Web Analytics: The Man with Two Watches

Hey Folks. My name is Charles Lumpkin. I want to talk to you today about Web Analytics and a common problem that I see and I want to relate it to a little parable. Oftentimes you’ll see people that have multiple analytics system installed on their site. I’ve worked for people who have as many as five different kinds of analytics systems installed on their site. Even with two this becomes a problem. Why? Because the way web analytics work. Each package works in a different manner. They all measure things differently. Conversions are measured differently. Unique visitors are measure differently. There is some sort of standardization among them, but you’ve got a lot of variation there.

So what does this mean? When you are running marketing programs – which one are you looking at to optimize your results against? Oftentimes you’ll at one and the other is slightly different. And you’ll start making decisions that are contradictory.

I had a teacher in a high school – Mark Tayloe. I had gotten in trouble that year and I came back. And he gave me a sheet of paper. He always handed out sheets of paper in class with sayings – every single class period. I think I got two of them that year. And one of them was “a man with two watches never knows the time.” And I was thinking “Ok – so what does that mean?” And actually I kind of know now. You can’t have two different analytics systems that you are comparing against because you start to second-guess yourself.

So if you must two analytics systems or more installed, only pay attention to the results from one. And optimize the results of your marketing campaign against. Take that as a tip. My name is Charles Lumpkin and you can find more of me at CharlesLumpkin.com. Thank you.

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