Le Penseur by Jason Rogers

Taking a Moment for Measurement

As Q1 closes, take the time to confirm what metrics matter to your organization, organize your tracking information, and plan how information will be delivered. Confirm What Metrics Matter No doubt, you’ve taken care of the top-level KPIs. But organizations need a mix of KPIs, leading indicators and operational metrics in order to succeed. Check […]

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March 26, 2014

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As Q1 closes, take the time to confirm what metrics matter to your organization, organize your tracking information, and plan how information will be delivered.

Confirm What Metrics Matter

No doubt, you’ve taken care of the top-level KPIs. But organizations need a mix of KPIs, leading indicators and operational metrics in order to succeed. Check with your managers, marketers and execs (in that order) to make sure you are giving them the information they need to make smart decisions. I’ve found that it’s best to ask for a metrics spot check from departments in order to get conversation started. I structure it as:

  • What you are currently measuring?
  • What you need to start measuring?
  • What capabilities do you want in the future?

The last one is usually a mix of technology and data integration. Most companies use a mix of tools and departments are looking for ways to merge data in order to extract more insights. I find this section is great for discovering technology gaps and areas for future investment.

Here’s a Web Activities Listing Sheet that I use for these spot checks. It’s really about getting the conversation started and getting some ideas in writing. You’ll go through several rounds of discussing and revising as you expand the measurement regime, but this will give you a strong start.

Get Your Tracking Organized

Your measurement needs will grow over time, so it’s important to have a plan for setting up and maintaining your data collection. Documentation should include the conversion goal, who cares about, the location and how it connects to your systems. This is also a great time to verify that conversion funnels are in place. Here’s a Measurement Audit Sheet (Google Doc) you can use to get your tracking organized. You can look below to see what the sheet looks like.

Reporting: Determine Who Will Use Data & How

I’m a big believer in self-serve reporting for most needs. Setting up automated reports and dashboards frees analysts to focus on bigger questions rather than spending hours on reports.

The challenge is making sure you deliver the right reports to the right audience in terms of metrics, segments, frequency and data volume.

Audience

If a senior executive is asking about email, then they probably want the overall numbers with comparisons to YOY and versus plan. A mid-level manager is looking for something similar, but also wants to look at individual campaigns to make sure they are seeing ROI. Analysts are looking for large enough data sets to spot trends, reveal patterns and raise questions.

Usage

Then you want to think about usage. For example, you might check email performance weekly but you wouldn’t make big changes in email strategy without at least a few months of data. A good approach for this is to have a dashboard with channel numbers that include an email overview & then have monthly and quarterly campaign reports to dig deeper.

With the email example, I’d give:

  • 1-2 dashboards to give all audiences a quick reference.
  • A monthly report to the exec
  • A weekly campaign report to the manager
  • A monthly data export to the analysts

This is An Ongoing Process

I call out the end of the quarter for doing this type of review because it aligns with how businesses report results. But this is something you can do in pieces and at different intervals depending on your needs. The key idea is to continually optimize your measurement approach in the same way you would marketing efforts. I’m a terrible artist, but the graphic below is how I think about the process.

How data should be handled through your organization

The steps I’ve discussed will allow you to continually improve measuring and reporting, so that you can focus on analyzing and optimizing.

Feature images courtesy of Jason Rogers on Flickr

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