Transform your analytics reports from being FYI to FYA
Over the past couple of years Nabler has been involved in many implementation projects with various tools such as Google Analytics,Omniture SiteCatalyst (Adobe Analytics), Webtrends, and Mixpanel. We have also conducted numerous audits of existing implementations and provided recommendations on how to enhance the tracking so that it aligns with the needs of the different business teams. Based on our experience of working on such projects we have now standardized a process in which implementation projects starts with a KPI Discovery Workshop.
What is a KPI Workshop?
A KPI Workshop is a program that brings together key people involved in the processes that impact the collection and processing of digital analytics data, along with those who consume and use the data for decision making. The objectives of the KPI Workshop are to ensure that a broad consensus emerges on which KPIs are critical for the business and identifying the teams that are responsible for acting upon these KPIs. As you can see, this is an enterprise-wide initiative facilitated by Nabler and requires the active participation of all key stakeholders.
Advantages of the KPI Workshop
Conducting the KPI workshop prior to an implementation project has numerous advantages. In the list below I have summarized five key benefits that an organization can derive from the KPI workshop:
- Arrive at common KPI definitions: The foundational objective of a KPI workshop is to ensure that all stakeholders agree upon what KPIs they want to focus on during the next 12 to 18 months. The agreement not just covers the definitions of the KPIs but also the sources from where the data will be extracted. This ensures that all stakeholders are talking about the same data point and using a common definition. Arriving at this common ground will help teams evaluate various scenarios with clarity about what each KPI is measuring and thereby enable better decision making.
- Serve all stakeholders: During the course of our past projects we have observed that the many metrics reported by tools are of little importance to stakeholders. We also see that most implementations also do not track few KPIs that are important to the team. The structured format that we follow during the KPI Workshop ensures that we elicit the KPIs that are important at the enterprise level and also for each functional team. Since the process of listing and defining the KPIs happens before the tool in implemented, each team can be sure of what metrics to expect once the deployment is completed. Thus, the KPI Workshop ensures the implementation aligns to the reporting requirements of the entire organization and of the different departments.
- Adequacy of tracking: All web analytics tools come preconfigured with numerous out-of-the-box reports. These tools are also constantly evolving through the addition of new reports and tracking features. During the analytics implementation audits we have come across many instances of over-tracking, i.e., implementations that are set-up to track each and every interaction of visitors. At the same time, some of these implementations would not be fully leveraging certain tool features (for e.g., custom variables in Google Analytics) that would have empowered the business team with better quality data. A KPI workshop conducted prior to designing the implementation always helps as the focus of the workshop is not about which tool features to use but about the business questions to be answered. These business questions then become the input that will be used by the consultant for designing the technical solution.
- FYA not FYI:One of the main reasons why we are asked to conduct implementation audits is because the analytics team receives feedback that the reports they generate are not very helpful for taking business decisions. In our opinion this will be the eventual outcome when implementations are not designed by considering the type of decisions that the analytics data is meant to support. Most topline metrics that are a standard feature of dashboards are ‘For Your Information (FYI)’ and not ‘For Your Action (FYA)’. This is one of the reasons why the analytics team spends a good deal of time processing ad hoc requests from different stakeholders. A crucial section of all KPI Workshops is to ensure that for each KPI the team also identifies the person or team responsible for taking action. For example, which stakeholder will be responsible for action if the daily visits drop below a threshold value? The KPI Workshop will be facilitated to not only identify those responsible for action but also to define the acceptable tolerance level within which a KPI can fluctuate.
- Deploy effective reporting infrastructure: To build further upon the previous point, the KPI Workshop will make it easy for the analytics team to implement effective reporting processes within the organization. At the end of the KPI Workshop the analytics team will have clarity on which KPI needs to be communicated to which stakeholder and at what frequency. The discussions can also help the team put in place processes that will send out alerts when KPIs go beyond an acceptable band of tolerance. The KPI Workshop will eliminate the need of sending out all-encompassing reports to each and every stakeholder. The workshop will help analysts designing simpler but effective dashboards that contain less but critical information targeted at the right set of decision makers.
Leverage Nabler’s Expertise
As you can see a KPI Workshop will help the analytics team extract the highest value from the tool they have invested in, and ensure the implementation need not be tampered with frequently. At the end of the day, the KPI Workshop is about facilitating a detailed discussion about what needs to be measured and how the information will be used within the organization. The workshop will bring in to focus the metrics that are of importance to each team and become the guiding principle for the technical design of the implementation.