Practical advice about analytics tools, to-dos

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BtoB: How can organizations get the most out of Web analytics? Eisenberg: You don't make money from having a tool—that's the first thing. Some organizations, they'd be better off ripping it out. [The tool] just gets used to torture the data and prove what they want to show, as opposed to being used to make real, data-driven decisions.That's the real challenge: How do you move past data collection, then reporting, then analysis, to actual business optimization? BtoB: If you want to get serious, where do you start? Eisenberg: To do Web analytics right, you need to have a to-do list. Depending on your corporate metabolism, the schedule could be daily, weekly or monthly—it doesn't matter, as long as you're doing it. Every time you go through it, look at the biggest holes on the Web site, the biggest opportunities for improvement. Also, ask what are the things that are working well and where you can do more of the same. And if company XYZ is doing something interesting with webinar invites, can you test how that works for you? Figure out the effort required and the resources required to get things done, and start going through that list. Lather, rinse and repeat. BtoB: What's your recommendation on free versus paid analytic tools? Eisenberg: My core philosophy has always been start with free and then pay. A free tool, of course, has limitations. But the benefit comes from incorporating it into your daily process. Get the people and process in place and then the tools. If you don't know how to drive, you don't need a car, especially a Lamborghini. Some organizations look at the tool first and spend a fortune there—and then realize they have no budget for training. M
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