Getting Started: Read three books on analytics

I think it was Avinash's blog which gave newbie's the advice to read three books on web analytics to help you get up to speed. I can verify that this makes a lot of sense. Now, I am fairly web literate. I've worked in the Internet since 1996 so much of the terminology is familiar. YMMV (your mileage may vary). Here are the books I've read so far and my review of them:

Web Analytics An Hour a Day by Avinash Kaushik - This is my favorite so far. Written in a bright and humorous style, Avinash provides loads of information yet repeats limited strains of it elegantly from chapter to chapter so you don't feel too lost. There are many ways to get experience in this book. I asked one of my eBay clients for website access so they could be my analytics guinea pig. I only reviewed bounce rate, traffic and keywords by source and they were blown away. Tip of the iceberg stuff.

Web Analytics Demystified by Eric Peterson - I made it all the way through this book which I would characterize as a bit technical. It's a combination of fundamental basics plus higher level gotchas. As a newbie, you'll miss the significance of the higher level issues and be bored by the fundamentals. The biggest hole though is it often references types of tools without providing examples or guidance for using those tools. That makes it hard for those of us new to the space to fire something up and get experience. I've heard that the Big Book of KPIs is a great read by the same author, so that's coming up on my list.

SuperCrunchers by Ian Ayers - If you liked Freakenomics, you'll love SuperCrunchers. The only part that's creepy is how marketers are actually hooking analytics data together to make assumptions about you that you never knew were happening. For example, did you know your credit score affects your driver insurance rates? Yep. Direct correlation. There is also some good data about evidence based medicine which relates to using back-end statistics to improve medical procedures and perhaps one day improve diagnosis via the Isabel database. Interesting stuff, although a bit wordy in parts. A good read.

I will add more to this list as I come across them.