. It was very high level of web analytics, it did not get into KPIs and how they tied to online performance. I found yahoo group, started following and group and reading blogs of Avinash Kaushik, Eric Peterson and Jim Novo. I love the internet and its many capabilities, and was confident my Finance degree could be applied in web analytics. So far it has worked out pretty well.
How are you applying your finance background in web analytics?
The majority of my classes in college were corporate finance related. This required analyzing financial statements and making decisions that would provide to most value to shareholders. To some extent that level of thinking is required for web analytics. This class work also enhanced my excel skills significantly. The Internet marketing course also provided some good insight.
Where did you get your education from?
San Diego State University
How did you find your current job at Red Door?
My roommate's father was director of Search Marketing at Red Door. I started talking to him and he gave the internship. I got trained on HBX, that's what we currently use.
What did you learn in internship?
How analytics applies to business goals. Learned about KPIs, learned how to apply and then provide those to the clients where they can be reported and be actionable. Every day I am learning something new.
What are you responsibilities in your current job?
My main tasks are to provide the reporting on KPI's on weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. Depending on the client I also tie in search with online data.
Describe your typical work day.
First few weeks of the month are very busy. I usually perform ad-hoc reporting when I come in the morning most of the day. Early in the month also spend lot of time discussing goals of the months. Usually I spend a lot of time on the computer cranking out excel reports. Excel is a must. If you want to be a web analyst you need to have intermediate excel skill if not advanced.
What education or experience you think is lacking hat would have helped in your current job in Web Analytics?
Certain amount of Technical side of web analytics, the implementations side, I feel, is lacking. Many times the issues arise but there is only limited amount that I know about the technical side. Technical aspect of web analytics is not 100% of my responsibility but something that I have to improve upon.
Which book(s) have helped you in your job?
Big Book of KPIs and all the other books of Peterson have helped with my learning. Jim Novo's Book Drilling Down, is a great book. I highly recommend. It is a good read. I also read WSJ, it is a must for anybody who is in the business world.
What are the major challenges you are facing in this industry?
As I mentioned before, the technical aspect of the webanalytics is a big challenge. I also wonder how valuable I will be or how valuable my skill set will be in the future.
It is great industry but I have challenge understanding where it is heading to.
Another challenge is the lack of diversification I have with analytics tools. A goal of mine for this year is to become more knowledgeable on the other analytics tools that are currently available, although I believe it's mainly the person not the tool that provides the most value out of analytics.
How do you make sure you are learning and growing in this field?
I spend an hour or 45 minutes reading yahoo group and read blogs on weekly basis. I subscribe to RSS. I use Google news on web analytics and SEM.
Do you have blog? If yes, what kind of article do you write?
I do have a blog, onlinebizchannel.blogspot.com. I have actually written few articles on web analytics, overall industry prospective.
What is your advice to aspiring web analysts?
One of the first thing I would say, sign up for the yahoo group. Network, it is a very small group of people who are doing this. Attend eMetrics, learn from people who are in this fields.