Sunday, April 15, 2007

Book Review: "Web Analytics Demystified"

"Web Analytics Demystified", by Eric Peterson. Eric Peterson also wrote "The Big Book of Key Performance Indicators" (2004). "Web Analytics Demystified" discusses the advantages and disadvantages of log files vs. tagging and the implications for WA. Eric also defines key WA terms: views, visitors, frequency, and so on. These terms are defined differently by each analytics tool vendor, so you have to know what they mean by their terms in order to compare the numbers. He systematically goes through every aspect of analytics and lays out the issues: what it means, how to measure it, how to interpret it, and the benefits and disadvantages in each concept. However, the book was written in 2004 and is a bit dated now. We've moved on from learning WA. These days, the issue is how to use analytics as part of a business strategy. The book also doesn't cover Web 2.0 issues, such as Ajax, Flash, and Adobe Flex (these weren't widespread at the time of the book). Nevertheless, it is an essential handbook. See a longer book review.

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