I have been talking to Brian Clifton, Google’s first Head of Web Analytics for Europe, a scientist, internationally recognized Google Analytics Expert, best selling author and the moderator of this years Analyticsdagarna.
In this post he advocates two key factors that need to be in place to succeed with Analytics.
1. Data People (and where they fit in the organisation):
Finding suitably qualified and experienced people who can use data in a scientific way is difficult (i.e. go beyond basic visitor numbers by building and testing a hypothesis of what is actually happening on your site). This challenge he says has been around forever and is due to a global skills shortage. However, he points out it is also due to the positioning of the digital analytics team….
That is, digital analytics is usually a function of marketing, when actually the skill-set required for good analysis straddles many areas across the entire business. For example: marketing, web development, sales, PR, customer retention etc. If you only build your team/knowledge around one skill-set i.e. marketing, you miss the smart analytical people elsewhere who may not know their skills are needed.
2. Data Trust:
Data Trust is about having the confidence to put your reputation (ie. job on the line because you have solid data at your fingertips). Across all markets and regions Brian describes a widespread lack of trust in digital analytics data. Executives have heard the hype of big data, but most are also aware that digital analytics can contain a lot of noise, and/or junk data.
“Clearly the gigo principle applies here: Garbage in = garbage out. The fact is, when it comes to online data it is so easy to unknowingly collect garbage, or to collect good data that ends up polluted with junk – again without realising it. There is simply so much data available.”
Because of this, Brian says digital analytics data is not taken seriously at board level. Senior management simply do not trust the data – it fails the smell test.
The result of this is decision stagnation. That is, there is little serious investment in digital analytics techniques – either in the tools (to get the setup and data quality right), or in the people who wish to use the data (hiring, training, development). So you must build trust in your data by demonstrating the quality of it from the get-go and on-going.
Meet Brian at Analyticsdagarna Stockholm 16th of may and Malmö 30th of May together with others speakers from Google, Qliro Group, Momondo, Facebook, Hyundai, Tele2 and more, you’ll find the programs here: Program.
If you would like to get in contact with Brian you’ll find him on LinkedIn, Twitter or by visiting Search-Integration.com