Several well-known players in the Web analytics business have joined to create the Web Analytics Association (WAA), a non-profit organization designed to bring together end users, vendors, consultants, and educators to share information and promote the nascent industry.
“One of the main goals of the association is to go ahead and bring what is a small and fragmented industry to more awareness of the value of Web analytics and measurement,” said Bryan Eisenberg, co-founder of consulting firm Future Now, who is the WAA’s first chairman. (Eisenberg is a long-time columnist for ClickZ Experts.)
Target Marketing President Jim Sterne will serve as president of the WAA. He worked closely with Eisenberg to form the founding board.
“We wanted to be very careful in how we assembled the board,” Sterne said. “We wanted it to be representative of the industry. So we included two end-users, two consultants, two vendors, and one whatever.”
Other founding members taking a seat on the organization’s board of directors include: Seth Romanow, director of Worldwide Customer Knowledge; Andrea Hadley, president of NetSetGo Marketing; Andrew Edwards, managing partner of Technology Leaders; Rand Schulman, CMO of WebSideStory; and Greg Drew, general manager of WebTrends.
Founding corporate members, each of which committed an initial $15,000 to the WAA, include CoreMetrics, IBM Surfaid, Nedstat, Omniture, Visual Sciences, WebSideStory, and WebTrends. Other corporate members include ClickTracks, Harvest Solutions, HP, Site Intelligence, and ZAAZ.
Individual memberships to the WAA will be available for $129. Student can become members for $39. Small companies can join for $2,500 and large companies for $5,000.
Members will have the opportunity to participate in committees, each focusing on a different initiative, ranging from research to new technologies. One key program highlighted by Eisenberg is the education committee.
“If you go to Indeed.com and type in ‘Web analytics,’ 1,698 open jobs come up,” Eisenberg said. “The fact is there is not enough talent or knowledge out there at the moment to fill all of those positions.”
Consequently, one of the immediate goals of the WAA’s education committee is to set up certificate programs with colleges to promote interest in the field and help establish the curricula required, Eisenberg said.
The first official meeting of the WAA will take place on one of the three days of the Emetrics Summit, to be held in Santa Barbara in June.
To disseminate information, resources, and best practices, the WAA will maintain and update a Web site at webanalyticsassociation.org.
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