Web analytics texts – free to good shelf

Two people in Google Analytics training session, reviewing reports by Viget LabsEarlier this year I was bitten by a web analytics bug. I wanted to learn all I could about how website stats could help me understand what visitors were doing on the websites I was working on.

The basic reasoning is thus: learn about how people are using a website then give them more of what they want. Reviewing analytics can also help to identify problem areas, which can then be addressed. Clues are available to show how effective marketing is, whether the website is showing up in search results, and ultimately whether it’s worth the effort being put in.

Fired up, I embarked on a stack of learning. Much was practical as I delved into the stats available from the Google Analytics package. Extra input came in the form of volunteers Michael and Pandu through a project I submitted to the Analysis Exchange. I almost completed an online course offered by Market Motive. And I read a lot. There is so much freely available on blogs it’s possible to drown in analytics.

Frustrated at the unstructured way my learning was going and worried I might miss something important, I bought some texts on web analytics. I wanted some experts to share tricks of the trade.

Now, much as I think this area of measurement, analysis and reporting is important, I’m not going to dig any deeper. A primary consideration is I’m less interested manipulating figures. This requires a fair amount of time staring at numbers/ graphs on a computer screen.

So, I’m giving away the three texts I bought.

The books are:

Google Analytics by Justin Cutroni (O’Reilly, 2010, 201 pages) [Taken]

Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics by Brian Clifton (Sybex, 2010, 501 pages) [Taken]

Web analytics 2.0: the art of online accountability & science of customer centricity, by Avinash Kaushik (Sybex, 2010, 475 pages) [Taken]

If you want to take one of these books off my shelf, all you need to tell me how you use analytics for your New Zealand based not-for-profit organisation. Send an email, or make a comment on this blog post. I’m limiting the give away to one per organisation. First in, first to get a book.

I’m hoping my quest to keep my bookshelf under control (and my mind uncluttered, come to think of it), will help someone out. And it means I can focus on the things I think are most important right now (which I won’t list for fear of running out of space).

Photo credit: Viget Labs

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2 thoughts on “Web analytics texts – free to good shelf

  1. Julian Apatu

    If these analytic books are still up for garbs, I would like to take “Web analytics 2.0: the art of online accountability & science of customer centricity, by Avinash Kaushik (Sybex, 2010, 475 pages)” off your hands.

    Here at the Royal Society of New Zealand, we are trying to get to grips with how our analytics can inform us of who our visitors (regional and international) are as well as trends in the use of our website (when we have spikes in use for events and also drop-offs after major changes.) I have seen some useful stats, but identifying what stats are the most useful to the different teams within the organisation can be difficult as well as offering explanations on why some metrics are more important and also why some “bad” metrics are not as bad as they initially seem.

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  2. Stephen Blyth Post author

    Good to hear of your commitment on this front. You might like to take a look at a post I wrote about the Analysis Exchange. I got some great advice and support for a project I was working on that really increased the sophistication of our approach to measuring how we were doing. See: http://commonknowledge.net.nz/new_wp/2010/11/analysis-exchange/

    Looking forward to catching up over coffee when I drop the book off.

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