Digital Measurement Contractor Pay Rates

I can think of many reasons not to disclose our proprietary data on consultant pay rates, but our team came up with two excellent reasons to post them:

1. We get into a lot of conversations lately with potential contractors that want astronomical amounts of money. These are people that seem normal right up until that point… and then bam… they say some incredibly high number, showing that they do not understand the market.

2. We still get clients that still ask us for web analysts with 6 years of experience with every tool under the sun for $23/hour.

A little bit of level setting would be good for everyone.

I added reason #3: It is yet another way of us saying to the #measure community, “Look what we are doing… placing web analytics contractors!! Need one?? Call me.”

I have no idea what percentage of the contractor market we have, but for the purposes of this post we will assume that our consultants are representative of the overall market.

This includes full-time, part-time, on-site and remote workers in the US and Canada.

If your experience is different PLEASE let us know. We are just sharing our experience and would love to know how it matches with yours.

The digital measurement talent market is not a perfect market. There is very little liquidity.

Great people can sit on the bench while tool jockeys stay billable for years. Consultants can hit it big with one engagement and then have to settle for less in their next. You can get a great person for $60/hour and the next one might cost you $120… and it could take you a month to find them… The market is far from perfect.

Below is a table of the last thirty consultants that have worked for our clients.

The table requires some definitions and explaining, so here goes:

Hourly Rate: These are a mixed bag of Independent Contractors (1099’s), W-2 employees and incorporated subcontractors. We are currently phasing out all 1099 contractors because the IRS is not fond of this classification. The hourly rate does not include our markup (profit margin). It also does not include payroll taxes and other employment expenses. It only includes what we pay the contractor.

Market: This refers to the place where the contractor resides – not necessarily where they work (many of these folks are remote / virtual). To protect the identity of our contractors and simplify things we created three categories, referring to the cost of living in their home town: High, Mid and Low.

Years Experience: This refers to the number of years of digital measurement experience – not total work experience.

Testing / Optimization: In an effort to cut down the number of columns we lumped all of the testing platforms into one category… same thing with CEM, BI and CRM.

Vendor Side: Refers to engagements with agencies, consulting companies and the consulting groups of tool vendors.

Remote: Refers to engagements where the contractor works off-site more than 2 days/week on average.

Part-Time: Refers to engagements that average fewer than 30-hours per week.

View All The Data

Download Excel Spreadsheet (.xlsx)

I recognize that this is just data – no analysis. My first couple of drafts of “insights” did not survive to the final post, so I decided to do my public service (put the data out there) and leave the analysis to the analysts. Very interested to hear what you have to say.


11 thoughts on “Digital Measurement Contractor Pay Rates

  1. Thanks for sharing this data. Confirms that my current client bill-rate is on target. I am a little disappointed to hear you are phasing out 1099′s – it’s my preferred way to work with clients.

  2. Gabi, it is our favorite, as well. It is clean and simple and our 1099′s all qualify based on the IRS criteria. They are just cracking down hard on this bc there is a perception that it is a loss of tax revenue. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Very interesting, thanks for sharing the data. Here’s my quick take on it:

    — First, it confirmed a bunch of stuff I’d already expect: Working remotely or part-time, having less experience, and/or having a job function that includes reporting are all correlated with lower pay.
    — More surprising is the finding that vendor side pays better than client, since I always thought it was the reverse.
    — in terms of pay, Coremetrics > Unica > SiteCatalyst > WebTrends.
    — CEM, BI, and management job functions seemed to have the largest correlations to much higher pay rates. It’s standard that managers are paid more, but I was a bit surprised to see CEM and BI up there. It may just be supply and demand at work, since only a few of your jobs listed these as functions, while well over half listed, say, SiteCatalyst. Since we’re only seeing the placement data, though, it’s hard to say — did you fill so many SC jobs because you had tons of people with those skills or is that just the main skill-set request you get from companies?

  4. Thanks for the analysis Ana. To answer your question, we fill a lot of SC jobs bc a lot of companies use SC and they need people with that skill. Of course that causes more supply also. So it is really both – there is more supply AND more demand for SC than the other tools.

    Hope that makes sense.

  5. Cory – that’s surprising that the IRS views a 1099 as a loss of tax revenue, considering how much I pay each quarter (esp the so-called “self-employment tax”). Are they afraid that not enough folks who are self-employed report their earnings (or lie about their earnings) in order to not pay/pay less?

    If that’s the case then it’s a shame that happens. Sorry to take this into a tax/IRS/1099 tangent. I am glad you have shared this data publicly.

  6. @Gabi Endress I agree with you. If we’re really contractors and working with multiple companies that should be the expect way to be paid. I think the government crack-down is when someone is on-site and working full-time and they feel that the company might be avoiding benefits and unemployment insurance. Thank you for sharing, Corry!

  7. Corry – This is great, thanks for posting! I always thought implementation experience moved you to the higher end of the pay scale but it appears that’s not necessarily the case (unless you specialize).

    Thanks again for sharing…

  8. Hey Corry -

    Thanks for publishing this set of data points – ESPECIALLY in Excel format. THIS ROCKED! Having the data available in Excel allowed me to slice & dice the data both A) in ways that are relevant & interesting to me, and B) allowed me to do a bit of analysis on the data more easily.

    As such, I thought I’d throw my 10 cents in the ring as well:

    After some high-level number crunching, i concur with Ana Kravitz’s finding that, in terms of pay:

    Coremetrics > Unica > SiteCatalyst > WebTrends

    Coremetrics Avg Pay: $77
    Unica Avg Pay: $74
    Omniture Avg Pay: $62
    WebTrends Avg Pay: $41

    …but being that the sample sizes for Core, Unica & WebTrends are so small…these average pay rates don’t really tell us much (when compared to years of experience the contractors had):

    Coremetrics Avg Years Exp: 5.5
    Unica Avg Years Exp: 5
    Omniture Avg Years Exp: 4
    WebTrends Avg Years Exp: 3.67

    When I checked to see if there was a close to direct correlation between the # of years experience the contractor had verses the hourly pay rate, there’s pretty much no direct correlation (the correlation coefficient for all jobs between years of experience compared to hourly pay rate is 0.487)…and there’s an even less direct correlation between years of experience compared to hourly pay rate for Coremetrics/SiteCatalyst (this correlation coefficient is 0.0975).

    Being that the majority of my past 5-6 years work experience (all of which is in digital measurement) is with Omniture (followed by Coremetrics & then by Webtrends), I was quite happy to see that:

    – 12 of the 20 Omniture jobs were remote (i mean, who doesn’t like being able to work from their sofa? :)
    – the average # of years experience for the top 5 Omniture jobs (all of which pay more than $70/hour) is only 4.2 years
    – the majority of all 20 of the Omniture jobs are full-time (it’s nice to have as close to a “regular” paycheck as possible :)

    While I haven’t done much contract analytics work, the data you provided here does make contract work seem a bit more appealing! Of course, there are several other factors when looking at salaried jobs verses contract work (i.e. – insurance & benefits…as well as the amount of taxes you have to pay as a contractor verses as a salaried employee).

    There’s a ton more statistical analysis (as well as “feel good” analysis :) that can be done on this data set…and perhaps I will and post a follow-up to this.

    Thanks again Corry! You always do a great job providing us with interesting stuff :)

  9. Corey,
    This is good, but the rates for Insight are way off. Discover and Insight are not the same product. VS and Insight are the same product. Insight is a pretty technical tool that very few people know and thus the rates are much higher.

  10. Thank you for the comment Adam.

    This is just our data on what we have paid / are paying Insight / VS contractors.

    As I said in the post, the market is very inconsistent.

    There could definitely be Insight -using web analytics contractors out there making twice as much. Would not surprise me at all.

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