In all marketing efforts it is important to integrate measurements, to see whether a campaign or a website is successful. This is also the case for online marketing. Today it is not longer a problem to find data but finding the most relevant data is crucial. In order to get the right answers, we need to ask the right questions.
Key Performance Indicators
Here, the right “questions” are so-called Key Performance Indicators, better known as KPIs.
KPIs give a clear overview on how a company is doing because they are aligned with the pre-set business goals. Because they give an overview, there should not be more than ten Key (!) Performance Indicators which allows to read them quickly. Setting up KPIs is a difficult task and should receive high attention, but following the SMART formula facilitates the process, since KPIs (like goals) should be:
– number of visitors who issue a reservation
– average time spent on website
– number of returning visitors in comparison to overall visitors
Businesses who have difficulties with setting KPIs can use the performance management platform KPI Library, which also automates the business performance reporting. Apparently this tool creates “insights about the performance of your business and provides direction on how to improve business outcomes” but there’s no indication for the costs of using this service.
The next step after setting up KPIs is to analyze and interpret the obtained data by using benchmarks and goals. Avinash Kaushik explains in his videos how to read and use data from the Google Analytics dashboard and he recommends that for each KPI there should be one responsible person who needs to explain why the metric is (not) performing well and how it can be improved. In addition, Kaushik brings up the 10/90 rule, stating that only 10 per cent of the web analytics budget should be used for tools like Google Analytics, the rest should be spent on employees who can interpret the data and give meaning to it. For that, one has to fade out unnecessary data (“noise”) and focus on the relevant parts.
The last step after understanding the data is often to “translate” the findings in order to pitch it to people who are less familiar with data interpretation. This could be a boss, who you need to spend the advertising budget differently because of your findings, but this could also be a client, for whom you have prepared a pitch. In both cases the data needs to be visualized and the best way to do that is by using infographics. David McCandless claims that information is beautiful and a glimpse on his website confirms that. There you can get a good impression on how data can be transformed and presented in a compelling way. One of my favourites is “Chicks Rule?“, a visualization for the percentage of female users in social networks.
Not everyone can be an infographic genius like Davic McCandless but we can try. For new comers, there is Infogr.am, “an easy to use online service that lets create, share, discover infographics and online charts”. It is a Latvian data visualization start up which is now in business for 9 months.
In order to gain more knowledge in the field of data visualization, I am looking forward to attending the Girl Geek Dinner Ottawa next week which follows up the question “What to do with all that data?”.