What you are saying is like saying architecture is just drawing diagrams or good journalism is just writing about stuff.
Like many industries, there's an art to SEO and plenty of nuances far beyond clean coding and user friendly design.
I think emphasizing statistics and analysis would make a bit better impression on some of us. It turns on a light that says "aha, there is something real there!".
it'd be nice if we could be completely transparent with analytics while iterating a search strategy for a large site, because the learning experience would be great whether you're a big-name, experienced SEO, looking to get further into SEO, or an anti-SEO hacker looking to just call us all out for being full of shit :) it'd be cool. too bad the economic reality of releasing complete analytics data to the entire internet makes this an impossible dream.