How do you define "analysis" to assess a Web site's performance?
That question was a key topic at the recent eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit in San Jose, CA.
Jim Sterne, conference chairman, did a great job of pulling together solid content covering a number of industry trends. He organized a day called the Analytics Symposium and asked a handful of people to prepare short presentations (10 minutes max) on what they felt "analysis" meant with regard to analyzing site performance. After a few people presented, attendees discussed the presentations, what resonated mainly with them, what else they would like to hear about, and more.
He asked me to be a presenter, giving me a great reason to pull some of our agency's 40-plus Web analytics professionals together to discuss what analysis meant to them. It was a great opportunity to step back and visit what analysis means, why so many companies struggle with analysis, and why so many fail within Web analytics in general.
If you've read the book I co-authored or the columns I've written over the past few years, you may have heard me state ad nauseam that the ROI (define) on Web analytics is 0.0 if you aren't taking action on the insight generated from the data. And far too many companies are investing considerably in tools and simply reporting the data -- not doing the analysis that drives insight and change! That's what analysis is all about: moving from data to insight to action.
Chris Kerns, who runs the Web analytics team at my agency, asked the team to provide their description of analysis in one or two sentences. Below are some of those responses that resonated with me and I shared at eMetrics (I've highlighted some keywords that jumped out at me):
In addition, Kerns asked his team to put together a list of the top 10 terms they use to describe analysis. We analyzed them and found some of the most popular used terms were:
This covers a lot of different things but touches on the most important aspects of what analysis means, what it means to be successful, and, critically, how to deliver that ROI (greater than 0.0) that most companies are still searching for in Web analytics.
There were many other great ideas and comments that came from other presenters, as well as in follow-up discussions. They include:
In the next part of this column, I'll go deeper into what analysis is and what it is not, which should help expose why so many companies fail to reach the potential Web analytics offers. I'll also cover the most important five things to do to transition from lack of analysis to true insight and action to improve the Web channel.
Share with me: What do you think of when you think of "analysis"? What am I missing in my descriptions that you consider important without your organization?
Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
As president of the Americas regions for the digital agency POSSIBLE, Jason is responsible for leading the long-term stability and growth of the region. Jason has 20-plus years experience in digital strategy. He is a long-time advocate of using data to inform digital strategies to help clients attract, convert, and retain customers. Jason supports our clients and employees in driving new engagements and delivering great work that works.
Jason speaks frequently about helping marketers take advantage of data to make smarter business decisions and improve the success of their organizations. He is the co-author of Actionable Web Analytics: Using Data to Make Smart Business Decisions.
Follow him on Twitter @JasonBurby.
March 19, 2014