Data Is Only Part Of The Solution

Expectations for web analytics is often misplaced. With so much data available, the answer to the question, “what is causing the site to make/lose money” must be in there somewhere. The truth is that the answer is not in the data to begin with. That’s not the point of the tool. It doesn’t give you answers, it gives you questions to ask.

The data will allow you to form a hypothesis that you can use to test changes on the site, and then measure what happened. “I wonder if we can attract even more traffic if we create more content like the kind that has the highest visits.” “I wonder if making the add to cart button a more prominent color will increase products added to cart to reverse this negative trend in conversion rate.” “I wonder if making the guest checkout button appear first will decrease the amount of shoppers that abandon the first step of the checkout process.”

Data isn’t the solution. It’s the ideas that come from the data, applied to see what happens next, that is the solution. Small data can instigate just as much of a good idea for what to do next as big data.

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