How to engage business stakeholders with analytics data
This is the final instalment in our most recent series of Analytics
Data articles. So far, we have:
- Explored the definition of Analytics.
- Introduced the 3-step process for turning analytics data into insight.
- Outlined why Data Analysis leads to better decision making.
- Revealed how Data Segmentation unveils insight.
In this week’s article, we’re deep diving into the ‘Output’ part of the 3-step process, focusing on how you can structure your analytics findings in ways that will capture your audience’s attention.
Methods of presenting analytics data
Depending on the nature and size of your organisation you may choose to structure your analytics outputs in a number of ways, for example:
Manually curated email reports
You may choose to send daily or weekly emails which summarise the top line KPI movement, key site activity and short stories on performance.
Weekly management meetings
Your organisation may have weekly management meetings, where senior managers from across the business come together to discuss the business performance.
This is a great forum for your analysts to report back on site performance, as well as being an opportunity to highlight any upcoming activity, such as a new campaign going live, new product launch, or new project deployment.
These require design resource, so you may not wish to create these every week however, when produced quarterly, they can provide an interesting and visually engaging snapshot of website performance.
You may choose to pull live data into dashboards to be presented on screens around the office, providing live, up-to-the minute reports on KPI movement.
This will, of course, require some IT development work (and maybe some favours from the facilities team). Having this visual reference point reminds everyone of what the digital team should be focusing on.
Note that, as discussed in our previous article, live dashboards bypass the analysis phase, so they should be used as a supplement to your analytics process.
Rules for presenting analytics data
Whatever format you choose to playback your data, remember a few things:
Consistently present your data in the same way
Changing the way in which you present your data and how you construct your reports from week to week can be confusing for your recipients. The lack of familiarity means your readers have to engage more grey matter on pinning together how this compares to previous weeks.
Always ensure you’re reporting on the KPIs that matter
As well as keeping your data presentation consistent, you should also be reporting on the same KPIs each week.
Reporting consistently on the same KPIs allows your audience to build up a picture as time goes by on what good/bad performance looks like, ( i.e. is a 2% conversion rate good or bad? How about 1,000 daily downloads and a bounce rate of 40%?)
You should benchmark the KPIs as you report on them, and provide a week-on-week, year-on-year and ‘performance against target views’ on your data to allow readers to see the trends themselves.
If you’re not sure on what KPIs you need, to refer to your Digital Measurement Framework.
Don’t customise your reports for different audiences
If your reports are going out to both senior and lower level management, you do not need to produce separate reports for each audience, as you’ll soon find the process of maintaining multiple reports for multiple audiences becomes very time-consuming.
Remember that the objective is total alignment across the business, therefore telling one story to A and a different version of that story to B, means your message becomes diluted. If you create a single report that combines top-level summaries, with a more in depth report attached, it will ensure that a single email can satisfy all parties.
Taking this approach ensures your senior management gets the top line data they need, whilst lower level management get the detail they need to make tactical decisions, as required.