Don’t Judge a Book by its Page Count
Any time I write about analytics I seem to go back to baseball. Baseball is a simple sport to understand conceptually. When you try to analyze something as simple as baseball you can see more clearly how your analytics may not actually be helping. For example, a good baseball player generally gets a lot of hits. That is, except for pitchers who get very few hits (because their main focus and training is on pitching not hitting). To judge a pitcher on how many hits he gets isn’t really fair.
To judge an email campaign only by how many emails were sent doesn’t tell you how effective it was. To judge a direct mail effort only by how many folks called in to your help line may not tell the whole story. Data tells a better story when it is used in concert with other data. Below is a bit of wisdom about building a framework around your data so that you’re focusing on the right thing.
To develop a framework you need to go back to the objectives and determine what it is you need to measure and why. In a straightforward e-commerce scenario, for example, a measurement framework may be based around the transactional environment looking at sales, order, average order value, number of customers, number of orders per customer, and so on. The framework would highlight the relationship between the different variables and how a change in one might or might not influence the other.
Another scenario might be in customer service… One typical measurement perspective would be to focus on some of the core digital metrics, such as visits to the customer service section, number of downloads, number of chats, etc. These metrics were certainly useful in terms of understanding what’s actually happening in the digital channels, but were not necessarily indicative of whether the initiative overall was successful or not. To do that we needed to develop a wider framework that looked at the customer service section in the context of the overall customer journey.
The framework included measurements that looked at to what extent customers knew about some of the digital services, whether they would use them or not, and what they thought of the experience. The framework essentially told the story about the migration of customer service from offline channels to online channels and allowed the organization to understand where the focus areas needed to be. Did the site need to improve or what is good enough? Did they need to focus on educating customers about the digital channels and the benefits they offered? The development of a specific measurement framework was able help the organization understand the most effective way to hit the initiative’s goals and objectives.
With data everywhere it’s easy not to be able to see the wood for the trees. Developing multi-faceted measurement frameworks is the way to add structure to your data and to really focus on the metrics that matter.