Sunday, November 19, 2006

Can't get around it ...

Since my previous post about the "dutiful" analytics situation, I have heard the following comments about the lesson that little story might hold:

1. Being in analytics is just like whistling in the wind (the actual wind-related metaphor was a little more colorful)

2. You'll never go wrong underestimating the [insert vague personnel reference here]

3. We are NOT the Borg

4. It's never too early in the day to go home depressed

Although I think they all qualify as properly existential and therefore perfectly valid interpretations of the cosmic moment described, I have bounced back from my initial dismay. The lesson I am personally taking away is:

5. Never, never, ever let anybody run a WebTrends report by themselves. Unless they have personally wowed you in some kind of metrics-related discussion. Without that proof of worthiness, they will inevitably bring shame and harm to your profession and shorten your career and life.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Definitely NOT changing someone's world

I got a call from an acquaintance yesterday needing some WebTrends help. Her organization has had WebTrends for about six months. She had been sending out Word versions of WT reports to stakeholders every month since the site redesign in June - just the Overview report, nothing else. But yesterday she decided to get fancy and do a side-by-side comparison of June and October. Unable to produce it, she called me.

Well, to make a long story short, it took about 45 seconds of research to find that she hadn't had logs to analyze since July 25. WebTrends had been dutifully turning on and analyzing nothing since July 26. And she had been dutifully creating and mailing reports covering the period June through [current month] --- 5 times since last July. The bar graph for traffic had been dutifully displaying its data, with the June-July traffic receding each month until it now displays only one bar on a long, lonely, empty x-axis.

And people had apparently been dutifully deleting her emails.

I am thinking hard about what might be the existential lesson here.