More often than not, stakeholders come to analytics looking for specific data rather than answers. It’s so easy for them to assume that a specific metric or data value will provide the insights they need. And sometimes they’re exactly right. But to be the most effective and valuable resources we can be, analysts really need to understand the problem that reports/data will solve. This helps frame up the deliverable, whether it’s just a measure or a detailed report. Knowing: 1. How the information will be consumed, 2. What decisions may be made from it, and, most importantly 3. “What Questions are we Answering” is essential to delivering true actionable insights.
We start with 1. key business questions, → then (analytics) can determine 2. the reports that will answer these questions, → then plan 3. the data and measures that are needed in the reports.
To get us started in the right direction, we create an analytics request form and establish a request process. Here is an example of a form I created for a recent client.
|We will document the stakeholder group or (report requestor/consumer) for 2 reasons;|
1. Add context to the business need of the request
2. Align deliverables to match the audience (is this for an Exec? Operations?)
|Definition/Scope: Which webpages/campaigns/surveys etc. are we measuring?|
|Objective: The “key objective” or “business need” of the content (as defined above). What was it created for? What do we want it to do? For example: the video on this page is intended to drive more contact form completions.|
|Key Questions||These are the questions that will be asked of analytics. Starting with the key business questions is a top down approach. Knowing what questions reports need to answer, helps us ensure all reports meet requirements and produce actionable insights.|
|Supporting Material||Supporting; Links, Files, Images etc. that help clarify the “ask”.|
|Time Frame to Measure||Any information or indicator of what time frames are relevant to the ask.|
|Due Date||When is this needed by?|