And we are back again with another issue of our series “What’s in your dashboard?”, where we have been asking various analytics experts to share their top three most powerful and useful KPIs for the digital marketing universe.
The list of our influencers is growing! You can check the whole series in our previous blog posts, to see what Stéphane Hamel’s top 3 KPIs are, as well as to learn about April Wilson’s most insightful KPIs for content-based website optimization, Judah Phillips’ ways of measuring business performance, and Peter O’Neill’s ideas on critical KPIs for any dashboard.
Today our guest is Jim Sterne, whose wide experience in sales and marketing makes him a perfect match for our series. Jim highlights the importance of a data-informed organization to ensure that business expectations are being met, and discusses what should be measured in order to achieve the expected outcomes. Read on to know more!
In 2007 I compiled a list of crucial metrics to measure on your website, mainly focusing on the clients’ journey and behavior, including metrics such as click-throughs, page views, bounce rate, customer satisfaction, and so on. While these undoubtedly remain valuable today, we do not want to focus on raw numbers and count for the sake of counting. If our goal is to get actionable insights from those numbers, we not only should reach outwards and focus on the customer, but also direct our gaze inwards: towards our own business. Before heading out to measure the outcomes of our marketing efforts, it is crucial to make sure we have the right data-informed, collaborative, qualified and mature business culture. In order to guarantee this, we should focus our attention on the following metrics:
Online Maturity. We are surrounded by a huge amount of endlessly growing data, and in order to succeed in the marketplace businesses must learn to leverage it correctly and adopt a data-driven approach to all their operations. For this reason, you should critically analyze your online maturity, which will indicate your current degree of implication with data and analytics for insight generation. It is important to evaluate in what areas your strengths and weaknesses lie, in order to take action and appropriately tackle them. The Online Analytics Maturity Model is a great place to look for answers and ideas.
Data Quality. When we have ensured that we have a data-informed business culture, the next step is to take a closer look on the actual data that we have access to. While so much talked-about Big Data at first glance seems an exciting space for immediate actionable insights, it is actually not at all that straightforward. The famous three Vs, combined with the great amount of unstructured data, make filtering and careful selection a must. This is why it is extremely important to consider the source your data is coming from, as well as its urgency and ownership. A thorough analysis will help us extract meaningful data from Big Data.
Insight Generation. Once we are all settled with our data assets, it is time to derive insights from them. Information, no matter how abundant or important, is worth nothing if it is not leveraged properly. Firstly, it is necessary to evaluate how insights are generated: are your employees wasting time on manual reporting, or do they employ analytical tools to automate this task? Secondly, we need to consider how our insights are exploited: whether they are delivered to, acted upon and understood by all different departments, and whether business decisions are actually based on those insights. It is only when insights are appropriately generated and exploited that we can affirm we run a truly data-informed organization.
Jim Sterne is an internationally known speaker and consultant to Fortune 500 companies and Internet entrepreneurs, Sterne focuses his twenty years in sales and marketing on measuring the value of a Web site as a medium for creating and strengthening customer relationships. Sterne has written five books on Internet advertising, marketing, customer service, email marketing and web analytics. Sterne is the producer of the Emetrics Summit www.emetrics.org. Follow him on Twitter: @jimsterne
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