I usually gauge any book like this (hardcover, textbook-looking intimidation machine), by the authors’ ability to engage me through their writing. I literally cannot pick up a book like this one and read it cover to cover unless the author makes the topic (which I usually know beforehand to be boring) compelling and interesting.
Suzanne and James Robertson (the authors) accomplish this…for the most part!
My Current Progress:
I’m about one third of the way into the book but had to put it aside for a couple of days when my wife reminded me to be a husband and father again!
Like I previously mentioned, no matter the subject, I never read a book word for word…this has been and will continue to be the case with Mastering the Requirements Process 3rd Edition. Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with the fact that I’m a speed reader, seriously.
I really do love reading books on subjects that I think I know something about but then realize, usually very quickly, that I still have a lot to learn!
!Random Tangent Alert!…It’s like the feeling of being in a meeting with a large group of people and feeling like you’re the dumbest person in the room. I live for those moments! Being surrounded by extremely intelligent people brings out the best in me…Tangent Complete.
If you’re a Business Analyst and/or involved with the Requirements Process, this book can be your Watson. You know. The super computer built by IBM that b-$%!* slapped Alex Trebek a couple of years ago. Watson is an artificial intelligence Goliath computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language and when I tell a BA this book can be your Watson, what I obviously mean is that it will answer any question(s) you have or will have about the business requirements process.
So far, I’m learning a great deal, getting updates on topics I already understood and realizing I could have done requirements in the past SO much better if I had this book umpteen years ago. So, without further delay, I would like to say “Thank You” to Suzanne and James Robertson! A labor of love for both of you, I’m sure, that will hopefully pay off! Best of luck to you both!
To read more about Mastering the Requirements Process: Getting Requirements Right (3rd Edition), or even see a list of new features in the 3rd edition, I found the best price on Amazon. FYI.
As an on-going attempt to identify the Business Analyst Tools most commonly need, I’m starting a list. I’ll post more tools over time but feel strongly that this list is only as strong as the comments and contributions of readers that add their own tools when they read this post.
Since the only thing that matters to publishers is how customers use their sites, they need the proper tools to gain access to that information. For their best interest, publishers and marketers need to really understand where the user is going, and how it’s affecting them in the process.
Adobe SiteCatalyst provides the tools necessary so that marketers and publishers have the chance to make sense of the traffic data that is being measured. Adobe® Analytics allows you to see what’s happening in your business — and then quickly act on it — through the use of high-performance, real-time analytics. The Adobe SiteCatalyst software helps marketers quickly identify the most profitable paths to their web sites, determine where their visitors are navigating on their sites, and determine the critical success metrics for online marketing campaigns.
Using Adobe SiteCatalyst helps businesses understand and measure what’s going on with their sites and gives them the proper tools to optimize accordingly. Using SiteCatalyst makes sense, especially if businesses want to know their customer base and increase their revenue.
The SiteCatalyst solution, part of the Adobe Marketing Cloud, draws data from both your online and offline channels, and ultimately becomes the compass that guides your marketing efforts and overall business direction.
What is the Adobe Marketing Cloud?
Adobe Marketing Cloud gives you a complete set of analytics, social, advertising, targeting and web experience management solutions and a real-time dashboard that brings together everything you need to know about your marketing campaigns. So you can get from data to insights to action, faster and smarter than ever.
The fastest, easiest, most comprehensive way to learn Adobe SiteCatalyst Classroom in a Book®, the best-selling series of hands-on software training workbooks, helps you learn the features of Adobe software quickly and easily.
Classroom in a Book offers what no other book or training program does–an official training series from Adobe Systems Incorporated, developed with the support of Adobe product experts.
Adobe Analytics with SiteCatalyst Classroom in a Book contains 10 lessons. The book covers the basics of learning Adobe SiteCatalyst and provides countless tips and techniques to help you become more productive with the program. You can follow the book from start to finish or choose only those lessons that interest you.
About the Author:
Vidya Subramanian is Senior Analytics Insights Manager at Intuit, where she is currently evangelizing and standardizing analytics practices. She has successfully architected SiteCatalyst & end-to-end analytics at Genworth Financial, a fortune 500 company. She has led SiteCatalyst training, and is a Certified Project Manager Professional, Certified Scrum Master & Adobe Certified Expert in SiteCatalyst.
Brent Dykes is the Evangelist for Customer Analytics at Adobe and is responsible for guiding and evangelizing the vision of Adobe’s analytics solutions. He is the author of Web Analytics Action Hero (Adobe Press).
Nine attributes of the entrepreneur as identified in the HBR.
They convert into nine questions:
A high level of drive and energy
Enough self-confidence to take carefully calculated, moderate risks
A clear idea of money as a way of keeping score, and as a means of generating more money still
The ability to get other people to work with you and for you productively
High but realistic, achievable goals
Belief that you can control your own destiny
Readiness to learn from your own mistakes and failures
A long-term vision of the future of your business
Intense competitive urge, with self-imposed standards.
If you haven’t answered with nine resounding shouts of Yes, don’t despair. These attributes are not immutable elements of personality.
Every one of the nine can be developed, if you are prepared to confront your shortcomings and then work to change your behavior. These are basics of management and leadership alike. However, there’s something missing – the combination of marketing and innovation that creates a great customer franchise.
Since organizations are increasingly looking for a variety of ways to to optimize their marketing process and businesses, they are also looking at client demands in order to gain more personalized customer interactions. Businesses are faced with an increasingly complex of outlets to interact with potential customers and customers alike. It includes into looking at various websites, to mobile applications to email, and social media sites. Businesses must continually differentiate themselves in the marketplace and they must focus entirely on enhancing their customer brand experience.
In result, it is in the best interest of businesses to learn how IBM Digital Analytics can be used to maintain that competitive edge. Using IBM Analytics can enhance businesses capabilities by enabling organizations to make more targeted marketing campaigns, and to gain real-time insight into consumer interactions through social networks and other various social media outlets. By using these products, businesses and marketing teams can gain deeper insight on their customers, and they can personalize recommendations so the customers have the ability to interact with the brand. Businesses can also provide more effective market campaigns by using IBM digital analytics by providing real-time intelligence on what consumers are saying about their produces and what they think of the services that are being provided.
Overall, IBM digital analytics (which was formerly Coremetrics) can be used to improve businesses market campaigns, their relationship with their customers, and the overall profit of the business. By implementing these strategies businesses can remove barriers so they can increase their revenue potential by targeting their potential customers, and they can gain insight on how to implement an appropriate marketing campaign for their business.
Real-time Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) suitable for marketers from finance, retail, content and media, travel, telecommunications, B2B and many other industries
Benchmarks and intelligence to inform about average peer and competitor performance data
Powerful, industry-leading marketing attribution capabilities to help you improve marketing spend allocation
Real-time data exploration for power users using a data warehouse of customer and prospect interactions
Fluid navigation between analytics, digital marketing applications, and cross-channel campaign management to turn analytics into action with only a few clicks
Diagramming has become an essential tool for me as a business analyst and digital marketer. Furthet, like many of you who read this blog, my mobile device is very important to me, my career and definitely my sanity.
So being able to use a diagramming app that is actually worth my time is invaluable.
DriodDia is like having Visio on your Android smartphone. It’s features and overall quality have not been found in other apps by this blogger.
Take a look for yourself at the DroidDia website: DroidDia.com
Heatmaps are charts and overlays that show where people click at when they browse your website. A heatmap colors regions depending on how high-profile the spot is. The idea is simple: when redesigning your website place important user elements on the hot spots.
These are a examples of insights heatmaps can give you:
You can reveal poorly performing areas of you website. This can make you decide to switch content to make your visitors focus more on the parts where you placed your ads.
What are the highly trafficked areas? You might even notice which parts of your menu’s your costumers find most attractive. With a heat map, you can see which parts of your links are being clicked.
The “Golden Triangle” is an industry term referring to the sweet spot on a search engine results page, which happens to be shaped like a triangle with its most viewed point near the region where a website’s logo typically rests.
This particular heat map region is a benchmark not only for websites, but for articles and even search engine results pages. It is also a major determinant for ad placement. In this example, when looking at Google AdWords placement: the top/center region gets the most visibility, with the top of the right column getting second string.
Heatmaps as a Marketing Analysis Tool
One of the most profound advantages of website heatmaps is that they give insight into visitor behavior. You’ll be able to see what most people on average are clicking or gravitating to. Here are a few other important points:
With a heatmap, you can see which part of a link is being clicked more. For instance, if you have a link such as “house for sale,” you might notice that most people are clicking on the word “house” within that hyperlink, instead of the “for sale” part of it. Look for these kinds of behaviors as a whole, and you can more effectively fine tune your site’s navigation and enhance your linking strategy.
You can reveal poorly performing areas of your website with a heat map. For instance, if many visitors are clicking an non-hyperlinked image, they’re probably expecting something to happen. These kinds of actions are much easier to diagnose when your website has a heat map feature. Locate these spots, and hyperlink them accordingly to where visitors are most likely expecting them to point to!
As previously mentioned on this page, look for “high click traffic” spots on your page, and consider putting an ad there for maximum results. Also, pay attention to highly trafficked areas on your menu. Is there anything you can do to make it better or less cluttered?
The data that you get from a heat map is more than a bunch of pretty colors: they show what areas of the page your users are looking at…or ignoring. This is invaluable data that you’d never be able to get from any conventional analytics package.
By taking full advantage of the “hot” areas on a heat map, you can either enhance your site’s navigation to boost usability, or improve the visibility of your ads to increase profitability. It’s like having a focus group for your website, telling you exactly how to improve.