November 15, 2010
As I recently quipped on Facebook, I love Google Analytics. I love playing with and analyzing the vast array of data that it provides (after all, how else would we know that the number of visits via dialup has increased over the past year?). But I dislike preparing the report that goes to staff.
First, there’s the data that I find interesting and useful as online communications specialist. Then there’s data that my teammates, as communications professionals, find interesting and useful. And then the statistics that program staff find interesting and useful. As well as the broad trends and figures that senior leadership and the board want to see.
Not all of these are the same facts and figures. Executive Transitions likes to know how many page hits a new job posting has received, while our communications assistant looks at spikes in traffic corresponding with the promotional efforts she’s made for our training series. My boss and I are concerned with bounce rates, increase in traffic, and visitor engagement.
Sometimes there aren’t any noticeable trends or fluctuations since the previous report.
So, then, how best to present enough information to answer most questions, but not overload everyone with more information than they care to ever know?
June 26, 2008
Google Analytics now offers benchmarking statistics. Google looks at the data to determine which category it belongs in, and then removes any identifying information so that your data is anonymous when it goes into the benchmarking aggregate.
However, “for sites of a similar size, a category of industry verticals can be chosen when there is a sufficient number of accounts in that category.” Which means in order to compare your statistics to an appropriate category, there have to be enough organizations signed up.
So if you’re already using Google Analytics, sign up! (Especially any nonprofit capacity building organizations out there…) Hopefully they’re not too far off from being able to flesh out a nonprofit vertical – you could be the last organization they need to add a category.
(For now, categories under “Society” hold the most promise.)