The sheer amount of available information adds a further layer of complexity to a world that is already complex. Today from most of our online or offline interactions we leave behind digital footprints (that we call data), and it's getting increasingly harder to find the right information within this tsunami of data.
That’s why when we hear the word "analytics," we immediately may think or link it to “complexity" because we all know that data feeds analytics. When we meet people, we are usually overwhelmed with informational or numerical questions.
However, as Digital Analytics experts, we strive to make things simple by translating all of this complexity into simple graphs, phrases, insights, and recommendations. But how is this done? At a basic level, there are three simple steps.
Analytics is about: metrics, dimensions, and segments. You need to know what each one means and how to use it. Below is a detailed explanation of metrics and dimensions. While these categories pertinent in Digital Analytics, they apply to other domains as well.
On the other hand, segmentation is using the previous dimensions and/or metrics to divide the website traffic or the marketplace (an example of a different domain) into parts or segments, usually with the goal to understand consumer behavior, discover new business opportunities, and more. It helps you to see the world in colors.
Dimensions and segments have a descriptive role, telling you stories about your conversions. Conversions are the most vital metrics to your business.
If you have different and multiple conversions, you should categorize your conversions, which will help you better understand what’s going on. The best simple method of categorizing your conversions is to divide them into macro and micro conversions:
- Macro Conversions: Also called the outcomes, it’s the reason for which your website exists. Macro conversions usually consist of one or more of the following: the total number of orders submitted, total number of leads collected, and total number of newsletter/email sign-ups.
- Micro Conversions: Some ways you could assess micro conversions is by measuring page views, job applications submitted, the number of times the Print This Page option was selected, or task completion rates for Support, Research & Careers from your website on exit surveys.
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Regardless of what we're trying to accomplish, whether it's defining metrics, implementing segmentation, or building awesome reports, we must remain focused on the key thing: conversions. We should make a short list of conversions, learn how to describe them in simple terms to anyone on our organization, and focus on improving them in everything that we do. Sometimes you might have more detailed and specific questions, but try to make things simple. Correlate your conversions with your dimensions and metrics, and perhaps define/test some segments. Don’t forget that our ultimate goal is to obtain insights from conversions, so things that don't help may distract you from your mission!
I hope those three simple steps can make our lives easier. Analytics is about value and winning, and simplicity is our way to win BIG: “Less is more.”
Digital Analytics: www.google.com/analytics www.kissmetrics.com
Metrics Implementation: www.weelytics.com
Data Visualization: www.tableau.com