I’ve have been working on a new deck of cards exploring Google Analytics for the last couple of months. The process is: think a lot, design cards, have them printed, test in workshops and then repeat. Yesterday evening we printed two copies of the latest version (the 4th since inception) and we’ll spend some time this morning guillotining them and then trimming the corners. I’m running workshops over the next 2 weeks in 3 locations and if they pass the test and once spelling mistakes are removed, I’ll Kickstart them.
The idea behind the cards is to help teams align their analytics with their business goals. I’ve created 4 types of cards: Goals, Metrics, Dimensions and Exploration Questions. I am designing a series of workshops (or activities) that will help people get value out of the cards.
There will be at least 20 Goal cards. At lot of these will focus around revenue and costs but also around staffing, brand values and advocacy. I want to make the cards to be relevant for blogs, publishing sites and membership sites as well as ecommerce and catalogue sites. One possible use of these Goal cards will be to encourage thinking and conversations around how to prioritise an organisation’s digital activities (and hence its analytics) around why a site or app exists.
These Goal cards are a recent addition to the deck and came from a series of testing workshops in which the purpose of analytics became the central topic of discussion. If we can’t answer why we want to use analytics as part of measuring the effectiveness of our digital strategies, then we won’t be able to frame useful questions for analytics itself.
Metrics and Dimension cards allow us to explore the raw material of Google Analytics. They are numbers and lists such as Sessions (metric) and Page Titles (dimension). Having taught analytics for many years I have observed that familiarity with Metrics and Dimensions and understanding the difference between them is a major stumbling block to surfacing insights.
There are over 450 metric and dimensions inside Analytics and I have chosen 50 of the most useful. These are also the ones that appear inside most GA reports and dashboards. I am proposing that workshop participants select metrics that provide insights into achieving their business goals.
Metrics are not digital activities and they don’t tell you what to do. They are simply numbers that report on how many X or what percentage Y of visitors, pages, orders or ads were recorded by GA. Dimensions are sometimes more controllable and some suggest things to do; such as generate more products, content or keywords. I will be writing some more workshop materials to help make these tangible and explorable.
I will also provide instruction on how to build dashboards and customised reports inside Analytics the supplement the standard reports provided by the interface. Hopefully this will help people become more confident in their explorations for their own businesses.
The final set of cards are Explorer Questions and there will be at least 25 of them. Their role is to provide starting questions for exploring the power of Analytics. One piece of feedback from early workshops was that there were too many of them and people found them overwhelming. I have divided them into 4 categories of 7 or 8 each: Audience, Marketing, Experience and Results to help focus a particular session around a particular area of interest or concern.
One of the great things about cards is that they are two-sided and I can fit all of the above including some basic instructions in 54 cards. I’ll accompany this with tutorial and workshop ideas online that can grow and change as we need.
I’m excited that these are nearly ready and early reactions have been very positive. With a Kickstarter campaign planned for May, we are getting close to allowing them out into the real world.
I’d love reactions or questions.