Analytics Storytelling and the Ladder of Abstraction

“Analytics storytelling” is a very popular topic. Lots of people talk about “storytelling with data”, but rarely have I ever seen true storytelling with data in a standard marketing performance review. I’ve been involved in analytics for a long time and the concept of “storytelling” has always appealed to me (and based on the number of other articles written about it, lots of other people are interested in it too). One thing that I haven’t seen much discussion of is how to know what the right information for the right audience really means and how it works. This concept usually comes up in conjunction with KPIs, but not much else, which is unfortunate because it’s really important and deserv

Four Ways Chaos Managers Make Us Better at Analytics

It is inevitable that sooner or later you’ll run into a manager that seems to manage by chaos. These people are easy to see. They often have every page of their website taped to the walls of their office and printouts of every ad they are running. They are booked in back-to-back meetings every day. They walk into a meeting talking about the meeting they just came out of, then quickly shift to the meeting they are going to next. From an analytics perspective, it is important to recognize these people. While the chaos may not be of their own making, if they are the stakeholder you are working with, then you need to be ready. Analytics thrives in consistent, repeatable environments. It is best

Web Analytics Direct Traffic is Worth A Reminder

Every so often I find an article about web analytics that is a great reminder of something. This article by Sayf Sharif does a great job of describing the problems of web attribution and how direct traffic (which has no attribution) can mask the customer journey. It gets a bit technical, but it’s definitely worth a read. Direct Traffic is Dark Traffic, and That’s Okay Here are some thoughts on this article: It goes to great length to expose the problems of direct attribution in web analytics and how it can creep in from many directions. The list of ways that traffic can be tagged as “direct” is handy and a good reminder for anyone who spends a lot of time with web metrics. Calling direct att

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