And web analytics has become an integral part of any eCommerce business. But, not every organization is able to leverage the benefits that a web analytics project promises.
The challenges start right from the beginning. Different people understand web analytics projects differently, making a clear discussion on the subject challenging. The most basic confusion arises between analytics tagging and analytics reporting. Avinash Kaushik created a simple — but effective — web analytics project framework to explain the different aspects of a web analytics project. This framework divides a web analytics project into three distinct phases.
Doesn’t Google Analytics have all the dashboards I need? Well, yes and no. So then what does Data Reporting mean and why do I need it? Google Analytics does offer a wide variety of dashboards that you can make use of. However, built-in dashboards fulfill only the most basic requirements. These dashboards have to be customized to suit specific needs. The integration of other sources of data, custom KPIs, and data visualization needs are some factors that must be considered. Most organizations will find that they need an Excel-based dashboard that they can easily manipulate and use. They also need a way to have these reports generated and distributed on a regular basis.
Now you have analytics implemented and also get weekly dashboards with all data sources you need included. Now, all that is needed is to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor, right? Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. More likely than not, having a good reporting system will raise more questions than it solves. This is as it should be! Issues that were hiding under the surface will come to the forefront. Problems with your marketing or website that would never normally be identified will likely show up in your reporting. Digging into the data – and actually finding answers to these questions — is an art in itself. You may quickly realize that your understanding of the KPIs and metrics isn’t sufficient, and you need experts who can help interpret the numbers for you. This is the role of data analysis and data analytics consultants who specialize in looking into the data to find insights and opportunities for your business. In order to make your analytics a truly strategic asset, you may want to hire the services of an analytics consultant. Full time analytics experts are also an option, albeit an expensive one.
There are some mistakes that can impact outcome of the project, though, so you should watch out for these:
a) Default implementation of data capture tools
b) Sole-dependency on default reporting capabilities of Google Analytics
c) Focusing on reports only, not interpretation or insights
d) A separation of analytics and decision making
It’s important that organizations understand their requirements in all three aspects when taking on a web analytics project. Focusing time and resources appropriately within the three areas of the project is essential in ensuring success of the project.