Amazing interview with Eric Peterson

If you think about Web Analytics, one of the first names comes to your mind is Eric Peterson. Eric is currently Vice President with the Visual Sciences division of web analytics firm, WebSideStory, is the author of several books on web measurement and moderates several popular discussion lists on analytics. He also manages an excellent site on web analytics called Web Analytics Demystified (one of my favorites). He previously worked as an analyst with JupiterResearch and has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, Business 2.0 and others as an expert on the topic.

This is the interview I made to Eric, I hope you enjoy it as I did.

JUAN: Which practices are involved in a regular Web Analytics project?

ERIC: Wow, so many. On my web site I describe something I call the “Web Analytics Business Process” which is really a series of processes that describe the “doing” of web analytics. You can get the presentation by visiting my site (

JUAN: What is, in your opinion, the present situation of Web Analytics?

ERIC: Fantastic! More companies are getting interested in web analytics all the time. Companies are aggressively working to hire dedicated analysts, better technologies are being purchased, and even the great Jim Sterne’s conference (eMetrics is becoming a huge event!)

JUAN: How serious are companies taking Web Analytics?

ERIC: The best companies are taking the learnings from web analytics ** very seriously ** which makes sense considering the value the technology brings. It doesn’t make any sense to simply “play” at web analytics, especially with the amount of money being spent on online marketing and advertising.

JUAN: Which analytics technology do you prefer (Page Tagging / Log File Analyzers / Hybrids / Packet Sniffers). Why?

ERIC: Well, I work for Visual Sciences, the world’s premier provider of hybrid-based measurement solutions. Hybrid is really the best since it allows sites to measure both online marketing efforts (e.g., tag-based) side-by-side with IT efforts (SEO, error reporting, etc.)

JUAN: The actual technologies are covering all your expectations? Why Yes / No.

ERIC: Yes. I don’t believe that web analytics is underutilized because of technology. The gap in usage arises from how companies think about and use the technology, which is why I am so excited about describing the Web Analytics Business process.

JUAN: Why a company should invest their budget in analytics?

ERIC: Well, if you’re spending money on online marketing or advertising without closely monitoring the value that money returns, you’re simply wasting the money you spend. Web analytics is about creating visibility into how your efforts are appreciated by your customers.

JUAN: How do you imagine Web Analytics in a short, medium and long term?

ERIC: In the short- and medium-term I think things will pretty much stay the same as companies really learn how web analytics can benefit their businesses. Long-term I think web analytics has the potential to change how business works online. The best businesses are using web analytics very much to their competitive advantage; I think the rest will follow.

JUAN: What’s your passion?

ERIC: Well, I do a lot with web analytics ;-) I founded the Yahoo! group on web analytics, Web Analytics Wednesday, and a Web 2.0 Measurement Working Group. Mostly I love hearing that companies are successfully using this technology to their business benefit (note from JUAN> Probably most of them are using it).

JUAN: What’s the best book you’ve read?

ERIC: Oh man, I think the ** best ** book about online business I have ever read is “Don’t Make Me Think!” by Steve Krug. Otherwise, I’m a huge fan of science fiction books, perhaps Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game” and the “Ender’s” series of books.

That was Eric Peterson, one of the big guys from Analytics. Let me recommend you to visit Web Analytics Demystified, one of the “must visit” websites in the Web Analytics Industry.

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