Yes, I stand by what I say here in my title. My statement is subjective, and here’s why: Google Analytics was supposed to be a great equalizer of a solution, but all of that vision has come to naught. Let me elaborate…
Google Analytics, which initially started as Urchin Software Corp., is plagued by metrics. While they give a barrage of trends and data that you could potentially make use of, it overwhelms the brain’s cognition by drowning you in so many stats. It becomes impossible to comprehend them all. The goal of Urchin Software was to provide maximum ROI for website owners/marketers. This has been lost in the din of these metrics. Too many cooks (metrics) spoil the broth (comprehension) is very evident.
Numbers & Interpretations
For the mathematically inclined, amongst us, it’s always easy to find refuge in the numbers. Numbers give you comfort, but the reality is it doesn’t mean anything. A bounce rate of 50% is both good and bad at the same time. If your site is a single-page website built to gain attention and get an early sign up for your product, then 50% is not too shabby. However, if you’re a blog or content site and half your visitors drop like flies, then you have a problem! So an analytics suite that gives you the number without the context is doing you a disservice. In the world of advanced analytics and AI, it seems to me that interpretation and contextualizing data is key to more than just reporting numbers.
Actions & Reactions
Every marketer is unique. After each marketer consumes data on his marketing performance, they act differently and uniquely. It’s both amusing and amazing that despite the fact web-analytics being more than 25 years old, there’s not a clear scientific path for a marketer to act on data. In the world of almost-autonomous cars, marketing is simply manual, completely at the mercy of the master called marketer. Marketers all act – and measure the reactions, which are usually the response to their marketing – differently. There are many disciplined marketers who practice the craft scientifically and in a disciplined fashion but the real culprit behind this chaos is open to interpretation metrics and KPI’s. It’s time to build causality into marketing.
In a nutshell, I do believe some expert marketers have tamed the wild animal called Google Analytics. But, they have done so with millions of dollars and data specialists at their behest. The rest of the marketers are at the mercy of these metrics. I also believe Google Analytics is a great product but has become overly complex. Seldom do marketers have the time, backing, and data science power to make marketing a repeatable and accountable exercise.
We launched Glance with an intention to bring some order to this chaos. Check us out and give us a shout on this article.
PS: This post was previously written by the Author on Linkedin