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Find the relevant data to measure

Do you ever feel this way when you try to assess the performance of your brand assets?  Do you ever try to ask a straight-forward question only to be inundated by a seemingly endless barrage of data without insights?

To avoid this situation, the first and most important step is to understand the question you are trying to answer and the relevant data points to assess same.  This is part of the goal mapping and benchmarking exercise that should be done at the outset of any initiative.  Further, you need to have a clear understanding of your data collection options – available tools, measureable  user interactions, data availability and potential insights.

For instance, if you want to know if that new iPhone app you launched last week is being adopted, you wouldn’t want to spend your time sifting through extraneous reports about content consumption and acquisition sources.  Instead, your key data points would be:

  • Downloads – number of unique visitor downloads of your new app
  • Adoption rate – downloads as a proportion of iPhone device traffic to download the page

You would need to understand how the placement and creative treatment of the app impacts downloads.  You would also review overall mobile device traffic to this page to determine if there is justification to modify this app to be compatible with Android and Blackberry devices.  To round out the picture, you would want visibility into the user path to download success.

Next, you would need to determine which analytics tools can provide this data.  This is critical because each tool is different and comes with inherent rules and limitations.  Capturing all the desired information may mean integration with one or more products.  One product may provide data on app placement in-page, mobile device page traffic and clicks to initiate the download process (i.e. Adobe SiteCatalyst) while a separate one may be needed to provide visibility into user movement through the download process (i.e. Admob).

Another important step would be to understand the reports that are available and understand which are relevant to your specific question. This way, no time would be wasted waiting for a report to run only to realize it doesn’t contain the data you need.

It is often easy to become seduced by data.  When you have so much information available at your fingertips, it can be hard to accept that not everything is relevant.  You wind up wasting time, attempting to draw conclusions from extraneous and sometimes, irrelevant metrics.  This leads to inaccurate conclusions being drawn which in turn result in impotent improvement tactics.  Understanding your objectives, defining parameters and establishing boundaries upfront will steer you on the path of critical, deductive reasoning, yield insights and empower you to identify effective conversion solutions.

*This post written by Jamie Gilbert, Associate Director of Business Intelligence

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