Analytics, What’s the hard part?

What is the hard part about Analytics for you? Leave a comment or email me

I promise there will be no sales pitches, I just want to see if I’m right on what the majority of your needs are at the moment. I will post a follow up in the near future discussing this in more depth.

Steve is a well known analytics specialist, author and speaker. A pioneer since 2002, he established one of the first European web analytics consultancies (Aboavista), later acquired by Satama (now Trainers’ House) in 2006. In 2008 he wrote his first book Cult Of Analytics published on May 14th 2009. He currently serves as CEO at Quru and has presented and keynoted web analytics topics across Europe. These include The Internet Marketing Conference (Stockholm), The Search Engine strategies (Stockholm), IIH (Copenhagen), the IAB Finland (Helsinki), Media Plaza (Amsterdam), Design For Conversion (Amsterdam) The eMetrics Summit (London, Munich, Stockholm), Divia (Helsinki) in addition to sitting on dozens of panels.

Posted in General, Web Analytics

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8 comments on “Analytics, What’s the hard part?
  1. Wow, where to start. I think it’s hard to get people to agree on definitions. I think it’s hard to get people to take the time to really understand the numbers. I think it’s hard to get people to act upon the numbers …

    I could go on for hours, but that’s just me.


  2. Ash Etchell says:

    Where to start, as someone who works at a lower level of analytics (writing the software that generates the figures) its hard to write reports which will please the majority of people, specially on a tight budget and tight deadlines. Its also hard to find developers who can correctly mine the raw data and pull out meaningful statistics

    The definitions are a bit of a sore point too, as Eric stated. Getting people to agree on standards which give us all hard rules by which we can benchmark data and perform unbiased analysis would be a good start.

  3. I’m following pretty much Eric here. There is always some kind of challenge, and lately it has related many times to people. Ok, of course there is technical things too, but without good leadership and management skills web analytics process may be a mountain very very high…


  4. The subjectivity involved; the results are usually dependent on the anaylst. Even if statistical information is available it can be interpreted differently by opposing anaylsts.


  5. very interesting topic.

    Many challenges but in my context and current difficulties are:

    Getting “quality” data. This one is really annoying. You can address the technical issues, define process but then realize that it is even more difficult to get people to apply & follow process… Most of the time is due to the fact that people do not have time – not enough resources, too much things to do.

    Getting users to USE the data. Same story here. You put all efforts to get things measured, reported, got nice KPI’s and these are not used. Same reasons: lack of time/resources to really get the habit/knowledge.

    And I am not even talking about acting upon these :-) (but first I need to address the above)

    In short it is to get people not only committed but also to make them DO it. I keeping hearing people saying sincerely they want to do it, that WA is key for business and all. But rarely turns into something real (or very slowly).

    Patience & perseverance are key but sometimes it is just, er… hard!?



  6. Clayton Sin says:

    I think my biggest problem is not how to get the data it is what data is usefull and what is just data.

    The danger with any analysis is you have to know what you want the data to give you not just collect it.

  7. Jon Whitehead says:

    The hardest part for me would be buy – in – I could actually be speaking in an alien language judging by some of the looks I get when discussing web analytics. Working in Government in Australia, many of the business units are even surprised when you ask them why they have a website, let alone anything more complicated/detailed/useful. Its all about getting the language right and understanding their needs – bizarrely avoiding common WA terminology seems to help – sticking to “if this changes, this will happen and that is good” has more impact. Not to mention defining any kind of success metric for what are mostly content sites.

  8. Pat Schwartz says:

    I think the hard part is knowing the trail of the consumer beyond just your own website/clients website. How do you convince a client that watching a video testimonial (our business) causes them to take an action, like purchasing an HSA or enrolling in a smoking cessation program after watching someone who did buy and HSA or did enroll and stop smoking. DId watching invoke the action? we have to be able to get at the data to show that to our customers.

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