Tag Archives: Analytics

Running Full Speed In The Dark

If your business does anything in the digital space you probably have some sort of system in place to measure that digital activity.

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Having run an online commerce site I can tell you that those analytics are second only to actual sales figures in importance.  Having run and consulted on sites where content is king (as opposed to commerce!), the data helps you to understand user preferences, content gaps, and how best to engage the reader.

That’s why something I saw the other day was so disturbing to me.  The folks at DBD Media recently conducted research on Google Analytics implementation across 50 e-commerce websites and found that 80% of retailers don’t know how to use Google Analytics:

  • Only 50% of e-commerce businesses track main conversion
  • 73% of businesses are inflating traffic in their analytics reports,through self referral issues.
  • 60% of GA accounts were not correctly synced with Google AdWords, meaning Pay Per Click data is not being passed-on and is hampering accurate ROI measurements for paid search.
  • 67% of websites haven’t integrated social media tracking
  • 30% of websites have incorrect e-commerce tracking implementation.

There are more findings but for a commerce site these are the most critical ones.  I suspect that if we were to survey content sites we’d find similar issues.  Why does this happen?  According to the folks at eConsultancy:

Our recent Online Measurement and Strategy report finds that the most commonly cited barrier for company respondents was a lack of budget and resources, with 50% of respondents listing this as an issue. Following this was a lack of strategy (31%) and siloed organisation / lack of co-ordination (26%).

For supply-side respondents the most commonly cited barrier was a lack of understanding / don’t know what to measure (47% compared to only 24% for company respondents), followed by a lack of budget and resources (42%) and a lack of strategy (37%).

The first item is particularly galling.  I suspect that has to do less with an actual lack of funds that a failure to reallocate the funding from some legacy activity into analytics support.  What could be more important, especially if your entire business is online?

When you’re doing your next budget, think about what activities add revenue and profit   Maybe those need to be your top priorities as you’re allocating funds? “We did it this way last year” isn’t a system – it’s an impediment.  You with me?

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Filed under Consulting, digital media

Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

U2 provides the succinct summary this morning of some research published by the folks at Lynchpin and Econsultancy.

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Those two concerns examined how companies are using and learning from analytics and their Online Measurement and Strategy Report brings us back to a theme we’ve explored previously here on the screed.  In brief, companies are finding out more and learning less.  What I mean, and what the report shows, is that companies have more data than ever about consumer behavior and yet because of a number of factors they find the data less useful and without context.

Here are a few findings:

A majority of marketers worldwide say that less than half of all the analytics data they collect is actually useful for decision-making. Just one in 10 companies thought a strong majority of analytics data was helpful, and less than a third said somewhere between half and three-quarters of all data was useful.

While finding the right staff has been also highlighted as a limiting factor in the report, one other issue that emerges after looking into the responses is that organizational issues are another common frustration.  These demonstrate themselves in ways such as :

There is one team in charge of web analytics – not a marketing team – so for the marketing colleagues it is a fight to try to extract data from the analytics team.

Huge and siloed organisations, complexity of aged infrastructure and sites, legal policies

Getting management agreement on goals.

Education of senior management in understanding the benefit of an integrated digital performance management process.

Once again we find that a lot of data isn’t necessarily a lot of information.  For that to appear we need to formulate actionable business questions that are concerns of as many stakeholders as we can involve and then seek out the appropriate data to answer them.  The more we know the less we understand, apparently, and many businesses still haven’t found what they’re looking for despite drowning in data.   I think that’s kind of amazing and a bit sad.  What do you think?

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Filed under digital media, Reality checks