Sunday, 22 April 2007

Interview on Web Analysis Blog

It was a great honour, when I got Anil Batra's email to be interviewed and featured in his popular Blog on web analytics. Anil is a renowned Web Analytics and Online Advertising Consultant working at ZAAZ. Prior to ZAAZ he has worked in various analytical roles in reputed concerns such as Revenue Science, Microsoft, Business Objects, etc., which culminated to his expertise in web analytics.

Anil's Blog is the 10th most popular blog as published by Avinash Kaushik in Top 10 Web Analytics Blogs on 16th April. Avinash is one of the most respected professional in the field of Web Analytics.

Anil questioned me mostly on my understanding of Web Analytics, entry into this field and achievements & challenges. There were also other questions which were not related to Web Analytics; they were on my other passion, cricket. You could read this interview on his blog, the excerpt of the same is as below:

AB: How long have you been working in Web Analytics?

JC: I have been working in the dotcom industry right from 2000. I started my career in, where I had a fantastic initiation into the dotcom industry. I was handling corporate communications here, which included advertising and public relations. This is where I implemented advanced online advertising techniques and was initiated into a very crude form of web analytics. After the dotcom bust, I gained some experience in conventional advertising. However returned back to online advertising in 2004. I joined as campaign manager. BharatMatrimony was one of the leading advertisers in the online medium in India. Here I handled the complete advertising budget and was given the task of optimizing effectively for every buck spent on the Internet. Subsequently, I had a very brief stint in an online advertising firm called Regalix, before I moved to present job in Tesco.

AB: Tell me about your work, education prior to making a switch

JC: Before entering into the online industry, I was in a completely different profession. I completed my education in commerce from a reputed college in Chennai – Stella Maris College and had also done a course in advertising, from the Madras Advertising Club.

I started my career as a professional cricketeer with the Southern Railways. I had taken to the sport right from my school days, I had played at the state and zonal level at both junior and senior level. I had been a wicketkeeper – batswoman and played at the highest-level national championships representing Tamil Nadu and South Zone. I realized that my scope was limited at getting selected to play for India, as I was a wicket keeper and the Indian team already had an established wicketkeeper. And my only chance existed if this player performed poorly. Instead of waiting for someone to fail, I thought I should choose the other passion of mine, which was online advertising.

AB: What are you responsibilities in your current job?

JC: I handle a team of analysts, in the Insight team. We are responsible for having a sense check on the performance of the business on daily and weekly basis by running various reports. This includes running, querying and retrieving data from the data warehouse, formatting the same, draw inference and present it to the various users of these reports. The scope includes reporting on category-based performance, performance of the various marketing channels like email, online advertising and CRM. It also includes site intelligence, which is web analytics software. Apart from the regular reporting we do various adhoc reporting and analysis on customer behavior changes, uplift of sales due to activities, targeting specific audience, etc.

AB:How do you make sure you are learning and growing in this field?

JC: I am regular on the yahoo web analytics forum and read up the various blogs of Eric Peterson, Avinash Kaushik and also try to organize a "Web analytics Wednesday" meetings here in Bangalore