So you're moving towards a digital strategy, you have tons of data and reporting methods, and you're measuring everything you can find. Success should just come naturally, shouldn't it?
Access to information is only one part of decision making. The second, and no less important, is knowledge of your goals. With specific business objectives you can construct meaningful goals, and measurable criteria for success. Without establishing why you're measuring what you're measuring, you can't expect to know whether your data is good or bad, and what you can do to improve things.
The theory behind setting meaningful objectives is a common and expansive topic in management training, but most of it boils down to having specific, measurable targets that directly relate to business objectives. In this article Avinash delves deep into how you can apply those ideas to web analytics, particularly looking at the triumvirate of Acquisition, Behaviour, and Outcomes.
A data-driven approach provides you with a mountain of information; the important next step is to figure out what that information means. Figuring out which KPIs really matter to you and your business, and why, lets you draw out the insights from a mess of metrics and focus on what's important.
There is one difference between winners and losers when it comes to web analytics. Winners, well before they think data or tool, have a well structured Digital Marketing & Measurement Model. Losers don't. The root cause of failure in most digital marketing campaigns is not the lack of creativity in the banner ad or TV spot or the sexiness of the website. It is not even (often) the people involved. It is quite simply the lack of structured thinking about what the real purpose of the campaign is and a lack of an objective set of measures with which to identify success or failure.