In our newly released Online Measurement and Strategy Report, published in association with Lynchpin, one of the key trends to emerge was how the shortage of experienced analysts is impacting on the ability of businesses to gain the most value from their data.

For this year’s report we asked respondents, “Which of the following tasks are web analysts in your organisation engaged with?” Respondents were asked to state to what degree their analysts had to focus on these, and what it showed was that analysts are being asked to perform a wide range of tasks.

While it is encouraging to see that for over two-thirds of respondents (67%) there is a major focus on analysts communicating insights to senior management, almost the same number (65%) state that there is a major focus on producing reports. While reports can be useful, a danger is that they are produced but that no one takes any action on them.

Almost four out of ten (37%) state that implementing tagging and fixing is another area where analysts have to focus significant efforts. With site tagging being a major headache for many marketers and analysts, there has been a rapid growth the in the number of vendors offering a tag management solution.

What these figures suggest is that rather than focusing on just those tasks which will add real value to the business, analysts are being asked to juggle other responsibilities, taking time away from their core purpose.

With resourcing being such of an issue that fewer companies this year are employing analysts, it is not surprising that those working in this area need to do more to keep up.

At a Web Analytics Wednesday meeting in London last week, where the research was launched, a number of attendees raised the question around how the talent issue within web analytics can be addressed.

As well as suggestions of hiring burned out bankers, one observation made by Lynchpin Managing Director Andrew Hood was that rather than looking for people with a rare combination of talents, companies should consider building teams that consist of members with different but complementary skillsets (from great analysis and insight skills, through to expert use of JavaScript).

In addition, many companies are looking to train up their current staff (through courses such as Econsultancy’s Graduate Certificate in Analytics and Optimisation) to get the most value out of their web analytics.

What are analysts in your company doing?

Does your company place the same focus on communicating insight as producing reports? Have you found it difficult to recruit experienced analysts? Or are you an analyst with suggestions on what areas other analysts should be focusing on? Share your comments below.