I like data. Statistics remedy the fact that bad feelings are sometimes just bad feelings without a real world corollary.
How often do you second-guess yourself in a business context?
«I wouldn’t pay for THAT!»
«I wouldn’t pay THAT!»
«Nobody will buy THIS!»
«There is just no money in the market for THIS!»
Luckily, analytics can help with these types of business questions. Within Web projects, content strategy can then make sure that the worst does not happen and put those bad feelings you have about your service, your product or your idea to rest. Before you set yourself up for failure, that is.
Analytics can help where gut feelings and the expert’s intuition aren’t enough to convince non-experts and decision-makers. Data are a form of insurance for business. And while I do not like to dwell on acronyms and make it all about ROIs, KPIs, CPC and what not… a stack of good data can be a valuable resource when making business decisions. Referring to empirical data is part of a) pursuing business objectives and b) part of the professionalisation of the Web industry.
There’s comfort in knowing that the ground on which we base our decision making process is somewhat tested, proved and, well, measurable. Being a Web site declutterer and content strategist, gathering data about Web sites in light of content strategy serves two main objectives:
- It helps me to understand where we are at. What’s our credit? Our daily capacity? Where do people miss out, opt-out, fall-out?
- Web statistics support a clear definition of goals and objectives to work toward.
Or, put differently: if we have no idea where we’re at, we won’t know where we’re going, whether it is a worthwhile pursuit and, finally, when we're succeeding.
So, it's not all about the numbers. But, numbers certainly help to paint the bigger picture, collecting all the relevant information about a Web site and putting qualitative research, such as user interviews, into context.
Finally, metrics help to keep an eye on a few clearly defined measurables which are the checks & balances to your digital strategies and hold you or the Web development team accountable. A few data points can provide controls on how your business and communication strategy is doing and gives you valuable feedback.
And, as a last goodie, it is my personal experience that tracking the right kind of data for your business or organisation lets you sleep better at night. ;)