The 6 month post-implementation period of a digital analytics project is crucial to ensuring the successful adoption of analytics data in any business. This success can’t be achieved without regular maintenance and training, and just like an expensive jet plane your analytics platform needs a competent and skilled pilot.
Get that platform off the ground
To help you get an idea of what’s involved in the post-implementation process of SiteCatalyst so you can better manage your team, here are some of the key factors you should be focusing on:
Become familiar with the data
Your web analyst, along with the rest of your digital team, should be spending this time familiarising themselves with the data in the reports. Many times they’ll find the quality of data coming through is not what they’d expected. Or worse, they have a lot of data points missing from the initial implementation due to IT not having the time to implement, or they were deprioritised, or postponed. Your analyst needs to keep on top of these defects in the initial implementation so they can be scheduled for fixing in the next release cycle.
Probably worth mentioning here is the ‘improved’ Dynamic Tag Manager (DTM) from Adobe that’s a really neat tool to migrate to, if you haven’t already. The rule-based interface is easy enough for your web analyst to control while reducing the dependence on IT resources. This way you may not need to wait months before the change request is fulfilled. However, there are still a small number of instances where some code on page is required.
Build business confidence
Having gained a good degree of data confidence, your digital analyst now has the major task of getting stakeholders to trust the data, not to mention articulating the potential uses of the data. This involves the development and presentation of numerous reports in varying degrees of detail; marketing will need detailed channel reports and dashboards to see how their acquisition strategy is paying off, and the content team will be interested in how visitors engage with the site and which articles are popular, while the senior management team will be interested in top of the line reports.
Ideally, these need to be a concise one pager otherwise you run a high risk of these dying a slow death as unopened attachments in the recipient’s inbox. As you can clearly see the stakeholder engagement during these early days will dictate the interest and ongoing appetite for being data driven within the individual business units.
Find an appropriate level of resourcing
Irrespective of the size of the business, taking it all on board is definitely not an easy job for a lone analyst. And this is precisely where most companies fall down. They fail to leverage their investment in the tools. With no idea that it’s such an involved exercise they did not assign sufficient resources during the settling in period of the implementation.
At this important stage your analyst needs guidance and assistance from experienced consultants. It’s not always necessary to hire additional full-time employees when you can get expert help on an ‘as and when needed’ basis, this valuable resource enables you to scale quickly without the need for a huge budget.
What can you get an external consultants to do?
- Set up audience specific dashboards and automate their distribution.
- Train the trainer – train identified super users within each business unit to use the interface.
- Develop a roadmap of future improvements in consultation with the business.
- Document internal process and procedures i.e new user requests, report or dashboard creation.
- Perform data validation and testing.
- Guide technical teams with data quality challenges.
- Drive the analytics implementation, especially when there are multiple vendors and implementation partners.
- Spot train a junior analyst on the intricacies of the tool and the user interface (as and when questions arise).
More time for insights
By providing your analyst with much needed assistance, he/she is now free to get very intimate with your data and the numbers – and can clearly focus on gathering actionable insights for your business. It means that you have just started using the tool for the purpose you bought it for. Who knows, you may even be able to pay off your initial analytics investment within the first few years with just one solid insight! To get here you need to know what you are looking for, be able to spot anomalies in the data and translate what the numbers mean for business.
How will you help your digital analyst manage their time so they can focus on the data? Let us know in the comments below.