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"In a nutshell, Jason created our marketing analytics capability. He was able to figure out what data we collect, where it is, what was missing, and hook it all up so we canget meaningful, actionable data. Our marketing efforts have improved leads and conversions in some cases by an order of magnitude. He knows his stuff."
Chris Foleen, Marketing Project Coordinator, TransCore, Inc.


Friday, September 03, 2010

12 Tips for Integrating Analytics with Web Projects

A Pervasive Problem
I recently wrote a tip sheet on how to integrate web analytics into web projects, especially for interactive agencies.  This is a big problem, I have found over the years.  Mostly because a lot of agencies are so design centric.  Design is easy to sell to clients.  You can show it; it gets an instant response.  It appeals on intellectual and emotional levels.  Even more so than usability, design is main selling point.  

But design is not the whole project.  Every project I have been apart of has had some sort of goal.  As an analyst, it has many times fallen to me to come up with an interpretation of whether or not the project met that goal, regardless of design.  

Unfortunately, many agencies are moving so quick and trying to take on so many things that they focus on what will sell quickest and swing the rest.  This means there is a rush to comp and get the project kicked off.  Unfortunately, there is not always the follow up to make sure things are done in a way that gives measurable results.  This is a pervasive problem that I have seen in virtually every organization I have worked with.  It is not unique to agencies, but it is amplified in the agency world.

Alternately, analytics is seen as an "add-on", "enhancement", "phase two", "upgrade".  Invariably, treating the one thing that can prove the strategic value of your entire project in this way is going to cause problems down the road.

At the heart of what this tip sheet is about is the idea that analytics is more than an add-on or an "enhancement".  If you want good, reliable, results oriented reporting, then you need to understand analytics as central to the project.  As central as design.  As central as programming. As central as strategy.  As central as content strategy.  As central as success.


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