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4.8 out of 5 stars24
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 4 July 2015
It's ok. You'll get a good general idea of what's ahead, but you can't rely on it to give you many practical advices. Avinash is great - his blog is really good and he'll answer many general questions you have, but for anything more specific he'll tell you to hire Google Analytics Certified Partner - This totally makes sense and he can't spend his time consulting for free.
In order to succeed you'll have to invest much more time and effort beyond this book.

In this issue I think some quite basic things were missing - using the utms and the troubles that could arise if you as a newbie decide for some reason to use them on your own site (a fact that Avinash himslef was not aware till a Q&A youtube video in which one of his colleagues/partners had to explain the specificity)

No chapter on the issues of how Google Analytics tracks things - how it attributes conversions (because they really love to attribute stuff to 'last click' and google search (paid or organic) Make sense (for them) :)

The attribution modelling which can shed some light beyond the last click has its big disadvantages and you''ll definitely need additional tools in order to get you job done right.

There are some bugs and little obstacles that you always have when you install and fine tune GA (putting all the other tags that you'll need at the right places and dealing with the ones that are not asynchronous,etc.) and I would have appreciated a chapter on this also.

Overall, Avinash is a great guy and the book is OK, but I would have appreciated if he had spend more time pointing out some of the more important disadvantages that GA has or the things it can't do.
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on 1 February 2010
I'm going to do my best to not use too much hyperbole in this mini-review so forgive me if I do.

Simply put, this mighty tome is an inspiration for anyone who seeks to break into web analytics or anyone seeking to extend their knowledge and become an 'Analytics Ninja'.

Engaging writing, amusing, always informative, accurate, concise and fair are all phrases I would use to describe the book. 'Fair enough' you think but what makes it merit a full 5 stars? One might expect a Web Analytics manual from Avinash to be Google-centric given his well known affiliation to 'The Big G', however, a refreshingly pleasant surprise is the breadth of tools and skills that he writes about that go beyond the Google suite of analytics products.

Sure, GA etc. get a fair look in a rightly so based on their merits but there are *many* alternatives out there and all tools should be considered for the job in hand based on their merits and applicability. The thinking behind the inclusion of a wide range of tools and technologies is a fundamental lesson in itself in web analytics.

So, who should read this book? Anyone who is or wants to be 'smart' in web analytics. Being smart is the difference between adding value and 'puking reports'.

Where is the book weak? Not many places, for sure! A little light on the stats but one could write a whole volume on that subject itself and lo and behold, many have so use alternative texts as companions to this one. The book is not intended to be a technical 'how to get the data' manual but there are many techniques that are worth a mention to supplement thinking and provide inspiration. There is a minor typo on page 99 but we'll quickly wash over that minor gripe ;-)

Why should anyone re-read it? There is a lot of ground covered! Too much to take in properly in one go but a couple of reads will hammer the key messages home. bear in mind that web analytics is becoming a very fast moving arms race and a few points about GA mentioned in the book have already moved on. Where Avinash might ask 'what if?' questions, it may well be the case that answers are now available and a whole new avenue of rich insightful analysis is now possible.

So, read, re-read and look forward to 3.0!
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on 25 December 2015
So far in my reading, I can verily recommend this to anyone who is very interested in Web Analytics. Avinash Kaushik makes the reading fun and very interesting which is also very good for those who are new to the field.
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on 13 November 2009
As an analytics consultant and big fan of Avinash, his blog and twitter postings his second book doesn't disappoint. In the first couple of days I am well over half way through this insightful look at web analytics and vistually every chapter so far is crammed with nuggets of useful information that I can put into action immediately both for myself and clients.
For anyone responsible for web analytics or reporting on anything to do with their organisations online presence this book is a must! This is now the book I will give to all trainees on my analytics training courses for clients around the UK.
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on 25 February 2014
This is a solid guide to key principles of data usage and analysis. I'd say it's a must read for anyone who is starting out in a data team at an agency or working in house for the website team. It's a bit over long but does covet every aspect of analytics from a theoretical and practical basis. It's a couple of years old so a lit of the tech and companies mentioned have evolved but the overall principles are still sound
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on 14 November 2009
Avinash Kaushik has been de-mistifying the world of web analytics for years through his excellent blog Occam's Razor. He took us deeper into the murky world of Java-script tagging and standard reports with his comprehensive "Web Analytics: An Hour a Day" in 2007. Now he has written a book that all digital marketers should buy, read and leave on their desk to refer back to on a regular basis.

Web Analytics 2.0 shows us how to move from shovelling buckets of meaningless "clickstream" data around our organisations and develop a love for true insight. In short he encourages us to move towards adding qualitative data to our limitless supply of quantitative data in order to really understand what people are doing on our sites. We must learn to use our hearts as well as our minds.

Lets take a simple example - that old favourite of "Engagement". Marketers run so many analytics reports to get a fix on engagement that the lights in most offices regularly dim. And the bad news according to Avinash is that you will NEVER be able to measure how much people are enjoying themselves on your site just with the click-stream data. For instance, to paraphrase Avinash, 2 people visit your site and spend 10 minutes looking at 12 pages. Both happy right? One loved your site, but the other was frantically trying to find some content and gave up after 10 fruitless minutes - you will never ever ever know this just from your data. We'll need to augment our click-stream view with some kind of attitudinal research and Avinash guides us through what tools to use and how to get the best of them...in this case an on-site survey with simple questions such as "did you achieve what you set out to do on our site today?" will take the guesswork out of our analytics.

So Avinash takes us on a journey to show us where we should be using our hearts to make sense of data. On our way we look at the need to move away from once a week reports to continuous streams of meaningful data; we are constantly reminded that customers, not marketers, are the best people to inform us what our site should look and feel like; and we are taken on a guided tour of the mountainous areas of competitive insight and told how to mine it profitably.

But this book does so much more than just change the way you think, critical though that is. It shows you what buttons to press to make your reports more actionable, tells you what sites to look at when considering additional solutions and gives clarity to virtually all the web analytics jargon terms. Some of the content will be familiar to regular readers of his blog (like the excellent explanation of multiple-tab time on site calculations!) but that makes this even more of a reference book for all our analytics needs.

As you may know I am a huge fan of testing everything that we do in digital marketing and so the chapter titled "Failing Faster: Unleashing the Power of Testing and Experimentation" took me around all my favourite sites in the digital marketing landscape: A/B testing, Multi-variate testing and some really sound advice about where to start and a few quick wins to get you in the mood!
Avinash shows us that web analytics is woven into all our digital marketing activity - from search to site usability and email campaign analysis to off-line integration. I even spent a rewarding few minutes simply reading the sub-heads and being reminded of things we ought to be doing all the time:
- Segment or go home
- Five Rules for creating a Data-Driven Boss
- The Key to Glory - Measuring Success
- Context is Queen
- Failing faster - unleashing the power of Testing and Experimentation

So there we are - a digital marketing book that takes you from thinking differently to doing better, packed with explanations about the things we ought to know about (or showing us how wrong we have been!). It comes with a CD brimming with Podcasts, Video and Powerpoint material as well as lists of additional resources. It's taken me 2 weeks to work from the start of the book to the end but it's been a fantastic journey...and at over 450 pages you may want to pack a lunch before you set off!
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on 23 June 2015
It provides a good background, although sone what out of date. The style of writing leaves much to be desired . But as an introduction, it's not bad.
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on 17 November 2009
Put it this way. If you're interested in web analytics and want to make any site perform better then you're a mug if you don't buy this book AND his previous one - Web Analytics an hour a day.

Read the 'hour a day' book first' then this new one and belive me you'll be so far ahead of the majority of the competition it'll be a crime.

Having said all of this - you've got to put the work AND thought in. Avinish gives you the training, ideas and strategies but he can't force you to work.
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on 27 October 2014
Avinash Kaushik is hugely knowledgeable with a great writing style. However, this book is nearly 5 years old and is very out of date. A number of brands are referenced that no longer exist. Time for an update please, Avinash.
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on 4 March 2014
I ended putting down the novel I was reading at the same time as this book: I was enjoying Web Analytics so much, I couldn't be bothered with anything else, and it was a good novel. I came back to it later.

Full of practical, actionable insights that will instantly make a difference to any digital project.
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