In Part I of this two-part article, I introduced how most companies have rapid time-to-value expectations for their web analytics investments. Senior executives wonder how quickly insights from web data can be converted into valuable enhancements to their online business. Quick wins are designed to satisfy this need as they pinpoint specific data-driven actions that generate a positive return for an online business. Stringing together several quick wins builds momentum for a web analytics team, and each new quick win becomes another success story that further reinforces the importance of developing a truly data-driven culture.
Continuing my hockey theme from the previous article (can you tell I’m from Canada?), the famous Montreal Canadiens goalie, Jacques Plante, once said, “How would you like a job where every time you make a mistake a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” If I’m focused purely on reporting as a web analyst, I’m going to feel much like a goaltender. I’m going to be reacting to the various reporting requests fired my way and hoping not to miss an important save. I’d rather be a forward at the other end of the rink scoring goals (quick wins) and getting cheers out of 18,000 people at my company.
In this part of the article, I’d like to discuss the relationship between quick wins and the implementation process. I’d also like to explore what to do if your team has focused primarily on reporting and not on delivering quick wins to your organization. Is it too late? Not if you’re determined to stage a data-driven comeback. He shoots, he scores!
Quick wins and the implementation process
As a web analytics team, it is important to capitalize on the initial interest in the new web analytics tools. There is a limited window of opportunity in which you can deliver a quick win to continue the same level of enthusiasm or build upon it. However, executives and other key stakeholders need to clearly understand when the game starts — “Game on! Our implementation is complete”. The web analytics team will need to manage expectations throughout the entire implementation phase. You’ll have a problem if the company expects goals before the players are even dressed and on the ice. You don’t want to be down 0–2 before you’ve even started the game so managing expectations is critical.
Along with managing expectations, you want to be careful with rushing your implementation in order to achieve an immediate win. Your implementation forms the backbone or foundation for not just the first quick win but all ongoing value that can be achieved with your Omniture tools (without re-implementing). Shortsightedness and incompleteness at this key stage could prevent your organization from obtaining full value from its web analytics investment. Most large companies need to approach their implementations in prioritized phases. When your implementation is done in phases, there should be ample quick win material front-loaded in the first phase or you may run into time-to-value concerns from senior management before you even reach subsequent phases.
Stage a comeback with quick wins
Well, your implementation may have been completed some time ago. Your team has been able to get some good reporting in place, but you now realize quick wins haven’t been a key part of your game plan. The perceived “0−2″ score may not reflect all of the hard work that has gone into gathering business requirements and in establishing proper tagging and reporting. However, it does reflect the restlessness in senior management and the rest of the company around lagging time to value.
Recently, the Chicago Blackhawks tied the record for the biggest comeback in NHL history when they overcame a five-goal deficit to beat the Calgary Flames 6–5 in overtime. Call a time out. Rally the team around identifying a simple but meaningful quick win. You need to focus on a quick win for an internal group that is willing and able to execute on recommendations in a timely manner. As you start to have some success and gain credibility, you can slowly increase the size, scope, or complexity of each new quick win.
In Omniture Consulting, we regularly help clients with identifying potential quick wins. Sometimes it’s helpful to augment your team’s expertise in a particular area or receive extra help when your team’s bandwidth becomes stretched. Some companies are willing to admit they don’t know what they don’t know, and a fresh, third-party perspective can often be valuable in finding new quick win opportunities. Whether you rally the internal team or turn to the Omniture Consulting bench for additional help, the key thing to remember is that momentum begins with the first quick win. Focus on getting that first goal to stage a data-driven comeback.
In my next article in this data-driven series, I will cover the importance of testing and validating your implementation efforts.