Friday, March 12, 2010


I've been thinking about the need for a stronger sense of community for the web analytics industry in the UK, and was inspired to write about it after the creation of a WAAUK Twitter account.

Miles Bennett recently wrote about the need for a WAA UK. He made a number of good points which got me thinking. Do we actually need a regional WAA? Does not the sharing of information over the internet through Twitter and blog posts suffice? I believe that whilst these are great, we would actually need a central point of contact where standards could be defined, and events organised so discussions can take place.

In a 2008 post Eric Peterson states that Europe (and thus the UK) are 2-4 years behind the US, and reckons that web analytics adoption is due to take off on this side of the pond.

The creation of a regional WAA would help Europe close the gap. But I think (as a Brit) that a WAA UK would be more helpful. To me there are two key reasons to this. Firstly, geography. One of the key problems of the existing WAA is the sense of isolation that Europeans feel from the US-dominated WAA. Secondly, there are varying levels of development across Europe, as Eric stated in his post. The creation of a European WAA would just be a microcosm of the current set-up, with people in the UK feeling isolated from what's going on in the continent, and differing levels of adoption. There wouldn't be the cohesion that us Europeans are currently craving.

Steve Jackson in his 2008 post essentially backs up Eric, agreeing that it was time for the EUWAA to be formed. He's since posted another article in follow up to Miles about the need for a Finnish WAA, looking at it from a budget perspective as much as anything - how can we have a global WAA if it runs as a not-for-profit organisation? We need the funds from a global organisation to drive the industry forward in less developed countries.

If we can find enough people in the UK to organise a national WAA, then to my mind that's the clear way forward. The WAA should encourage engagement and participation (as it already does well in North America). As someone who works in the web analytics industry, I want to communicate with others, get advice and share experiences with others; not only online, but face-to-face. I read recently that if you're not worried about not doing enough and keeping on top of things, you're not doing it right. I know I'm always trying to keep up and learn how to do things better. So count me in, even if it is only as the teaboy...


  1. I would be happy to help out in whatever way I can. At the moment, I am planning to hold the first WAW in Manchester in April/May. If anyone is interested in coming along, please let me know.

    Dan Croxen-John
    Applied Web Analytics

  2. Hi Dan,

    I'd definitely be interested - let me know when you have a date in mind!


  3. Hi Lawrence.

    Great post. The UK is progressing in embracing and adopting serious web analytics practitioners, although at a slow pace, however still moving in the right direction.

    The UK are about 2-3 years behind the U.S in education and adoption in web analytics and the people out there doing it now have come from very different backgrounds. Nobody went to university and studied Web Analytics because it just doesn't exist. It will do in a few years though i think as digital/online/web marketing increases in prominence.

    That is why the creation of @waauk is one which pleases me. It gives us all a chance to learn from each other and engage with those who breath web analytics in the U.K. We are at the newborn stage of web analytics and this is our chance to help shape analytics in the U.K now and for the future.

    I'm looking forward to the times ahead!

    P.S - I would be happy to also help in any way whatsoever with promoting waauk.


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