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Site Analytics Reporting Demands Constant Improvement

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Website analytics reporting for any business should offer the most important insights while keeping the process fast and simple. Prioritizing the massive data also is key.

Productivity is a critical part of any business. A website report that is fast to build and simple to review improves productivity. A report that is complex and consuming will deplete a critical chunk of time.

I recently found myself with a report that had evolved into a massive document with plenty of great information. Unfortunately, it had so much information that I started having trouble juggling all of the priorities it was telling me to pursue. The report, which I updated weekly, also started taking more and more time to put together.

When it became clear it was unwieldy, I deleted the trailing 13 weeks of entries that I was tracking for many dozens of data points on nearly 15 pages of material in a spreadsheet. Instead, I now have on each sheet:

  1. One column for all of the year
  2. One column for the most recent quarter
  3. One for the previous full month
  4. Another one for the most recent 30 days

On a separate tab, I have 13 weekly columns. That way I’m able to track short-term trends.

I also combined some pages and deleted quite a few secondary rows of data.

The leaner report now focuses on the most important five to 10 priorities. It saves me time because it is quicker to put together. It also allows me to look more closely at trends by comparing the last 30 days to the previous month, quarter and year instead of just 13 individual weeks that jump around in results.

If the comparison shows a downward trend, I know I have a problem to address. If it shows an upward trend, I can look for a cause and try to duplicate the success elsewhere. The new report is better in multiple ways.

Tailor Analytic Reporting to Business

Guest postMy way of analytics reporting is not the only way or the best way. Rather, it’s the best way for my business and how I track the most important results.

Some businesses may use something a lot simpler or they may want to update the report once a month instead of once a week. A monthly report allows a publisher to compare the most recent month with previous months, such as the same month for the prior year.

Others with larger staffs involved in the website may use even more information and parse out sections to multiple employees depending on their roles.

Regardless, the digital environment keeps changing quickly. Reporting should evolve with the changing environment, the needs of the business and a basic commitment to continuous improvement.

Never changing at all is a mistake. Any change is positive as long as a benefit is provable. Constantly thinking about ways to make it better is always a good thing to do.

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