Too Much Data

As an online marketing manager, you might be able to relate to this scenario: It's the end of the week or the end of the month--maybe even the end of the quarter--and it's time for you to summarize the latest metrics to your executive staff. You think, "Why have I put this off until the last minute? I love this stuff. This is the reason I got into this field in the first place!" Then you log in to your analytics tool and begin digging into the numbers, beyond visitors and page views, and remember the answer to these internally-posed questions: too much data.

From my days of monitoring the site stats of a business-to-business company I used to work for, I recall sifting through tabs and getting lost in reports. I might have begun with the intent to review the path analysis of visitors who had downloaded a white paper, but would invariably get lost on a seemingly interesting yet ultimately off-topic tangent.

The issue was not that the analytics provider we used at the time was unable to meet my company's needs. Rather, it wasn't able to be the tool I needed it to be, and as a result left me, as the person responsible for reporting, lost in information. Of course I was not working at a major brand, and I understand the needs of a large retailer, for example, are very different than mine. But who can't relate to wanting to have the right metrics at the right time without wasting valuable time?



According to a study from Knexus Community, a corporate digital business network, 62 percent of marketers would recommend their analytics platform to their colleagues and peers. And while a full 70 percent of marketers have changed their analytics platform over the last two years, the main reason cited for doing so was to gain a more powerful tool.

Perhaps the way to minimize the effort of having to trudge through one giant reporting tool is to ensure you have the best-of-breed platform for each marketing effort you're running. Sure, you have to manage logging in to a number of different systems, but if you know your time spent with each of those systems will be relatively painless, wouldn't it be worth it? Or, taking it a step further, maybe the key to making the analytics review process easier is to be provided with the analysis of and insight into the data as well. That's a concept to which I am fairly sure all the big-brand online marketing managers can relate.

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