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


What good are online ads without analytics?

What good are online ads without analytics?

File:1953 Gem Razor Ad with

Decades back advertising was still called advertising, but analytics was not.  There could be a handful of words describing it’s to some extent – research, data interpretation, forecasting etc. but analytics is a fairly new connotation of all these put together. That is not to say analytics was not used. Advertisers, acted on every form of data available, because advertising was a business  expense and there is God in good ROI.  Understandably, like God good ROI too does not come by easily.


For good returns, advertisements, need to be targeted, rightly placed, positioned, coined and directed. What all this mean is a great deal of work, to understand the demographics, psychographics, time of visits , duration of visit  and general actions audience  take . Historic data can paint a picture of past and trends from past  give potential clues to future that help advertisers generate ideas and maximize effectiveness.

Optimització per a motors de
Today’s times have changed, but not the intent and purpose of advertisements. We  have new media ,several new platforms,  evolved technologies to glamorize our message but good  returns  still lies  at  the  heart  of what we call online ads. So all little snippets of texts sponsored on search engines, display networks, YouTube videos, pop up messages, Facebook , Twitter , Instagram, they now reign the arena alongside  the new age data  interpretation called analytics. Analytics of online ads, is a vast field and uniquely simple, because only ads are highly measurable.  Tools and  technology are  available , mostly free to aid our task. I’ll  have more to speak on this subject in our next post , but suffice it  to say today  that it  is truly  analytics of online commercials  that makes it worth the way.  More to come . Stay Tuned

Does Your Brand  Have a Purpose

And  every time you say to build a brand  you need money spent  in  marketing and  advertising – I will say that’s  not enough. Brand without   purpose is like a person without principals, ideals or  personality and it’s  just fitting they go together because alone they makes little sense.

Incidentally small business can also give it a shot. A purpose driven brand is guided by core value proposition, characteristics identifying a business. And even without pots of money bet on it, and just by passionately promoting ideals and core values is the key to building a brand for your small home based business. It does not necessarily involve whole lot of resources- just smart and judicious usage of the few you have access to. SO you should know what to invest and how.

  1.   What product or service should you invest in? Which are the ones, that’s contributing more towards sales. Changes in revenue percentages can signal not only changes in customer spending habits but also broader trends in your industry and market. Changes in the contribution percentage each makes can indicate problems are ahead. The measuring year for this factor is called Revenue Percentage. It measures contribution of revenue from each of the different sources of income in your business- products, service, subcontracting etc.

RP =            Revenue from product A or Service B in a month X 100

Total revenue for your business in that month

2. How to invest : Create the right Brand image online.

A group of metric together measures performance of the entire social media plan. These metrics are together called Virality. So if creating brand image online is your final business goal then the measuring yard to use and check how far you have progressed in your endeavors  is Virality.

So, for your brand name or brand keywords it can tell –

  • > How much are people talking about it?
  • > What is the reach of your influence?
  • > What is the average sentiment you’ve generated- good, bad or neutral?

One tool that can be used as a measuring yard is: www.socialmentions.com

SO with business goals to create a  brand around purpose, a  brand  that  breathes the core  identity of  your  business, that represents  the  core values you need  to use a  cost  effective  media , virulently but  before  that you must know which or  what  services / product  will generate  maximum return on your  investments.

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

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