5 Quotes for Analytics Success

  |  June 7, 2011   |  Comments

Inspiration from Albert Einstein, Abraham Maslow, and others.

This week, I've assembled five favorite quotes that I use when discussing analytics.

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

There's some debate whether Albert Einstein said this or whether it was only on a sign hanging on his office wall at Princeton. No doubt, he was referring to digital marketing! In our world, there's no shortage of numbers. Instead, our problem is often having the right numbers. For me, this quote epitomizes the challenges of creating good key performance indicators (KPIs). We can measure a lot these days. But just because we can measure something, it doesn't mean that it's important. Quite often the important things to measure in business, our KPIs, are hard to measure, and it's often because we are thinking about measurement in the wrong way (see next quote). The challenge is to count the things that count (good KPIs) and to get the right numbers right (good data integrity).

"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail."
- Abraham Maslow

For a long time, digital marketing analysts would try to solve every problem with data from a web analytics system. It's getting a lot better, but there's still a lot of it going on out there. We don't need a single tool; we need a whole toolkit. Having good web analytics is absolutely necessary, but rarely sufficient. In addition to web analytics, we need good voice-of-the-customer intelligence, an understanding of the competitive situation, and an appreciation of the actual technical performance of the channel. This has implications for the skills base and training for analytics teams within organizations and also levels of investment required.

"The price of light is less than the cost of darkness."
- Arthur C. Nielsen

Art Nielsen was a pioneer of modern marketing research. This quote characterizes the challenges in getting organizations to spend on measurement and analytics as they often view it as a cost rather than an investment. These days investment in data collection technologies may not need to be that high. There are lots of free tools for web analytics, voice-of-the-customer research, site performance measurement, and so on. However, there is no point collecting data if you don't have resources to analyze, interpret, and act on it. It's not a question of whether you can afford to invest in these resources, as Art said, it's a question of whether you can afford not to. This quote should be written in the footer of every business case for investment in analytical resources!

"Most people use statistics the way a drunkard uses a lamp post, more for support than illumination."
- Mark Twain

This one is one of my favorites. The weekly report is the scourge of most organizations. It goes out every week, because it's the weekly report. Most likely, this report was started by someone who is no longer in the organization. Most likely, it doesn't tell anybody anything that they need to know. Next week, don't send out the weekly report and see what happens!

"After all is said and done, more needs to have been done than said."
- Neil Mason

OK, I cheated here, but this is along the lines of "actions speak louder than words." The whole point of measurement and analysis is that it leads to different outcomes. Analytics is about making better decisions and reducing risk in the business. There's no point having good data and sophisticated analysis if the results are not acted upon, either because of the organization's culture or business processes. Successful use of analytics requires organizational agility to bring change and measure results. That's what we mean by optimization.

So those are my favorite quotes about analytics. Has anyone got any others?

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Neil Mason

Neil Mason is SVP, Customer Engagement at iJento. He is responsible for providing iJento clients with the most valuable customer insights and business benefits from iJento's digital and multichannel customer intelligence solutions.

Neil has been at the forefront of marketing analytics for over 25 years. Prior to joining iJento, Neil was Consultancy Director at Foviance, the UK's leading user experience and analytics consultancy, heading up the user experience design, research, and digital analytics practices. For the last 12 years Neil has worked predominantly in digital channels both as a marketer and as a consultant, combining a strong blend of commercial and technical understanding in the application of consumer insight to help major brands improve digital marketing performance. During this time he also served as a Director of the Web Analytics Association (DAA) for two years and currently serves as a Director Emeritus of the DAA. Neil is also a frequent speaker at conferences and events.

Neil's expertise ranges from advanced analytical techniques such as segmentation, predictive analytics, and modelling through to quantitative and qualitative customer research. Neil has a BA in Engineering from Cambridge University and an MBA and a postgraduate diploma in business and economic forecasting.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Analytics newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Sr. Paid Search Manager
      Sr. Paid Search Manager (Bisk Education) - TampaCurrently seeking a Sr. Paid Search Manager in Tampa, FL for Bisk Education! Bisk Education is a...
    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...