I have launched my second Kickstarter project and like the last it is a deck of cards. Last year on almost exactly the same dates I launched a deck about Jobs to be Done, this year the new deck is about Google Analytics.
I work in Singapore as the Academic Director of Hyper Island and split my time between planning and delivering a Masters course in Digital Management and working with companies on how to think and act in a digital world. Both sides of my job involve helping people create mental models of digital ideas and processes through active engagement in briefs and challenges.
I spend my time researching and exploring tools and theories that help people frame and shape the complexity of digital. Often, this involves simplifying concepts so that the main themes and structures are revealed. By appreciating the basic structures, we can then add in additional layers of complexity to better mirror the world in which we operate.
Jobs to be done, JTBD, is one such simplifying theory. It sets out that people make choices and decisions based on needs; the jobs they are trying to get done in their lives. We don’t buy products or services, we recruit solutions to solve problems in our lives.
My first Kickstarter project was a deck of cards to help people learn to interview customers about these underlying needs. Each card asks a question and provides some explanation of how the question might reveal the jobs that are being done. Cards were a great way of providing a flexible set of questions that can be ordered, selected and discussed either during an interview or in the planning of one.
This year’s project is about Google Analytics or to be more honest it is about how GA provides a model of thinking around activities in the digital ecosystem.
There are many training courses in analytics and I did not want or need to create another one. I have wanted to create a tool to help discuss the complexity of a company’s digital activities for some time and GA seemed to be way to do that; an underlying map that reveals clues as to how current activities are working and how future activities might be planned.
Think about what digital means for successfully engaging with customers: creating an online ‘content’ presence that sets out how your product or service meets a consumer need, supporting that with marketing that shouts out about this need/product fit, using social channels to amplify your online presence to encourage earned marketing as consumers talk about how well your products match their needs and learning from all of the data creating during these activities to better meet this needs.
GA is one source of that data. It’s quite imperfect as a revealer of needs but as part of a growing toolbox of listening tools, competitor research and trend monitoring, it does help you get insights into at least a significant component of your activities online.
My new card deck is about helping people to simplify and make sense of some of the underlying concepts in web analytics. I’ve chosen to focus on the relationship to business goals, the data being collected (metrics and dimensions) and the sorts of actions that digital teams can take to improve this data and so improve results towards those goals.
By making these concepts tangible objects that can be manipulated and discussed, as cards, I’m hoping that people will be able to view analytics in a new light and get more from it.
My job to be done in creating the cards, like last year, is to help me think about the complexity of the work I do; to help me make sense of my own world. By making my cards a “thing” I hope their users will provide me with feedback and knowledge to help me teach and consult better.
A second job, as last year, is to show off my thinking to others; a common JTBD for many of us.
My hope is that the new Analytics Cards will appeal to those who find analytics a strange and even repellent concept. I hope it will help them become more comfortable and confident with what analytics is about so that they can ask better questions from “experts” and demand better answers and insights.
A version of this post was published on Medium