To celebrate the silly-season, I’m profiling some folks to be found in the web analytics industry (see also: Jeff Katz – Twitalyzer Man).  Next up, a figure of controversy, Your HiPPO.  If you’re not sure what a HiPPO is in the context of web analytics, then read this post by Avinash Kaushik.  In summary though, he’s the highest paid person impacting your job, and his opinion can often make a big difference.

I very much appreciate you giving up your precious time to answer my questions.  Let’s start by hearing a little about you.

I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth a few lifetimes ago. I never really changed, or evolved, much. It’s not necessary if you’re perfect from birth. I don’t think I need to tell you more, because I’m sure you’ve met me in many of the places you’ve worked!

What is your favourite metric?

DIMW = Dollars In My Wallet. I can always optimize it somehow. Less employees = more money for me. Why do we really need web analysts, for instance? I understand that we need to employ a barista and a driver, but a web analyst? Seriously? They’re practically just human doorstops.

Web Analysts are the highest form of life on the planet.  Discuss.

Any web analyst who’s not c-level is by definition lower. Anyone who’s not me is also lower. Bummer for them, but jolly good for me.

You are at a meeting listening to presentations from two analysts who seem to be proposing opposing directions.  How do you decide who’s right?

I compare their suits. Which one looks more expensive? That guy has got to have the better solution. If it’s a girl, I look at her bag.
It’s also a plus to nod a lot when I weigh in. I like nodding people.

Who is the most important person in the web analytics community in your opinion?

Is that a trick question? Web analytics and important are words that do
not belong in the same sentence. Say cash and important and I’m with you.
Or Flash and important. Or branding and important. Got it?

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the handsomest HiPPO of them all?

Funny you should ask. I recently invested in a 360-degree mirror, and I
can’t get enough of the answer. I look really sharp in my suit.

What is your wish for 2011?

That more people will be like me. Imagine a perfect world.

Do you prefer analysis or guesswork based on past success?

Neither. I prefer to base decisions on my gut feeling. Dietary choices tend to have an impact on my decisions. My gut feeling is quite different if I just spent three hundred bucks on a meal compared to if I just ate a hot dog. The $300 meal leads to better decisions, of course.


In which department should web analytics sit?

I think they should sit with the janitors and actually be useful.

Have you ever been wrong?

I don’t understand the question. How could someone perfect ever be wrong?

Should people do as you do or do as you say?

Definitely do as I say, because I don’t really do much.

Where do HiPPOs shop for suits?

Suits should ideally live up to two requirements:
1) Be expensive
2) Be green

Any store that lives up to those two criteria get my business.

Check out the full list of interviews in the Silly Series here!