What is the single biggest mistake businesses make in analytics?

Answer: Losing sight of the single biggest issue on their way to growth.

Here’s what my years of experience in consulting and auditing web business comes down to- challenging the biggest mistake many businesses make while analysing data. My point in writing this piece is also  the same and I believe resolving this  one can resolve many others you face daily trying to get the ‘whole data thing’.

I categorize  it as  the directional issue – wrong direction or lack of it. Better explained as the  inability to understand:

  • Data to track / collect
  • Insights to look for
  • Location of right data
Data , Data Everywhere Not a drop of Insight

A business focus is the foremost requirement in any data analytic exercise.

Let’s understand what I mean with an example.

Q: What do you do when you see spiraling marketing / advertising cost? Do you cut down activities that’s costing you the most?

If you said yes then  welcome to the big club.  You should realize cost is not more  important for business than profit. Cost does not matter much if profit is many times over. Increasing profit is a forward looking attitude , while cutting cost is often looking backwards. If you still believe cost then you should find another job. Otherwise – know that thoughtless cost cutting could be dangerous. It could be that the costliest activity is also getting  highest traffic to your website or your store.  Let us look into web analytics and our marketing activities online.

A  study of Acquisition reports within Google Analytics (with all business goals properly set up) could clearly show  all sources of traffic (Direct, Social, Referral,  Ad or Organic) and corresponding rate of goal conversion.  Also don’t miss relating total goal volume achieved as that will give a  better performance assessment . Add to this an analysis of different campaigns you are running- emails, AdWords, Facebook ads with properly set up campaign tagging. Together these will uncover all those activities that has least return, least conversions or even user session on your website . All of these contribute  to acquisition cost but has least impact of overall sales. These should be your target. These are potential areas to cut cost on. So take a deeper dive- verify your finding and take an action.

Getting back to where we started – the central idea of this analysis is to reduce cost but without impacting business growth. Similarly for every analytics question , I feel its is worthwhile understanding the biggest issues that’s stopping growth.

Author: Hedgehog Insights  visit http://www.hedgehoginsights.com contact: info@hedgehoginsights.com


4 ways to make the most of your Website and some awesome FREE tools to use.

4 ways to make the most of your Website and some awesome FREE tools to use..

4 ways to make the most of your Website and some awesome FREE tools to use.

Beyond Clickstream- A holistic view of your website

Beyond Clickstream- A holistic look fo the website

Your website is really there for a reason –the raison d’etre   might be selling products as an e-commerce. selling professional services by generating leads, or otherwise for  a home base blogger , the website shares wonderful knowledge and experience. Be it one or the other- you have a chance for  growth and using your website to the fullest can reveal hidden opportunities you never saw were there. Knowledge about – your website-, business goals, your potential customers, audience or your competitors is really knowledge of your business from all possible angles. It’s a 360 degree view that can generate a goldmine of insights and trigger new spikes in sales.

The market offers a range of tools, particularly designed to analyze data in each of these four areas. Some are highly sophisticated, expensive, complicated to implement while the others are free but at the same time not effective enough. Neither of these do really meet needs of our highly conscience, value seeking, and budding business class audience and therefore have  no place in this post.  We are really talking about best of both worlds. Robust, feature rich, smart tools available at zero to little cost.

  1. About Your Website-This bare basic information about your website. It talks about your website but it’s also important for other analysis .What are the most popular pages, and which ones have the highest exits/bounces. What turns your visitor off and never gets him engaged to what appeals to him . How many new visitors to your website and what portion of that traffic leaves from landing page. Some free tools offering this information are – Google Analytics, Yahoo-web analytics, Xiti, Piwik, AWStats etc.
  2. About the Business Goals your Website Achieve– Your website is important because it is tied to your business- 100%. It inherits your business plans, targets and goals . Like your real business, it’s critical you measure rate of success for your website too. Most of the clickstream tools can also measure multiple goals, goal sets and extent of success in each.  So namely these are Google Analytics, Yahoo-web analytics,  Feedburner, 4Q by iPerceptions
  3. About your Audience and Potential Customers– Reading the minds of customer is one the most daunting tasks ever known to marketers. Many god send great marketers, were believed to have that uncanny power, but what about others? Do they get washed down, No. they have customers walk up to them and disclose all that they like or prefer. Yes that’s possible! Website experimentation, A/B split test, Multivariate test quantify the voice of customers. Some great tools are Optimizely, Google Content Experimentation, SiteSpect, Forsee etc.
  4. About Your Competitors– Sitting in the driver’s seat with the window panes painted black, you will know little about the surround. Remove the opaque coat and d now see- you might find yourself  ahead of others, that’s great,  but you might as well be lagging miles behind the rest .  Think of it and most of your strategic decisions are guided by the competition – ones you want to overthrow or avoid. And high chance your website is also competing against the same set of competitors in the cyber space.  Know about clicks, keywords, value of customer engagements , relative to your competition. Google Display Planner, Google Trend , Compete, HitWise  etc.

In our last article we tried typical pain points, queries and confusions of business owners who are unable to use the data readily available for their website. The above list is our solution. Try them out at minimum risk and experience the power of an all rounded information about your business and put them in action.

Look forward to my next post for a detailed pros – cons Analysis and comparison of each tool with others in the   category.

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 selling is a promise that our analysts  will offer modern and  conventional analytics , work with you and help you see hidden opportunities from your business data. Schedule a free consultation or a Free assessment of  your website- with Hedgehog Insights