Business

iQ Content’s Laurence Veale on the common analytics mistakes we all make

Laurence Veale iQ Content
Laurence Veale from iQ Content
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On February 15th the people behind some of the country’s most popular and influential digital brands will be brought together as part of DoneDeal’s Measurement.ie conference (@measurementconf | #donedealsocial). Founded by Damien Mulley (@damienmulley), the conference will show businesses and start-ups how to use the social web more effectively.

iQ Content (@iqcontent | LinkedIn) is one of the leading digital agencies in Ireland providing their talents to clients such as Vodafone, Trinity College, NUI Galway, Zurich, Oxfam, and Permanent TSB, amongst many others.  The company’s talents cover user research, multi-platform strategy, analytics – they were Ireland’s first Google Analytics certified partner, content, design and development.

Laurence Veale iQ Content
Laurence Veale from iQ Content

Laurence Veale (@laurenceveale) has been with iQ Content since 2005 and is a Senior Usability Designer with the company.  As a UX Designer Laurence examines how systems should be developed to work best for the end-user.  He describes this as the process of adding humanity and empathy to these technical systems.

Laurence, who is a seasoned public speaker, blogger (@smallsips) and lecturer, will have his next engagement on the stage at the Measurement.ie Conference. He will be discussing the key metrics businesses need to be looking at for tracking sales and leads.  He’ll also be showing how these can be used to inform many different campaigns.

As with many of the other speakers we’ve interviewed so far Laurence stresses the balance between the quantitative and qualitative aspects of social/mobile app analytics.  So when it comes to website analytics what are the common mistakes that companies make?

Not focusing on the stuff that actually matters.

That’s to say not looking at their key performance indicators or the critical few metrics that actually matter to the success of the business. If you challenged their data with a “So what?” response, they would often struggle to come up with an answer.

If looking at the wrong data is bad, not taking action on the correct data can be even worse;

The second [biggest mistake] comes from the culture of reporting, which is important. But companies need to go one better and turn insight into action. So, if you see a drop in conversion rate or average cart value, you need to be able to act on that by figuring out why, then taking action to improve the situation.

Analytics is only one part of the story. All it can tell you is the what, not the why. You need to complement it with usability testing and surveys.

It can show you what area to focus on, whereas  qualitative research can bring you deeper insight: once you know where to look.

Of course looking at the data these days is not hard, we’re surrounded by it.  Google recently upgraded its Analytics service to include real-time statistics and Facebook Insights has become de rigueur reading for marketers.  So, with Twitter soon to launch its analytics service to the public will this be able to provide any new data for businesses and users?

The jury is out on Twitter’s user analytics. It might be great for the celebrity endorsement (Katie Price & Snickers) but I always ask the “so what?” question – how does it tie back to my online efforts.

Can we account for the impact of every tweet or Facebook update? I’m not sure we can and we should also recognise that just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

That said, I’m keeping an open mind.

You can learn more about the speakers and the line up on the Measurementi.ie website.

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Piers Dillon Scott
Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).