One of the biggest web analytics tools in the industry is IBM’s Coremetrics. Recently, I attended a webinar called “You Have Data, Now What?” The first speaker was Eric Peterson of Web Analytics Demystified fame.
If you haven’t seen the recent whitepaper “Dashboards Are Not A Strategy“, I highly suggest you do. You’ll have to register to receive a copy, but well worth the price of giving your email address.
The premise is that delivering snazzy reports to your boss or upper management is not the goal of web analytics. The goal is to be able to take that data collected, combine it with your understanding and knowledge of the business you’re in and leverage it to create value to the shareholders, the business and your customers.
In my experience, I’ve seen managers requiring dashboards to include in a PowerPoint or hang on an office wall. You spend oodles of hours, sometimes days, getting all the information gathered and formatted into beautiful charts and graphs. You analyze the data against the information it has given you, and then stand before a room full of peers and your boss, watching heads bounce up and down in implied agreement your recommendations. But then something else happens. Everyone gets up and goes back to their work at hand, only to return the next week, or the next month to do it all over again. Little or no action is taken against those metrics. You walked into that room excited, you walk out of that room disheartened.
It’s not their fault.. web analytics isn’t easy. It takes time and effort, but foremost it takes a strategy. There isn’t a software developed yet that can create a strategy for your company. You know your business, you know what you or your managers want to achieve, now you just need to communicate that and integrate it into the overall strategy for the business.