I challenge you to refute the following: there may be no truly useful involvement of WA for micro-businesses with no pre-existing data or even market, and that to claim so would be relying on very noisy data (i.e. that of a few testers). How do you permeate “data-driven insight culture” into the nano-scale? -Maciek Adwent in the comments section of the last post Analytics is defined as the application of statistical methods to data to derive business insights. Without data, there is no analytics. QED I’ll argue that the definition of a business is the taking inputs, adding value to them, and the production of outputs with the intent to sell them. A profitable business takes inputs, adds value to[…]

“you need to rework this morning’s blog to apply to a 2-man startup shop. They’ve zero time/budget for navigating data oceans” – A friend by way of twitter I’m not one of those people that’s going to say every decision requires a data input. It doesn’t. We make hundreds of decisions a day when running a business – there literally isn’t enough time, even with very efficient data access processes – for any organization to consider every single input. Just as your brain is programmed with a self-preserving ignorance – it doesn’t process every single input, actively, a two man shop would operate in much the same way. Ignorance can be optimal sometimes. The laws of Recency and Anchor and[…]

Much of my early career is rooted in a simple, but powerful observation: organizations that set concrete targets perform better than those who set relative or abstract ones, regardless if those concrete targets are actually met. (Amazingly, as far as I could tell at the time, nobody else had made that observation in public policy.) A clearly defined Key Performance Indicator (KPI) with a clear, concrete goal, can focus organizational energy towards that goal, and help an organization optimize their efforts. I champion the notion that Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are the dependent variables that matter to the businesses direct goals. This means that all other ‘metrics’, all 4 million of them out there, are independent variables that may, or[…]

Raw Data is a commodity. That’s the overwhelming conclusion I’m running into – that’s the direction of my thinking over the past 4 weeks. I had an excellent talk today with Jennifer Day. It’s a ‘catalytic’ talk. She called me inquiring about a tweet on the pre-click analytics side, and she very patiently listened, in great detail, about the procedures involved and the value of that type of analytics. Somehow I spun off into a rant about data. (Hard to imagine). I said, in effect: “See, the problem with the web analytics vendors today is that they’re in a false trap. They are only as successful as the people who use their tools. And, so many of the people who[…]

The Internet penetration for Canada is 84%% The landing page bounce rate for site A is 44%. Is the bounce rate for site A unacceptably high? Your opinion is heavily swayed by the previous fact, whether you’re conscious of it or not. The tendency of humans to anchor and adjust is insidious. Even if you hear a number that has nothing to do with the question in question, it’s going to color future perceptions. Why am I so concerned about this? Consider how it can impact business decisions: If people get it into their heads that 40 cents is a really good CPC based on some previous campaign – that becomes the anchor. Then, suddenly, a 4 dollar keyword looks[…]

Screw pageviews. Pageviews are to 2009 as “Hits” are to 1997. Pageviews are so simple to understand. It says, “Page” and “Views”. It must mean “it’s the number of pages that were viewed on the website”. And it’s so scalable too! I mean, somebody can ask me, “How many pageviews did this page get”, and you can tell them, and people will say, ‘okay’. It’s a directional number. Sort of like how ‘hits’ were back in the day. And in a soundbyte world, easy wins. It’s not all easy though. It’s easy to interpret a number the way you want to. Sometimes, people will misinterpret ‘pageviews’ to mean ‘people’ – just as people (I verbally slip from time to time)[…]

“Some Definitions Satisfaction is usually measured as the self-report of a transient attitude based on a recent experience. Even if one is asked about one’s overall satisfaction, this response is almost perfectly correlated with the satisfaction rating of the most recent experience. ASat tells you a little bit about what’s in the consumer’s head but not much about what they’ll do in the future. Another key metric used is loyalty. Loyalty is often defined as repeat purchases. This is a step in the right direction. Now we are examining behaviors which are more likely to predict future behaviors than attitudes. However, for big-ticket items or items purchased occasionally, measures of repeat purchases are inadequate as there are insufficient data points[…]

Business questions shift over time. It’s the great Delta. There are very specific questions that can have an immense impact on the business if they were answered and executed against. These include: “How many [repeat] customers do I have?”“Who are my most valuable customers?”“What do my most valuable customers have in common?”“Who are my least valuable customers?”“How much is it costing me to service my least valuable customers?”“How do I attract more customers like my most valuable ones?”“Who should I direct discounts at? When?”“Who should I direct ‘I love you’ campaigns at? When?”“Who should I just stop saying anything to? When?”“How are customers finding my site?”“What channels are resulting in highest conversion?”“How are returning customers finding my site?”“Where are they[…]