Observations from a first workshop test of our Analytics Cards

I did the first test of our new cards today: 50 cards with data on one side and business questions on the other.  Participants, from one of my ecommerce clients, started by identifying the data that means most to their business; first 10 metrics then reducing to 4. Next they explored dimensions, Then they chose the business questions that matter and matched the data to the cards.

The cards have taken a couple of months to design, write and prototype.  I’m still working out the best way to guide trainers to run workshops. I want a mixture of card based discussion activities and on-screen activities trying out ideas.

My biggest challenge is to help learners explore the GA system itself.  The cards are not intended as a Google Analytics 101 – there are already a lot out of existing materials out there but perhaps I have to provide step-by-step instructions before we get into the interesting stuff; searching for meaningful insights that lead to actions.

All my participants today had used GA before but still they wanted the interface tour.  I need to find an engaging way to do this that readies us for the cards.

The cards themselves were extremely popular. I think making ideas physically tangible really helps and there was lots of lively discussion and debate about what matters.

I’d budgeted about the right amount of time for the first card activity exploring data.  The second needed more.  I also need to get the participants to explore things using the standard GA reports (or perhaps dashboards) before they dive into the business questions.

Perhaps the sequence should be

  1. Guided tour of the interface with some time spent on dashboards
  2. Selecting and prioritising data for your business (cards)
  3. Accessing chosen data/simple dashboards (cards -> screen)
  4. Prioritising business questions (cards)
  5. Exploring chosen business questions (cards -> screen)
  6. Identification of actions

Overwhelmingly this first session was a success and I’m fired up to polish and do more.  One sign that this will work was my client’s desire to keep tightly hold of one of the two prototype decks we have produced.  Sorry Wei Tze, we will need to make a couple more this weekend.

Planning some more writing next week.  Stay tuned.

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