Saturday, January 26, 2013

Aligning Your Organizations Culture Around Web Analytics



            In the corporate world we live in today, we’re constantly trying to grow bigger, stronger, and be more competitive. At times though, it appears as though the culture within our organization gets out of funk and needs a change. I’m going to discuss not only how we can change our organizational culture, but also align our organizations culture around analytics to ensure we properly positioned in the marketplace.
            What is organizational culture anyways? According to the dictionary, organizational culture is “the customs, rituals, and values shared by the members of an organization that have to be accepted by new members.” (Organizational Culture, 2013) A key point to look at is that organizational culture involves “the customs, rituals, and values shared by the members.” (Organizational Culture, 2013) John Lovett also stated, “Culture consists of values, beliefs, legends, taboos and rituals that all companies develop over time.” (Lovett, 2010) In both of these definitions, we see a common word in “values”. This represents the values of the organization and what’s important to it. Organizational culture is more than this though, “it’s also the pattern of such collective behaviors and assumptions that are taught to new organizational members as a way of perceiving, and even thinking and feeling.” (Organizational Culture, 2013) From this we learn that an organizations culture comes down to the people that make it up. These values need to then be taught to all of the employees as they’re brought into the organization.
            How can we then cultivate the use of web analytics within our organizations? First, let’s look at what web analytics are and how they can be used to support our organization. Web Analytics “is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of internet data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage. It is often done without the permission or knowledge of the user.” (Web Analytics, 2013) The use of web analytics within any organization allows them to become more data driven and in turn become more successful. Now you might be wondering how the use of web analytics and becoming more data driven can help an organization become more successful. Looking back at the definition it says it’s used “for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage.” (Web Analytics, 2013) Being able to understand who is visiting your site, why they came, and what interested them can help you better know how to drive more customers to your organization and demonstrate more customer focus. So how are web analytics used to support your organization? Through the use of web analytics you’ll be able to find out why your web page is losing users, where are users drawn to on your site and it allows you to test new content to see how users/consumers respond.
            Now that we have a better understanding of what organizational culture is as well as web analytics, let’s look at a few steps we can take to help our businesses align our organizational cultures around web analytics and becoming more data driven. In Web Analytics 2.0, Avinash Kaushik stated, “If you can’t get your people excited, rabidly excited, about data and analytics, then really you have no place to go!” (Kaushik, 2010) He goes on to share 7 tips on how to help your organization become more excited about web analytics. I’ll share with you his 7 tips and a brief description of each. For a more in-depth description of these tips, please refer to his book Web Analytics 2.0.
1. Do Something Surprising: Don’t Puke Data
  • While the new use of these web analytics tools can be very exciting and give you the urge to immediately “puke out data, instead have a conversation with them and then come back with the answer.” 
2. Start with Outcomes and Impacts, Not Visits
  • By starting with Outcomes and Impacts, you’re able to show the decision makers how much money the website is making and how many leads it got. This will lead them to ask the other important questions which involve the traditional metrics including visits.
3. Create Heroes and Role Models
  • By teaming up with a decision maker and doing your best to make them look good, “you’ll make them an absolute hero through data-driven decision making.”
4. If You Want Excitement, Make It Fun!
  • Just have fun, after all “it’s exciting to make money, improve conversions, and measure multichannel impact.”
5. Hold Contests
  • Hold a contest with everyone involved and give out prizes. “People love to play and love to win.”
6. Hold Internal Conferences
  • About once a quarter, hold a half day conference where marketers can show off their key knowledge and give presentations.
7. Hold Office Hours
  • By holding office hours, it allows you to become more accessible instead of just being someone to email or an answer to a “request via a ticketing system”.

“Shifting a corporate culture from its subjective, intuitive-driven approach to an objective, data-driven approach can be a significant and daunting challenge for any company”, but through initiating the 7 tips above, we can help the culture within our organizations become more aligned around web analytics. (Dykes, 2010)

References: 


Organizational Culture. (2013). Retrieved from Dictionary.com: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/organizational+culture?s=t
Organizational Culture. (2013, January 24). Retrieved from Wikipedia.com: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organizational_culture
Web Analytics. (2013). Retrieved from Wikipedia.com: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_analytics
Dykes, B. (2010, July 29). Switching to a Data-Driven Culture. Retrieved from Adobe.com: http://blogs.adobe.com/digitalmarketing/analytics/switching-to-a-data-driven-culture/
Kaushik, A. (2010). Web Analytics 2.0. Indianapolis: Wiley Publishing, Inc.
Lovett, J. (2010, January 29). Building a Culture of Measurement. Retrieved from Web Analytics Demystified: http://john.webanalyticsdemystified.com/2010/01/29/building-a-culture-of-measurement/