To my colleagues in Web Analytics:
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for the great work you’ve been doing in helping the firm improve our Web site, and for the enlightening data that you provide to me and the leadership team regarding our site’s visitors and the trends in utilization of the Web site.
But I also wanted to use this letter to share with you what we need from you going forward, as the online channel becomes an integral part of how we market and do business. I’d like to encourage you to focus on:
1) Explanations, not just reports. The leadership team is deluged with data from all parts of the organization. [Between you and I, we get reports out the wazoo.] What’s missing in most of these reports, however, is an explanation about the “why”. Why did what happen happen? Give us your theories about why Web usage is increasing or declining and why customers use the site the way they do. Use the data to back up your hypotheses — not as the main dish.
2) The customer, not just the channel. We recognize that the Internet is an increasingly important place for our customers and prospects to interact with us and purchase from us. But it’s not the only channel they use. Reframe your analyses beyond the Web and help us see things from a customer perspective. Which customer segments use the site more than others, and how do they use it in conjunction with other channels? Are we missing opportunities to redefine our customer segments altogether based on the buying and interaction behavior that you have data on?
3) Economics of the online channel. The leadership team is always interested in knowing how many site visitors we have, which pages they visit, and the trends over time. And I know you’d like to see us invest more in this channel and in your ability to collect and analyze data about it. But we need you to help us address two very challenging questions: Are we investing the right amount in this channel? and What are we getting for this investment?
Answering the questions I’ve posed won’t be easy. Most importantly, I don’t believe you can answer them without working with other parts of the company like market research and customer service. Take the initiative to reach out and work with these groups. Integrating our efforts internally is the first step towards delivering a seamless experience for our customers.
I look forward to continuing this discussion with you.
Keep up the good work,