If you’re friends with anyone in marketing or sit close to the marketing department at work, you’ve likely heard (overheard) about the importance of analytics and measuring the effectiveness of your work. Tracking success…or lack thereof, has always been a core tenet of Brainshark’s philosophy and product evolution – which is why we made analytics a key piece of our product offering from the early stages.
Nevertheless, the point of this post is to get people to invest in the value of analytics as a whole. In my time in the mobile space, I’ve written about the tangible value of analytics, but here are three lessons I’ve learned to live by no matter what space you’re in:
#1. Analytics is an approach, not a feature. Good businesspeople want to be going in the right direction intentionally, not luckily. They want to know what’s working and what isn’t before a specific need even exists. Sadly, many people only see the value of analytics once a problem presents itself and decision needs to be made. Front-runners implement a track-based approach before an issue even arises – this is a philosophy that should permeate your business and personal actions.
#2. Feedback from customers is only half the battle. What your customers tell you is important and should weigh heavily on your decisions to change and improve your product or service. But, with all due respect to your customers, what they tell you doesn’t paint the whole picture you should be looking at. Often times, an individual's reactions, thoughts, and feedback won’t actually correlate to their actions, or the actions of your customer base as a whole, because the “human” element can do a lot to cloud peoples’ perceptions of what really drives their behavior. The point is that you need to understand the relationship (or lack thereof) between what the numbers and the people are saying before any big decisions are made.
#3. Starting small can still have big results. The beauty of having a track-based approach to your product and strategy is that you’re way more likely to identify easy wins to improve your performance. Before you iterate on your product or strategy to make it bigger, better, and faster to a larger base, there might be a lot of low-hanging fruit to munch on to make the needle move. These opportunities often get glossed over in the absence of goals to carefully track your success.
The rise of Big Data over the last few years is just one example that illustrates how much is out there to be tracked. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Get a starting point of what’s important for your business to keep track of, and do it as early as you can. I’ve noticed that once you get going, the road tends to become clearer and clearer each day.