How to avoid metrics mania

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Karen E. Hudgins
Karen E. Hudgins

Web analytics solutions offer users endless ways to segment data, dive into metrics and key performance indicators, and investigate Web site activity. But how do you find catalyst metrics?

For some, there is no such thing as too much data; for others, having too many choices is crippling. Envision entering a store to buy black shoes. Instead of finding 20 pairs to choose from, you find an entire warehouse.

Symptoms of metrics mania

  • Your Web analytics solution is your favorite maze whose end you are still trying to find
  • Co-workers are afraid to approach you as you stare endlessly at reports
  • All the reports you send are ignored
  • You have broken the company record of custom reports created daily
  • You continually pore over reports without identifying any action items

Metrics mania Rx

Identify things that would evoke a change in your campaigns, processes, Web content, navigation or your business. For example, a drop in the number of high-lifetime-value site visitors or a sudden decline in organic traffic. Whatever those key indicators are, those are your catalyst metrics.

Examine your Web site's holistic purpose. Is it lead generation, content or resource driven, self-service or a retail site? Then identify three to five success actions or behaviors, like key performances, for example. Map out what it takes to complete those actions or behaviors. Set up metrics that indicate performance fluctuation and drive change using these catalyst metrics.

Unless you have infinite resources, you probably just want to know how to efficiently manage actionable analysis. Catalyst metrics differ by organization, department and team. Understanding the role of each will help you prioritize and effectively manage metrics.

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