In today’s world data continues to be readily available with more and more of it at our fingertips. It comes in many forms and reports; AdWords, Google Analytics, media partners’ dashboards, and the list can go on and on. With the volume of information and the speed of its acquisition, the question is how do we take all of this information and make it actionable?
While it is easy to get overwhelmed, the best place to start is at the beginning. What are your business goals? What are you hoping to achieve? How is your marketing plan helping you get there? And what data do you have to support it? All marketing efforts should align with a specific goal with results that can be measured.
Things that we find helpful when starting are the following:
- Review the challenge. What is the business problem you’re trying to overcome?
- Set your goals. What do you want to achieve?
- Establish the reporting rhythm. How often do you want to review the metrics?
The key is taking the goals and objectives and turning them into something measurable. What do you want to learn, takeaway or know and how do you track, monitor and adjust to achieve the best results? The right approach is to provide value by not just reviewing the reports and the data, but by being able to draw out the insights and information that turn into a recommendation and action that will benefit or move towards one of the company’s goals. And it’s not just from one data point, but rather trends over time. Reports should visually tell a story from the data. Showing progress against objectives, trends to watch out for and recapping what the progress made to date so as to never lose sight of the end goal.
Ask yourself, what do you want to achieve with our reporting? From here, you can determine if your data is helping you reach your goals and meeting your objectives.
Kristina Schneider is a senior marketing analyst with 15+ years of experience at a Fortune 200 company in the U.S. and consulting in Europe. Deeply analytic, she focuses on providing strategic insights to solve complex business problems. She integrates marketing expertise with business understanding and big-picture thinking with detail orientation.