Back in December of last year Aurelie, John, and I announced an idea we believe has the potential to change the web analytics industry forever, The Analysis Exchange. Briefly, the Analysis Exchange is a totally new approach towards web analytics training — one that depends less on what you read and more on what you do.
The Analysis Exchange lets experience web analysts demonstrate their passion for their work and gives beginners valuable “hands on” experience with data and real business problems. What’s more, the output from Analysis Exchange projects directly benefits some of the most amazing organizations around the globe — nonprofits and non-governmental groups who work not for money but for the betterment of humanity, our planet, and all creatures great and small.
You can read more about the origination of this effort in our blog posts and a very nice write up by our friend Jim Sterne, founder of the Web Analytics Association:
- Announcing The Analysis Exchange
- Amazing response to The Analysis Exchange
- Nonprofits Profit from Web Analytics Volunteers
Since December we have been hard at work building out a web site and perfecting the business process that would be required to accomplish our core goals. What are those goals, you ask? Very, very simple … between now and June 1, 2011 we want to:
- Provide FREE analysis to 1,000 nonprofit organizations
- Provide FREE training and certification to 500 web analytics students
- Provide FREE certification and support to 150 web analytics experts
1,000/500/150 are the numbers that we will be living by, but we know we’re not living there alone. We know this because the initial response to The Analysis Exchange has been tremendous! In addition to the great stuff we learned in our first testing round we have had excellent feedback from nonprofits, mentors, and students alike.
I love what Amy Sample, Director of Web Analytics at PBS Interactive had to say:
“What I love about the Analysis Exchange is the learning is reciprocal. Not only is the student learning about analytics and giving back to the organization, but the organization is learning from the student as well. Many of our local PBS stations have little experience with Web Analytics. Through the Exchange, the stations are able to learn how to tackle analytics problems along with the student and how to make a lasting impact to their own organization.”
Cindy Olnick from the Los Angeles Conservancy had similar enthusiasm for her project:
“Joy’s a terrific mentor from what I can tell, and she and Danielle are great at translating all the numbers into information I can use. They’ve given me a report and will set up some new parameters in Google Analytics targeted to my goal of increasing membership.”
Todd Bullivant, one of our students said:
“It was a great way to end the week! Thanks again to everyone for the opportunity. I learned a lot about analytics that I can use in my own organization as well as future projects. I hope to work on many more of these in the future! I also just heard that my company is planning to spotlight me in the next internal newsletter due to this project, so increased visibility!”
Susie Hall, Director of Outreach and Enrollment at Acton School of Business said:
“The Analysis Exchange project was very enlightening for me as well. We found out some valuable information, and I’m excited to use this new-found knowledge to help shape our outreach efforts. This project could not have come at a better time, we are in the middle of changing pretty much all of our processes, so moving forward armed with such powerful information is invaluable. Andrew and Candace were lovely to work with, and I am very happy with the whole experience.”
One of our super-motivated students, Andrew Hall said:
“During the course of the project, I worked with almost every functionality of Analytics other than custom variables, got to understand how Adwords campaigns work, and learned the benefits of taking data from Analytics into an analysis software like Tableau to gain and communicate insights. Most importantly, I confirmed that I really enjoy doing this! I am waiting to hear back from a couple of jobs, but in the mean time I’ve decided the knowledge I now possess would be beneficial a lot of organizations. I feel confident enough to start approaching businesses and nonprofits in my community to get consulting work.”
By now I’m sure you get the picture, and our mentors have been having a great time as well. So much so that Joy Billings from Digitaria gave a positively glowing review of her work at the San Jose Emetrics, John Lovett’s student had her work go all the way to the CMO’s office at The Holocaust Museum, and Victor Acquah from Blue Analytics said:
“Just got off the presentation! Todd did such a great job with the analysis and presentation that it is hard to tell he hasn’t been in analytics for too long. Totally impressive output.”
We at Web Analytics Demystified have felt totally blessed to be part of the projects that have been going this far … but now is the time to take it to the next level: Starting with the publication of this blog post, The Analysis Exchange is open to all students, all mentors, and all qualifying organizations around the world.
If you haven’t already, please create an Analysis Exchange profile and join us in our effort to change web analytics forever. If you need more information first we have lots and lots of content including:
- An over-arching explanation of the effort
- Information about the benefits to students, mentors, and organizations
- A frequently asked questions document
- A growing body of information and documentation
- A map showing where many of our members are around the world
If you’re already in the Analysis Exchange and you want to help, please reach out to nonprofits you know and ask them to create a project so you can work with them. If you’re on Twitter, please use our short link (http://bit.ly/analysis-exchange) to help spread the news. If you’re a member of Web Analytics Wednesday, please consider mentioning the effort at your next meeting.
Finally, I want to offer a special “thank you” to Aurelie, John, Jim, Holly Ross, Beth Kanter, Sean Power, and each and every one of the mentors, students, and organizations who have helped us over the last five months. You are all amazing for contributing your time and energy to help make this effort run as smoothly as possible. Thank you!