This is an analytics methodology and task list I have found to be successful for a wide variety of applications.
Have a clear understanding of the client’s business, website objectives, and organization structure
Evaluate, recommend, install and configure the web analytics tools
Collect pertinent data
Analyze data to make continuing recommendations for adjustment
Some clients have assigned staff and management to handle Web analytics, so this methodology must be flexible enough to accommodate the existing workflow. Everyone needs to row in the same direction.
The first is to understand the client and how the client would measure the success of the website. Communicating with key stakeholders in the organization is crucial to both get an overall understanding and make sure they understand what is being done… and why. The also helps determine the types and frequency of reports that will be most useful for the client. For example, there may need to be granular daily reports that go to the account contact, while less-frequent high level reports are prepared for the executives. This makes sure proper communication and accountability are established.
Choosing the proper tool can have profound impact on the entire project. In certain cases, the client may have already invested in a specific tool, so we would need to get up to speed on the tool and make sure that the ball was kept rolling. Fortunately, most of the successful tools work pretty much the same; it is largely a matter of learning the interface. Often, the tool determination is left to us, so we can make a recommendation based on a review of requirements, budget and desired results.
Data collection and data auditing work in tandem to weed out irrelevant traffic and make sure the ROI is maintained. Since some traffic to websites is irrelevant, frequent audits can help maintain the integrity of the data. When necessary, filters can be employed and adjusted to further increase efficiency.
As the data is acquired, we begin the reporting, analysis and recommendations process. Reports can be generated as needed and in varying degrees of detail. The reporting process is accompanied by recommendations and plans of action to maintain ROI.