The Web Analytics Association (WAA) today announced its new board after an election in which some members opted not to run and four candidates hailed from overseas. The group also released the results of a membership study it conducted in February revealing a large international membership.
An outsider might imagine a certain amount of drama and turmoil attached to this year's elections, but it marks accomplishments made by the board, and an expanding, global outlook for the association. This year the board will increase from nine to 12 members. A total of 14 association members ran. Three incumbent directors declined to run again, and three stood for re-election.
The 12 candidates elected to the 2007/2008 board are as follows:
Neil Mason and Laura Paxia are the WAA's first board members from overseas.
"We're growing the size of the board to accommodate the need for more brainpower," said Jim Sterne, president of Target Marketing. "We are getting involved in more stuff and becoming more active. Diversity is a good thing, and international is a good piece of that."
International representation on the board reflects the association's membership. In a survey conducted of its members in February, the WAA found 66 percent of its membership resides in the U.S.; 9 percent in Canada, 4 percent are from the U.K.; and 21 percent are located in other parts of the world. The creation of standards stands as a top priority for the organization, with 21 percent of respondents citing it as such. Training, mentoring and providing educational materials for Web analytics professionals followed, with 16 percent of members rating it as a priority.
The membership involvement of overseas Web analytics professionals and their representation on the board are seen as necessary to advance Web analytics. "I think it's fantastic and absolutely vital that the leadership of the WAA includes international members," said Greg Drew, president and CEO of WebTrends, and one of the three board members who chose not to run again.
"When people leave it is a recognition that they've done what they set out to do, a recognition that someone else can participate," said Sterne.
Bryan Eisenberg, co-founder of Future Now, one of the association's founding members, a long-time board member, and a ClickZ columnist, chose not to run for the 2007 to 2008 term. "I knew it was time to move on and let other people become involved who can provide fresh eyes and more time than I can," Eisenberg told ClickZ News.
Eisenberg plans to remain heavily involved despite leaving the board. "It's my baby still and I'll always be involved to a certain degree, there's still a big mission to empower the position of the WAA, and get people to understand marketing accountability," he said.
The survey identified the greatest challenges to the Web analytics industry as readiness (23 percent), standards (22 percent), and education (18 percent). Expertise levels at the association range from less than one year (16 percent); to more than 10 years (6 percent), with the bulk of members reporting their experience level at two to three years (33 percent) and four to five years (25 percent).
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