Saturday, March 03, 2007

Web Analyst Interview: Adam Berlinger

Continuing my series of Interview with Analysts, here is my interview with Adam Berlinger.

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

Web Metrics Analyst at Deloitte and Touche

How long have you been working in this fields?

I have been working in Web Analytics field for a total of about 4-5 Years. I have been at my current job at Deloitte for 2 year.

Tell me about your work, education prior to making a switch.

Prior to making a switch to web analytics filed I was a System Analyst at Krafts Foods.

Why did you decided to switch to Web Analytics?

It was a total accident. I walked into work, Kraft Foods, one day where my manager asked me to manage Web Analytics, specifically WebTrends. It was a chaos. People had versions of WebTrends on their desk top. We wanted to provide it as service. I was told to do it, and so it became my responsibility. Thank God it fell on me and I didn’t have to look for this opportunity.

How did you find your current job at Deloitte?

I saw there advertisement online. I applied for the position online. First I had a phone screen with HR. I was then invited to interview with the team and some of the key stakeholders on-site. The final phase was a phone interview with my direct manager. She asked if I was going to be "their WebTrends expert." I responded that I did not want to be expert in a specific technology...but in analytics in general. WebTrends is just a tool which (they) could replace which we did after I got there! I think that was the icing on the cake. I'm not sure how many people applied for the position.

I started preparing for the interview before I even applied by tailoring my resume with the exact phrases I read in Deloitte's job description. In fact, I was told my resume was "spot-on" after I got the job. I also studied their public Internet site and carefully prepared documentation that listed my accomplishments in analytics

What are you responsibilities now?

My current responsibilities are to manage technology and solution that provide reporting on the main site, Internet, Intranet and Extranet.

Who are your customers or stakeholders? Describe your typical work day.

My stakeholders are the business owners/contributors to, our intranet and extranet properties. My typical work-day involved managing our reporting environments and supporting those that need to run reports from Omniture, our flagship analytics solution.

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

Getting my MBA helped me in being analytical and some of the MIS courses that I took also helped.

Where did you do your MBA from?

Loyola University. in Chicago.

What education/experience is lacking, education or experience that would have helped in your current job in Web Analytics?

I think SEO and SEM education or experience is lacking. More exposure into SEO, not from technical side but from marketing stand point will help. Education about SEM will help too. It is not a requirement of my job but it will be nice to provide to internal customers and to stay on top of it. We use Google Adwords a lot here.

Which book(s), do you own or the books that have helped you in your job?

I own "Web Metrics - Proven Methods for Measuring Web Site Success" by Jim Stern. I also have "Web Analytics Demystified" by Eric Peterson. I have the KPIs book in the pdf. I use these books as a reference. I would say treat these books like a bible. I think there really needs to be a book on Holy Grail of how to take an action on the data. The books need to have hard case examples. This kind of book is currently missing.

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

For me personally I am trying to getting out from tool administrator to being an analyst. It is the posture of the position. I need to be able to take actions on the data not just report it. Most of my stakeholders have web analytics as 5% of their job, so they are happy with just the reports.

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

I joined the Web Analytics Association and the analytics user forum on Yahoo! I also try to read the latest articles on ClickZ and Forrester Research. Reading the books on this topic is also a great primer for learning. Most of all, I focus on the best practices and strategy behind Web analytics and how the solutions are keeping up to date with the evolving demands their clients have, e.g. Omniture purchasing Touch Clarity.

Do you have blog?

No, but I think I should have one

What is your advice to aspiring web analysts?

I would say, start with books we mentioned. Ask yourself if you like looking through data, do you like training with technology. Understand the architecture of web site. Understand log files and difference between log file and JavaScript solutions. Get involved and be close to the sites that your company currently has. Then go and ask, go to eCommerce office and ask them if we are using any web analytics tool. Ask them if they have a process in place. Ask them if they are the developers coding the site to enhance the web analytics strategy? Try to get involved with that site and web analytics.

It is a great field and is getting bigger. Keep in mind there is a big difference in mastering a solution and understanding web analytics, understand web analytics.

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