Like a diamond in the rough, Web analytics data may have great volume, but they don’t display their true worth until in an expert’s hands. Cut for maximum brilliance, data can bring light and value to an organization’s many different facets.
Many people within an organization — from executives to developers and merchandisers — can benefit from the insight analytics data have to offer, if staffers are given data they can act on.
When designing your analytics reports and defining the data you intend to capture, consider the following teams’ needs, and how they might use the data to improve their work:
- Web product managers/business leads. These managers can evaluate the effectiveness of their site sections and outcome of site changes. They can also use analytics to identify improvement opportunities.
- Designers. Site designers can evaluate different designs’ performances. They can also conduct A/B or multivariable design tests.
- Executive/management team. Until recently, executives and management teams didn’t pay much attention to Web analytics. Now, some of our most successful clients use Web data to set corporate or group goals, as well as to evaluate the success of different groups or individuals. Many of our clients even use this data as part of their bonus distribution plan, especially for their Web teams, tying specific metric goals to individual performance evaluations.
- Developers/technical. Developers can use analytics data to evaluate performance issues such as Web server loads, content delivery speed, and uptime.
- Merchandisers. Merchandisers can use analytics data to learn which products drive the most interest, which sell, and which drive repeat purchases. Online retailers are taking what they’ve learned online and using it to drive offline behaviors, such as in-store merchandising and pricing.
- E-marketing. Those driving traffic to the site through banner campaigns, email, SEO (define), and search engine marketing (SEM) can quickly learn which campaigns drive the most value. They can also gain insight on how to optimize campaign landing pages to better induce people to take desired actions.
- Sales/business development. Sites that generate leads for offline sales can give a sales rep more than just contact information. Analytics data can provide information such as the number of times the prospect visited the site. A good system can tell the rep what the lead looked at on the site and what enticed her to make contact. If you hand this information to a rep before he makes contact, he can more easily start an educated conversation.
- Information architects (IAs). Web analytics information can help IAs understand how people navigate the site, what they’re interested in, and what drives people to convert on the desired behavior. This information can help IAs better tune their recommendations to drive visitor behavior on the live site, rather than just employ best practices.
The key to getting different people to use Web analytics data is to help them focus on the aspects that can help them do their jobs better. Once you help people access relevant information, the data’s value, along with your teams’ intelligence, can really shine.