What’s so Actionable about Actionable metrics?

One of the favorite buzzwords for analysts and data scientist today is ‘actionable metric’. Recently barged into the business lexicon and promising enough to find a long standing position this word hardly ever misses any sales pitch by any person in the business of analytics and data research.  Don’t try to connect to the meaning popular a decade back- here it’s nothing to do with law or criminal offense.

Actionable metrics are those that can be acted upon or used in business immediately, without making too many assumptions or help of a list of others – briefly, insightful information. The opposite of which is vanity metrics. Metrics that are remotely connected to use. Metrics, whose implications are subjected to the interpreter- meanings that differ from man to man.

Often we find web analytics that come with tons of metrics (and more being added even as speak), facing the fury of businesses- “too many dollar spent”, they call out  “and too little an information to use”. Agreed. Figures like number of clicks, number of visits, no. of exits or no of views are big pieces of junk. But so is sales if you did not know cost and cost if you had so information about revenue.

But if we measured count of clicks, over months, weeks, time of a day for posts to that blog you maintain, that could give great information. It could tell a reader’s preferences at various times of the year, hours when your audience are ready to read and time when you run the highest chance of  being in the limelight.

Thus it all comes down to the basis of analytics – contexts and comparisons. With right contexts in the backdrop and relevant comparison across every metric can be actionable or I’d prefer “intuitively informative”!

Since it is most popular among web analysts and Google Analytics as  the uncrowned king- lets just analyze how much action driven information this tool has  to offer.

Among the many types of analysis – dimension/metric combinations in  Google Analytics – We could count on just 5 as downright intuitively informative. They are unambiguous in their implication and pretty readily actionable (if that’s what we best understand)

Benchmarking- in Google Analytics

Bench-marking- in Google Analytics

Bench-marking Channels performance for Acquisition and Behavior- A new feature at Google Analytics and offers a comparative analysis of immediate industry in terms of channels used to acquire users and how they behave in each case.

Similar info is also available across geographic location. Important to note here is that, one gets to understand just which locations does that industry thrive in and sales or promotional channels most effective.

Cost Data- in Google Analytics

Cost Data- in Google Analytics

Cost to achieve goals- This involves uploading Cost data. Goals  achieved  is just as  good as the cost incurred –  be it micro or  macro . So all those signups, downloads, video watching or  purchase, how much did  it cost  advertising online or other , renovating the website  or to stock up that inventory etc.

Content Drilldown- in Google Analytics

Content Drilldown- in Google Analytics

Content drilldown and behavior metrics- Average  time spent on website gives a diluted idea of  engagement , but if you break it  down to each page  and  content level- that’s a solid  piece of  information giving exactly where  visitors  are engaged , if  at all.

It talks about just how good or relevant or engaging  is the content you have put out there.

Behavior- in Google Analytics

Behavior- in Google Analytics

Behaviors and rate of goal conversion across channels- Your bounce rates, page depth, and pages visited can be broken down to channels and within channels, different social platforms, referring websites or keywords that direct organic search traffic.  Is there a correlative movement between the behavior metrics and channels or sources that send. Is there any tips about where they found your link and how far is it  relevant  to that context?

Drill  it down and you’ll see somewhere it relates  to channel performance and effectiveness of all your resource , time  money and energy spent in there.

SEO Queries- in Google Analytics

SEO Queries- in Google Analytics

Queries in Search Engine Optimizations and Resultant movement over period- One of the  best form of  information available on the tool is what queries in  search gives what result- is  your website search engine optimized, where  does  your page rank for  searches  you love and

Conclusion- Metrics vary in the depth of  intuitive and  actionable  quality , but a lot of  it  depends  on the analysis it  self and of course skills of a seasoned  analyst.  If  you do not  have an analyst  or  new  to this as a business  owner, remember  it is important , the way  data is viewed and the context it is put up against. Instead  of viewing data singularly  or as a mass of aggregates, slice it  down and  try al types of  comparisons. Some will turn out meaningless but many will become insightful. Believe it  or that’s  how all analysts start! Good Luck.

About Hedgehog Insights– We are data analytics service provider . We offer analysis of business data. Be it daily operations, cash flows, website data or ones from social media, we analyze all of them together, on one platform, draw, connections, correlations, causes and offer our clients set of easily actionable insights. Tools are really in abundance and we are not selling another expensive one, all that we are sellingis a promise that our analysts will offermodern and conventional analytics , work with you and help you see hidden opportunities from your business data.Schedule a free consultation

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