In more than 14 years working with internet information I’m seeing the very same situation happening over and over again. The first contact of a person in the Analytics world is related to tools. I’ve being talking a lot about it, we all know how hard is for the average civilians separate analytics tools from the practices. We committed a huge error branding tools with the same name than the practice it self (same problem than the CRM people committed with their practices and tools).
So, when someone starts walking in the Analytics way their main focus is on learning using tools and later on learning how to implement tools (that’s the long term dream). The true is that Web Analytics (I added Web because the Web Analytics Association talks about Web Analytics in their post “Optimizing the Online Business Channel with Web Analytics“) refers to the collection, analysis and reporting of Web site usage by visitors and customers of a web site. So, tools are just a part of the process, but the most important part in the analytics process if getting insights from huge quantity of information to improve the decision making and business results. So, is it important having the tools’ know how? Yes, however I wouldn’t ever reject someone that wanted to work in my company Intellignos just because he is not a professional in any particular solution. Learning how to use tools is just about reading Helps or a FAQs, any person in the world can do that…is not different as learning how to use excel…but you wont be a good analyst if you don’t have the analytical mind that can find patterns and trends in the data that can be use for making efficient decisions. On the other hand tools are alive, they are constantly changing and getting improved so are you gonna base your core competence on something that could change or even disappear in the near future? Come on, is not about how a particular tool should be handle to get a particular set of data, it’s about having in mind what information do you need and then looking how should you handle to tool to get it. So, with the above in mind the best advice I could share with you is…if you are walking your first steps in this industry look at your Web Analytics tool at its face and tell it “I don’t care about you, I don’t need you, you are just a tool”