Twitter chatter: Making sense of the Google Analytics Motion Charts feature

Making sense of the Google Analytics Motion Charts feature
A terrific article for the hard core analysts. Those of you who called stats “sadistics” in college, just move on.

I’m a failure at math. How can I understand web analysis reports? –Natalie T.

This sounds like a question from my wife who breaks out in hives when she gets near numbers. If you understand simple percentages, you’ll be fine as long as you see the information in a format that works for you.higher math

Be sure to communicate with your analyst and tell him or her how you would like to receive reports. There are a number of ways to impart information to you: pie charts, bar graphs, text summaries, and so on. Maybe you are an auditory learner and need a phone conference to walk through the findings. If you’re a visual person, ask your analyst to set up a video conference through Dimdim or some other service.

The most important thing is to advocate for yourself. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to say that something isn’t clear or needs more explanation. I’ve really appreciated my customers asking me to do that because, in the process, I’ve come up with several analogies that I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. I’m a very logical, linear thinker and when I work with creative, right-brain people, it’s important for me to create reports that are clear, understandable, and useful.

Finally, I think the most important part of a report is not necessarily the numbers but rather the recommendations. Make sure that your analyst gives you actionable items for your site. Unfortunately, this is where many businesses stop short. They will install Google Analytics on their site, look at the results a few times, and think to themselves, “Cool.” A good analyst will look at that information with more depth, pull the various items apart, analyze your website, and then make a list of action items. After the changes are made, you and your analyst should start that whole process over again. Rinse and repeat.