Looking for out-of-print books on ancient methods of salmon fishing?  You’re in the wrong place.  This is the Silly Series – a succession of frivolous people profiles focussing on those who work in and around the web analytics industry.

 

It is now time to turn our attention to Thomas Bosilevac, a man with a name as unpronounceable as Jojoba’s.

 

 

Boz, be a good chap and tell the nice folks about yourself.

Ohh where to start, I grew up surrounded with Midwestern values in the former mob capital, Kansas City, where I was president of my catholic parish Youth Group for like 5 years, uncontested of course.  After the turn of the millennium, someone told me the bubble was gonna burst, so, I decided to move to LA and see that happen – it did, I would only trade the experience for stock papers worth more than paper.

Since then I have been fired from a spammer over an argument of opt-in vs opt-out (I was right), lived on Martha’s Vineyard for a summer, drove a D9 in Peoria,IL while managing digital analytics at CAT, had twins, stayed in over 50 hotels consulting with Webtrends, had another child.

Now I have found a settling spot here in Portland, OR where I have added 2 dogs and 3 chickens to the family.  After travelling and consulting for over 5 years straight … I founded MashableMetrics.  That is another story.

Into how many languages can you translate your first name?

I melt when I hear the French say Tomas – however, after a few years of French, I just respond ironically “Je ne parle pas francais”.

You don’t accept the role of “Report Monkey”.  What about “Graphical Chimp”?

I wanted to change to something like data donkey, but HR had issues with that.  Can we compromise on Graphical Gorilla?

If you were to write, direct and star in a play on web analytics, what would the play be called and who would interview you on the red carpet?

Well coincidently enough I majored in Theatre and Film, and it is what made me get into the “WWW” in the first place.  So how about – “Card Catalogue Monologues” a dramedy that showcases TBoz in his journey of frustration of manually finding 15min male monologues at the university library, through his remarkable discovery of the computer lab and Gopher, to his anal-retentive needs to quantify the return on investment of each production element of a new initiative.  I want to be interviewed by Neil Diamond (I love you Mom).

Who is your superhero-sans-cape in the web analytics community and why?

I am going out on a limb here, and outside our comfort zone, and say Hans Rosling.  Hans has taken the idea of using data to the mainstream. (see videoBBC showTED talks ….) Who else gets a standing ovation from a data interpretation?  Do you?  Should you?  He is also one of the inspirations for MashableMetrics.  If we as analysts can look like rockstars, perhaps some of those amazing insights we draw up will get implemented more quickly.  I will blush when I meet him.

Do you think the WAA creating a Code of Ethics is an ethical thing to do?

It is a step in the right direction, I think everyone has the responsibility to read it, understand the implications, research accordingly.  Candidly however, I feel it is lip service.

When this whole internet thing started the American people didn’t trust eCommerce and eBanking.  eTrust stamps increased conversions for the retailer but not the industry.  What happened?  The end started to justify the means.  Let’s face it, privacy and fraud have not been eliminated nor has it decreased since 2000.

BUT, I sure am glad I was able to book my latest little weekend getaway online vs. go to a travel agent.  We need to look at the holistic picture and ask ourselves: What are we providing to the customer for this data?  I don’t voluntarily give away my shopping habits, but sign away because of almighty “points” and “discounts”. Go ahead, close your eyes and ask it … I will blog about it later … or someone will :)

<This is where I deleted a rant about anonymous web data vs registered web data, but I digress into this controversial topic.>

What is your wish for the remainder of 2011?

I can’t be concerned with 2011, I am making plans for post apocalypse 2012.

BUT –
I see a true change in the makeup of a digital analytics department.
Whereas a focus data extraction, analysis, and visualization will be more commonplace.  Instead of looking for web analytics pros, managers will be looking internally for the database marketers, R programmers, and true data scientists.

Tell a true story about something you’ve done that would make the lady readers go “awww” and the boy readers go “Damn, you make the rest of us look bad”.

Well Emer there really are so many … so I will sum it up with the reason I
do them all:

What is your favourite interview question for employment candidates?

I will take this from Eric Peterson:  After most every credential that they throw my way ask them:
CANIDATE:  I am a committed, intelligent person
ME:  So What …
CANIDATE:  ”I graduated with honors”.
So What …
CANIDATE: “at Harvard”
So What …
CANIDATE: ” sleeping an average 15% of the week (5hrs a day), classes 12%, and with .065 BAC 45% of the time, ”
HIRED :)

How good would an offer have to be to make you leave the world of web analytics?

Honestly, given the same salary there are many things I would rather do like become a high-school teacher, actor or Manager of Social Experience at a resort (stolen from TV series Greek) but that just doesn’t happen so easily.  Web analytics and product development is what I love, and what I do best.  I have been in sales, media planning and project management.  I have worked at small and large organizations, agencies and a software vendor.  With the experience under my belt, right now, I love being the captain of my own ship, and you can’t bribe me out, but you can show your support by going to MashableMetrics.com -  we will take the grunt work out of reporting.

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