The other day it was rainier and colder than it should be in mid-April and I pointed my remote at Netflix and found a media relic from the Pre-Cambrian age of television. It happened to be season one of "Saturday Night Live." It was like stepping back in time - to a place where John Belushi was alive and Chevy Chase was really, really cool.
For those who've never seen these video relics, here is the reference: Mr. Chase was so very cool and confident then that he said to the television audience: "Good evening. I'm Chevy Chase. And you're not." He's been eating dinner on that line for about 40 years now.
Closer to our present, it's important to note that, in an environment characterized by competing visions of digital marketing, some of the lines have become blurred. And because of this, clear expectations about analytics have become somewhat elusive for some marketers.
It's time for some clarity about what we really mean when we talk about analytics.
So: I Am Analytics. And That's Not.
I am analytics. I am data collection and reports. I am trend lines. I am historical. I am based either on standard reports or configured reports. I need to be planned in advance and properly tagged and collected. My data is displayed in dashboards. If you are planning on using me to make decisions about the value of your content, you need to perform the following:
I am analytics. And here is what I am not:
Allow me to interrupt.
A pattern has emerged.
Analytics is reporting. Reporting gets the business about halfway toward optimization and is indispensable. It's currently based on a fairly wide range of tools in the marketplace. But expert humans are needed to make use of the data provided by analytics.
We keep coming back to people: us. We keep coming back to ourselves; and what we need to do for our businesses. Analytics tools are powerful. But putting hype aside, they are really just data collection and display engines. People have to bridge the gap between what analytics is; and what it is not.
Analytics image on home page via Shutterstock.
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!
Andrew is a digital marketing executive with 20 years' experience servicing the enterprise customer. Currently he is Managing Partner at Efectyv Digital, a digital marketing consulting company, and Managing Partner at Technology Leaders, a web analytics consulting firm he founded in 2002. He combines extensive technical knowledge with a broad strategic understanding of digital marketing and especially digital measurement, plus hands-on creative in the form of the written word, user-experience and traditional design.
His practice is dedicated to building customers' digital marketing success and helping them save money during the process.
He is a writer, a public speaker and a visual artist as well.
His book "Digital is Destroying Everything—and What Comes Next" will be published by Pearson in the Spring of 2014. He writes a regular column about Analytics for ClickZ, the 2013 Online Publisher of the Year. He wrote the groundbreaking "Dawn of Convergence Analytics" report which was featured at the SES show in New York, and the second report in the series will be featured at the same show in San Francisco.
In addition to speaking at SES, he has presented at eMetrics; and his session was voted one of the top ten presentations at the DMA show in Las Vegas. He is speaking again at the DMA in Chicago in the fall of 2013.
In 2004 Andrew co-founded the Digital Analytics Association and is currently a Director Emeritus. He has designed analytics training curricula for business teams and has led seminars on digital marketing subjects.
He was also an Adjunct Professor at The Pratt Institute where he taught Advanced Computer Graphics for 3 years. Andrew is also an award-winning, nationally exhibited painter.
March 19, 2014