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Tuesday, Jul. 24, 2012 at 9:50 pm

How to Effectively Communicate Analytics Data

By Jason Phillips
July 24th, 2012

Communicating web analytics data to executives who have little or no experience data digging themselves can be a challenge for any analyst. There are dozens of metrics in your analytics account- page views, time on site, unique visitors, cost per click, bounce rate, conversions-the list is endless.  Reports containing all of these metrics are not only confusing but completely worthless.  Some metrics in your analytics account will speak loudly to your online marketing team but will mean little to nothing to your CEO.   When you communicate with the Big Guns you need to use persuasive presentation skills to make your arguments loud and clear.

You need to make it simple and attractive when you present your data

Well devised charts and graphs will help you communicate web analytics data much more easily than spreadsheets. A concise one-page report presenting the essentials like the conversion rate over time for a specific goal or revenue by traffic source will be more powerful than a twenty-page report covering everything in your clients’ analytics account. A report displayed on a large LCD screen in the office will attract more attention than a PDF copy of a report viewed on a notebook. You get the idea.

Associate Data with Sales, Volume and Market Share

Display data that includes the critical things that tug at the heart strings of your executives to get your message across and get them to take action. You need to create a dashboard that displays all the information your  CEO needs-and what they will be interested in depends on a lot of factors-are they a small, medium or large company?  Are they proprietor of an ecommerce site or are they trying to get leads?  Does the quality of the lead matter?

Now you need to look at your goals and present your answers to those goals with your analytics data.  Maybe you have been working with a client for a month and your goal is to get ahead of the competition for lemon Popsicle sales in the first half of 2011.  It is time to make a graph of lemon Popsicle sales in the past year. Make clear the reasons for the peaks and pits on your graph and offer solutions for how to make the peaks higher and longer in the next year and how to try to eliminate some of the pits. Use your skills to attain information on the successes and failures of your Popsicle competition. Examine their data and learn what might work for your CEO, and what experiments you should avoid.

The First Step to Success is to Ask

Before you even start your project you should have a discussion with the people that matter about what the goals of the website are.  Those goals should guide your analysis in the first place.  If you are confused about what the priorities of the CEO of your company, just ask.  It will build an open relationship between you so that they trust you have their own personal best interest in your sites when you make site recommendations based on your hard work with the data.

Use Your Creativity

We are data analysts but we are also artists. We need to present content in a way that is both engaging and informative.  Doing this is not always easy. If the website you’re managing doesn’t directly sell products or services – it might be a content site – then relating data to sales or to market share is a big challenge.  After you find the appropriate data for the appropriate person in your company, you will need to present it in a compelling way. If you are not the most creative person ever, we strongly recommend you study the Junkcharts blog. They have great examples of crappy ways to present data alongside absolutely beautiful ways you could present it instead.  Use your creativity to get to the heart of what you are trying to convey.
While charts are graphs are the most obvious way to preset data to you Hippo’s, language can be equally persuasive.  Scientists, researchers, politicians, and the media are quite good at coming up with persuasive language and analogies. As an online marketer, you are yourself a scientist or researcher of the Web and of websites, and so you can leverage appropriate copy to give merit to the conclusions you have drawn from your analytics data.

Use the Power of Web Analytics Mobile apps

Executives toy all day with their Smartphones. Why not try to bring the essential web Analytics data you want to convey to their Smartphones?  Chances are you already use a web analytics system to share data within the company you are working for. You should check whether it’s possible for you to deliver your reports straight to your executives’ Smartphones. Real time updates will let your executives know you are keeping them involved, and that you yourself are paying close attention to what is going on on their site.
Do you have any tricks of the trade for communicating your data within your company? How do you approach Hippos in order to make change?  What do you do when solid data isn’t enough?  If you need help getting things done within your company, we are here for you!
The post is shared by Jason Phillips, he is a logical web designer with keen interest in Photoshop, web analytics and photography. Nonetheless, he is adept in creating templates by motocms. So, if ever you want to create easily editable, professional looking template, feel free to visit his site Motocms.com.

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Comments (11)

  1. Great post! Another great way to make this analytics data more relatable to CEO’s and top management is to make it about the bottom line, sales. If you make a graph tracking sales in conjunction to clicks, time on site, page views or other metrics. This way management can see how online factors affect sales and can help you plan accordingly.

  2. Jason, thanks for this informative post. With so much information available under the analytics account, it surely needs some special skillset to ensure that the info is presented in the most simplest way without missing on the relevant pieces.

  3. Simplicity is key and relating it to information that will benefit them is something which you need to focus on. All they are interested in is how what you are telling them will effect their bottom line.

    They’re not interested in the details, they want simple to digest information and how it will affect their sales.

  4. Great points, Jason. Obviously asking is the best first step, but typically keeping things focused on the bottom line is a good idea. Usually, I like to stick with overview of content, keywords and geography.

  5. Firstly you should be clear with the data that you need to present for the project in front of your seniors. Preparing yourself and proof reading is necessary. If you understand the data yourself, explaining it to others becomes easy and it comes out flawless impressing everyone.

  6. [...] des VertriebsPPR and Yoox team up to conquer luxury e-retailThe Rise of Corporate BloggingHow to Effectively Communicate Analytics DataERP-Systeme im Schweizer E-CommerceWorld Wide Web – think local!Hier finden Sie auch alle [...]

  7. Keeping things simple is a good point. At the other hand it has too be informative, not too boring and still attracting. Just like the rules in marketing :)

  8. If you know your own data , easier to explain to others , the result is the perfect impression on everyone .

  9. Thanks Jason,thanks for the information about the analytics data.Simplicity and information is the key to present a clean and clear image to any kind of end user.

  10. Associate Data with Sales, Volume and Market Share. Ask questions and be creative.

  11. Hi Jason,

    I completely read your article and agree with you all points and its necessary to get success that you must ask question and must be creative .You also clear the things about presenting analytics data effectively.

    Regards,
    Keira Watson

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