Web analytics knowledge isn’t really centralized. Jim Novo’s efforts at professional certification through the UBC courses are to be lauded as a direct effort to centralize authority in the web analytics space.

After all, not everybody should be considered to be a web analyst.

Let’s consider the broad space that is web analytics. So far, as with most technologies, it tends to be heavily vendor based. “Do you know Omniture”, “Do you do WebTrends”…they’re common questions. When it comes to universal web analytics knowledge, we, as a community, have 3 or 4 seminal books – and a collection of a blogs.

But there’s an entirely different discourse on web analytics that’s taking place with very few practioners around the table. There’s loads of research going into web analytics and interactive marketing – and we’re not there. Why? Because it’s happening in the peer reviewed, academic, space – and not many of us have access to that literature. Even if we wanted to, there’s still not a centralized, authoritative space, to share that knowledge and those key takeaways.

None of this is really peered reviewed. Granted, through the magic of organic human networking, some blogs are read far more than others, and as a result, different opinion-makers and opinion-leaders manage to hit well above their weight – but it’s not the same way as most disciplines vet and share knowledge.

I raised this point in an email to Jim (of WAA fame) and we, in turn, engaged more people in a wider dialogue.

Over the past 6 weeks, I’ve had multiple discussions with web analytics experts and gurus, journal publishers, colleagues, and cohorts – on how to tackle a number of problems around the centralization of authority and knowledge.

We’re arriving a set of incremental steps that can be done in an effort to centralize, vet, and share a common set of knowledge. One time certification is certainly a great first step – I think we need to build an institution that supplements that with ongoing learning and knowledge sharing in our rapidly advancing and changing field.