Web analytics, web synthesis? or both

I was wondering where the term analysis stem from ? It seems it stem from Medieval Latin, from Greek analysis, which means a dissolving, around late 16th century. Then it was floated for specific disciplines , like chemistry, political science etc. In other words it means “resolution of anything complex into simple elements”. The best word definition that I got from Princeton university suggests either of following or a combination of it as meaning of “Analysis” :

1. the abstract separation of a whole into its constituent parts in order to study the parts and their relations [ant: synthesis]

2. a form of literary criticism in which the structure of a piece of writing is analyzed

3. the use of closed-class words instead of inflections: e.g., ‘the father of the bride’ instead of ‘the bride’s father’

4. a branch of mathematics involving calculus and the theory of limits; sequences and series and integration and differentiation

5. a set of techniques for exploring underlying motives and a method of treating various mental disorders; based on the theories of Sigmund Freud; “his physician recommended psychoanalysis” [syn: psychoanalysis]

Boho ! that’s so much of theory ? How does it matter to me ? a web analyst ? or web analysis ? Hang on !

My gut is If you are doing web analysis that means you are doing either #1 through #5 or combination(s) of it.

The platform on which web analytics or for that matter any analysis is based is Decision Support. You as a web analyst are here for decision support . You are required to provide help in making decision to your management. What management does is to me called “synthesis” which is exactly the opposite process to analysis. Analysis is breaking down a “whole” into the parts where as synthesis is understanding constituent parts of “whole” as pieces and their relationship to derive insight. You might be doing this already however, you may not be cognizant of the thinking process you are going through. Here is the process which I think makes sense and completes the full circle.


Its perfectly valid and possible that good analyst would be going this full circle, do we know this consciously ? do we go thru the process of “analysis” and “synthesis” separately ? do we need a separate mindset while carrying out these two separate mental exercise ? I don’t know , I will post if I come across. However what do you think ?

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Ravi Pathak
Ravi is the co-founder of Tatvic and expert at managing different web analytics tools. Ravi actively works on conversion optimization projects to improve conversion rate and test newer hypothesis with e-commerce companies.
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