Look Beyond the Rear-View Mirror
"I run into lot of people who confuse web reporting with web analytics," says Anil Batra in a post at his Web Analysis blog. He illustrates the confusion with the story of a marketing manager who believed her analytics needs were covered by a staffer proficient at pulling data.
"Does knowing a tool and knowing how to pull data from that tool [equal] web analytics?" he asks rhetorically. In fact, argues Batra, reporting provides this information:
- What happened
- When it happened
Analysis, on the other hand, takes that information and answers questions like these:
- Why did it happen?
- What if it continues to happen?
- How might this influence future decisions?
Batra compares reporting to looking in a rearview mirror. Web analysis, meanwhile, "is about knowing where you are coming from, knowing your destination, looking into rearview mirror, learning from it, focusing on the road ahead and surroundings so that you can get to your destination safely and successfully."
The Po!nt: If your "analysis" is really reporting, you haven't even begun to leverage the information contained in your data.
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