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7 Steps for Developing Effective Data Driven Decisions

In today's digital world, many businesses and marketing teams talk about making "data driven decisions", that are focused on analytics, big data, and business intelligence tools to help guide them. The right information can help a business to make strategic decisions based off unbiased information, but the problem is, it can be harder to truly be a data driven organization than it is to say you are one.

Much of the time there are multiple internal teams (i.e. Marketing, Sales, Development, etc.) collecting data from multiple sources (i.e. the company's CRM, Web analytics, Marketing Campaign Analytics, Social Analytics, etc.) for their own individual needs. This "data driven" methodology may be beneficial for each individual team, but slight variations in collection, analysis, and presentation of the information can lead to some teams making business and marketing decisions that do not align with those of other teams. This method of individualized "data driven decision making" can lead to a large amount of disparate information being utilized by multiple departments, leading to imprecise and unsupported business and marketing decisions.

One activity that can help bring different facets of your business into alignment is to develop a digital measurement plan. A measurement plan should be established in which business objectives for your website are determined and measurable goals and corresponding objectives are identified. If your KPIs are established, the systems needed to receive data are identified, and the tracking processes for implementation and data analyzation are scheduled, you are on the track to digital optimization success!

To help you get started on your path to website optimization success, we have outlined the 7 steps necessary to make this happen. Dive in below:

  1. Define business goals: Consider what success means to the business and what the organizational objectives are online.
  2. Describe customer segments: Who does the business believe to be their customers and how are those customers segmented? Clearly document the needs of each segment. This can be further mapped out with a persona workshop if personalization is desired, but it also is beneficial in anthropomorphizing who each targeted customer is.
  3. Understand multi-channel customer journey: Talk through what the current thought process is for a customer journey (both on and offline) to determine if there is anything we can do to validate/track this.
  4. Map business objectives to KPIs based upon customer segments and their journeys: What are the KPIs needed to measure your customers’ interactions with your brand? Consider engagement versus conversion metrics. Ensure you understand the differences between digital channels and measure the metrics that make sense for each channel.
  5. Establish the technical infrastructure to collect the necessary metrics: Further determine what needs to be collected, how it can be collected (Tag Management System), what administrative actions should be taken to ensure we have proper data collection processes, and understand which system will be used as "universal truth" (likely to be a mix of CMS Data, Web Analytics Data, and CRM data)
  6. Define the reporting needs of the business and make it actionable: Determine the most meaningful and consumable way to report back to the business stakeholders.
  7. Instigate a data governance process: Define a process for evolving and updating your measurement and data collection. Ensure that new measurement requirements are implemented in a coordinated way that does not step on existing processes.

To make more precise business and marketing decisions, you need to clearly identify what you want out of your data! Developing, maintaining, and continuously evolving a digital measurement plan is just one step in aligning all facets of your business so that you can begin to truly make data driven decisions with your online business properties!