Join us every Wednesday for a weekly live demo of Heap

The Essential Digital Analytics Summer Reading List

Planning some quality beach time this summer? Or perhaps a quiet staycation to avoid the post-quarantine partiers? Wherever you plan on whiling away your downtime, we recommend kicking back with a good book...on digital analytics.

Although it may seem hard to believe, the science behind tracking how users engage with your website or product is as thrilling as any whodunit and just about as mesmerizing as that bestselling historical drama.

Before you dis the draw of a good data story, we suggest you download one (or all) of the following reads to scroll through on your next quiet summer afternoon.

But first, what exactly is digital analytics?

At its most powerful, digital analytics tell you exactly what is happening on your site or in your product, giving you the how and when and what and where — and even the who — about your users’ behavior. While millions of successful digital experiences have certainly been created with gut instinct, today data science and analytics gives us a smarter, more accurate path to decision-making.

Since digital analytics is a relatively new field, our reading list pulls from analytics, data science and engineering, and product fields to give you a good foundation for your learning.

Here’s what made the list:

The Lean Product Playbook

If you haven’t yet read this, then you can move it to the top of your reading list. In this essential playbook, lean product expert Dan Olsen outlines the process for iterating your way to product-market fit. From determining your target market to designing your Minimum Viable Product (MVP), you’ll learn how the best digital teams develop a winning digital experience.

Naked Statistics

If you slept through your stats class in college, you may want to take another at the subject with this book by bestselling author Charles Wheelan. While it still might not make you fall in love with regression analyses or the central limit theorem, this book will definitely show you that today’s statistical tools are sexier than you think.

The Data Warehouse Toolkit

Written by thought leaders in data warehousing and business intelligence, this book is the data engineering bible. As one of the authoritative guides in the industry, it’s great for grasping the fundamentals of data engineering.

Keeping Up With the Quants

Everyone needs analytical skills, but it can be daunting to begin navigating through the industry jargon. This book is your guide to quantitative literacy: you’ll learn everything from how to formulate a hypothesis to how to interpret and communicate analytical results.

Lean Analytics

Learn how analytics can help you create a digital experience that people actually want. Full of case studies and insights from leading entrepreneurs, Lean Analytics will show you how to use data to build a better startup faster.

The Art of Thinking Clearly

Too often we let bias cloud our thinking and skew our analyses. Rather than challenging our thinking, we use data to confirm what we already believe to be true. Full of real-world examples, this book by Rolf Dobelli will help you think more clearly by understanding common biases. Learn how to spot biases in yourself and how to eliminate them in your conclusions.

If you’ve already read this one, then check out Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman to learn how to slow down your thinking for smarter, more rational decision-making.

How to Increase Revenue by Measuring Customer Behavior

For digital companies today, the path to increased revenue is simple: see how users interact with your site, then use this data to deliver an experience that meets their needs. This ebook walks through the process.

It first shows how new analytics technology helps companies become more data-driven. Then it gives you the tools to use behavioral data to improve conversion, retention, and revenue in eComm, SaaS, and Fintech.

Algorithms Blog from StichFix

We love how StitchFix thoughtfully weaves data science into their business model! The blog posts by their algorithms team share a ton of insights and paint a pretty good picture of how to use data science to more strategically drive your business.

The Digital Analytics Power Hour

Okay, okay, while this doesn’t technically fit in the reading category (unless you scroll through the episode transcripts…), this podcast is the perfect thing to keep your mind engaged while sunning on the beach or kicking back in the shade this summer.

If you just don’t have the time to read another book or blog post, no worries! Simply follow some of our favorite product managers on social media (like Shreyas Doshi and Connie Yuan) for nuggets of wisdom you can digest while waiting for your coffee to brew.

Happy reading!