5 Questions You Must Answer in a Web Analytics Kickoff Meeting

Web analytics are now a necessity for nearly any type of organizations. However, selling the usefulness of a new web analytics team to other stakeholders in the organization is not necessarily an easy task. In this post, I am proposing you the ingredients of a successful web analytics kickoff meeting within a company that has never used web analytics before, through answers to the following 5 questions:

1. Why was this team created?
2. What will this team do?
3. What will this team not do?
4. How can other departments help “your” team to help “them”?
5. What do you want other stakeholders to remember from this presentation?

data-analyst_team

Furthermore, to maximize the effectiveness of answers to each of these questions, they are embedded in a hierarchical form following a specific order.

Question 1 – Why was this team created?

This is the most important question to answer in any web analytics kickoff meeting. Overall, it is necessary to emphasize that this team was created for two reasons: (1) as a request from other departments in the company in search for measuring and monetizing the success of the company, and (2) as a response to the fierce competition from other organizations which are using these web analytics tools to achieve success. In this way, it is important to highlight that this team was needed as the result of both internal (other departments) and external (competitors which are using web analytics tools) pressure.

Question 2 – What will this team do?

As the words “web analytics” suggest, some may think that the main objective of this team is to “measure, measure and measure”. However, the real objective of the team should be to “measure to help other departments”. Here are, in five points, what the team’s objectives should be:

1. To help the organization concentrate their marketing efforts at the right place, at the right time, and to make the right decision;
2. To show other departments that web analytics are not about crunching data for crunching data, it’s about crunching data to meet an objective, an objective that is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-based) and is related to the company’s business objectives;
3. To show that a web analyst is not only analyzing web metrics, but also multichannel metrics such as financial metrics related to other databases available inside the organization;
4. To show that web analysts are acting in a constant improvement perspective by digging in the data to find out what works and what doesn’t (i.e. PPC campaigns);
5. To propose solutions to other departments via short reports or presentations, in a concise and straight-forward way, using common words, as well as a personalized and adapted dashboard (including between 5 and 20 KPIs) for each department to achieve their objectives.

Question 3 – What will this team not do?

Even though it is important to show what the team can do, it is also useful to show what the team will not do. In this way, in two points, the team will not:
1. Tell other departments what to do, the team will only propose solutions;
2. Take decisions for other departments, even if the team has the data, the other departments are the nearest from the field and are in the best position to decide.

Question 4 – How can other department help “your” team to help “them”?

Even if every member of the team is autonomous, all of the objectives proposed in “Question 2” could only be maximized if other departments help “your” team to help “them”. Thus, here are in six points how to encourage a flourishing win-win relationship:
1. Help your team answer the questions coming from other departments by giving the team the right details and the key objectives that are SMART;
2. Decide together (your team and other departments) which KPIs to use to measure objectives;
3. Take in consideration your recommendations, and discuss the flaws of some results;
4. Let the other departments feel free to give you feedback on specific results by letting you know what are their latest activities, so that data can be analyzed keeping in mind that there are real humans navigating on these websites behind those numbers;
5. Let the other departments feel free to contact your team, if they have a question concerning the computation of some metrics;
6. Let the other departments feel free to exchange any ideas; even if at first it might sound crazy, nearly everything can be measured.

Question 5 – What do you want other stakeholders to remember from this presentation?

Finally, this presentation will not have achieved its ultimate goal if the stakeholders do not remember the following four major points highlighted by the answers to the previous four questions:
1. Your team wants to create a sustainable win-win relationship with other stakeholders in a friendly atmosphere;
2. Your team’s main objective is to crunch data to answer stakeholders’ SMART objectives;
3. Your team is not there to decide for others, it is there to propose solutions to others;
4. Your team will perform better if other departments feel free to discuss with you on anything concerning the data, from the link between your metrics and stakeholders’ objectives to actions taken that affect the data.

Conclusion

To conclude, I hope my reasoning to answer these 5 questions is giving you some insights that will maybe serve as a guideline to help you implement a web analytics team within your organization if it is not already implemented. Briefly, whatever your usage of this post is, keep crunching for objectives, not crunching for crunching.

Jean-Francois Belisle

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Comments 2

  • If I was a CEO, I would ask myself about the value of hiring a web analytic team because they need to at least justify their fees. For example, if a company hire 5 people paid between 60,000$/year, then it is almost 300,000$ per year for the company. Of course, because they are competent, even brilliant, they could increase the conversion rate of the website by 30%. However, to justify a 300,000$ fee for the team per year, even with a higher conversion rate, the company should cover the cost of hiring this team. Even if it’s peanuts for the big players but most of companies on the web are tiny and in my opinion they should use a consultant web team (like http://www.marketingexperiments.com/). It will be a localized and punctual effort, but will probably cost less than hiring permanent workers.

  • Thanks Alex for the comment, you raise an important point. As you mention most companies, especially in Quebec where approximately half of the population is working for small-to-medium enterprise (SME), don’t even have the money to hire a permanent web analyst. I totally agree with you that a web analytic team is generally present only in large companies or in media agencies. Even in some large companies, there is only one web analyst based in IT, marketing or business intelligence department. This raise an interesting point, will the job of web analyst, be one day included in the job of marketing analyst?

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