Jeff Sauer, Google Analytics guru and founder of KnowledgeLand spoke Wednesday evening at Spyder Trap about going beyond the “what” with Google Analytics, by developing results-driven, pinpointed strategies to tell us “what happened” in our organization.

According to Sauer, there are three key elements in analytics adoption: Get the organization to buy-in, understand your tools and share your results.

1. Get the organization to buy-in
It is important to ask, “Is what I’m saying board-room worthy?” meaning, what will analytics findings mean to top executives at the organization. Sauer says before dropping a heap of data onto a group of superiors, there are some things to consider:

  • What are the objectives of the company?
  • People want to hear benefits they will receive
  • Find strength in results and successes
  • Predict the value you bring to the table
  • Have numbers to support your arguments to the CFO

When you are getting an organization to buy-in, you have to start with an outcome in mind. There are three basic goals to achieving good outcomes, which are:

  1. Build a national presence
  2. Support sustained company growth
  3. Become a leader in your market

Having targets, tactics, teams and tools are essential in reaching these three goals successfully, and give each key performance indicator meaning when creating a digital measurement strategy.

2. Understand your tools
What’s wonderful about Google Analytics is “it takes very little time to collect data,” Sauer says. With new features like demographic reports, channel groupings, Tag Manager, Experimental and Universal Analytics, Google Analytics has more capabilities now than it has ever had before.

With new features like Tag Manager, which allows an interface for code, Analytics has a speedier deployment, relies less on developer resources, is more forgiving and has fewer errors. Sauer quotes @juliencoquet, a French digital analytics expert, saying, “Google Tag Manager is Chicken Soup for your Tags.”

With all of these new features, the possibilities for different results through Google Analytics are nearly endless, providing almost any kind of data the user could want.

3. Share your results
When the data is finally collected, and you’re ready to take it to the “board room” Sauer advises what he calls “Analytics zen” which is achieved by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What happened?
  • Is this expected?
  • Should we be worried?
  • Why did it happen?
  • How do we react?

Having the answers to these questions will provide an outline for how the Analytics should be presented. For the presentation, Sauer recommends “addition by subtraction,” meaning don’t overwhelm your audience with a bunch of extra information, just get straight to the point. “People don’t want to hear problems, they want to hear solutions,” he says. For an effective presentation you must:

  • Use visuals – this draws people in and makes them more interested in what you have to say.
  • Don’t show your work – Show results. People are not interested in knowing the entire process you went through.
  • Find your champion – Showing another, higher-up team member your presentation can be very helpful for feedback, and if they like it they will advocate for you when you present the material.
  • Assume others will receive the report offline – Some people may show up late, or leave the presentation early. Inserting an executive summary with the key points into the presentation is important for people who are busy and have to look at the presentation later.

Jeff Sauer helps users to go beyond the “what” with Google Analytics and shows the capabilities of this software, what to do with it once you have the data collected and how to present it effectively to your organization. He encourages users to “do more with less,” and to “remember – you are a strategic asset.”


For more information about Jeff, follow him on Twitter @jeffalytics or check out his company, KnowledgeLand.

A special thanks to MnSearch for putting on the event, and SpyderTrap for being the host.


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