You have data -- probably lots of it. But what do youactuallydo with it?
Data is basically worthless unless you turn that data into intelligence -- and that intelligence into action.
The following is from Michele Kiss, a leader in the Digital Analytics industry and a Senior Partner at Analytics Demystified who helps organizations draw insight from their web, mobile and marketing data to make better business decisions. (And she writes some really good stuff.)
It doesn't matter if you are a small startup, or a large organization, these six tips will help you succeed with digital analytics, whether it be for your website, mobile app, marketing or social media data.
1. Nail the basics, before you try to get fancy.
At Analytics Demystified, many organizations come to us with lofty near-term goals. For example, wanting to implement comprehensive, cross-device tracking of their customers, that they can link to their personalized marketing data and point of sale system.... But they can't even get basic digital analytics tracking correctly implemented on their website.
For example, a large travel company we worked with had aspirations of doing deep segmentation and customized content... but couldn't get simple Order and Revenue tracking correct. Or, a global B2B company who wanted an integrated data warehouse, from anonymous website visit through to lead through to customer... but couldn't even get accurate counts of the number of lead forms submitted on their site.
The corporate advantage from analytics absolutely comes from being able to get an integrated view of your customer. However, you have to nail the basics before you try to get fancy. The fundamentals are fundamental for a reason. If you don't have a solid foundation, with accurate data collected across all your systems, your integrated data will be flawed, leading to poor decision making.
Accept that your organization will take time to crawl, walk, then run.
2. Perfect is the enemy of progress.
While you build your solid foundation and move towards more advanced analytics, don't get discouraged because you can only do some of the things you want. There are still plenty of gains to be made from careful analysis of your web analytics data, or your email or social or mobile app data, before they are fully integrated with your other systems and CRM.
Just because you're not at your dreamed end-state doesn't mean you can't gain valuable insight along the way.
3. There is no "right" and "wrong" way. There's only "appropriate for your business."
Recently I attended a webinar, where the speaker was asked "What is the best report in Google Analytics?" He proceeded to name a specific report and why he felt it was so valuable.
My first thought? "Wrong! The best report is theonethat answers the business question." There is no "right" answer, no "one" report. Solid analytics comes from using data to answer a business question. So what reports you should be using, what data you should be collecting and what analysis you should be doing depends on your business requirements.
There is no "one size fits all" approach, and "best practices" may not be best for your business at all.
Spending on people matters far more than buying shiny new tools. (But every vendor selling you on "shiny" will argue otherwise!) You can do far more with a smart team, and free or inexpensive tools, than with all the bells and whistles, but no team to use them properly.
Unfortunately, we commonly work with large enterprise organizations with little or even no analytics resources. (For example, a large, Fortune 100 company with twenty individual brands and no internal resources devoted to analytics!) Your chance of gaining anything valuable from analytics ... without analysts? Slim to none.
Why is this so common? Unfortunately, in most organizations, it is easier to get budget for technology than additional headcount.