If you are a web analyst, or are seeking a job as one, you need to read "Web Analytics Action Hero: Using analysis to Gain Insight and Optimize Your Business" by Brent Dykes. In an interesting and engaging format, experienced web analytics consultant, Dykes, addresses topics that analysts and online marketers need to know to move beyond reporting and toward analysis to drive action and change within their businesses.
Did you ever think you would be reading about Indiana Jones when reading about web analytics? In this book you do. That's what made this book more interesting and engaging than many dry business type books. The action hero slant was fun and worked at teaching the lessons the author wanted to make.
Action hero and superhero jargon aside, this book really does address some serious issues regarding analysis, and using the action hero model just makes it easier to remember and identify with. I mean, what computer nerd doesn't dream of being an action hero? So now, you can be an action hero behind the computer screen doing analysis.
The format and layout of the book also makes it easier to read and learn the information presented. There are interesting quotes throughout the text, graphs, charts, and side boxes illustrate key points and continue to make it an interesting read. (As interesting and analysis can get anyway.) Some of the side boxes are Insider Insights that provide tips from top people in the field. Others contain Villain Profiles that illustrate things to watch out for and how to defeat these "villains."
The book will help someone become an analyst, and it will help analysts become better. It describes the best environment for analysts and provides a strategy for executing online analysis with a variety of techniques. I especially liked the call for "Action." Data is fine, but the real reason to analyze data is to provide recommendations to act, and to do so in a way that your recommendations are acted upon.
So, while most of the book focuses on transforming data into business insights, the final chapter looks at what a company can do to be more agile and ready for action. I thought that was a very good way to finish the book. Granted, this book has a limited audience. But for those interested in the analyst field, either to enter it, or become better at it, this book is a great resource. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to become a Web Analytics Action Hero.