My passion is data
Every time I want to decide, I look back at my data. And because my entire work is all about making decisions, I look back before every step I plan.
Data is not just information we have about someone or something.
The difference between data and information is that data is well structured and prioritized information. So to get the best from the data, you need to have several skills such as information structuring or prioritization.
There is an only one rule while structuring the information you have:
* Keep it simple!
Every time my team members ask me how I can look at any spreadsheet I have and gather value from it when I’m hiding or deleting 70% of columns at once. That is not something to be surprised at; this is the key to gathering value from data.
You need to know the result you want to have and look to columns from that current prism. You don’t need to keep the “Customer_ID” field when the one thing you need to get for now is total sales by channel.
While everyone looks at the data they are happy with, I look at the data that may bring me a more actionable glance at the case. It is essential to distinguish metrics that get value (Actionable metrics) and metrics that are just giving you the information you will never use (Vanity metrics).
Let’s understand this case by the example.
Imagine you have an online store that sells goods. One of the primary data sources for you is website analytics such as Google Analytics or Hotjar. Your marketing manager gives you the excel sheet where you find this:
Total visitors — 15.325
Total unique visitors — 13.231
Total button clicks — 8.350
Total events — 38.763
While this spreadsheet may appear helpful, IT IS NOT.
The only useful info you can get from this file is by dividing “Total events” by “Total visitors” to know how many actions an average website visitor is doing.
For this case, I will ask my marketing manager to give me the file in this form:
Total visitors/Total events
Total unique visitors/Total events
Total Users/Items sold
Average engagement time
Here is the data that will make me understand actual trends. You need to understand that your website is useless if you have a lot of unique visitors but the average engagement time per visitor is 1–3 seconds.
Or, if the number of items sold per 100 website visitors is not encouraging, it doesn’t matter how many total visitors you have monthly.
The first spreadsheet is not useful to me, but it can make me happy at first glance.
And finally — Comparison
There are no good or bad things without comparison.
In my opinion, the most fantastic theory in the world is the relativity theory. Every time I look at my results, and my mind is about to make a statement, “Oh, this is a great result”, I stop it and ask:
These results are excellent compared with what?
If I find the answer that satisfies me, that’s amazing! :)
The same is with data.
If you look through the data, you will find a lot of patterns based on the comparison. Remember:
Comparing data with itself but in the different states is the first step to transforming it into gold.