KPI's are merely the quantitative measurements which reflect critical success criteria as defined by the stakeholders of a website. KPI's, if used correctly, will often act as the critical bridge connecting the abundant data and reports that web analytics tools generate with the ability to succinctly evaluate the performance of the web site, business process or marketing campaign that is being evaluated. Without KPI's it can be an overwhelming task to share relevant and actionable data with various stakeholders within an organization. When working with clients, I almost always recommend the creation of KPI dashboards that present views of the web analytics data at the following levels:
By following this process, each of the respective parties can be provided with a fully customized view only of the metrics that are truly relevant to them in their role within the organization. In each case, the goal is to distill the data into a handful of truly actionable metrics that provide insight into the success or failure of either the entire site or a particular section or process on the site.
How KPI's can enable taking action on Web Analytics Data
One of the most important functions that KPI's can perform for an organization is enabling action to be taken on the data that is generated from web analytics tools. In my experience with clients, this manifests itself in the following three ways:
Exhibit 1 illustrates the percent of research participants who utilize testing (a/b or multivariable) segmented by the amount of time that the organization has been using KPI's. Similarly, Exhibit 2 shows respondents who utilize scenario analysis also segmented by the amount of time that the organization has been using KPI's. In both cases there is a dramatic increase in the likelihood of the use of a/b and multivariable testing and scenario analysis the longer that an organization has been using KPI's.
3. Usage of KPI's to Enable Prioritization of Future Plans: The critical role that KPI usage plays in the process of prioritizing and planning future marketing, business process, and site design changes should not be underestimated. The very act of defining KPI's and then establishing baseline measures for them allows an organization to more appropriately allocate their future resources. Additionally, this process allows for an organization to set specific goals for the improvement of specific KPI's and correlate them to specific projects. Organizations can use this data to select the projects with the highest potential return on investment.
Common Examples of KPI's by site business model
Bill Bruno is the CEO - North America, Ebiquity.