Data & analytics

Finding the metric that matters

It's easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of data we have at our disposal. Once a relatively simplistic product, Google Analytics now overflows with metrics, reports and dashboards. Who can honestly say they've never been waylaid by a data point jumping out of a Google Analytics dashboard, only to emerge several hours later with a head full of figures but somehow no closer to their original goal?

Making intelligent decisions about what to measure, and having discipline in measuring it, is becoming an increasingly important skill for anyone who works with large datasets and analytics packages.

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We’ve long advocated measurement frameworks, which give businesses a clear structure within which to benchmark their performance in the areas that matter most to them. In this talk I take that concept one step further. I believe businesses should have a relentless focus on their current pain points, represented by the most appropriate metric. Naturally, these metrics will differ throughout the business (someone in a sales team is unlikely to focus on customer support tickets, but customer service is just as important to their company’s overall success as sales), but a laser focus on fixing the issues of the day gives everyone a greater chance of success.

Measuring your metric

Some metrics can’t be obtained through out-of-the-box Google Analytics configurations, but fortunately there’s a huge amount of customisation options available in the platform. Perhaps the most useful among these are custom dimensions and metrics, which can provide new measurement opportunities by enriching existing web analytics data with useful business context.

By spending a little time building out your Google Analytics configuration to measure the metrics that matter to you, you can make sure you’re measuring the metrics that matter most to your business, not just the ones that come pre-configured in Google Analytics. You can also save yourself hours or days spent cleansing and manipulating data further down the line.

Sharing performance

It’s often the case in large organisations that responsibility for reporting falls to multiple people in different departments, who all produce overlapping reports. We’ve even seen instances where these overlapping reports show different results! To get your team gunning for one metric, you need to give everyone access to it. Building shareable, real time dashboards takes minutes through data visualisation platforms like Google’s Data Studio, Microsoft’s PowerBI, or Tableau, and immediately eliminates the need for manual reporting.