For analytics to be actionable means that "there is something to act on and reasons to take those actions". The Web is the most interactive and measurable medium ever created, but realising its full value requires significant effort and a clear strategy.
Building online properties is the easy part, measuring your success is a lot more difficult, and taking action based on what you measure is even harder.
Half of most online investments is being wasted - the trick is to understand which half.
There was a catch phrase in the early '90s: D2I, or data to information.
It stressed that data in itself was not very valuable unless it was converted into information. It represented the very wise thought that we should not simply stop at the implementation of analytics tools but strive to put extra effort into converting that data into information that is useful for decision making.
Actionable Analytics is all about using data to make smart business decisions.
The four typical steps in Actionable Analytics are:
- Define Business Metrics (KPI's) that go well beyond the website and are part of your entire business strategy as this will be the foundation of everything you will end up doing with the analytical data.
- Audit: start collecting data and understand the business metrics. Two sets of data will need to be collected: the KPI's that were defined in step 1 and the metrics that can help to understand the details behind the current performance.
- Once the goals have been identified and the analytics tools have been leveraged to collect and distribute the data we need, it is time to analyse it and if possible also monetise most of the observations and actions to be taken.
- Optimisation and.. Action. Oddly enough this step is often skipped or forgotten by most companies, while this is exactly the step that will pay back all efforts and investments in the previous steps. There are a large number of ways we can take action and optimise a site, with the most common being A/B and multivariate testing, changes to the design, information architecture, the structure of your promotions and conversions, and much more.
The final part of the Actionable Analytics process is obviously the best: results. Unfortunately once the site has been optimised using the 4 steps you can not sit back.
Actually there is a fifth step: go back to number 1, check your business metrics again and see what you have achieved by going through this process. Maybe it is time to redefine the business objectives? And so it goes..
That is why Grid14 envisages long term partnerships. That is why we make sure your investments in our services are rewarded by measurable and tangible results.
Jason Burby & Shane Atchison, Actionable Web Analytics
.Wiley Publishing, Inc.
Avinash Kaushik, , Web Analytics - An Hour A Day
. Willey Publishing, Inc.