Startup Challenges: Analytics Overload

By Matt Sprague (@sprague13)

TS_logoAs a thriving start up company out of Manchester, NH, TestSoup has owned it’s share of ups and downs.  The idea of getting it correct the first time is not realistic but the focus has always been to learn from mistakes and strive to be better each day.  This post is one in a series of our perception of the start up world.  Agree with it or disagree with it.  Either way is OK because we already disclosed that we are not always correct.   All we ask is that you join the discussion.  Please feel free to leave your thoughts below.

Analytics Overload

I do not declare myself to be an expert when it comes to the world of analytics.   After being involved with it for a while now, I would raise an eyebrow to anyone that does.   There is an overwhelming amount of information and capabilities out there to track anything and everything you can imagine.     In addition, the landscape keeps changing.  So what the heck am I supposed to do in a start up environment?

My recommendation is to treat your analytics like an iceberg.    The 10% above water should be the metrics that are vital to your current needs.  Leave the remainder under water until you get huge and are making millions, don’t let it slow you down.    Where to begin?

Understand the nature of your business – this will be imperative in deciding what you want to track.  If you are concerned with inbound marketing you might want to look at pageviews, behavior and visit duration.  If you are concerned with eCommerce then you may be interested in the previous metrics but also conversion rates.

Know who you are marketing to - your messages / content needs to be speaking to your customers / viewers.   Be specific and do your best in segmenting your approach.

If you have a handle on those two areas, you are well on your way.   The massive question out their is, how do you use / setup the analytics services?   Google Analytics is the most widely used.  Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc… have their own analytics / insights and so don’t the email marketing services.   Some can be integrated into Google Analytics.   Here are some good resources to help you navigate through the mess:

A 10 – Point Checklist
Web Analytics Demystified
Google Setup Guide

I revisit our analytics setup about once per month.  I make sure we are tracking what needs to be tracked and make adjustments where it is needed.   After setting it up, you need to focus on how you can take the info it provides and make your company more profitable.  Don’t get bogged down in trying to get more and more data.  At some point you need to act on the things that will help you achieve your goals.   Good luck and have fun!! – check out previous posts in this series by clicking here.

TestSoup provides online and mobile study guides in the form of flash cards, ebooks, practice tests and online tutoring for a variety of standardized tests in an array of subject / professional areas.


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