In the last month, I went to the Google Analytics User Conference here in Sydney. While I may be a data nerd (as some of you may know), I learned new things and was reminded of a few important insights over the course of the conference.
Namely, data is hard. Processes should have processes and in order to be effective, data shouldn’t be siloed to one area of business but rather should communicate across all boundaries. A company can reach amazing actionable insights with data, but it can be a fight to get there.
It’s 2014; we’re in the future that Marty McFly went back to. We have access to a wealth of data about our website and user behavior, from demographics and popular pages to the best-selling products and product verticals which we didn’t have even 5 years ago. Take it even further and we can integrate offline data from a CRM or point of sale and actually push it into Google Analytics. In order to really move forward, we need to analyse that data and make it work for us and our business objectives.
But I Have So Much Data…
But how do we know what data to look at? How do we not get pulled into a vortex of numbers and lose sight of what really matters?
That’s where process comes in. Process, preparation and action. Data analysis is only as good as the actions we take from it, but we need to have the right process in place to take the right actions. So we need to make sure we start off well.
Before making marketing decisions driven by data even enters stage left, know what matters to the business and how it’s going to be measured:
1. What are your business objectives? Why does your business exist?
2. List out your goals (capture leads, engage community, reinforce offline advertising)
3. Identify KPIs for those goals (transactions, branded traffic)
4. Set targets ($1000/wk, 10% YoY rise in branded traffic)
5. Discover segments (people, sources, behaviour)
While many have 1-4 down pat, a lot can be done now with step 5.
How Can I Humanise It All?
It’s that last step we’re all reaching for and occasionally falling short of, and it’s that element of discovery that feeds into the informed analysis that will be of long-term benefit to any company.
Part of that struggle is because up until now, the capability to discover (demographic) data on users has been limited to companies that could hand over lots of money to market research or enterprise level analysis like Radian6.
Google is in the process of closing that gap, and has stated explicitly the focus in reporting is now on the user rather than the visit. We see this in a few ways in Google Analytics:
● Demographic reporting
● Enhanced ecommerce
● Data upload
Each of these opportunities provides more data around the user and user behavior so we can make informed choices about what users are doing, but more importantly why they’re doing it. Build a process around data, take full advantage of the tools that Google is offering and make more informed choices for your business in 2014 and beyond.October 3, 2014 by Amanda King Filed in Analytics, Data