September 27th, 2012
by Nicki Gauthier
A recent blog post by The Business Therapist, Paul Foster, called ‘Non-Google Analytics‘ reminded me of an important lesson that I teach in my Web Analytics classes. Marketing Rx of the day: Review Qualitative Data!
Foster shares the importance of reviewing leads and customers that invest in your business that did NOT come via the web. Paul writes, “But what about leads that show up at your door or call you on the phone? Does your business still get customers this way?”
It is necessary to look at the qualitative (data that is observed) and the quantitative data (data that is measured). For example, always ask potential leads: “how did you find out about us?” Below are qualitative data review tips that I share in my UCSB Extension Course: The Art and Science of Web Analytics. Disclaimer: I am an Avinash Kaushik SUPER fan so my bullet points are from his Web Analytics books and blog.
- Goal: highest value from web analytics implementation. Cost of analytics tool and vendor professional services: $10. Required investment in “intelligent resource/analysts”: $90.
- Bottom line for magnificent success it’s the people.
- “Data is useful when you have the mind(s) to to analyze the data”
- The rational was simple because of four basic problems:
- Websites are massively complex and although tools, can capture all that data, they don’t actually tell you what to do.
- Most web analytics tools in the market, even today simply spew out data. Lot’s of it.
- We don’t live in our simple Web Analytics world. We now have to deal with quantitative data, qualitative data, and competitive intelligence data that might not tie to anything else.
- One of the most powerful ways to convert data into insights is to keep up with the “tribal knowledge” in the company: unwritten rules, missing metadata, the actions of random people (OK, your CEO, and so on.)
#8 of Avinash’s 8 Critical Web Metrics is: Engagement (Qualitative data)
- Quick review: A metric is a quantitative measurement of statistics describing events or trends on a website. A key performance indicator (KPI) is a metric that helps you understand how you are doing against your objectives.
- Dictionary definition: “tending to draw favorable attention or interest.”
- We should all try to create website experiences that draw favorable attention or interest
- Incredibly hard – if not impossible – to measure.
- Engagement at its core is qualitative. It is difficult to measure via web analytics data.
- Think differently when you approach the Engagement Metric.