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4 ways to make metrics actionable

iMedia Editors
4 ways to make metrics actionable iMedia Editors

Does the following sound familiar?

Let's examine our KPIs. What's the ROI? What channels are driving the most profitable revenue? Why are my website conversions down this week when they were up last week?

Online brands view metrics with paramount importance, yet, for most of them, making those metrics that really matter actionable remains a big work in progress.

Baynote recently teamed up with the e-tailing group to survey a cross-section of major online retailers and identify the key metrics they believe will drive the industry forward. To help guide online marketers on their quest to make meaningful metrics more actionable and less elusive, I offer the following simple steps:

Improve communication

In order to make metrics an imperative within your organization, you must seek buy-in from every level -- from C-level executive all the way down to the recent college grad who was just hired. Communicate your goals clearly and have an open dialogue about why metrics are important. Improved communication will provide employees with the context for why metrics are important and help them prioritize the metrics that matter most to the business. This dialogue will also establish a common glossary of measurement terms that can be used throughout the organization so that departments can work directly with each other, rather than having a proxy translate each department-specific language and improve overall collaboration.

Meet more frequently

Most communication is done via email and over the phone these days, and consistent meetings can sometimes be sparse. Place emphasis on meetings within your organization once a week to get everyone on the same page. Review the metrics from the previous week, establish what metrics should be closely monitored throughout the next week, and address questions and concerns directly. These meetings will encourage active discussions regarding metrics in the meetings, as well as at the water cooler, and will also increase transparency throughout the organization.

Leverage the right technology

Every organization needs technology to succeed in today's business environment, but any technology is rendered useless if it doesn't meet the organization's needs. For data-specific technology, a robust data warehouse will be necessary to house all data within your organization. A data warehouse will provide your organization with a central repository where any employee can access and analyze data with precision and efficiency. A good data warehouse will require upfront capital, but the investment will pay off in the form of more accurate data, less time consuming reporting, and increased productivity.

Develop educational resources

Measurement is useless if your employees cannot understand the meaning of metrics and how to act on data. While increased communication and meeting frequency can certainly address some of these issues, organizations will benefit from developing a training course on how to analyze and act on data. This material will establish a solid foundation for understanding and analyzing metrics and will ease the transition for new employees into a metrics-driven culture. Additional resources on how to use technology like data warehouses will also ensure that your employees are maximizing existing resources and therefore maximizing output. With proper training, your employees will be able to analyze and interpret data from both a micro and macro point-of-view, empowering your new metrics-driven culture!

Implementing these four steps will transform your organization into a well-oiled, metrics-driven machine. You'll be pleasantly surprised at the success your organization will see from focusing on the metrics that matter.

Dan Darnell is VP of marketing for Baynote.

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"Valuable papers, charts and diagrams" image via Shutterstock.


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