An Incredible Analytics Experience: 5 Years of Occam’s Razor

My beloved little labor of love, this analytics blog, is 5 years old today. Five!

five

I am so proud of having reached this incredible milestone, because when I started I was not sure I would make it to the first anniversary.

Let me tell you how utterly improbable it seemed.

My first blog post, on May 15th, 2006, was titled Traditional Web Analytics is Dead (let me emphasize the first word, traditional). Per my plan, I wrote two posts a week. At that time I had done just two public speaking engagements, and the love of my life had been to one of them, and she knew what I did and my body of work.

At the end of the first month, having read every one of my 8 blog posts (reason #2691 I love her so much!), she turned to me and said:

"You should slow down your posting schedule, you've already written almost everything you know."

And let me tell you she was not that far away from the truth! I did worry about that as I went into the second month.

But my persistence in learning new things every day by being an active practitioner never went way. My quest to share *everything* I know with you stayed, and here we are. . . it has already been five years!

The secret to the blog's longevity is simple: your engagement with it. . .

general stats occams razor

In five years I have written a total of 433,273 words in 245 blog posts, and, this is simply awe-inspiring, those posts have received 9,706 comments with a total of 884,699 words! (Around 10% of those words in comments are my replies to you.)

Together we've written 1.3 million words in 5 years! One point three million!!

Isn't that amazing?

From day one my plan was to make analytics accessible, practical, non-IT centric, and real. I wanted to relate to you, your problems and provide solutions and frameworks you could actually use. No theory, just the unvarnished useful truth. My hope was that would encourage conversation (and yes Loyalty and Recency!) and that Occam's Razor would not be like every other blog – a broadcast.

Yet I had never ever imagined that you would write 2x the amount I would! Never in a million years. Every post I have written has been a ton of work; I cannot tell you how powerful your engagement is in terms of motivating me. Thank you.

Other numbers have been equally impressive (to me). Here's a simple graph of the number of visits to the blog and the number of posts I've written, by month. . .

 

occams razor visits posts metrics

Clearly the less I write the more popular the blog becomes! :)

Over time my posts have become longer (and l o n g e r!), more strategic and expanded to cover a lot more ground than "web analytics." It has been fun.

Those of you familiar with my Blog Metrics post will know that in addition to Conversation Rate (first set of numbers above), I place tremendous importance on Loyal Audience Growth (the number of RSS Subscribers). Here's five years worth of Subscriber count data. . .

rss subscribers occams razor

[Apologies for the ugly visual, Feedburner is an unfortunately neglected product. The dark steady line is Subscribers, the squiggly lines are Reach.]

When I started the blog, my "I'll die and go to heaven" RSS goal number was 1,000. I did not think I would get to it (there were already so many well established Analytics blogs and people). As you can see above, the number crossed 52,000 sometime last month.

I still don't believe it.

Numbers are great, but as I reflect on the last five years I am struck by the impact of the blog on my evolution. . . my life has changed dramatically in the last five years.

I was Sr. Manager of a small analytics team. They were helping me ignore what web analytics was at that time, and imagine a different future. I became a director, then a consultant for a flirtatious period of one year. Then an Analytics Evangelist, working in fundamental ways to transform some of the largest companies in the world. Today that's coupled with keynotes at conferences around the world, co-founding an online marketing and analytics certification company Market Motive Inc, and advisory roles thrown in for good measure. So different from where I started.

metamorphosis

There were other bits of surprises. 3 Bs.

Books.

Six months into this blog Wiley expressed interest in making the blog into a book. That initiative became Web Analytics: An Hour A Day. My sweetheart and I decided to donate our $10,000 advance to charity (to convert what we did for love, this blog, into a small benefit for others – The Smile Train and Doctors Without Borders). WA Hour was translated into 7 languages (vastly surpassing my expectations). In the middle of the third year I started writing Web Analytics 2.0. We decided to donate 100% our proceeds from that book to charity as well (adding Ekal Vidiyalaya as the third charity).

people of web analytics

In the three or so years that WA Hour as been out and a year that WA 2.0 has been out, our proceeds from the books sales are around US $170,000.

Though that is a small sum, there is no way that I could ever have managed to donate that much money to charity. I am so incredibly grateful to everyone who bought a copy of the book. The result is this unimaginable joy of writing, publishing, donating. What else can a person ask for? I feel incredibly blessed.

Bleeding Edge.

This is a deadly cocktail: Pressure to write every week. Self-imposed pressure to create very high quality content. Your deep engagement.

These three things mean that I have to constantly be curious, understand deeply the world we live in, and the challenges we face as practitioners. That is the only way I can stay current and create solutions that matter – to provide something incredible, relevant, of value.

I firmly believe that is the "secret" to a longer "shelf-life." No opportunity to become stale, siloed, out of touch, irrelevant. Thank you!

Brand.

This was less of a surprise. How much bigger and broader the impact was is a surprise.

I have an MBA in Finance and Marketing so it should not be surprising that I went into this knowing it would be a platform for "brand avinash kaushik." I had a rough idea about what I wanted the brand to stand for. Passion. Integrity. No BS. Real value. Exciting. It is what I am; it is what I wanted this blog to be.

I have tried very hard to live those brand attributes. In ways small and big. Here and in every channel I participate in (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr).

This week I had to give a keynote on "Managing Your Personal Brand." A brand is not what you want it to be, it is what others perceive it to be based on your actions. So I asked people on Twitter to tell me the three words that come to mind when they think of "brand avinash kaushik."

There were hundreds of responses (!). A simple way to visualize all that data, and identify trends, is to create a tag cloud. Here it is, for all the words,. . .

19

[For more detail checkout the higher resolution version.]

There is an amazing amount of insight in that simple tag cloud, and it is inspiring to see the things that brand now stands for. Far beyond what I had originally envisioned.

While I care a little bit about the professional side of things, everything I do is people centered and so for me there were three words that meant less. So I took those three words (Web, Analytics, Google) out of the responses and got to the data I am really, really solving for ("people feelings"). . .

brand tag cloud nonanalytics avinash kaushik

[For more detail checkout the higher resolution version.]

Looking at the above tagcloud, in Tagxedo, was one of life's quiet moments of amazement.

There is nothing quite like seeing five years of walking the talk summarized like that.

The words there are so beyond my expectations, and often underserved (though I thank all of you who said "sexy"!).

And now there is even more motivation to work even harder for the next five years.

I am immensely grateful for your attention. I have never taken it for granted, and I hope to keep earning it on Occam's Razor. Thank you. Arigato. Tusen takk. Gracias.

As always, it is your turn now. Let's celebrate with some of your stories and perspectives in comments.

When did you start reading this blog? Do you have a favorite idea, ah-ha moment, blog post? Are there small ways in which it has had impact on your professional (or personal) life? What would you do to improve it?

Thank you again for everything, especially your attention and engagement.

Comments

  1. 1
    Claudiu says:

    When I went to my first job interview to a corporation, I was a little rebel punk who didn't want to get that low and become a corporatist, but needed the job. I didn't do well however when I heard my future to be manager that she was going to interview Avinash Kaushik, my eyes sparked. Later, she told me that the spark in my eyes is was what made her choose me for the job. I only knew you by the content from your blog.

    Avinash, here is a fact (and it's one of those facts that you don't need a chart to see it): there is barely an established web analyst in the world that hasn't heard your name yet.

    What I love most about your articles is that no matter how beginner or advanced one is, one still has something to learn from your articles and the debates that come around them.

    Thank you for the 5 years and keep em coming. :)

  2. 2

    Hi Avinash,

    I'm sure I started reading your blog more than five years ago! Are you sure it hasn't been going for ever?

    I think my favourite post was 5 Rules For Awesome Impromptu Web Analysis and not just because I got name dropped! So often I go into situations trying to prove my answer is true, without sitting down to think of the question. It's very, very difficult to be open minded and admit when you are wrong.

    You were also the inspiration for me to start my own blog. People said to me when I started that nobody would read posts that were really long, but the frequency that people quote your posts proves that isn't true.

    Keep up the good work.

    Cheers,
    Alec

  3. 3
    Rabin Gupta says:

    Hi Avinash,

    Congratulation Avinash!

    I am sure in 5 years the knowledge you haveshared has helped zillions of people around the world engaged in Analysis.

    Most of the people are glued to the blog, waiting what would be the next amazing post which would help them think beyond the normalpicture. Every post you have made are incredible.

    I personally enjoy reading your posts they are very informative, and it does help us to get some additional side of picture which I was not considering.

    Thanks a lot, you are a "True Analysis Guru".

    Cheers,
    Rabin

  4. 4
    Ian Williams says:

    Hey Avinash,

    Well, it doesn't surprise me to see this success and I am very happy for you! You are one of the few bloggers who will email replies to commenters, and always approach the subject of analytics with grace and humility, despite the clear wealth of experience you have. So much so that, although I have never met you, it doesn't surprise me that you donated your book advance to charity.

    So, yeah – I guess that's a win for 'Brand Avinash' ;)

    Here's to the next five years!

    Ian

  5. 5

    Congrats for hitting number 5!
    I can be indeed very proud of what you have achieved and still achieving.

    I think I really start reading your blog after I saw and met you at London eMetrics in 2007. what an impression you made there. And it was just the beginning as I started reading your blog. Since them you have been a continuous source of inspiration to me (and as well for thousands of others I guess :-)).

    You are not only an example regarding the analytics field but also from a human point of view: the way you share all your knowledge and experience, you are always available, taking time to answer people but also what you did with your book. 170,000 USD is NOT a small amount. It's simply fantastic!

    Thank to you for the great time & reading.
    I am sure it will keep coming for several more years.

    Cheers,

    Michael

  6. 6

    Congratulations Avinash!

    I still remember me being a student searching for literature on web analytics for my master thesis. Back then, your blog and the first book were two of the most valuable sources.

    I kept reading your blog and the second book and although your posting frequency slowed down, relevance and sharpness never dropped a single bit.

    Thank you for the last 5 years and I'm looking forward to the next 5 and the 10th anniversary.

    Best regards from Germany,

    Peter

  7. 7

    No, thank you Avinash!

    Your books, posts, and presentations inspire other analysts, marketers, and e-commerce managers to expand their capabilities, focus on what is truly important, and make data-driven decisions. You have truly helped the web analytics community come together with a strong foundation.

  8. 8
    Joe Teixeira says:

    Avinash!

    I started reading your blog a few weeks after you first launched it – and I didn't even intend to read it in the first place.

    I had dropped an "Occam's Razor" reference on someone, fresh off of seeing the movie "Contact" for the millionth time. I wanted to know how to properly spell the proverb and give the person a link for further information, so I searched for that term in Google and found this post instead:

    http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/2006/06/top-ten-signs-you-are-a-great-analyst.html

    Trying to be that great analyst – having been hired in late 2005 – I was instantly hooked and never turned back.

    There are several great blogs out there on analytics, measurement, and digital marketing – so many that it's difficult to keep up. But I have always ensured to have carved out sufficient time to read and reply to as many Avinash blog posts as I possibly could over the years, because it's that damn good.

    Here's to another 5 (and more) great years!

  9. 9
    Jon says:

    Happy birthday!

    I came across this blog in late 06, and have been reading ever since. Thanks for being a huge influence and inspiration to me, and managing to forever associate "bounce rate" and "sexy" :)

    Cheers
    Jon

  10. 10
    Dana says:

    I started reading this amazing blog in 2007 when I got into web analytics. I have been following it ever since and am also following you on Facebook and twitter.

    I prefer to be a silent follower most of the time but I enjoy your insights very much on a professional level and the great links you add for inspirational and fun sites, many of which I have forwarded to others as well.

    What got me hooked on your blog was your writing. It is very professional without being distant. It makes me feel like being part of a conversation rather than a lecture and that is hard to achieve.

    So thank you for the blog and for the rest. And don't stop what you're doing. Learning is always great as is teaching others.

  11. 11

    Congrats, Avinash.

    I still remember your first blog post. It has been fun and fascinating to follow your rise to the spot as the undisputed #1 analytics rock star.

    I think I started blogging roughly at the same time, and can only wish my blog would be a quarter as successful and full of high-quality content as yours. And you're damn hard to beat at weird images too! :)

  12. 12

    hi Avinash,

    Congrats on your 5 year anniversary. That is quite the accomplishment. The hardest part about blogs is constantly refreshing it with new and intriguing content. That is the part I always have struggled with the most.

    I was introduced to your blog about 3 years ago after I got out of college. I was a web designer for a corporation. I knew little about web analytics. I thought it was nothing more than trending page views and time on site.

    After reading your books and following most of your blog posts, you have allowed me to not only become a better analyst, but a better business person and marketer. Seeing the benefits of what is possible with data made it more than just numbers. Thank you for all of the time that you have spent sharing your knowledge over the years. I am extremely grateful.

    Here is a blog post I wrote a while ago describing my story in a little more detail.

    http://www.scottpetrovic.com/blog/2009/02/my-web-analytics-story/

  13. 13
    Brian Hagins says:

    Congrats Avinash! This is a tremendous milestone.

    I'm very proud to be one of your long time readers/subscribers. You have really helped shape the web analytics profession into a something professional and respected.

    Keep up the good work.

  14. 14
    aneta says:

    Thank you!!! Most appreciated!

  15. 15
    dr. Pete says:

    Congratulations, Avinash! If the secret to your blog's longevity is our engagement, then the secret to our engagement is your passion and engagement with your readers. I can't count the number of times that you've not only replied to my comments but directly emailed me. That's a rarity among even beginning bloggers, let alone superstars.

    I just celebrated a 5-year milestone myself. I officially started the business that would later become User Effect just 2 weeks before you launched the blog (May 1, 2006).

  16. 16
    Angie says:

    Hi Avinash

    Just wanted to add my congratulations to those of a no doubt admiring multitude of fans. And as well as congratulations on this milestone, my thanks for all the invaluable information, and assistance, that you've given so freely over the years.

    So many thanks, and congratulations once again.

    Look forward to many more years of reading from the great Avinash!

    Thank you…

    Kind Regards from South Africa…

  17. 17
    Shilpa Gupta says:

    Many Congratulations Avinash.

    I started reading your blog almost 1.5 years back and I have not missed a post since then.

    I moved from Traditional Marketing Analytics to Digital Marketing Analytics. Your blog and 2 books immensely helped me learning and exploring more. I read both of your books within 6 months and sometimes do refer them. Infact I bought one, before I finished reading it, I already ordered the second one too.
    Sometimes people ask me which one should I read and I tell them you cannot miss any chapter of both (1H a day & Web Analytics 2.0).So you have to read both.

    I also recently started my own blog and your blog inspires to learn, write and share more. My perspective of life is continual learning and contributing and to me it is very satisfying.

    Some other topics I look forward to read: 1) Role of DSP and AD networks in overall digital advertising world and their advantages/disadvantages 2) How are people integrating their Display and Search campaigns from local and national buy perspective? 3) How can we better measure micro and macro conversions in Pharma Web Analytics, especially I work for a client where most drugs are prescribed medicines by doctor?

    These are some of my thoughts and you might have some ideas on these topics and you might want to write/share about them.

    Thanks.
    Shilpa.

  18. 18

    Congrats!!! I have been going back and reading a lot of your earlier blogs. You are great and I have read both of your books. Plus a Market Motive graduate.

  19. 19
    Ned Kumar says:

    Congratulations Avinash!! I am extremely & sincerely happy for you. I started reading your blog shortly after your launch and over the years it has become my first-stop online reference for WA.

    Personally your blog has been a great journey & guidance for me as well, considering I was a youngling web analyst back then trying to transition from years in the database marketing/customer analytics field. Without a doubt, your posts have greatly influenced & inspired my thinking on web analytics.

    On the personal branding side, analytics is not what pops first into my mind when I think of you. What I associate your personal brand most with is your 'character'. You are generous, kind, and passionate. But most importantly, you continue to treat & help folks (experts & novices alike) the same way today as you did when you started your blog.

    Once again congratulations. A fascinating journey and proud to have been a part of it.

  20. 20
    bobj says:

    And Avinash you live what our motto of our charity is: "life is for the living". The only thing that is consistent in life is "events" of which we have little or no control. Events don't shape you, but your reaction to them does.

    You took an opportunity and decided to make it happen for yourself and others to your and our benefit.

    For that I say thank you and happy birthday Occam's!!!

    bobj

  21. 21
    Alexandre says:

    Happy birthday : )

  22. 22
    Mike says:

    Great analysis..congratulations!

    Happy birthday!

  23. 23
    Tina Bean says:

    Avinash- Congratulations!

    I love that your personality comes through in the tone of your blog!

    Such an enjoyable and informative read!

    I wish everything equaled "the less I write the more popular I become!"

    –Tina Bean

  24. 24
    Nelson Yuen says:

    Happy 5 – A loyal reader 3 years running.

    Let me just say that this blog has been a treasure trove for web analysts both budding and seasoned. Also a shout out to Market Motive, I consider my own experience under BOTH Avinash and John a success story.

    P.S. I have a STRONG SUSPICION that "Analysis Ninja" and "Reporting Squirrel" are also Kaushik brand terms – coined by both blog and book. Any bets?

  25. 25
    Ed Reese says:

    Pure awesomeness! Congratulations, Avinash.

    Thank you for letting your passion, curiosity, and expertise shine through all of your posts and presentations.

  26. 26
    Josh Braaten says:

    Avinash – Congratulations on your five-year blogging anniversary. While I appreciate the knowledge you provide immensely, your biggest draw is your passion for data and sharing it with others.

    I started in this industry a little over two years ago. You were one of the first web analytics professionals pointed out to me. I was impressed with your work and started following you immediately.

    One day I had a problem I didn't know how to solve and so I reached you to you via email, not thinking I'd get a response from a celebrity of the industry. You replied within an half hour and added another die-hard fan to your ranks.

    You've been a great mentor for me via email, Twitter and your blog over the last two years. Thank you so much, and congratulations on your five years of blogging success!

  27. 27
    Ed Reese says:

    I want to share a quick story of how Avinash relates to people. I listened to my Market Motive conference calls on speaker phone at home while my wife was attempting to work. About half way through the first call she came in and said:

    "Avinash is coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs! Is he really that excited about analytics all the time?"

    I said that yes, this was in fact the norm. But what I noticed next was really interesting. She started sitting next to me on the couch so she could hear what you had to say (Sorry, my wife poached some Market Motive content. You may report her to the proper authorities). And then she started using your insight on her nonprofit website (www.bloomspokane.com). It's a great example of your enthusiasm and passion causing good things to happen (even when you weren't aware of it.

  28. 28
    Liviu Taloi says:

    Thanks Avinash for your blog.

    I remember the days reading your 1st book. A lot of insights there… a lot of insights here on your blog.

    Guess you spent more than "an hour a day" to give us this information. Thank you for the hours behind these simple words "an hour a day".

    I wish you good health to give us another 5 years of excellency!

  29. 29
    patrickdh says:

    Happy Enlightment.

    Enjoy the celebrations and let the paypack last you a life time.

  30. 30
    Judah says:

    Namaste! जन्मदिन मुबारक हो!

  31. 31
    NTBoss says:

    I have been visiting this site from the moment my boss scheduled me for a GA test this year. You make it so easier to understand, thanks a lot.

    ps.
    we also got a copy of WA 2.0 and it is worth it and as sexy, powerful and good like Angelina Jolie.

    Cheers! Get used to my visits until forever, hah!

  32. 32
    Jeff Nelson says:

    Congratulations. Love your posts.

  33. 33

    What can I say? I love your work more and more each and every day… thanks for doing what you do and being who you are.

    My only issue is that more Marketers need to be reading and consuming this – always.

  34. 34
    Sabine says:

    Congrats! I have around 100+ feeds in Reader just like every other info junkie, but yours is the only blog that I read start to finish when they are posted. I even do that girly *squee* out loud from time to time when I see a new post.

    Approachable is what I would have said. You respond to twitter, e-mail and comments.

    Also, your wife must be a saint. She's a keeper.

  35. 35
    Feras Alhlou says:

    Happy 5 and many more to come!

    The ideas, tips, passion, and the wealth of information you share with the community have all inspired many of us to be addicted to data/insights/outcomes/sharing/etc. more than 1-hour a day, I can tell you that for sure :).

    Thanks and congratulations again Avinash!

  36. 36
    Nectar Economakis says:

    Hi Avinash,

    Thanks to your blog, I have been able to stay updated on the world of web analytics and been hungry to learn more.

    Your straight forward recommendations have helped in creating more effective dashboards for clients and more effective & compelling business presentations.

    Thanks again for your tireless efforts and your continued openness.

  37. 37
    Landin says:

    Congrats Avinash. Your blog has been very helpful to everyone in the analytics world. Without your blog, many users would've been lost.

    I wish you nothing but the best for your continued success and blogs!

  38. 38
    Alex Cohen says:

    Hey Avinash,

    I think it was 3 years ago that you sat down with me and Andrew and told us that if we wanted to be great analysts, we had to start a blog and an ecommerce website.

    I'm still trying to find time for the latter, but creating my blog has become an instrumental tool in my career development. Your model of "walk softly and carry a big idea" has definitely influenced my communication style.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    -Alex

  39. 39
    Rick Curtis says:

    Avinash,

    My sincere congratulations on the celebration of your blog's 5-year anniversary and for all of the well-deserved collateral accomplishments and successes that have come along with it. Isn't it amamzing what that idea you had in 2006 has manifested into? I know that I wouldn't be as well-versed in web analytics as I am today if you had decided to pass on pursuing that idea or had given up early on. This blog's success and this community's engagement are testaments to your hard work.

    I remember being shocked when you personally responded to my first email to you. I'm almost equally as shocked when I get quick responses out of you today given the amount of email traffic I imagine you get these days. As Josh said, you've become an email mentor to me, too. I've jokingly referred to myself an Avinash-desciple before. Your insights, instruction, cautions and advice have absolutely had a positive impact on my career and ability to be as effective as I have been. Thank you!

    I started reading you blog sometime in the Fall of '07 after joining a new company. There were so few places to look for additional information on web analytics at the time. I subscribed to several, but the format and content of yours stood out. Been a fan ever since.

    Rick

  40. 40
    Ramesh says:

    Avinash – You have been phenomenal throughout the years !!

  41. 41
    Craig Burgess says:

    Hi Avinash,

    I read your 1st book back in 2007, and I admit, struggled to understand a lot of it…but I kept reading because of your engaging style and way of communicating directly and honestly.

    You have been so responsive and a huge help, something I really value in regular people.

    Your work is wonderful, your people skills amazing, your analysis "translation" ability is something to strive for.

    I am starting a blog soon, and plan on using your ways of communicating important truths about this industry and life in general as a pattern for mine.

    Thanks so much, keep it up (and tell your wife thanks for helping you make good on your goal!)

    -Craig.

  42. 42

    Congratulation on your 5 year milestone Avinash.

    I subscribed to your blog over 2 years ago, and I read every word, it has helped me understand and improve my comprehension and use of Google Analytics . Thank you for all the time you put to enlighten us with your knowledge.

    My best wishes for your continued success.

    Cheers!

  43. 43

    Congratulations Avinash!

    I remember your book presentation in Buenos Aires on March 2009. Every time I give a presentation about web analytics, I usually quote some of your rules or the funny stories you tell.

    Keep doing what you're doing. The numbers speak for themselves :-)

  44. 44

    Gosh, Avinash. Five years of inspiration, enthusiasm and curiosity. More to the point, five years of wit and good humour which always brings a smile to my face.

    It's a remarkable achievement. Long may you continue!

  45. 45

    Dear Avinash,

    I have started my journy with web analytics when I was 18, I have believed that every decision we made in our life should be data driven.

    I was lucky to read your first book And since that time I have managed the web analytics successfully in one of the largest websites in MENA with 31 million of page views per month. 

    I have successful turned the whole company into a data driven organization (thanks to your book and your blog posts).

    And now I'm managing the digital marketing and web analytics for the largest Internet holding company in MENA ( N2V) dealing with more than 1 billion of page views a month.

    Your book, your blog posts and your tweets have been always supporting me as a web analyst and implemenintg the non traditional web analytics have made me proudly the first to come up with the "Web Analyst" position in the region.(MENA  ) 

    I would like to thank you for every single word you wrote in ur book, blog posts, Facebook and twitter, the Industry of web analytics would not be the same if there was no Avinash in it.

    Keep the good work up

  46. 46
    Jonghee Jo says:

    Avinash –

    Your blog has been instrumental for me to stand where I am now. I am so grateful to you. You're an inspiration for all Web Analysts who want to be a Web Analytics Ninja like you.

    Keep up the great work!!!

    Jonghee

  47. 47

    Congratulations on your 5 years you deserve all the success you are getting!

    I love your blog!! You make Analytics so interesting and have the best sense of humor!

    I remember I read a review that suggested reading your book and it would help get a salary increase of $10 000, and you know what…it did!!

    All of this is thanks to you!!

  48. 48
    zyxo says:

    Congratulations !

    Every important bit of knowledge I have about web analytics comes from you!

    So thanks a lot, and keep educating the world !

  49. 49
    Naomi Niles says:

    Wow! Now those are some numbers worth being proud of.

    Congratulations and happy blog birthday to you!

  50. 50
    Jaume Clotet says:

    Congratulations Avinash, in my opinion data is somewhat cold, but this blog is the fire that has ignited the online web analytics… and much more to come.

    Jaume

  51. 51

    Huge congratulations on your 5th bloggin birthday!! What a fantastic achievement and I, for one, am delighted to have discovered your blog, your book and everything you've had to offer to the world of analytics.

    Thank you for everything and here's to another 5 fantastic years of Occam's Razor!!

  52. 52

    Many happy returns, Avinash! Here's to 5 more years!

    Regards,
    G

  53. 53

    Hi Avinash

    Thank you for all the knowledge.

    My aha moment was discover that actually talk about web analytics could be fun.

    I realize that I can join my love for telling stories with web analytics, my first attemps not go so well, but then I start finding that I can share what I love and add web analytics.

    Actually I teach Web Analytics at University in Perú and I think I get that students get interest in it

    Occam´s Razor is the only blog I follow that I read all the posts since two years ago!

    We need 50 YEARS more of your post!!

  54. 54

    Since I first read the blog I was fascinated, I remember being about 4 hours reading it, trying to absorb as much information made ​​me more passionate for web analytics.

    Thanks Avinash! Above all to be humble us and sharing that knowledge.

  55. 55

    Happy birthday to your blog and congratulations to you Avinash!

    It all started for me with your second blog post. From that point on I knew I have found something really special. Your style of writing is so unique and alive. In addition, your teaching method is magical with the ability to cast the "Avinash" spell over people that makes them want to learn and become better professionally.

    I cannot even imagine what kind of experience your co-workers at Intuit must of experienced working alongside you. What a trip!

    I can say without a doubt that you have contributed to my career advancement and helped me survive the recent economic downturn by using your web analytics methods to help me prove my own value. Thanks for all you do.

    Be well,
    Karl

  56. 56
    Thanaraj says:

    Congrats Avinash :) .. great going .. All the very best for the coming years …

  57. 57

    Everyone: Thank you so much for the kind words and the stories. It is so amazing to hear of small ways in which this blog has been of value to so many people (around the world!).

    You've made my day! You Rock!!

    Avinash.

  58. 58

    Congratulations on the completion of 5 years. I am sure that the blog has exceeded all your expectations and made a difference to thousands of people into analytics.

    A word of caution is that it isn't done as yet. It will never be. There are new things to learn and more stories to share. We look forward to those.

    Ravi

  59. 59
    Kostis Panayotakis says:

    Avinash
    you deserve all this !!
    Congratulations & thanks for all this knowledge shared !

    Once again a brilliant & unexpected analysis -far beyond web & analytics !!

  60. 60
    Jan de Vries says:

    Congratulations. I remember I met you at the WAC in the Netherlands now 3 years ago. You lit my fire and from then I stept into the world of webanalytics and more. Now I have my own company and work for different clients to help them with online data driven marketing.

    So thank you for the inspiration, motivation and insights over the last 3 years. I look forward to the next articles in the next 5 years :)

    Enjoy your Birthday and all the best to you!

  61. 61

    Another contribution you can add to the list. Your books (and blog entries) are essential reading on all courses I have created that include an inkling of Web Analytics.

    Translated into real terms, that is University Masters modules, undergrad modules and several units of professional qualifications here in the UK. See http://www.camfoundation.com/ (CAM is under the UK Chartered Institute of Marketing)

    So give yourself an extra pat on the back!

  62. 62
    Keith Wilkinson says:

    Writing a regular blog, building a community, takes a lot of work and a lot of dedication. Thanks for sharing your vision and experience, leading by example, challenging us to be ever creative, curious–and focussed on measurement, analysis, and making a difference… Keep up the good work!

  63. 63
    Heather Mayo says:

    Thanks Avinash for your hard work to consistently deliver quality content! I only started in the web analytics field about a year ago but I have gleaned so much from your blog (and books). You have inspired me to push myself beyond the limits of being just a data monkey and strive for actionable insights that relate directly to our bottom line.

    I've often been sobered to realize things like "My charts are pretty but where is the segmenetation?" and "It's really cool I can get this data out of the analytics tool but what does it really mean to our company?" and "So, I have all these great insights . . . how do I get the people who can act on them to care."

    Here's wishing you many more years of great blogging success!

  64. 64
    Dave Cannon says:

    Congratulations and many thanks Avinash!

    Your blog is one of my favorites if not the favorite. Your posts are always informative and inspiring and, often entertaining–your voice/personality really comes through in the copy. I often find myself jumping right into my analytics accounts and applying the knowledge-share right after I finish reading them.

    Thank you! Don't stop now.

  65. 65

    Congrats Avinash! I am extremely thankful for having met you (digitally speaking). Your insight and positivity has bettered my life. Really.

    Best, Jonathan

  66. 66
    Shreekant says:

    Congratulations Avinash! An Analytics Guru ..

  67. 67

    Great work Avinash, and thanks for all the insight!

    Looking forward to your presentation in Minneapolis this October!

  68. 68
    Beth says:

    Avinash,

    I have said it once before and I'll kindly remind you, YOU ROCK!!! Your blog and book has helped me in more ways you can imagine!!!

    Congrats, Happy 5th and let's keep it going!

  69. 69
    Simon says:

    Congratulations Avinash, you have been a real inspiration and continue to amaze with your very generous sharing of information, which goes so much further than just "web analytics" – a big big big Thank You!

  70. 70
    Desiree Porcaro says:

    Avinash,

    Congratulations! This blog, your book, and your many other contributions have been an invaluable resource! Thank you!

  71. 71
    grant says:

    Forgive me, I have not read most of articles, and began only recently to follow, nevertheless, my all time "Avinash moment" was this: The Difference Between Web Reporting And Web Analysis

    I think it deserves to be a classic and I even use this as the industry "best practice" and stick to it for my weekly, monthly, quarterly reviews, and people seem to get it as well.

    On the other note, I adore the "avinash humor".

  72. 72
    Rob Metras says:

    Thanks indeed to you Avinash.

    Your self effacing style and kindness as well as your ability to parse out the details of complexity simply is truly appreciated.

  73. 73

    Big ups and grats!

    It has been a epicentor of actionable Analytics tips and hopefully more to come.

    Btw. I would like to wish some E-commerce and lead-generation Analytics for this year ;)

  74. 74
    Eelke says:

    I started to read your in the end of October 2010, so i "know" you just for half of year or so. Its not much, but sometimes i feel like i know you for years. I read about 40 blog posts till today (but whats probably most important, i own both your books and have read them).

    Outcome? Changed job this spring, company i work for now = less stress, more time for projects, salary 25% up. So i think i should send to to you commission from those 25%!

    P.S. I also love your twitter, such inspiring or posts, your are the only reason i log to twitter almost every day.

    So thank you for all and i wish all the best for next 5 years!

  75. 75

    Congratulations, Avinash! You light the way for all of us.

    I got your first book about 8 months ago and devoured it like a starving man. Probably started reading Occam's Razor the same day.

    Again, happy fifth anniversary. I hope we are able to keep your passion alive for many more years.

  76. 76
    Depesh says:

    Avinash I first came across you at a Web Analytics conference in London, back in 2007 I think – eMetrics, run by a well-respected veteran in the game. What I took away aside from your brilliant knowledge and insight, was the pure passion. And then speaking to you in the lunch queue you were keen and eager to share your knowledge and learn what others are up to. I've followed the blog and enewsletters since then, read the books and have guided every analyst I've worked with your way.

    As another reader has said, barely a web analyst has not heard of you, in fact I'd not be surprised to see it as a standard interview question 'what do you think of Avinash'…

    Best of luck going forward and thank you for sharing your passion

    Depesh

  77. 77

    Avinash – You deserve it!

    It's hard to believe I was one of your first subscribers. You have been an immense mover in and out of the web analytics community. I appreciate your down-to-earth personality. You are approachable. Your work has done so much to wake up the field (and HR departments). You have been a blessing.

    God bless you!

  78. 78
    Jorge Cunha says:

    First of all, Congrats Avinash!

    You are the one, that put me a great passion for Web Analytics, one post after another you are giving really awesome knowledge to think out of the Box!

    Keep up the awesome Job you are doing!

    Please Note: that I started studying Web Analytics, than a create a blog to post 90% articles of Web Analytics written in Portuguese!

    Best Regards From Portugal!

  79. 79
    Geeta says:

    Hi Avinash –

    I'm being completely honest. I am reading your blog for the first time today. Looks like I have 5 years to catch up on. I am new to internet marketing (1 year) and found your blog on a Google Agency Update that my employer regularly sends out.

    Looking forward to following and learning from you and your network. Congratulations!

  80. 80
    Marco Cilia says:

    I can't remember when I started reading your blog, neither a single particular post, but I clearly remember your first email and first time we met in Rimini three years ago.

    The day after you spoke at that event and one thing became clear into my mind: "i CAN find a job in web analytics industry. Better, i WANT a job related to WA". It was not your blog to convince me (even if it's a primary source for us), it was you as a person.

    So happy birthday Avinash's blog, a blog that would not exist without Avinash! :)

  81. 81
    Eivind Savio says:

    First, congratulations Avinash, and thanks for being a great inspiration in all these years through your smartness, friendliness and passion. You have really moved the web and the industry forward.

    Looking forward to 5 new years, and hope to see you in Norway again. You Rocked Gulltaggen!

    Regards,
    Eivind

  82. 82
    Ankur Batla says:

    Hi Avinash,

    Congratulations for completing 5 Years of this blog !!

    I start reading your blog since 2008 when i start my career in Interner Marketing Industry. In intial days of my training one of my senior (Mr. Rajneesh) tell me about your blog, Since that i regulary follow up your blog post you become my Professional Idol.

    Your blog endgagement provide me extra boost towards this industry to learn new things time to time.

    I read both of your books, it's really very knowledgable and frankly speaking i eagerly wait for blog post (Your every blog post is new learning).

    Please keep writing :)

    Thanks & Regards,
    Ankur Batla
    Web Analyst

  83. 83
    seema sinha says:

    Your persistence is very inspiring.I came across your blog in 2008 and recommended it to many of my friends.

  84. 84
    Brad says:

    Avinash –

    You have single-handily done more to advance knowledge of web analytics than any other person in the industry. Your blog, books and speeches are invaluable to both beginners and ninjas. You will always be known as one of the leading pioneers. I have no doubt that your name will be appearing in textbooks that my grandchildren will be reading in college.

    Thanks for all that you do,

    Brad Adams

  85. 85

    Avinash Congrats!

    What's more impressive than the 5 years (and that is impressive) is the continued dedication with the regular and high quality posts.

    While contributors help make this blog a success, it is the original insight and thought from you that makes it all work.

    Congratulations again, and keep up the great work.

    Aloysius Carl

  86. 86
    Daniel says:

    Avinash,

    Congratulations for a truly remarkable anniversary!

    Last November you spoke at Google HQ to an awe-struck group of marketers from a large corporation. Nobody was prepared for what followed. I loved the way you tore apart our web sites and explained in very simple terms how we can do some very easy things to improve.
    Directly after the event I subscribed to your blog and embarked on a mission: help my marketing colleagues to take fact-based decisions in digital marketing.

    We're probably a third into the voyage (large corporation, large region) but it's lots of fun and your blog and book provide the map.

    Thanks so much for your passion, insights and total openness!

    Daniel

  87. 87

    Amazing and Congrats! I love reading your blog and always find something very useful. What keeps me coming back is how human your writing is. We deal in a subject most find fairly snooze-able, yet you find ways to make it entertaining and even exciting.

    Thank you for everything!

  88. 88
    vanita singh says:

    I have read all your posts.

    I have recommended your blog to many of my friends.

  89. 89
    Marius says:

    I've only recently stumble upon your work, but several posts and one book later you’ve climbed rapidly in my list of awesome people to follow for the online.

    You’ve inspired me! Thank you!

  90. 90

    Dear Avinash,

    Many congratulations on the 5 year milestone. Your blog posts are truly amazing not only in terms of content but also for the humor it carries. For a BI practitioner like me who is also a Wodehouse fan, that combination is simply irresistible.

    Thanks so much and All the very best. Please do keep writing.

    Regards
    Karthik

  91. 91
    Mika Lofton says:

    Hi Avinash,

    Congratulations and keep up the amazing work! I'm looking forward to reading your work for years to come.

    Thank you for your inspiration and insight into meaningful Web analytics through your books, articles and blog.

    Best Regards,

    Mika

  92. 92
    christopher beeker says:

    I am as green as they come, when talking or thinking about analytics, but Avinash Kaushik is my kind of interesting fellow. He speaks clearly and simply and yet the subject is technical.

    Our company will be learning and doing what Avinash says. What a delightful person he is. I think the road looks smooth ahead, for now!

  93. 93
    Dominique de Coster says:

    So if I follow your conclusions, if tomorrow you stop writing post you will reach heaven in the number of comments.

    It reminds me the story of the scientist doing tests on fleas.
    He claps in his hands and the flea jumps. He takes one leg off the flea and claps again, the flea jumps but a little bit lower. After the sixth time he did the same experiment the flea refuses to jump any more. So the scientist writes in his book "If we tear out the six legs of a flea, it becomes deaf."

  94. 94

    Congratulations. It sure is a great journey and I am sure you have enjoyed every bit of it :-)

    I started reading your blog last year when I finished reading your book. I might have gone back to 2006 and read quite a few blog posts and commented on them. To me the passion for WA drives me to your blog :-)

  95. 95
    Dominique de Coster says:

    Sorry re-reading my post here-above, I realize it might be understood wrongly. I should have added some :-) ;-)

    It was a joke of course.

    Dominique

  96. 96
    Daniel says:

    Hi Avinash,

    We are very happy that you and Occam's Razor has completed 5 years in the web analytics industry. We love your first blog post: "Traditional web analytic is dead". You have given a new direction to web analytics industry.

  97. 97
    Zvika Jerbi says:

    Its all about love baby.

    THANK YOU!

  98. 98
    Pauline Ores says:

    Congratulations! Look forward to the next 5 years.

  99. 99
    Grace Cheung says:

    Avinash, congratulations on the milestone!

    You have impacted my life more than most of the people I've met in my academic & professional career.

    I started reading your blog two years ago when I starting working exclusively in web marketing, and it's been a steady resource I always refer to myself & I always refer others to. I call it the bible for web marketers.

    Occam's Razor is the one blog I can count on to provide actionable information, whereas a lot of other blogs are just "fluffy". I used to be a reporting squirrel, and while I'm not an analysis ninja yet, I know I will get there one day. Data isn't valuable unless you can make a decision from it, unless you can take some sort of action from it. I wish more HiPPOs understood this! How many hours I've spent tracking & reporting "just for information" sake!!

    Thanks for being one of the best teachers I've ever had.

    -Grace

    P.S. I think I teared up a little bit reading your post.

  100. 100
    Damian says:

    Hi Avinash,

    Congratulations! I only have time to dip in and out of Analytics but I have always been able to find what I need in next to no time.

    Even better the content I've found has always been so clear and accessible I've been able to use it to explain what is going on to my colleagues.

    Thanks!

  101. 101

    Dear Avinash,

    Thank you for the first five years of your blog. It's difficult to choose one favorite post, so I wanted to share some thoughts around some posts that I've found truly useful and inspirational.

    Last April, I had the opportunity to teach an online metrics course, as part of an IAB Mexico executive education program. Your post The Difference Between Web Reporting and Web Analysis was perfect for inspiring students, who were expecting a course on online metrics tools, to broaden their expectations and look beyond data puking… I meant, reporting and focus on what really matters: business results.

    Your secret mission from last year, revealed on Web Analytics Maturity: Structure, Processes, Hyper Focus has helped me explain measurement models to some clients and help them walk the path to a data driven organization. A recent example was a project that started with an email request stating a goal of PPC clicks and average position that, in the first face to face conversation, evolved into finding ways to retain visitors, convert them into quality leads, get to know the cost per acquisition and in the next cycle, optimize that cost and increase profit… I'm sure later we'll be talking about lifetime value :-)

    Your first post from 2009, Google Analytics Maximized: Deeper Analysis, Higher ROI & You helped me align the team I managed at that time. Our score was not bad, but from that post, all nine points became a must checklist for every project.

    From 2008, Measuring Macro AND Micro Conversions Helped me show a couple of Ecommerce clients that there were other important milestones in their relationship with clients. It was a great experience working with them to estimate the value of each micro conversion!

    I have to say that Engagement is not a Metric, it's an Excuse from 2007 made me rethink the way online metrics can help understand the different stages of a relationship between a brand and it's strategic audiences.

    Finally, from 2006, although I started reading your blog later, Traditional Web Analytics is Dead just set the tone for what we've seen along this five years…

    Thanks again for your guidance and inspiration.

    See you soon in Mexico!

  102. 102
    Habeeb says:

    Hi Avinash,

    I know i am bit late on wishing you , but still want to congratulate on 5 years of your blog.

    I first heard you as a guest speaker at Google online classroom webnair and started following your post.Now i read your blog everyday and learn a lot from them.Thanks for your efforts in penning down your thoughts.

    As an aspiring SEM analytics plays important role and your guidelines are unmeasurable for us.

  103. 103
    Will says:

    Avinash,

    Congratulations on five amazing years of insight and analysis!

  104. 104

    I'm learning daily about "all things Web" partly for self interest and personal passion in new technology but more recently for a new career.

    I came across your Blog from others Blog's and mentions, Google searching your name etc.

    Every time I read your Blog it takes me 30-45 mins as I find myself cross referencing ideas you discuss leading me to other new ideas to pursue.

    Thank you for all your teaching and inspiration!

  105. 105
    Paromita says:

    Hi Avinash,

    I entered the world of SEM & Analytics exactly 16months ago. Till then I was just another Marketing Professional working on the non-digital marketing front – product launches, brand promotions,etc. And then out of the blue I landed a job as a Search Analyst (don't ask me how…lets just say it was meant to be).

    I'm probably one of the few people in the world who didn't know you existed, so when a colleague of mine told me about you & your book, the first thing that registered was – "Hmmm, an Indian bloke. Of course he'll be smart". Next day I did a bit of research – the term was – AVINASH KAUSHIK. And now 12 months & 2 days later my day starts with your Tweets and my weeks end with your Blog.

    So that's just a small glimpse of the impact that your book/tweets/blog has caused in a place as far as the land down under or as close as the next mouse click. Cheers to your knowledge, hard work and amazing efforts. And here's to many more such milestones. Congratulations :)

  106. 106
    Neeraj says:

    Hi Avinash,

    This is my first time to view your post and really it's very knowledgeable for me. It will help me learn more about the Web Analytics as I start my career.

    Thanks

  107. 107

    Hi Avinash…great blog…congrats on the first five years. I hope you keep it going for the next five as well. Just got a copy of your latest book. Look forward to reading it. Nicely done.

    Sincerely Yours,

    Stephen

  108. 108
    Daniel Cotlar says:

    Congratulations on 5 years of inspiration! I always find your writings compelling, mind-opening, and fun.

  109. 109
    jonmcrawford says:

    I am not even in Web Analytics, but a trusted friend (thanks Adam!) pointed me to your blog and you are an inspiration in how to address analytics in general, which has helped me in my work as a healthcare data analyst. Were I to give you a single word for your tag cloud, I would be torn between Results and Genius.

    Thank you for your continued inspiration!
    Jon

  110. 110
    Sanket says:

    Hi Avinash,

    I have been reading your blog since around 2-3 years now and it has been an excellent resource for keeping myself on the edge of online marketing ever since.

    Thanks,
    Sanket.

    PS: I cannot believe you had didn't have facebook connect here, you made me sign in :@

  111. 111
    Tracy Huang says:

    Hello Avinash,

    Thanks for the great post. I just started to learn Web Analytics. It is hard to me to NOT read your post everyday especialy after reading this post.

    In your blog post, I see passsion, perseverance, authenticity and generosity. This is powerful inspiration for not only my professional life but also persona life.

    One question though: curious how many reasons you listed as why you love your wife! ;D

    Congrats on your accomplishment (it is 6.5 years by now!!!)

    Regards,
    Tracy

  112. 112

    Great work Avinash.
    Congrats on your inspiring journey and All the best for your future endeavors.

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