There is no doubt, we are living in a complex world, the tons of information’s available here and there just add to it another layer of complexity. Today, most of our online or offline interactions may have a digital Footprint (that we call data). It’s getting harder and harder to find the right information into this tsunami of information’s.

That’s why, when we hear the word Analytics, we might think or link it to “complexity”. Because, we all know that data feeds analytics, and the first one simply leads to the second.

In addition, as Digital Analytics experts, we always need to try to make things simple; we need to translate all this complexity to simple graphs, phrases, insights and recommendations. But, how?

Simply,

Define

Technically, Analytics is about: Metrics (events), Dimensions and Segments. You need to know what each one means and how to use it. Below a screenshot that defines metrics and dimensions. It’s about Digital Analytics, but for sure, it applies to other domains as well.

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Source: http://www.lunametrics.com/blog/2009/06/22/dimensions-metrics-difference/

In the other hand, segmentation or segments use the previous dimensions and/or metrics to divide the website traffic or the marketplace (example of different domain) into parts or segments, usually its goal is to discover new business opportunities, understand some behaviors and more. It helps you to see the world in colors.

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Usually, we will need to check which metrics are so important to your business to the point that we can call them Conversions. In the other side, dimensions and segment have a descriptive role, they are there to describe and tell you stories about your most important thing, your conversions.

Categorize

If you have different and multiple conversions, it’s always nice to categorize your conversions, this can deadly help you to focus and understand better what’s going on. The best generic way to categorize your conversions is to divide them in two categories:

  • Macro Conversions: also called the outcomes, it’s the reason for which your website exists. Most frequently this is the total number of orders submitted or total number of leads collected or total number of newsletter/email sign-ups.
  • Micro Conversions: you could measure page views and job applications submitted and number of times the Print This Page was or Task Completion Rates for Support, Research & Careers from your website on exit survey.

For more: http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/excellent-analytics-tip-13-measure-macro-and-micro-conversions/

Focus

Whatever we are trying to accomplish, from defining our metrics (events), implementing them, to building awesome reports. We better focus on the important things, our conversions, we better make a short simple list, focus on how to improve them, how to be able to simply describe them to any one on our organisation. Sometimes, you will have more detailed and specific questions, no problem, just try to correlate your conversions with your dimensions and metrics (events), maybe you will need to define/try some segments. Please, try to keep it simple and short. Don’t forget that our goal is to get insights from our Conversions, anything else is there to help, and if it doesn’t help, this means it just can… distract 🙂

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I hope those three simple steps can make our lives easier.

Because, analytics is about value and winning, simplicity is our way to win BIG. “Less is more”.

Bonus Tools:

Digital Analytics: http://www.google.com/analytics/

Digital Analytics: www.kissmetrics.com

Metrics – easy implementation 🙂 : www.weelytics.com

Data Visualization: www.tableau.com