This past week I attended an event hosted by Seer Interactive in Philadelphia called Actionable Analytics. It definitely pushed me a little outside my comfort zone but I've been so anxious to learn all I can about data in regards to marketing and how I can leverage it to do my job in a smarter way. Getting to visit Seer HQ was a great treat on top of the event – I've been a long time follower and their building speaks to the care and respect shown to their employees, guests and customers. Everyone was extremely friendly, there were plenty of office dogs to greet me, and even a rack of thank you cards available to grab in the stairway.
“Don't let bad things happen to good data.” - Lea Pica
The biggest takeaway for me was in regards to what data to display in reports to others, and how to display it in the best way. Rather than showing stakeholders a “data puke” dashboard, we should be concentrating on what people are actually doing and the actions we want them to be taking. Gauging what level of information is of interest will help to lead reporting as well. Some numbers may be of interest to marketing team members or designers – for example, foundational or indicator metrics, while return metrics, showing the dollars and value added to campaigns, may be more important for management. We should also be working to give our data a story; asking “why” and giving red numbers action plans fosters a curiosity-based approach. Showing images of the actual web experience and paying attention to coloring can also make a huge difference in reporting.
“If a problem can't be solved on paper, no technology will help.”