Thursday, October 04, 2007

Interview with Manoj Jasra

Continuing my series of interviews with Web Analyst, here is an interview with Manoj Jasra.

What is your current position and the name of the company you work for?

Director of Technology, Enquiro Search Solutions

How long have you been working in web analytics field?

Since 2002

Tell me about your work and education prior to starting in Web Analytics?

I was actually a university student at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia – I joined Enquiro pretty much right out of school

How did you choose a career in Web Analytics?

Enquiro had a need for a person dedicated to analytics so that we could offer our clients more value in our service offerings. Personally I don’t think I ever permanently switched to analytics, rather expanded my search marketing skill set with that knowledge.

How did you find your job at Enquiro? How long did it take?

I think it was a little bit of luck, fate, skills/education and timing. A friend of mine was actually applying to work at Enquiro and I was just coming along for the ride, however I ended up submitting my resume and beat him out for the position. At that time it was a fairly quick interview process with only 1 interview.

What are you responsibilities? Describe your typical work day.
I wear a couple of hats at Enquiro. As the Director of Technology it’s my job to establish relationships with other vendors to help find the best of breed tools to integrate into our services. I also handle many strategic tasks related to Web Analytics ranging from analysis to implementation. Originally my background was in Software development therefore I am always providing consultation on technical SEO tasks as well.

What, if any, education or work experience helped you in making this role?

I think the best way to understand this role is to get your hands dirty with data analysis and implementation manuals. I started by testing on Enquiro’s own site using Omniture’s SiteCatalyst.

What education is lacking, education or experience that would have helped?

There are many good courses and seminars offered by the Vendors and the Web Analytics Association and I am sure if took more of those they would have helped me progress quicker.
What web analytics/online-marketing books have you read and/or own?
I have Eric Peterson’s Big Book of KPIs and Web Analytics Demystified, Actionable Web Analytics (Jason Burby/Shane Atchison) and would love to read Avinash’s Web Analytics: An Hour a Day. I am currently reading Chris Anderson’s, The Long Tail.

Which book(s) helped in you in starting in your job?

Web Analytics Demystified was a good place to start.

What were the major challenges you faced or are facing in this industry?

I think one of the biggest challenges is organizing and prioritizing all the new information that is thrown at you each day – it’s difficult to keep on top of it all

How do you make sure you are learning and growing in this field?

From an SEM and not just Web Analytics perspective, I try to take 45 min to an hour a day to read blogs and news portals. I also try to attend webinars whenever I can to help me leverage new technology/tactics/strategies

Tell me about your blog.

I write Web Analytics World, 50% is dedicated to Web Analytics and 50% is dedicated to SEM/Technology/SEO/SMO. I provide insight on the latest news in the industry; I conduct interviews/podcasts and provide strategic recommendations for online marketing.
What are the skills that you think are important for a web analyst?

I think 2 of the biggest skills required to be a web analyst is to be able combine technical skills along with business/marketing skills in order to understand your customer’s goals and provide value to them. Secondly you have to be passionate about what you do, if you don’t like what you’re doing you will not give 100% effort.

What is your advice to aspiring web analysts?

Theoretical skills are important but will only get you so far therefore it’s important to get “hands-on” experience right away.
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