Posts Tagged: KPIs

Feb 10

Google Analytics Qualified

Just a short post to say I just took and passed the Google Analytics qualification exam. Feels good add it to my quiver, but of course it is just the beginning.   I also continue to take the Web Analytics Master Certification course with Avinash and John Marshall over at Market Motive.

Google Analytics Qualification CertificateThe Google Analytics Individual Qualification is a proof of proficiency in Google Analytics that is available to any individual who has passed the Google Analytics IQ test.

The Google Analytics test was heavy on the tactical side, with lots of questions about specifics of setting up segments, goals, filters and profiles.  Other questions focused on cookies, regex, campaign tracking and Adwords integration.

The Market Motive Master Certification course on the other hand, is a balance of both the strategic and tactical. Avinash talks about the “10/90 rule”.  He says companies should spend 10% of their budget on a tool, and 90% on smart people to pull actionable insights from the tool.  Hence, we are spending a good balance of the time discussing  not so much of the “what” (clickstream data), but how to get to the “why” (understanding and inferring customer intent from the data so that we can drive action and site optimization).

Some of the topics so far:

  • Measuring outcomes — KPIs should focus on ROI  (if there is was just one topic – this would be it)
  • Segmentation — getting to actionable insight means slicing and dicing your customers to understand how each group thinks and behaves
  • Internal Search — adding another layer of your understanding by peeking into your customer’s mind by measuring what they search for on your site
  • Surveying — creating effective surveys that give insight to your customer wants and needs

More to come… this week we are diving into experimentation and testing:  A/B and multivariate…

Feb 10

Are single session KPIs Actionable?

One of my fellow students posed the following question to our study group:

According to what I have learned so far from our course and if your concept of single session KPI is correct (I think it is), this type of indicator is not very actionable since it would not be statistically significant. Does it make any sense to measure a single session?

My response:

I’m not sure if I would say that Single Session KPIs are not actionable or statistically significant…   I think they are.

For example if you just spent a bunch of money updating your website, you would be interested to know if the bounce rate decreased, or pages visited increased.  I think you could measure if there was a change that was statistically significant from “site A” to “site B”.   In the same way, you could measure if a certain landing page increased the number of visitors that converted or met a specific goal in that same session vs. another landing page.

What do you think?  Does this make sense or am I off base on this thought…

Feb 10

Segmenting Data with a KPI Overlay

This week in the Web Analytics Master Certification course, we are still talking about Segmentation, but we are looking to drill down further with the data to provide more meaning, and get to actionable insights.

One way to provide a huge boost of meaning to a chart is to combine two sets of data to see if there is a relationship. With Excel 2007, it is fairly easy to combine two sets of data and make a nice little chart. If you have never done it before, Mathew McDonald, the author of Excel 2007: The Missing Manual has a video that describes how to do it here.  Combining data sources can really bring data to life, which is good good good.

For part of my assignment this week, I decided that the most important KPI for my subject website (in addition to overall number of conversions) is: Profit Margin / Sale.  Meaning, it is great if we made a ton of sales, but how much are we actually earning from those sales?

At a first glance, it is important to know where our visitors are coming from.  If they are coming from organic search, links from forums, links from social media, youtube, etc., of course it is cheaper than if they are coming from PPC (Google Adwords in this case).   Perhaps there is a relationship with our Profit Margin / Sale and our traffic sources.  Let’s take a look.

This chart displays the number of visitors from each source and compares to profit margin/sale.

KPI Profit Margin per Sale with Visitor Sources

Looking at the chart, there appears to be a relationship of some sort.  Overall traffic is heading up with Organic Search leading the way, and profit margin is heading slightly up (in general) over time.  There are some dips that don’t seem to make sense though…

We can go deeper with this by picking a few additional segments to look at.

In this case I chose:

  • Number of Conversions that were for “High Margin” products (those that are >65% margin).
  • Number of Conversions that included two orders in the same session.  (thereby reducing shipping costs — in this case the retailer is offering free shipping, so he can usually have a better margin if he can ship more than one item in a single box, unless that item is a fully assembled motorcycle or something).

This chart shows “high margin conversions” and “multiple order conversions” overlaid with profit margin.

profit by visitor type

Looking closely here, it seems the relationship for profit margin to conversion type is much stronger.  Of course we can throw the data into excel or minitab to evaluate the “correlation coefficient”, but first glance, the relationship seems evident by the chart.

Some may argue to do the statistical correlation first, to which I wouldn’t disagree… but the point here is that you can get some pretty powerful information with just some raw data and excel.  HiPPOs (as Avinash likes to call the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion)  care about statistics, but they don’t like to see them.  They would rather see a chart that tells a story.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on this and any examples of using data overlays in your analytics.  Would be great to see some other examples.

Jan 10

Web Analytics Master Certification

I’ve been doing some analytics work using Google Analytics, and decided to up my game with a Master Certification.   I researched several options, but settled on Market Motive, founded by Avinash Kaushik.  Market Motive seemed to offer the most comprehensive “hands on” course – where there is a solid balance of theory and practice.  The course is taught by Avinash and John Marshall, who are considered some of the best minds in Analytics today.

As the course begins, we are discussing KPIs – (Key Performance Indicators), and Segments.

How is a KPI different from a segment you ask?

KPIs are quantitative -> can be measured: percentages, fractions, $

  • Bounce Rate (% of users that left a page without going to another page on the site)
  • % of users that registered for a seminar
  • Average order value per customer
  • Profit Margin per visitor
  • etc

Segments are categories or groups

  • Visitors who came from Brazil
  • Visitors who buy a lot of Audiobooks
  • Visitors who spend more than $500/month
  • etc.

But first, before diving into the KPIs and Segments, it is important to first define the purpose of the website:

What is the site trying to do?

  • Sell something? (ecommerce)
  • Provide information that helps offline sales
  • Reduce support costs (people go the site instead of calling customer support)
  • Create a “community” through a forum of like-minded customers

By first defining the purpose of the site you will be able to more easily identify your KPIs, and figure out if whether you are tracking towards your objectives.