Hear – Listen – Communicate


How YourAnalyticsSite can help
September 14, 2009, 8:10 am
Filed under: Personal, Taking action

How YourAnalyticsSite can help

Analytics Framework Workshop

The Your Analytics Site workshop consists of a three day on site consulting session that is designed to construct a framework that goes beyond identifying your goals and objectives but drives into the measure used and actions taken your organization.

Goals and Objectives:  On the first day, we will work with your stakeholders to articulate your corporate goals into ones that encompass work performed by your online and offline departments.  Goals have actions behind them (or at least they better!), and that is what we will be tracking.  This is the first stage.

Goal: Increase engagement of website leading towards a higher registration conversion

Activities: Develop personalized newsletter program, utilize social channels, optimize registration process, develop more leading content

The second day we review those goals and activities and decide What are we trying to accomplish through all these activities.  Different from the goal, this is what the landing page designer tells you the new page will do.  The last part of the day will be quantifing these statements to define which KPI’s will be used to signal success\failure\or needs work status.

What are we trying to accomplish: Increase repeat traffic and multiple page views, Interaction through social channels, higher conversion rate

How can we measure that: Increase # of visitors that visit 2-4 times a month (or more) and view 3 or more pages, increase in mentions and conversation with key “friends”, increase in overall cost per lead.

The last day we define the ownership of work:  who is in charge of making sure things get done in the time frame required.  Being on the same page and knowing who owns each task is crucial to success. We help identify the key players in this daily process so your organization knows who is responsible for making the necessary changes/adjustments to your web analytics strategy in order to yield improved results.  We also help out by suggesting signals and patterns to look for to trigger these actions.

Reporting Solution Development

If you are savvy enough to already have the above framework in place, but lack the in-house resources to bring those reports to life we can help.  Through a consulting workshop together we can take yourthe above report definitions and customize your analytics environment to meet those needs.  We believe that the data is more valuable outside the tools than inside, so, we always work through the solution to meet the preexisting delivery methods in place in your organization.

Your Analytics Site offers the experience of developing adopted solutions for many organizations over the years.  Our preexisting technology solutions arm organizations with the tools necessary for what we call “efficient active listening.”  When big things happen, good or bad, companies who listen actively will be in a position to react immediately and make decisions in the best interest of their organization.

Examples:

  • Combining ad server data with site data
  • Integrating SalesForce Visitor information with online registration data
  • Evaluating Social Media Influence to traffic and organization

Dashboard and Scorecard Automation

Your data sources don’t just come from WebTrends or Google Analytics.  That said, our dashboards and balanced scorecards combine data sets from many areas in order to paint the complete picture of your performance

YourAnalyticsSite will design a custom dashboard that fits the business data needs.  The Dashboard acts as a data template, accepting data from subsequent time periods and allowing the user to slice and dice the data from multiple sources and time periods.

We have developed best practice dashboard templates that can cost-efficiently be customized to meet your needs.  We have developed dashboard solutions for Microsoft, 2006 Winter Olympics, Kimberly-Clark and more.  Let us help you as well.

Automated Data extraction, formatting and preparation

A business’s web data can be a valuable commodity.  However, as described in this WhitePaper, this can be a daunting task, taking away your time to provide actionable insights from data.

We help map out a custom data structure that will accept your raw online data.  This data structure will act as a template that is populated periodically and allows users to easily view trends and changes in data.

Only the experts in your organization know how to best interpret the data.  YouAnalyticsSite provides the blue print for data reporting and user friendly tools that will allow the business users to interpret the data and make the necessary decisions.



Obstacles to Preparing Data
September 14, 2009, 8:08 am
Filed under: Enterprise web analytics adoption, Measuring Performance, Taking action

Obstacle # 1 – Preparing Data to the People

From a management perspective we think we have it handled.  We have purchased all the tools needed to collect the data.  What is really happening is an increase in time spent manually reviewing this data in various products and constructing the “Monthly Dashboard”.

Cause #1 – Lots of data – in lots of places

Data comes from many sources; WebTrends, ExactTarget, Banner Ads, You Tube, Twitter, Blogs, Special Events, Tradeshows, Offline Marketing, and on and on.  Each one with their own ways of exporting data into our beloved tool:  Excel

Ask any “web analyst”, “online marketer”, “SEO specialist” what their largest frustration is and preparing the data will be top on the list.  Whether this is appeasing Sally in Marketing who is launching another campaign with different metrics or Jack the SEO who quite simply wants to understand the percentage of brand phrases used to find our content, trended for the last year.

Cause #2 – Data Formatting or Re-Formatting

Each source presents the data ever so slightly different.  That said, the data usually has to be massaged a bit (cleaning up URL’s, test data, Page Names).

While many applications have turned to great visual representation of data, this does not help when trying to consolidate into a single report.

Area Usage – Fantastic when in the board meeting discussing the page redesign.  Excellent when meticulously reviewing as your key landing page.  Useless when trying to understand the other pages on your site using the new ABC News Widget.

Trended Metrics – Vendors, we love these.  Keep using them and making them better.  But how about allowing us to choose the URLs presented?  Until then we are stuck with exporting the data on a weekly or monthly basis ourselves.

Same Dimension, different measures – In a dream world, data would be presented together in the same tools and then exported out.  This is not however the case.  I won’t name the vendor screenshots below, but I will say it is their brand-new UI.  If I wanted to understand each pages bounce rate:  I would need to go to 3 different reports.

Cause #3 – Combining and Correlating Data

If  you are lucky enough to have a good amount of raw data, you may be able to combine some of the rich social data with your own sales or marketing work.  A great practice, but again, timely.  If you are not lucky enough, you may try to kill yourself trying.

Combining your data with other baseline stats both validates and creates context for your data.  Whether that be comparing your search traffic to that of the total searches on Google to comparing your traffic to that of other sites and topics.

Now, after you feel you have enough data to prove your point, you have to tie it all together for the accountants.  Excel, PowerPoint and RedBull are in your future.

Even if a company has this system in place, the question then becomes how much time and resources do we spend each month preparing this data and could we be doing it more efficiently?  If it take your company days or weeks to finishing the preparation of this data who is keeping a watchful eye on what is currently going on with your web site and marketing campaigns?  For most companies the answer is obvious (nothing); we cannot look at current statics until last month’s data ready to report.



Call for the release of Whitehouse.gov web metrics
January 23, 2009, 10:24 pm
Filed under: Enterprise web analytics adoption, Personal, Taking action

I and others it the web analytics community quickly noticed that the new Whitehouse.gov website was using WebTrends to keep track of the site’s traffic patterns.  http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/government/showArticle.jh
tml?articleID=212902341&subSection=News

It was also noticed they are using the web-beacon as opposed to log file analysis.  Bold move, considering this was quite an issue last time it was tried. http://portland.bizjournals.com/portland/stories/2006/01/09/story5.html. In any case, it seems that the Obama team has made exceptions (or did WE make the exceptions) for the YouTube cookie. Here is an exceprt from the whitehouse.gov Privacy statement.

This persistent cookie is used by some third party providers to help maintain the integrity of video statistics. A waiver has been issued by the White House Counsel’s office to allow for the use of this persistent cookie.

I think the great cookie debate could go on forever.  The other alternative is to use this non-commercial and publicly owned website to showcase what web analytics really consists of.  Instead of trying to explain to laymen what is being captured (or at least captured by the whitehat users) is not PII (Personally Identifiable Information) they can simply review what is being captured in the form of WebTrends reports.  The public and government can use this information to guage what the public is looking at.

In a bid for a more open gov’t this could help inform consumers and may even help the WAA define standards.  While my first draft to the Whitehouse was much more long-winded, the US gov’t is only interested in the first 1000 characters of what you have to say 😉 So here is the version that made it through.  I will certainly post the outcome, I am sure it will not be as easy as this.

The Web Analytics community has noticed that whitehouse.gov is still utilizing WebTrends Software in order to measure its internet traffic.

It is my understanding that this is publically available data.  In what forms and which specific data can be shared under the new transparency polices created by President Barrak Obama?