Avinash Kaushik – Profile in Web Analytics Awesome
If you are learning analytics like me, you should meet Avinash. He wrote the book on web analytics and is pretty awesome (He uses that word frequently, but I don’t mind… because he is awesome.)
I was first introduced to him through his book Web analytics 2.0. My attention was drawn to the book because of the cool fractal graphic, but the Amazon reviews convinced me to buy.
His conversational style engages the reader and makes the subject of analytics palatable to the rest of us. I can understand why he gets so many positive reviews. I cherry picked parts of the book, learned enough to know what I don’t know, and then set it down.
About a year later and fully engaged with the Better User Experience project, I ran across his analytics video blog, which led me to all his other stuff, which led me to profile him here. [highlight color=”eg. yellow, black”]If you are interested in user behavior as evidenced by web data, then you need to get to know Avinash.[/highlight] Is Analytics UX? Yeah, Web analytics falls under that observation part of the cycle of user experience design. The numbers are honest … they don’t lie.
Profile in awesome
Mr. Kaushik has written two books Web Analytics: an hour a day and Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and Science of Customer Centricity.Two charities, The Smile Train and The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation receive all proceeds from the sale of the second book – I’d call that evidence of Awesome.
He is an analytics evangelist for Google. In that role he produces a ‘question and answer’ video blog with Nick Mihailovski at the GoogleAnalytics youtube channel.
Avinash cofounded Market Motive, Inc. An educational, e-Learning startup ” dedicated to bringing you the best web-based internet marketing training and certification courses anywhere.” [And, I believe in his training skills – I think he has the personality of a great professor.]
Of course, he is a frequent speaker at conferences all over the world and for big ass companies. Judging by his web footprint, he really is “committed to helping organizations unlock the value of Web data and to become data-driven customer centric organizations”.
He won the 2009 statistical Advocate of the year award from the American statistical Association. I have no idea if this is cool or not – sounds kinda cool.
Two “Ah ha” blog posts
The book is good, but like all books it’s a bit long and deep for the casual/beginning user. It was really two blog posts that gave me that “Ah ha” moment of clarity and understanding about Web analytics.
“This blogpost is a collection of tips I share with my friends who are just starting out. Each tip is a “simple” mistake that is easily avoided. My hope is that you’ll skip them if you are aware of them, and move on to making more important valuable mistakes. :)”
Like I said, this guy is awesome. Coming from the wild west of hobbyist web development in the 90s, I know all too well that you can make mistakes and no one will call you out on it. But you could be a unconsciously incompetent and live happily under the motto “ignorance is bliss”. What you need is a guy like Kaushik to gently remind you that you are wearing ninja shoes and those throwing stars are sharp.
Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do. Learning what not to do is often easier for the beginner. Maybe it’s that part of our brain that hates to lose something. It’s a much stronger urge than to protect what we have, rather than gain something new. If you work with analytics and data, you probably made [or are making] these mistakes. Just like animated gifts of a mailbox or a spinning globe, they can be avoided. This post can help.
The first post looks to the past and mistakes. This post looks to the future and generalized predictions.
This post talks about general marketing and web business but really got me with this:
The problem is not analytics or data (or your blood, sweat and tears). The problem is Marketing and lack of imagination in using the web/digital channels.
Here is a hard-core data guy saying that data is not the problem-that creativity and imagination is. Sort of like our friend Sir Ken Robinson says about the problems of schooling.
In the interest of brevity I’ll wrap up now. My advice to you is to get to know Avinash. Pick up a copy of the book, read his blog, watch his ‘question / answer’ show on the GoogleAnalytics Youtube Channel. Whether you become an analytics ninja or not, I think it will be worth your time.