It has been a year of a lot, and now seems like the right time for an important change.
I have recently made the decision to change paths as it relates to my professional career. I'll be leaving Intuit, and my position there as the Director of Web Research & Analytics, and become an Independent Consultant.
In the last x amount of time I have had the opportunity to explore various avenues in terms of next steps. Becoming an Independent Consultant seems to be the optimal way for me to pursue my passions, do the kind of work I like doing and along the way have a positive impact on the ecosystem.
For my first assignment I’ll be working with Google as an Analytics Evangelist. In that role I’ll work with Google Marketing and assist them with internal analytics for their marketing programs. I’ll also be working with the Google Analytics team on assignments that span speaking, web analytics education and evolution of the GA tool.
On this blog I have often expressed the need for democratization of data as critical to making informed decisions on the web, my hope is that through my contributions I can help in a small way in getting more people to leverage the power of analytics.
I hope to also collaborate with other Google teams, on projects such as the Google Website Optimizer (I am sure regular readers know how passionate I am about experimentation and testing and its key role in creating customer centric web experiences).
There are also a couple of other opportunities on the horizon with other industry leaders that I hope to take on, in conjunction with my role as a Consultant at Google. These would allow me to speak, write, educate, influence web strategy and take on projects that can have a high level impact on Practitioners of the art of web analytics.
So what changes can you expect here?
This blog exists to further the cause of changing mind-sets around web research and web analytics and share practical insights that challenge existing practices by showing what alternatives exist. This comes from a deep rooted passion of mine and it is my commitment to continue that process.
It has been a huge struggle to keep up the blog and the book and the job and speaking and seminars and everything. If anything you can expect more contributions here, and hopefully even higher quality output.
So what changes can you expect otherwise?
It will probably more likely that I’ll be in your neck of the woods speaking or teaching (or be on YouTube !) and perhaps I’ll get to see more of you and have more direct contact. This is certainly one of the motivating factors behind my decision.
Perhaps my friends at other Web Analytics companies might be worried. My deepest hope is to stay true to my message, which has always been to help Practitioners of Web Analytics find the best tool that works for them in the situation that is unique to them. I will continue to do that.
I have always been a fan of Google Analytics for bringing sophisticated clickstream analysis to the masses, for free. I have mentioned it often on this blog, and have highlighted it as a great service for anyone getting into the space. It does a lot, but it doesn’t do everything and we are lucky to have other good paid web analytics tools. You won’t hear me change my position on that.
I have regular contact with people at almost every single web analytics company and I hope to have continued contact with all my vendor friends, as in the past, to talk about tools and road maps and users and how to alleviate pain and even do a educational seminar or two (here's the recent ClickTracks Unleash Analytics Seminar).
To measure my own success I’ll look for your direct and honest feedback on keeping the Independent in the Independent Consultant.
(As a side note that is the title of a movie, a romantic comedy, about life, its coincidences and the quest for love.)
It is rare for people to figure out what their true passion is. It is even rarer to be afforded the opportunity to do what they are passionate about, and to be paid for it.
I consider myself lucky to have that opportunity. I am grateful to the team at Google for affording me the opportunity to do what I am passionate about and allow me to add value to the web analytics ecosystem.
I have to admit that there is certainly a sense of leaving the security of a solid corporate job and jumping off a cliff, but I think it will be fine and hopefully a lot of fun. :) Next stop, wonderland.
I would love to hear what your thoughts are on this change.
If you are an Independent Consultant, is the grass greener on the other side?
If you are a friend at a web analytics company, what do you think?
If you are a Practitioner, would the insights here still be of value?
If you are a blog reader, what did I not address above?
Please share your feedback via comments.