Join Matt Bailey for an in-depth discussion in this video The fear of analytics, part of Learning Web Analytics (2013).
As an introduction, the first thing we're going to cover is the fear of analytics. I believe a lot of people, when they approach analytics, just aren't really sure what they're getting into. And because of that, it causes fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of uncertainty. Really fear of not knowing what to look for. Usually when I talk to people about analytics, I find that all of them have the same thing in common. They open up their analytics program. They expect that the first thing they see usually has the most important information.
And because of that, people see the charts the graphs, they see what looks like important information. Visitors, visits per day, pages viewed, those types of things which look important, but unfortunately can be distracting from what really is going on. You see there's no formal education when it comes to analytics we're really left to our own devices to find out how to do this effectively, and in order to do it effectively we have to learn to ignore this interface. You see analytics is a one size fits all package.
Regardless of whether you do ecommerce, lead generation, or if you're a publisher or any other type of site, analytics is built to satisfy each one of those business types. The only way that you're going to get information that is specific to your business and your website, is through a high level of customization. And so what we're going to accomplish in this lesson is to figure out how we can better make analytics work for us, and how we can customize it to be specific to our business.
There's a word that has fallen out of use in the English language. It's called velleity. What velleity means is the intent to change, but not enough intent to actually take any action. Unfortunately this describes many business and their approach to analytics. Many businesses want to be a datacentric organization. They want to use analytics to grow, improve, and optimize their business. Unfortunately, no one has enough intent or desire to do even the first steps to get towards implementing a full analytics program in their business.
So really it comes down to two options: are you doing analytics? Or are you reporting information? You see, if you are an analytics centered in business, if analytics is part of your culture, then what you have when you log in to your analytics program and start evaluating what's happening, is you have insights into the business. Insights as to what you can do to improve your website, to improve the calls to action that you're asking users to take.
Insights lead to action, things that you know you can improve right away because the data backs up the assumption. You can make comparisons. Comparisons among different segments of people, comparisons between two pages. Comparisons between two offers. And you can ultimately make judgments on those comparisons. Because analytics is all about finding value. How valuable is this call to action compared to others? What is the bottom line value? Can you put a dollar value on all of the calls to action, on all of the conversion points, on the marketing that you are doing for your website, because when you can do all that, then you have a direction as to how you can accomplish your goals.
You see, if you're not focusing on analytics, and you're not building a culture of analytics. Then what you're doing is focusing on reporting. Reporting leads to what I call cut-n-paste reports where we pull open our analytics program and we cut or copy the numbers out of there and we paste it into our report. And it's all focused on those numbers that are in the initial report, page views, time on site, visitors. That's really all we're looking at. And as a result, it gets repetitive and there's no clear action. There's no clear purpose to what you're trying accomplish. So what we are going to be covering is what analytics can do. I believe a lot of people have a fear of analytics because their not sure what the potential is.
They know what it might look like but they're not sure how to get there. So we're going to look at what analytics can do for your business. We're going to look at how data is created, and how you can build customer segments, and understand how to better market to people, and how to better spend your marketing dollar to reach the right people at the right time with the right information. And really, it's all focused around value. How do you know if your marketing is making a result? How do you know if your search engine optimization program is profitable? Value answers the big questions. Because value helps you understand how you can make your search engine optimization your social media, your pay per click, your email, or your display campaigns profitable, and also it will tell you what it is working and why. It's all about action.
That's what we're going to cover in this course. I look forward to going through it with you and it's going to be a lot of fun to learn how you can use analytics to grow your business.
- Defining analytics terminology
- The problem of numbers
- Building segments for comparison
- Finding value in your marketing
- Creating valuable reports