6 Golden Rules for Effective Measurement
Before I became a product manager at Conduit, I worked on our data team. Statistics and analysis were a huge part of my life. I’d always liked numbers, but this was the first time I really saw how powerful they can be.
I remember how surprised even the most experienced managers were when we showed them, through our measurement data, how the mere size and number of buttons on a Community Toolbar had a huge impact on its usage and lifespan. This critical information helped our publishers increase their revenue.
So, yes, measurement is definitely worth the effort. Your ROI can be massive. But only if measurement is done effectively. With all of the free analytics tools available today, it’s very easy to collect a lot of data, but it’s also very easy to get lost in a maze of irrelevant statistics. That’s why I created the 6 Golden Rules for Effective Measurement. This list helps us make a real impact on the success of our products.
1. Know Your Business
Before you start measuring anything, you need to understand your company’s business strategy and goals. Don’t measure in a bubble. Develop your metrics with your company’s KPIs and revenue in mind, and in close cooperation with your biz dev colleagues.
2. Measure What You Can Modify
There is little point in measuring outcomes that you can’t affect or change. Focus on what can actually be changed as a result of your statistics. For example, it’s a great idea to measure the number of clicks on a specific button in different versions of a web page because this is something your UX people can change. But don’t waste time measuring the effectiveness of a logo, tagline, or pricing if these are not going to be altered by the company.
3. Make It Accessible
The data you collect must be easily accessible, both in terms of making it available through the web or a company network and in terms of making sure it can be understood by non-data people. Having more people examine the data increases the effectiveness of your collective analysis and conclusions.
4. Don’t Cut Corners
Data integrity is a must. Once you start publishing mistakes, your company will start to question your data and your conclusions. To provide fully accurate results, you need to provide segmented data. That’s what people expect. It’s not enough to show how a web page’s usage has increased. You need to show which customers are using the page more in order to have a real impact on the company’s ROI.
5. Keep It Clear
Analytics reports tend to be lengthy. Make every effort to clearly signpost the main point of your report. In fact, if you want your data to really have an impact, you need to develop a “marketing strategy” for sharing your strongest conclusions.
6. Use Great Tools
Great measurement requires great tools. My favorites are: Google Analytics, the best free tool out there; Crazy Egg, which transforms my data into cool heatmaps; and UserTesting.com, which has made user testing much more effective and affordable.
Do you have a golden rule to add to this list? Want to recommend a great analytics tool? I’d love to hear from you.